Asphalt is an essential component of modern infrastructure. From airport runways and retail parking lots to major highways and residential cul-de-sacs, pavement helps move people and goods across the country. However, when asphalt becomes worn or damaged, it can make transportation difficult.
Professional asphalt contractors prefer slurry seal treatments over other alternatives when maintaining and repairing asphalt.
What Is A Slurry Seal Treatment?
A slurry seal treatment fills minor cracks in paved surfaces while restoring skid resistance and aesthetic appeal. These seals are made from water, emulsified asphalt, aggregate, and other mineral fillers and additives. The ingredients are blended in a continuous flow pugmill to ensure a uniformly smooth consistency throughout the mixture.
Slurry Seal Vs Seal Coat
The main difference between slurry and seal coating is the density of the mixture. Seal coating contains very fine aggregates or no aggregate at all. Using larger aggregates gives the slurry a thicker consistency. As a result, slurry lasts longer and is more durable than seal coating.
What Are The Different Types Of Slurry Seals?
While slurry seals usually contain the same ingredients, the aggregate size can affect the paved surface’s final texture. Depending on what the contractor is sealing, the application may call for a smoother or coarser texture. Professional asphalt contractors use one of three types of slurry for common paving projects.
Type I slurry uses a finely-ground aggregate to create a smoother pavement texture. If you are sealing a taxiway or parking lot, you will probably want to use Type I slurry.
Type II slurry is the most used slurry. It uses a slightly coarser aggregate to give paved surfaces more texture than Type I slurry. Type II slurry is used on highways, residential streets, and arterial roads.
Type III slurry uses the coarsest aggregate and provides the most texture to asphalt. Type III slurry seals are used on freeways, high-speed roadways, industrial estates, and runways to create extra friction and help vehicles moving at incredibly high speeds come to a full and complete stop in a shorter amount of time.
4 Benefits of A Slurry Seal Asphalt Treatment
Slurry seals are a convenient, effective way to improve a roadway, runway, or parking lot without ripping out and replacing the existing asphalt. Parties responsible for maintaining paved surfaces might choose to do a slurry seal asphalt treatment for safety or aesthetics.
A Surry Protects From All Types Of Weather
Wet, cold weather can take a toll on paved surfaces. Most vehicles weigh over a ton, if not several tons. Naturally, the continuous impact of these heavy vehicles over time can cause small cracks to develop. When it rains or snows, water can seep into these cracks. Water expands as it freezes and widens the gaps, leading to potholes and other damage. A slurry seal seals the cracks while still small to prevent further damage.
A Slurry Seal Makes Roads Look Better
Cracks, portholes, and displaced asphalt make a paved surface look unkempt and run down. Poorly maintained roads in residential neighborhoods may lower property values, dissuade new residents from moving in, and even encourage current residents to move to an area with better upkeep. Likewise, a poorly maintained commercial parking lot may influence potential customers to take their business elsewhere. A slurry seal is an easy way to preserve the appearance of paved surfaces over the years.
A Slurry Can Prevent Major Damage To Roadways
A slurry seal acts as a protective layer for the asphalt below it. Weather, vehicle collisions, or heavy construction tools can all potentially cause abrasive damage to the pavement and weaken its structural integrity over time. A slurry can prevent damage and extend the longevity of the road. When pavement is already in good condition, a slurry seal treatment can extend its lifetime by 6 or 7 years. Even pavements that are already damaged can add up to 4 years to their life expectancy if treated adequately with a seal.
A Slurry Can Make Roads Safer
One of the main functions of a slurry is to improve the friction of a paved surface. If a road surface is too smooth, it is harder for drivers to control or stop their vehicles. Slurry seals improve the skid resistance of roadways and lower the risk of accidents. Driving over potholes, especially at high speeds, can damage a vehicle’s suspension or tires. By preventing potholes, slurry seals also improve the safety of the road.
Are There Any Disadvantages To A Slurry Seal Asphalt Treatment?
A slurry seal is not an appropriate solution for severely cracked or damaged pavement. Any crack larger than 1/8″ should be filled before sealing. Pavement that has severely deteriorated needs to be replaced. Slurry seals should not be used on pavements with rutting greater than ¼” or on a thicker lift than recommended.
Keeping all traffic off a newly sealed pavement until fully cured is essential. This could take up to 8 hours, depending on the climate and weather. Slurry seal asphalt treatments are more expensive than seal coating treatments but are more durable and offer a greater return on investment.
High-traffic areas will need to be retreated after about five years to get the best results from a slurry asphalt treatment. Regular slurry treatments and asphalt maintenance will help keep roads safe, improve the overall appearance of an area, and save money on long-term road maintenance costs.
Contact our experts today if you’re in the Tuscon area and think your surface would benefit from a slurry seal! Our team at Saguaro Asphalt can help you determine what will work best for your surface, whether it’s a slurry seal treatment or installing all-new asphalt; we do it all!