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Generally, seal coats are good for streets that are already in good shape that we want to keep in good shape. Seal coats can be used on streets that have a decent amount of cracking already as long as the cracks are sealed with the seal coat project. Pavement that has wide cracks, "alligator" cracking, consistent large potholes, or surface spalling (pavement that is losing its "smoothness") are probably not good candidates for Seal Coats and would instead benefit from a mill and overlay or a full depth reclamation.
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A seal coat consists of sealing existing cracks in the pavement, adding a layer of asphalt binder, adding a layer of small rock, and covering the rock with an asphalt coat. This process usually happens in 3 steps as shown below.
Generally, you will be able to get in and out of your driveway at all times except for the following times:
Seal Coat projects are one component of the city's comprehensive pavement management program. Pavement surfaces tend to wear out much faster than the other components of a street (such as curbs, sidewalks, and utilities) due to the impacts of heavy vehicles. Seal Coat projects are generally reserved for when a pavement surface is in relatively good condition and is intended to keep the pavement in good condition. If a pavement surface has a number of cracks but is otherwise in good condition, a Seal Coat is likely still a good maintenance activity to prolong the life of the street.
Seal Coats generally last 7 to 10 years or more depending on the condition of the pavement underneath.
There are a few reasons to consider Seal Coats instead of Mill and Overlays:
It is true that seal coats are "messier" than other types of maintenance projects due to the nature of using loose rocks as a pavement surface. However, the loose rocks are generally confined to the pavement surface or the curb area and should not be put in your yard. The loose rocks are swept up twice after the chip seal process is complete, one time a day or two after the chip seal process and another time about a week after the chip seal process is complete. Any loose rock in the street should be picked up during one of those two sweepings.
It is very unlikely that any loose rocks will chip your windshield due to a few different factors. First, we usually only use seal coats on lower-speed streets which will reduce the ability for rocks to become projectiles to be sent toward another car's windshield. Second, the rock used for the seal coats is only about one fourth inches in diameter, which won't cause much damage if it does hit your windshield.
Parking will be limited at times during a seal coat project so that the contractor can complete the work effectively. "No Parking" signs will be posted at least 48 hours in advance of parking restrictions going into effect. When the parking restrictions are in effect, vehicles still parked in the construction area may be subjected to ticketing and/or towing. We will try to contact the vehicle owner(s) if we find any vehicles still parked on the street during parking restrictions.
Parking restrictions may be posted for the following work: