Frequently Asked Questions
What are the major threats to my asphalt?
Properly made and installed asphalt pavements rarely weaken and deteriorate from traffic wear. Instead pavement deterioration is caused by oxidation (the sun), petroleum spills and water intrusion. The sun will oxidize the pavement and begin evaporating oils that bind aggregates. The pavement becomes brittle, cracks, and exposes the subsurface. Eventually the erosion can reduce the thickness of the pavement. Petroleum product spills may dissolve asphalt, reducing the binding power of the aggregates and causing the pavement to fail. Water enters the cracks and exposed areas, it works its way into the sub grade and softens the base. During freeze cycles the strength of asphalt is weakened as the expansion and contraction of ice loosens the aggregate. Ultimately the base begins to buckle under normal traffic load.
How soon after my lot is paved should I start a pavement maintenance program?
The common mistake most people make is calling us after their pavement has cracked and in need of patching. To get the maximum life out of your pavement, a program should start within the first year. Your asphalt should be protected from its enemies, sun, oil and gas spills and water intrusion, as soon as possible. You wouldn’t wait years before painting the wood on your house.
How soon after my parking lot is paved can I sealcoat it?
As soon as the pavement rids itself of the surface oils. This is done through oxidation and rain. One way to check is to spread some water on the surface, if the water does not bead up and there are no rainbows caused by the surface, the asphalt is ready to be sealed. Depending on the weather this usually takes 6 to 8 weeks.
Why are two thin coats of sealer better than one thick coat?
Much like paint, sealer applied in 2 thin coats dries and cures much better than with 1 thick coat. Sealers are a water based product that dry and cure by evaporation of the water. A thin coat of sealer looses it’s water content much faster than a thick coat. A thick coat has a tendency to hold water and stay soft for a longer period of time. This could result in some tracking.
How many coats of sealer should be applied?
Low Traffic such as a typical home driveway, 1 coat is sufficient. Moderate Traffic on a parking lot, 2 coats with a third coat on the entrance and exits. Heavy Traffic 2 coats with a third.
Does scuffing always occur?
Scuffing is normal, even with additives, and usually occurs in the first month. Scuffing is usually worse on a hot day particularly when the temperatures go above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The best way to minimize scuffing is to try and not turn your car sharply when the lot is first opened up.
My unsealed driveway is getting tire/scuff marks. Will seal coating prevent this from happening?
No, the seal coating will not help.
Why do some seal coating jobs fail to hold up?
Surface preparation maybe the problem. Adhesion problems may occur due to pavement not being properly cleaned. The presence of dirt, or contaminants like oil, gas or grease will lead to flaking. Some asphalts even with primer applied are just too old, oxidized and/or polished for the sealer to bond properly. The sealer was not given enough time to cure before it was driven on. The contractor may have diluted the sealer with too much water or did not apply the recommended amount of the product. There is just too much traffic on the parking lot for the sealer to perform. A severe winter where a lot sand is used on the lot.
How long should my parking lot be closed off after it is sealed?
If the sealer does not have an additive in it we recommend 24 hours. If the sealer has a fast drying additive of approximately 2%, then approximately 12 hours. Factors that affect curing time include temperatures, humidity, and sun exposure.
I can’t close my lot for 12 hours what can you do?
Seal coating is a 7 day a week operation, maybe a Saturday or Sunday would work. We can seal the lot in sections so as not to disrupt traffic too much. There are some more expensive sealers designed to cure more quickly so you can open the lot up sooner.
Can you seal my lot at night?
Seal coating at night is very risky. The weather conditions need to be ideal. It needs to be very warm with low humidity and a breeze certainly helps. You run the risk of the sealer not being dry in the morning, causing huge traffic and tracking problems. Typically if you seal at night the sealer will not be getting the proper curing time and may wear prematurely. The manufacturers also inform us that the sun is an important factor for the curing and longevity of the sealer.
What wears sealer?
Traffic is a major cause of wear. Sanding and plowing are also a factor. The sand will act like an abrasive, grinding and wearing the sealer as it turns on it.
Will the sealer fill depressions/holes and fill the cracks?
No, sealer will not fill depressions or holes. If sealer is put on too thick it tends to flake off. Hot asphalt will be needed in these areas. Sealer does not work in the cracks. When it is dry it is not flexible enough to move when the cracks open and close. It would just crumble in the cracks.
Why should I spend my money crack sealing and seal coating?
Patching, crack sealing and seal coating will extend the life of your pavement. The sealer will protect the pavement from oil and gas spills, oxidation and water. It will also leave an attractive black surface, make it easier to clean and the black surface helps with the melting of snow. The crack sealing will prevent water intrusion into the sub base by way of the cracks. A regular maintenance program of every 2 to 3 years will double the life of your pavement. The National Pavement Contractors Association estimates a savings of $127,000 on a 10,000 square yard parking lot over a 15 year period.
A vehicle just leaked on my newly sealed parking lot, what do I do?
Sealer is oil and gas resistant. No products will protect your pavement from a spill that is left on the surface for an extended period of time. If cleaned up soon enough, there most likely will be a stain but the sealer will continue to protect the underlying asphalt from further damage. The best way to treat the spill is to apply Speedy Dry, cat litter or even dry sand to it immediately. Work it into the spill with a broom, shovel it up and dispose of it properly. If caught soon enough, power washing after the clean up may remove some of the stain.
Can sealer be applied to concrete?
No, pavement sealer does not bond well to concrete or cement surfaces. It will look good at first but it will peel and flake off becoming a constant maintenance problem and eye sore.
How often should I seal my asphalt?
The typical asphalt parking lot is sealed every 2 to 3 years. The amount of traffic and the wearing is the deciding factor. Low traffic areas such as driveways need to be sealed less frequently than pavements with moderate or heavy traffic. Seal coating too frequently or over sealing is not good for your asphalt. Each time a lot is sealed it should be evaluated for wear patterns. Some areas may require only 1 coat while others may need 2 or 3 coats.
Why should I have sand in my sealer?
Sand in the sealer gives a uniform texture that helps with traction and skid resistance. Sealer applied without sand in it tends to be more slippery. Sealers with sand in them tend to last longer and are safer to walk and drive on. Recommended sand loads are 4 to 6 lbs of sand per gallon of the emulsion. Any more sand than that will result in a coating that will have poor flexibility, adhesion and lose some of its chemical resistance.
Why do some contractors put a latex additive in the sealer?
The use of latex additives is very common these days. There are many additives each trying to improve the performance of the sealer in some way and help minimize scuff marks. Some examples are: Fast drying – additives that help speed up the drying and curing time of the sealer so it can be driven on sooner. Rubberizing Additives – to improve flexibility, toughness and durability Thickening Additives – which build the viscosity of seal coating diluted with large amounts of water.
Why two coats of sealer instead of one?
Two coats of sealer will last longer than one. Over time you will have sealed more frequently with one coat and it will end up being more expensive. The labor costs for the mobilization, cleaning and surface preparation does not change for one coat versus two coats. The price difference between one coat and two coats is not half but the life expectancy is about half.
Why use a primer?
Over time due to traffic and oxidation the surface aggregate becomes smooth and polished. Sealer does not bond well to a surface like it does to newer asphalt. For the seal coating to bond to this polished surface the sealer needs something to stick to. The right primer penetrates the smooth polished aggregate and allows the sealer to bond effectively. In older parking lots, unless there is a tremendous amount of traffic, we recommend applying polyprime to areas where the sealer wears first, the entrances, exits and travel lanes. The areas where the cars park wears very slowly so priming these areas is usually overkill.
What do I need to do to prepare for seal coating?
Turn your sprinkler system off the day before the sealing is to be done. Turn it back on the day after the sealer has been done. Reschedule trash pickup, landscapers etc. Inform postman and newspaper delivery people. Newspaper people are notorious for driving right through the cones. Notify people who use the lot that it will be closed on that day and they will not be able to walk or park on the pavement. Have all vehicles, dumpsters, pallets etc off the paved area. To be safe put them at least 100 feet from the asphalt. While the cleaning process is going on there is a lot of dust flying through the air and an occasional gust of wind can blow the sealer quite a distance while it’s being sprayed.
Why should I crack fill my lot?
Water penetrating into the sub base of a parking lot is a major cause of pavement failure. By sealing the cracks you are preventing water penetration into the sub base by way of the cracks.
What is hot pour crack filler?
Hot pour crack filler is a flexible rubber like product that is used to repair cracks in asphalt pavement. It starts out as a solid rubber block which is melted down in a double jacketed meltor. Once the crack filler is melted down into a liquid it is installed into the crack creating a waterproof, flexible expansion joint in the crack.
Are all hot pour fillers the same?
No. There are many types of crack fillers. Some become softer in hot weather but stay firmer in cold weather. Some are firmer so they do not track in high temperatures but do not need to be as flexible in cold temperatures because the area climate is not that extreme. Find out from your installer what type of crack filler you are getting.
What is the difference between hot pour and cold pour crack filler?
Hot pour crack fillers are heated and are applied as a hot liquid. When it cools down it becomes a pliable, rubber like consistency. It will be flexible enough to expand and contract with the crack as it opens and closes with the temperature changes. Cold applied crack filler is usually a water or asphalt based product. It is applied in a liquid form and dries into a solid. Cold pour crack fillers look great but tend to be less flexible. In areas of the country where the temperatures get cold this type of crack filler tends to fail.
Why does hot pour crack filler always seem soft?
Hot pour crack filler is designed to always remain flexible so it will expand and contract as the crack it is in does. When you press it with your finger it’s supposed to flex. When you park on it on a hot summer day your tire may actually leave an imprint.
How long before you can drive on hot pour crack filler?
Hot pour crack filler can be driven on almost immediately, depending on the temperatures. The cooler it is outside the faster it cools down and hardens up so you can drive on it.
Why does hot pour crack filler sometimes pull up?
The crack may not have been properly cleaned prior to the installation. The crack filler is only as good as the asphalt it is bonding to. The asphalt may have been damaged by an oil spill or may just be too weak to hold the crack filler down on a hot summer day.
Can ants actually get through the rubberized crack filler?
Unfortunately yes, ants can burrow their way through crack sealant to get out of their nest.
Can I fix an alligatored area with crack filler?
To repair areas that are alligatored (areas that are so cracked they look like an alligator’s back, a road map or a spider web) correctly, they should be cut out and removed, the base repaired and then repaved. This process is expensive. If the budget does not allow, we can crack fill an alligatored area getting the major cracks and helping to hold it together until you can properly repair the area.
What does applying black beauty to the cracks do?
Applying black beauty does nothing structurally to the crack filler. Its job is to create a barrier between the crack filler and a vehicle’s tires.
What color line paints are available?
The standard colors are yellow and white with blue for the handicap areas. Custom colors are available at a small up charge. You can switch colors but we usually recommend staying with the same color. As the lines wear it is nice to have the same color under it from the old lines. Otherwise you are almost forced to restripe because of the appearance.
Can I change the striping layout after I sealcoat?
You can change the striping layout usually at an extra charge, the one problem is the old lines will bleed through the sealer and you will eventually have 2 sets of lines. There are some solutions: Grind off the old lines you do not want. This is the final solution but sometimes leaves marks in your pavement. The old lines will not be back again. You can black out the old lines with traffic blackout paint prior to the seal coating. Paint sticks to Paint better than sealer sticks to paint. As the sealer wears you will have black under the sealer. Eventually you will still have 2 sets of lines as the blackout paint begins to wear and you will need to do some blacking out or resealing again.
What types of striping paints can be used on a sealed lot?
Water based acrylic or latex traffic paints. Oil base paints tend to yellow.
Does the striping last as long on a sealed lot?
No, on an unsealed lot the paint goes down in the pores of the asphalt. On a sealed lot the paint is sticking to the sealer. It tends to wear off sooner.
What is the size of a tennis court?
The actual court area is 78′ x36′. The fenced in area is typically 120’x60′. Sometimes they are made smaller to fit into the area they are going.
Does it matter what direction the court is going?
North/South is the best if possible since the sun moves East to West.
What is the slope of a tennis court?
All weather courts should be sloped in one (1) plane side to side, end to end or corner to corner. At a minimum of 1″ in 10′ and a maximum of 1%.
What size should be the height of my fence?
The recommended height is 10′ or 12′.
What should be the height of my net?
The height of the center of a tennis court is 3′ 2″
How many coats of acrylic colorcoating should a newly paved tennis court have applied?
The basic system is three coats. One of acrylic resurfacer, and two coats of the finish. An extra coat of resurfacer (total of four coats will make the surface look fantastic).
My court has been colorcoated before, how many coats should now be applied?
Unless the coating shows very little wear NESCO recommends three coats. If the court is having repairs work, a minimum of three coats is needed. If the coating is not worn two coats maybe sufficient.
My court gets dirty what can I do?
It is alright to wash your tennis court pressure washing is allowed but do it gently or you will leave marks. It is better to wash it a couple of times than to try and wash it all at once with the power on full. NESCO recommends you trim your trees back so mold does not grow in the shaded areas.
After my court has been paved, how long do I need to wait before it is colorcoated?
You need to wait for the oils to come off the surface. Most manufacturers recommend 14 days.
What causes my net posts to heave?
Typically it is the moisture in the ground and the frost pushing the foundation up. That is why a bell shaped net post foundation is best. It is harder for the frost to push the foundation up.
What types of crack fillers are available for my tennis court?
A) The membrane systems such as Riteway and Armor are the best systems to use. You will get a number of years out of this repair provided the court does not have moisture issues.
B) Materials mixed with concrete and acrylic crack fillers are very inesxpensive, not very flexible. They look great at first and tend to fail during the first or second winter.
C) Hot rubberized asphalt will keep the crack sealed shut because it is very flexible; but is very hard to be applied flush with the court and the colorcoating tends to wear off of it because of its flexibility.
How are the colorcoating materials applied?
The court must be thoroughly cleaned first. Pressure washing it is many times needed. Then the coatings are applied by squeegee.
How are the lines applied?
The lines are layed out, two pieces of masking tape are put down 2″ apart and then the lines are hand painted by brush. Spraying the lines leave a fussy edge.
Should I take my net down during the winter?
Yes, we recommend you take it down if you are not using the court. If you are using the court loosen the tension leaving the net up. The tension will help the frost heave the net post foundation out of the ground.
Will a truck have to be able to reach my court?
In most cases everything needed for your court repairs can be carried to and from your court by the crews. If paving is needed access for equipment will be necessary.
What is the average life of the colorcoating?
Everyones court is a little different. The amount of play a court gets is a major factor and how much the appearance matters. Most people redo their courts every 5 to 8 years. If the court has cracks, we recommend having it looked at every 2-3 years to keep up with maintenance.