What is Asphalt Emulsion Sealer?

Everyone’s heard of asphalt. Asphalt makes up our highways, runways, and parking lots due to its affordability, strength, and versatility. Though most everyone has heard of asphalt, hardly anyone has heard of asphalt emulsion sealer. To most, not knowing what asphalt emulsion sealer is will never affect their daily lives, but if you manage a commercial property, HOA, church, or other outfit that has asphalt – you need to know about asphalt emulsion.

Let’s learn the basics of asphalt emulsion including why it matters to property owners and what you can use it for. Knowing the basics of asphalt emulsion sealer and how to effectively use it could save you hundreds to thousands of dollars on asphalt maintenance.

What is Asphalt Emulsion Sealer?

Asphalt Emulsion Sealer Basics

It’s time for a little science. What is asphalt emulsion? An emulsion is a mixture of tiny droplets of one liquid into another liquid in which it would normally not be soluble. Emulsions use an emulsifying agent, also known as a surfactant, to allow the two substances to mix. There are several emulsions around you right now like mayonnaise and butter.

In asphalt’s case the emulsion is a mixture of asphalt products and water. Under normal circumstances any oil-based product would never mix with water but with the addition of an emulsifying agent like soap, in the case of asphalt, emulsions allow the two to blend into a uniform mixture.

Once its blended, asphalt professionals can coat the uniform mixture onto asphalt paving like parking lots or neighborhood streets. Asphalt emulsion is a neat mixture of science to make a spreadable and workable substance but what is the purpose of asphalt emulsion?

What is Asphalt Emulsion Used For?

The most popular application of asphalt emulsion sealer is for resealing asphalt pavement. It’s not uncommon to see asphalt emulsion used on highways, parking lots, and even runways at the airport. Asphalt emulsion sealer provides a fresh coat of asphalt to the top layer of your blacktop. A fresh sealcoat can prevent environmental damage from ice and the sun’s rays and people-caused damage like divots and pockmarks.

Asphalt emulsion will not make your asphalt invincible, but it will ward off damage. Think of asphalt emulsion as sunblock and tiny bit or armor over your parking lot. It’s not going to block everything, and it won’t keep all damage from occurring but gives your parking lot a fresh shine and added strength.

Asphalt Emulsion vs Replacing Asphalt

Can you use asphalt emulsion instead of replacing your asphalt? Usually no. Asphalt sealant is used as a barrier to keep your blacktop performing its best but can only be applied over asphalt that’s in good shape and has a solid base.

If your asphalt is near the end of its serviceable life sealcoating will not be effective. Before your asphalt contractor begins the sealing process, they will need to inspect your parking lot and make sure sealing is viable. If not, they will let you know why and what replacements options are available.

Is Asphalt Emulsion Hazardous?

No. Unless you put a drinking straw into a mixture of asphalt emulsion and gulp it down asphalt emulsion is not hazardous and will not cause any damage to your health or the surrounding environment.

Asphalt Emulsion Sealer vs. Coal Tar Sealer

If you’ve dealt with your parking lot for years you’ve probably heard of coal tar sealer. What’s the difference between coal tar sealer and asphalt emulsion?

While coal tar was the king of sealing asphalt for decades, emulsion sealer has become more popular thanks to its higher concentration of solids, longer lasting performance, and environmental friendliness. The U.S. Geological Survey found that most coal tar sealants are filled with carcinogens that could leach into the soil surrounding your home. When it comes coal tar vs asphalt emulsion, asphalt emulsion is the better and healthier way to go.

How to Use Asphalt Emulsion Sealer

Kick and back and relax because unless you have expert knowledge, top of the line equipment, and a whole lot of time to waste you’ll be hiring an asphalt professional to use emulsion sealer on your property or HOA.

To begin the emulsion sealing process the asphalt company will first clean your parking lot of debris like leaves and dirt. After it’s cleaned the asphalt company will inspect the entirety of the asphalt for cracks, pockmarks, and other damage that could compromise your seal. Once small-scale repairs and other issues are knocked out its time for the asphalt emulsion.

Thanks to emulsion properties the mixture can be easily spread across large swaths of parking lot or roadway. The mixture is coated evenly and allowed to dry for a few hours. After the emulsion dries, you’ll have a gorgeous and strong blacktop that’s better equipped to handle the elements.

It’s recommended that parking lot owners have their lots cleaned and sealed with asphalt emulsion every 2-5 years depending on the condition of the asphalt and how well it has been maintained from its original construction. Annual sealing not only make your asphalt look great but could prolong the serviceable life of your asphalt for several years.

Using Asphalt Emulsion for Your Parking Lot

Asphalt emulsion is a blend of asphalt products and water used to seal the top of asphalt for greater looks and a longer lifetime. Asphalt emulsion sealing is easy, affordable, and will keep your parking lot looking amazing. If you’re ready to inject new life into your asphalt call Colorado Pavement Solutions about asphalt emulsion sealing services today.