Various options are available in paving installation for maintaining and preserving asphalt surfaces. This wide variety of options means it is easy to get the most from your asphalt surfaces. But on the other hand, the combination of choices makes it harder for many property owners to determine the best option for protecting their paved surfaces. Our experts on fog seal in Fort Worth, TX, offer the following information to help you decide whether or not it is the best preservation method to suit your asphalt needs.
Fog seal comprises a diluted asphalt form known as asphalt emulsion. This emulsion is made up of water and asphalt. Blending these ingredients successfully requires adding a third component known as an emulsifying agent or surfactant. A surfactant allows the water and asphalt to come together in a suspension. Without the surfactant, the ingredients would separate similar to water and oil. In some situations, contractors can add rejuvenators to a fog seal to soften the existing asphalt binder and make it easy for the fog seal to bond fully with the pavement surface.
A fog seal is an excellent choice for adding an extra protection layer to asphalt surfaces but does not compensate for more severe issues like asphalt with extensive aggregate loss. In addition, fog sealing is not an effective method for treating structural problems and cracks which require crack sealers. Fog seal should be considered an option for rejuvenation, which is meant to protect the asphalt service from oxidation over time. Oxidation causes a weakening in asphalt binder, making it brittle. Eventually, aggregate will start to work loose from the surface, and the fog seal helps prevent this issue by adding extra asphalt. It is also effective in filling in tiny spaces between the asphalt binder and aggregate particles as they wear and age. This ensures a smooth asphalt surface and increases the pavement's ability to resist damages from water and pooling.
Not all fog seals are made up of the same things, and they often mainly differ in terms of their dilution ratio or the relationship between the amounts of asphalt and water included in the mixture. Various factors should be considered when determining the appropriate emulsion, including general climate conditions, traffic patterns, and aggregate size. To do its job successfully, you should dilute a fog coat adequately to flow easily between aggregate particle gaps. Once applied, water will evaporate, leaving behind a layer of asphalt that helps bind aggregate together better. The excessively thick fog seal will end up remaining on top of the aggregate, leading to two potential problems.
First, it will be exposed to a higher level of friction, meaning the seal will quickly wear away and leave aggregate unprotected again. Second, an overly thick fog seal will lower a pavement's traction ability when remaining atop the aggregate. This can be dangerous for higher-speed roadways because a traction loss will make vehicles more likely to lose control or skid. Good experience and knowledge are required for determining an ideal fog seal dilution level.