Pavement Preservation 101

Pavement Preservation 101

Contributed by Dave Penrod, HOAMCO Regional Director in Show Low, AZ

Pavement preservation of private streets is likely the largest expense a managed community will have to struggle with. It’s also one of the most important maintenance projects a Board of Directors needs to pay attention to. The most common procedure used in the preventative maintenance of asphalt surfaces is referred to as a pavement seal coat. Pavement seal coating is designed to preserve, extend the life of, and prevent loss of oils and aggregate of asphalt pavements.

The process used to apply seal coats and the types of products used in a seal coat can vary based on the vendor doing the work and the manufacturer providing the products. After years of research and experience in overseeing seal coating projects, we’ve found that the most common type of seal coating product is an emulsion asphalt.

Although the products that asphalt emulsion manufacturers supply are all very similar, the method of application can vary greatly from contractor to contractor. The material available and methods of application can vary from location to location based on climate, client needs and current weather conditions.

What sorts of variations can you expect to see when it comes to the application of emulsion products? Good examples of variations in product applications are rate of application, water dilution percentage, number of coats applied to the surface, and whether or not blended additives have been used by the contractor to enhance results.

If your community is beginning to prepare for a pavement preservation project it is essential that the right vendor be chosen to perform the work. A vendor who understands your area; the climate and altitude, and who as a proven reputation for doing quality work will be the best choice for your asphalt project.

Manufacturer: Ready to use asphalt products are typically mixed at an asphalt manufacturing facility and the location of those facilities varies by state.


Emulsion: Asphalt emulsion is liquid asphalt emulsified in water. The composition includes asphalt, water and emulsifying agent or additive.


Blended Additives: Also called binders, blended additives are used to lower the working temperature of asphalt (from 300 degrees F to 250 degrees F). Lowering the laying temperature of asphalt reduces oxidation which can weaken the asphalt.