September 18, 2020
The days are getting shorter, the leaves are changing, and fall is approaching. For sealcoating professionals, fall isn’t usually welcome. It means the sealing season is coming to a close, and it brings new challenges with it. Sealcoating contractors in cold climates have to hustle during this time of year to finish projects. Lots of contractors set a shutdown date after which they won’t work, so they’re always up against the clock. The top challenges of sealcoating in fall have to do with temperatures and the weather.
Around mid-August, each day loses an average of three minutes of sunlight. The days are getting shorter every day. That poses a challenge because there’s less time to get the work done. Sealcoating at night isn’t impossible, but in the fall, it’s not advised. The temperatures drop quickly, and sealer won’t cure properly when the temperature is under 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s better to be on the job and ready to spread before the sun comes up, not working when it goes down.
As we mentioned, the minimum temperature for sealing is 50 degrees. When the temp dips below that, the sealer won’t cure well, and you’ll end up having to do it again. In the fall, the days get shorter and the temperatures get colder as the weeks pass. That’s why contractors set a shutdown date; beyond that, there’s no point in sealing. It will be too cold and the day too short to do a good job.
Sealer needs two things to work well: sunshine and heat. Warm, sunny days are the best times to sealcoat, and the pros know this. If they’re forced to seal in a shady spot, they have to plan to apply the sealer early so that the sun will eventually get to it for at least two hours. Shade cools the pavement and the sealer, so they must adjust the plan accordingly.
Another challenge of sealcoating in fall is keeping the sealcoating tank hot. During the late fall days with temps in the 50s during the day and lower overnight, the sealer will cool. Once the sealer cools, it will take a while to heat it back up and thin it. Once it gets in the sun, it’ll be easier to heat, but it should ideally stay warm all night to avoid wasting heating fuel.
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