Asphalt slurry seal is a cost-effective preservation method that provides a rich black surface for a like-new look of asphalt surfaces. Plus, it can correct surface flaws, add protection to surfaces and prolong the life of pavement.
Slurry seal is made from a combination of emulsified asphalt, mineral filler, fine aggregate, water and additives. Special tools are used to proportion and mix these ingredients on site. Surfaces must be properly prepped before a spreader box is used to spread the slurry in a thin layer. A polymer modified asphalt emulsion or quick set emulsion can be added to the mix to speed up dry time and allow traffic back on pavement surfaces sooner.
Here are 7 Benefits of Applying Slurry Seal to Asphalt
Quick, Non-invasive, & Affordable
In general, and depending upon weather, surfaces are ready for traffic and fully cured within 2 to 8 hours after application of a slurry seal. Add a quick set emulsion to the mix for faster setting times. This allows for shorter road and parking lot closures, which is especially helpful in busy settings or on roadways that receive heavy traffic. Bonus perk: it’s relatively affordable to apply a slurry seal, and you end up with like-new asphalt.
When water gets beneath the top layer of asphalt, it can create all kinds of damage such as freeze-thaw cycles that lead to cracks. Slurry seal helps prevent this by waterproofing surfaces and providing a barrier layer of protection against the elements.
Fill Minor Cracks
Minor cracks in asphalt surfaces can be filled in using a slurry seal. Larger cracks may need to be filled using a different method before adding a slurry seal.
Slurry Seal Restores Skid Resistance
New asphalt surfaces are equipped with skid resistance to help maintain greater safety, especially when surfaces are wet or slick. This traction decreases over time, making asphalt surfaces slippery and potentially dangerous for pedestrians and automobiles. Adding a slurry seal restores skid resistance.
Adding a slurry seal gives asphalt surfaces that bright black appearance typically reserved for brand new asphalt. This improves the appearance of parking lots, roadways, etc.
Slurry Seal is Smoother than a Chip Seal
Slurry seal offers a smoother finish than a chip seal. This is something that bikers, walkers, and pedestrians using wheelchairs or pushing strollers will greatly appreciate. All-in-all, asphalt treated with a slurry seal is more user-friendly. In addition, it provides a more seamless finish with existing curb lines.
Slurry seals are sometimes used instead of chip seals because they can reduce loose rocks, and when used in conjunction with a chip seal can offer a cape seal.
Extend the Life of Pavement Surfaces
Adding slurry seal protects asphalt from damages and the impacts of the environment in more ways than one. Ultimately, it increases the lifespan of surfaces.
The Three Types of Slurry Seals
There are three general types or classifications of slurry seals. Types vary largely based on aggregate size.
Type 1: Seals surface cracks on roadways with low-volume traffic
Type 2: The most commonly used type of slurry seal, it can fix oxidation and raveling of surfaces. It is used on roadways that receive moderate to heavy traffic flow.
Type 3: This type of slurry seal is applied to roadways to restore surface friction and to correct minor surface defects.
When is Slurry Seal Applied?
Slurry seal is commonly applied to:
- Parking lots
- Bike paths and paved trails
- Residential streets
- Public and private roadways
Applying slurry seal to asphalt is beneficial for many reasons, especially on ageing surfaces that are faded or contain minor cracks but are still in overall good structural condition. Minor cracks, raveling, or reduced skid resistance can all be addressed with a slurry seal. Beware that pavements that are too deteriorated or no longer have a solid foundation will not garner the same benefits. Slurry seals should NOT be applied to heavily distressed pavements with severe rutting, potholes, alligator cracking, etc. These issues must be addressed prior to applying slurry seal.