The Adage That “A Coating Is Only as Good as the Surface It Is Applied To” Is Very True When Applying Sealcoating.

The main causes of sealcoating wearing prematurely is vehicular traffic, snow plowing and heavy sanding. If sealcoating is applied properly the sealer will wear gradually. First in the areas of heavy traffic such as travel lanes and then in the rest of the asphalt area such as parking stalls. Premature wearing, flaking or peeling of the sealcoating application may have been caused by several reasons that could have been easily prevented.

The most obvious reason for premature wearing is A lack of proper cleaning. The use of a sweeper or blower alone in most instances will not get the asphalt clean enough to properly apply sealcoating materials. In conjunction with the blowers and sweepers, scraping and heavy brushing with brooms and wire brush machines is needed to get the dirt that is ground into the pavement or in the pores off the pavement. In some instances that is not enough, and the use of a pressure washer will be needed. If the cleaning process is done correctly it may be more difficult and take longer than the actual sealcoating application. The cleaning process is one of the most important elements of sealcoating projects. If the pavement is not cleaned properly the sealcoating will have difficulties.

The second most common reason for sealcoating to prematurely wear is the pavement is too oxidized or polished, for the typical sealcoating application to bond properly. If your asphalt is light gray or you can actually see the aggregate (stone), there will be a bonding problem. This type of asphalt is called polished, which means that with exposed aggregate the pavement is too smooth or slick for the sealcoating materials to bond properly. This kind of situation would be like trying to get paint to stick to a mirror or ice.

The amount and location of the polished asphalt in a parking lot is in direct proportion to the amount of traffic and turning in each area. The more traffic and turning on the pavement surface the more polished the asphalt. The most polished areas in a parking lot typically are the exits, entrances, turning areas and travel lanes.

Sealer in these polished areas will wear off the surface prematurely if the surface is not pre-treated prior to the sealcoating being applied. Specialty primers such as polyprime from Neyra Industries have been designed to penetrate the aggregate and provide a more suitable surface for the sealer to bond to. The entire parking lot does not have to be treated with primer. In most cases just the travel lanes need to be primed prior to the sealcoating. Once the primer is applied and dry, the sealcoating can then be applied. This all can usually all be done on the same day.

Pavement that is heavily shaded by trees is also sometimes a bonding issue for sealcoating. These areas are very frequently common locations for flaking, peeling and premature wearing of sealcoating. During warm weather, sap and fluids drip from the trees onto the pavement. The tree drippings are full of minerals and sugar. The sugar alone is water soluble and if sealed over will come up through the sealcoating causing lifting and flaking of the sealcoating material. The solution is prior to the sealcoating, power wash the areas under trees where there is heavy shade removing sap, and fluids that have accumulated.

You may also notice the sealcoating coming off where white or brown streaks are occurring. These streaks are usually coming out of cracks or alligatored areas. The streaks were there prior to the sealcoating but are typically not visible because they blend in with the oxidized gray color of asphalt. Typically, it is a water problem in the base that causes these streaks. Water with limestone residue is bleeding up through the cracks causing the sealcoating to lift. There is no way to stop this unless the base and water issue is resolved. If lucky, the answer is simply removing and replacing the base and existing asphalt. The solution in some cases; may not be that simple and the water issue may have to be corrected by a drainage system, which is typically expensive. The only actual way to solve this issue is to stop the water from pumping up through the asphalt.

Mold and mildew growing on the pavement is another issue for sealcoating. This gray or green material is often found in the shaded areas close to the building, under trees or other areas that stay damp for long periods of time. There will most often time be green or gray matter growing on the pavement in shaded areas close to the buildings or under trees along with areas that are damp and take a longtime to dry. You cannot just blow this growth off of the asphalt, and in most instances just like when painting your house these areas need to be power washed clean to ensure the mold and mildew is completely removed from the surface and in any pores.

When painting your house, rotted wood is always a problem and paint cannot stick to rotted wood for very long. An oil spot on an asphalt is the rotted wood of a parking lot. If the oil stain is just minor and has not damaged the asphalt the solution is a simple one. The oil spot can be prepared by lightly heating, scraping off the residue, cleaning and applying an oil spot primer. Then an application of sealcoating material can then be applied over it. The oil spot primer can only go so far though and If the area is saturated with oil and the asphalt is unraveling there is no amount of oil spot primer in the world that will fix it. The test to simply tell if an oil spot is too far gone for oil spot primer is a screwdriver. Push the screwdriver into the asphalt. If it sinks into the asphalt or you can loosen the aggregate up, the spot is too far gone for primer. The only solution with this situation is to cut the area out and replace it with new asphalt or to Infra-Rad the location. This tends to be expensive and the decision must be made whether it is worth the money spent. The question is, will the area repaired soon be re-saturated and damaged by the constant dripping of oil?

These are just a few of the most common instances where premature wearing and flaking of sealcoating occurs. In most instances if you have contacted a reputable sealcoating company, they will point out any bonding problems your parking lot may have. They will then recommend solutions how to solve these issues and you have the choice as to what the best course of action is for your pavement.

What Maintenance of an All-Weather Tennis Court Needs to Be Done?

Keep your court clean. Every month walk your court looking for mold and mildew growing in the shady areas. Any debris accumulating like, sand, dirt, leaves or pine needles also need to be cleaned off regularly.

Clean off any debris or sand from the court. If left this debris acts like sandpaper under people’s shoes as they move their feet. Fungus or mold growing on a court is not good for the colorcoating. If any is found, it needs to be removed by scrubbing it off with a mild combination of 2 parts bleach and one part water. Light pressure washing can also be done to remove the mold or fungus as well. Another option a mild detergent can be used to try to remove any stains. The detergent can be mixed together with one (1) part mild detergent and two parts TSP (Trisodiumphosphate), one part household bleach and four parts water to create a cleaning solution.

Remove standing water from your court the best you can. Long term standing water softens the coatings and results in premature wearing and softening of the color. When the puddles are gone they usually leaves debris and sand behind. The debris also need to be removed from the court as well. The debris can lead to premature wearing of the colorcoating.

Leaves and pine needles left on the courts are a breeding ground for mold, mildew and algae. Throughout the year any of this type of accumulation should be removed as soon as possible. Doing a final fall clean up is very important.

Drainage systems, if installed around the court should be inspected to make sure they are clear.         Any blockage should be removed . Look for any signs of damage to the drains or the pipe of the system regularly basis.

To prevent surface damage to the court. Be aware of the following things:

  1. No gum
  2. Tennis shoes only- no black soles they leave marks
  3. No chairs, unless pads are installed under them. In hot weather chairs will sink into the asphalt leaving dents.
  4. No bikes, skateboards or roller blades
  5. Do not drag equipment like ball machines, chairs or benches across the surface

Do not let landscaping take over the court- watch for tree roots that start to grow up through the court they will lead to humps and cracks. Trim back all of the overgrowth such as grass, bushes and trees. This will help prevent mold & algae from being present on the court. Try not to get fertilizers, insect repellants, weed killers or other chemicals on the court if possible. They may damage the coatings as well.

Do not over water around the court. Excess water on the surface may damage the coating  and cause mold & algae to grow. Excess water may also go under the court which may lead to subbase problems or bubbles in the colorcoating.

Keep walkways leading to the court free of debris as well. If they are not cleared, the debris can be tracked onto the court which may also lead to premature wearing of the coatings.

Repair cracks as soon as they appear. Water entering the courts subbase by way of the cracks will lead to more cracking and subbase failure.

Look for wearing spots in the colorcoating. This leads to a slicker playing surface and can be hazardous for playing on the court. The worn colorcoating also allows the ultra violet rays of the sun to oxidize your courts pavement. Oxidation leads to reduced flexibility of your asphalt which increases the chances of pavement cracking during the expansion and contraction of the freeze and thaw cycle. The typical coating on a tennis court usually lasts approximately 7 to 10 years  for homeowners, 5 to 7 years for public courts. This all depends on the amount of play and how well the courts are maintained regularly.

If constructed properly with proper drainage and a preventative maintenance program your tennis court could last 20 to 25 years.

Recreational Game Dimensions

Inline skating- sizes vary from 200’x85’ to 145’x65’

Shuffleboard- Overall dimensions are 10’ wide by 52’ long

Four Square- Overall dimensions are 16’x16’. Each of the Four Squares is 8’x8’.

Badminton- Dimensions are 20’x44’ and the net is 5’ tall in the center of the court.

Pickleball may be the answer for an unused court

Do you have an unused/falling apart tennis court at an apartment complex or condominium association? Or do you have limited space but want to build a sport court at an apartment or condominium association?

Pickleball maybe the answer you are looking for. The sport of pickleball itself is a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping pong all into one sport. Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports you may not yet heard of. The USA Pickleball Association says player ship has increased by 650% in the last 6 years! It is no longer a sport for just senior citizens, but a sport for all ages. The sport was founded in 1965 and It can be played with 2,3 or 4 players. Pickleball has become the latest rage in court sports in New England and the world. The USAPA Organization states there are over 15,000 indoor and outdoor pickleball courts in the United States alone! The sports and fitness industry association put the number of players in 2016 at 2.5 million in the United States alone.

The sport started out as a social game, but as more and more people play the game (more than 3 million area currently playing the game according to the Sports & Fitness Industry) it is becoming more competitive. November of 2019 12-year-old Anna Leigh Waters and her mother won the USA Pickleball pairs Championships. So, it is growing as a sport overall and has their own championships even. Pickleball is now being played in Town Recreational programs, physical education programs in schools, and even in public parks. Pickleball may be the answer to your tennis/sport court dilemma.

Here in New England we are seeing a increased trend in the request for either adding pickleball lines to existing tennis courts, in condominiums, town parks, schools and even private courts. The popularity of Pickleball has grown vastly over the last 5 years. While it seems, there are not as many avid tennis players, pickleball is something everyone of all ages can not only play but play together. Spending time with grandparents, parents, children, siblings, and friends outside while we have the nice weather is something New Englanders are known for. By increasing playing time outside, with others being active is more and more essential to people of all ages. Condominiums and apartment complexes are a great place to start with a pickleball court because there are usually very diferent people in proximity with each other that tend to be active and curious about how a new sport is played. Whether it is a young child that sees people playing, a college student, or a senior citizen when people see others playing pickleball and do not know what the sport they are playing, they become curious. While they are curious, they typically want to learn what sport its, how to play it and what the rules are. Since Pickleball is for all ages and easy to learn, people pick it up very quickly. Because of the sports simplicity in rules and play, it allows more peoiple to learn to play and want to play quickly. Growing the useof the courts in a very short amount of time.

The best part of this increased trend with pickleball being played, isnt just that is a new sport and people are outside being active. Its that people of all ages can participate together. The sport itself is easy to learn, the equipment needed to play is inexpensive, and it provides people with hours of fun with friends, family and even strangers they just met. So, if you have or know of an old tennis or basketball court that could use some more play time, think about adding pickleball as a sport to the court and see the courts use grow! There is no better time than now, to make sure the old tennis courts are brought back to life and given another chance at another life if the court is not being used regularly.

The actual dimensions of the court are 20’x44’ for both singles and doubles. The preferred court size is approximately 34’x64’. One existing single tennis court can accommodate 2 pickleball courts. One court on each side of the tennis net with the existing net acting like a barrier between the two pickleball courts. Some people have chosen to leave the tennis court layout as is (so not to upset the tennis players) but just use portable pickleball posts and nets and stripe the lines using a different color than the tennis court itself. The court can then be used for both tennis and pickleball. Adding another sport to have the ability to be played on the same surface is giving the tennis courts more play time and keeping people of all ages active and outside. In some areas there is such a demand for pickleball, places are building courts only for pickleball by installing permanent pickleball posts, nets and completely color coating and line striping the existing courts for pickleball play only. Image result for Pickleball

The equipment needed to play Pickleball is very minimal. A Pickleball paddle is needed which is smaller than a tennis racquet. It was originally made from wood but are now made from lightweight composite materials like aluminum and graphite. You will also need a net and balls. The balls have holes in them like a whiffle ball and there are ones for inside and specific ones for outdoor use. The ball has to be all one color and can be white, yellow or green. There are International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) specifications. This organization was formed to ensure consistency of the rules and regulations wherever pickleball is played.

Pickleball players tend to wear anything that is comfortable for the weather conditions they are playing in. Shorts, te shirt or even a sweatshirt is comfortable to play in as long as it doesn’t restriction arm or leg movement. As far as footware, sneakers or running shoes do not give the support needed for the side to side motions of playing pickleball, but they will work. There are actual court shoes that more serious players invest in. These shoes are like court shoes designed fro badminton or volleyball. Eye protections is recommended but not required.

The Basic rules are on the USAPA Organization website, for more details visit their website at

Sealcoating of parking lots can now be done in cooler weather conditions!

In the past to sealcoat pavement, temperatures needed to be 55 degrees and rising for a minimum of 24 hours. This is not air temperatures but pavement temperatures. This is a big difference, particularly in northern states like those in New England. The sealcoating season is very short due to the temperatures. Companies that manufacture sealcoating products like Neyra Industries, have developed a cool weather sealcoating formula’s for both its coal tar Tarconite (Tarconite Plus) and it’s petroleum resin sealer Neyra Force (Cool weather formula). The sealer can now be applied when the pavement temperatures are in the low 40’s and still provide all the protections and wear ability of the conventional sealers. Good drying conditions are required. Temperatures above 40 degrees are required for 8 hours after the sealer has been applied and no temperatures should go below 40 degrees for a period of 48 hours after the applications. In these cooler temperatures the sealer will take longer to dry, especially in shaded areas that do not get a lot of sunlight.

These new sealers have now allowed sealcoating to start earlier in the year and end later in the year without sacrificing quality or protection.

New England Sealcoating offers many options for sealcoating products and always on the cutting edge of new products hitting the market. Visit our website today for more information on sealcoating products!

Spring Parking Lot Maintenance

When spring comes in New England preventative maintenance of your parking lot should begin. You need to get out and walk around your parking lot. In New England to see if your pavement survived the winter these are things to look for and to do:

  1. In the spring, clean your parking lot and keep doing it on a regular basis. Dirt and debris may have an effect on the drainage of your parking lot. Oil spills should be cleaned immediately. These spills will damage your asphalt surface if not cleaned up.
  • Repair broken berm & curbing. Curbing is actually there for a purpose in place. To keep the landscaping in place and keeps it from washing out into the parking lot during storms and heavy rains. Curbing also helps to keep vehicles from driving off the edge of the pavement. Vehicles driving off the edge will damage landscaping & lead to the edge of your pavement breaking up & deteriorating.
  • Immediately repair any potholes. Potholes are not only a huge liability issue but if not repaired will lead to more subbase & pavement failure. Potholes with a combination of water & traffic will lead to large problems in the subbase and the area around the hole. This will eventually making the hole & damaged asphalt around it, larger depending on the severity of the area you have, there are some options: For Example;
  • A temporary repair or not severe hole- cold patch or filling the hole with hot asphalt will last for a while.
  • A Few year repair- Infrared & patch the pothole & damaged asphalt around it. If the subbase is not poor it will hold up for a few years.
  • A Long term solution- Excavate the damaged asphalt area. Repair & compact the base, then repave and seal the paving joint.
  • Check Catch Basins & Manholes
  • Make sure they are clean and in working order. There are Companies that specifically clean out catch basins at a relatively inexpensive price. Water just sitting in basins leads to problems.
  • Any hole you see next to castings is a sign there may be something wrong with the structure itself. The casting needs to be opened up and checked. It may just need the hole repaired. Catch basins & manholes are typically built of brick or barrel blocks. A hole next to the casting many times means there is a problem and some of the bricks or block need to be replaced or reset in concrete. There may be a hole in the brick or block or they may be caving in. It is very important to get these repairs done quickly. If not repaired catch basins & manhole repairs can become very costly and can become dangerous to drive or walk over. They can collapse and cause serious injuries.
  • After the frost is off the ground make sure the castings are flush with the pavement. This ensures plows won’t damage them over the next winter. Resetting or just patching around a manhole or catch basin can save major damage in the next winter. If not severe and the casting needs to be reset, it can be done with a mastic or a simple asphalt patch.
  • Cracks- If cracks have developed in the pavement make sure to seal cracks closed with a hot pour crack sealant designed for the climate you live in, the type of crack it is, and the traffic flow over the crack. This is the most importance preventative maintenance step to prolong the life of your parking lot. Water is the enemy, and when it enters the subbase by way of cracks it inevitably will lead to more cracking, subbase failure, potholes and alligatored areas. Eventually even complete pavement failure, the lot then will need to be pulverized and repaved.
  • When alligatored areas are present- These areas look like an alligators back and have many cracks throughout the pavement close together. They also look like a road map. In the early stages an alligatored area can be repaired with crack sealants or a mastic patch. When the damage becomes too severe and these are no longer feasible options. The asphalt needs to be patched to correct the situation. The area should then be excavated, the base repaired and then repaved to ensure the longevity of the pavement. Badly alligatored areas will eventually lead to potholes and dangerous areas within the lot. They may develop in the winter when there is not many good options available to fix them right away. It is better to repair them before the next winter.
  • Striping- Check the Stop bars, arrows, hashed areas, words, fire lanes and parking stall markings. If these areas are worn, the driving and parking within that area may become dangerous. Your lot has been designed for a certain traffic flow, these markings that are to ensure that traffic flows properly.
  • Unraveling & graying out- If you notice the asphalt is going from jet black to gray in color or the surface of the asphalt is unraveling you may want to consider sealcoating it to protect your large investment in asphalt you have.

In the spring after the New England winters you should have your parking lot swept. Then take a walk around and see what needs to be done for liability reasons. Find what needs to be done to also extend the life of your asphalt and get the most from your investment.

Before spring maintenance is done

After spring cleaing of salt, sand, cracksealing, sealcoating and fresh line striping.

How Long Does Sealcoating Last?

Individuals who are debating sealcoating their asphalt usually want to know how long the process will last before it has to be completed again.  The answer depends on a variety of factors that impact the longevity of your asphalt surface such as how often it is maintained, the weather it is exposed to, how often it is used, and much more. The good news for those who are asking this question is that if you take proper care of your asphalt surface and have it sealcoated early on in its life the process will last much longer, and it keeps your asphalt in top condition for years to come.

Regular Maintenance following sealcoating is one of the biggest factors that affects the lifespan of an asphalt surface. There is maintenance that needs to be performed on the surface when called for such as sweeping away any debris or foreign contaminants. In addition to regular sweeping, it is recommended to pressure clean the surface every year in areas where mildew, mud, or other contaminants that the regular sweepings cannot take care of. Constant moisture damages your pavement.

Although extremely durable, asphalt is not indestructible and needs proper maintenance. As with anything that is subject to be outside during all of mother nature’s elements, it is susceptible to extreme weather conditions from the hot and cold as well as wet and dry weather. Each type of weather will affect the asphalt in its own unique way. For instance, colder weather can lead to severe cracking within asphalt surface due to repetitive freezing and thawing over time. Whereas on the other hand, very hot weather can promote fading and work to deteriorate the asphalt’s surface. This can be problematic for sports surfaces such as Tennis, Basketball and Pickleball Courts. New England Sealcoating is proud to offer services for those who need to maintain their asphalt sport surface.

If you need to sealcoat or maintain your asphalt surface the expert at New England Sealcoating can help. Our team has the extensive experience required to ensure that your asphalt surface is properly prepared for whatever lies ahead. Contact us today for more information about us and our available services.

Sealcoating Benefits For Property Managers

As anyone who is in property management knows, there are countless maintenance tasks that need to be addressed on a regular basis to ensure that the entire process does not fall victim to falling short. One part of the property that many mangers tend to overlook is their asphalt surfaces. These surfaces can have much more of an impact on the overall wellbeing of your property than you realize as properly taken care of asphalt surfaces provide property managers with a variety of benefits pertaining to various different topics such as customer acquisition, required maintenance, and much more.

Extended Pavement Life

The first, and most obvious benefit provided by sealcoating is that is extends the life of your asphalt surface. There are many factors that contribute to the lifespan of your asphalt surface such as the amount of traffic it sees, how often maintenance is performed, and much more. It is generally recommended that asphalt pavement is sealed every 2-5 depending on a variety of factors.

Avoid Unwanted Moisture

One of the most common problems such as the amount of traffic, weather conditions, plowing, sanding, age and texture of the pavement. Business owners and Property managers face strict budgets and planning for when asphalt pavement is in need. Cracking which develops overtime, should be filled as soon as they start to appear. This preventative maintenance is crucial to longevity of your asphalt.

Sealcoating helps to  decrease the loss of flexibility of the pavement caused by the Ultra Violet Rays of the sun, thus minimizing the impact that the freeze/thaw cycle has on your asphalt pavement. Sealcoating asphalt pavement regularly helps to protect it from Mother Nature’s elements and helps to keep asphalts keep chemicals and oils off of the asphalt directly, which will only add to the asphalt lasting a lot longer.

Added Layer of Protection

Although asphalt pavement looks indestructible it is quite the contrary as there are a variety of outside factors that lead to damage. These factors include things such as oxygen, water, UV rays, oil, and gas. The sealcoating acts as an added layer of protection for the asphalt pavement to buffer against any exposure to these damaging factors.

Attract Potential Visitors

In addition to all of the benefits that sealcoating provides in terms of keeping your sealcoating in optimal health, it also helps to keep its appearance in great shape to which in turn leads to a much more attractive proposition for potential visitors, tenants and inventors than a worn out, cracked, pavement.

Let New England Sealcoating Help You Start Reaping These Benefits Today!

If you’re a property manager and these benefits sound like something you’d be interested in, contact the team of expert professionals at new England Sealcoating. We offer a variety of pavement maintenance services to help you keep your surface in top condition. Reach out today for more information about us and how we can help!