Asphalt Seal Coating and The Curious Case of Scuff Marks


Last Updated on July 15, 2024

Asphalt is a popular choice for paving roads, driveways, and parking lots owing to its durability, cost-effectiveness, and ease of installation. However, like any other material, it requires regular maintenance to keep it in top-notch condition. One essential maintenance procedure is seal coating, which acts as a protective barrier against damaging elements such as water, oils, and UV damage. At Top Job Asphalt, we pride ourselves on delivering superior seal coating services to extend the lifespan of your asphalt surface and keep it looking fresh and new.

One common concern that many property owners have after a fresh seal coat is the appearance of scuff marks under traffic. The sight of scuff marks can be worrisome, raising fears about the quality of the seal coat job. But worry not! These marks are a normal part of the curing process and, in fact, they hint at a job well done. 

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the mechanics behind the scuffing phenomenon, explain why it happens, and why it’s a sign that an adequate amount of material has been applied on your asphalt surface. Moreover, we’ll reassure you why, with Top Job Asphalt’s quality materials and appropriate application rates, you have absolutely nothing to fret about.

What Causes Scuffing?

Understanding the mechanics behind scuffing is pivotal to appreciate the process of seal coating and how it interacts with traffic. Let’s break it down:

Explanation of the Curing Process of a Seal Coat

Seal coating is not just a one-and-done affair; it’s a process that continues well after the application. A crucial aspect of this process is curing, which can take between 4 to 6 weeks depending on various factors including the material and additives used. During this time, the seal coat is evolving from a softer composition to a harder, more durable surface capable of withstanding the daily grind of vehicular traffic.

The Role of Material and Additives in the Curing Time

The type of material and the additives incorporated in the seal coat play a significant role in determining the curing time. These substances influence how quickly the seal coat hardens and reaches its optimal durable state. Different formulations will have varying curing times, and at Top Job Asphalt, we carefully select the best suppliers that leads to a durable and long-lasting surface.

The Soft Nature of Fresh Seal Coat and its Susceptibility to Scuffing

A fresh seal coat is somewhat soft and tender, which makes it susceptible to tearing or scuffing, especially when cars make sharp turns on it. It’s akin to a freshly baked cake that needs some time to cool and set before it’s ready to be sliced. During this tender phase, the seal coat can exhibit scuff marks from tires, but this is a normal and expected part of the curing process.

The 4 to 6 Weeks Journey of Seal Coat Curing

The journey from a freshly applied seal coat to a fully cured, robust surface is a marvel of material science. Let’s explore this transformation:

The Typical Curing Timeline (4-6 weeks)

The curing timeline of a seal coat is typically pegged at 4 to 6 weeks. During this period, the chemical composition of the sealant gradually hardens, enhancing its ability to withstand the rigors of traffic. This phase is crucial for the seal coat to achieve its designed level of durability and protection.

The Process of Scuff Marks Self-Healing Over Time

A fascinating aspect of this curing journey is the self-healing nature of scuff marks. The mild damages or scuffs incurred during the early days post-application often meld back into the surface as the curing process progresses. This natural healing is akin to how a small wound on our skin heals over time, making the scuff marks disappear, and restoring the surface to its pristine condition.

The Impact of Traffic

Traffic, particularly sharp turns made by vehicles, can cause scuffing on a fresh seal coat. However, this is not a sign of poor quality or incorrect application. Instead, it’s a normal part of the early life of a seal coat. As the seal coat continues to cure, its resilience to such scuffing significantly improves, showcasing the robust nature of the protective layer provided by Top Job Asphalt.

Scuff Marks: A Sign of Adequate Material Application

The occurrence of scuff marks post-seal coating is a topic that intrigues many. Let’s uncover the positive implications behind this phenomenon:

How Scuff Marks Indicate a Thicker Film of Seal Coating

Scuff marks are often indicative of a thicker film of seal coat. This thickness is crucial as it plays a significant role in the longevity and effectiveness of the seal coating. When a thicker layer is applied, it may scuff under the pressure of sharp turns made by vehicles, but it’s a sign of a robust application that will serve well in the long run.

Debunking the Negative Outlook on Scuffing

The sight of scuff marks can initially be alarming, but understanding their occurrence can change the narrative. Scuff marks are not a defect but rather a normal phase in the curing process. They signify that an ample amount of material has been applied, which is crucial for the long-term protection of the asphalt surface.

The Paradox: More Scuffing Indicates a Better Application

It may sound paradoxical, but more scuffing can indeed be indicative of a better application. A thicker film of seal coat may scuff more easily initially, but as it cures, it forms a more durable and protective barrier. This scenario demonstrates a well-balanced application that caters to the longevity and protection of your asphalt surface.

Our Commitment to Quality

At Top Job Asphalt, our primary concern is to provide you with the highest quality of service. 

Quality of Materials Used by Top Job Asphalt

We meticulously select the materials used in our seal coating process to ensure they meet the industry standards for quality and durability. Our choice of materials and additives is designed to provide a balanced curing process, leading to a durable and long-lasting surface that withstands the test of time and traffic.

Appropriate Application Rate to Minimize Undue Scuffing

We adhere to an appropriate application rate when administering the seal coat, ensuring a thick enough layer that provides ample protection without predisposing the surface to undue scuffing. This balanced approach ensures that your asphalt surface receives the protection it deserves while minimizing any concerns associated with scuffing post-application.

Rest Assured with Top Job

With Top Job Asphalt, you can rest assured that your asphalt surface is in capable hands. Our experienced technicians, quality materials, and well-calibrated application rates are a testament to our dedication to providing top-tier service. The occurrence of scuff marks is a normal part of the curing process and a positive indicator of a well-executed job.

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Mike Phillips
Mike Phillips
January 17, 2023.
Great company to work with. We contacted Top Job to repair a county road that we dug across for an irrigation line. They were very professional yet friendly. Our job was completed quickly. We recommend this company.
Sam Rowley
Sam Rowley
December 8, 2022.
I’m not sure how the service actually is, but some old guy in a Top Job Toyota was riding my butt today and flipped me off, or it was maybe an aggressive wave at the red light near the Logan library. Hope his day gets better. 12/8 at 230
Kim Rappleye
Kim Rappleye
December 7, 2022.
Very professional and personalized service. Highly recommended!
Mark Malmstrom
Mark Malmstrom
November 22, 2022.
They were easy to get a hold of and showed up when they were scheduled. Good communication and good work.
David Bunnell
David Bunnell
November 4, 2022.
I appreciated the pleasant attitude when talking w/the estimator as well as the scheduler. The work crew did a great job! I highly recommend Top Job Asphalt!
Steven Jacobsen
Steven Jacobsen
October 30, 2022.
Top job Asphalt did an amazing job on my project very professional, I would definitely use them again when I have the need.
Chris Salvesen
Chris Salvesen
October 28, 2022.
Did a great job on the 3" overlay for my very old and deteriorated half circle driveway. Looks brand new. All the transitions to concrete are near perfectly matched when I wasn't sure they could do it. It's almost weird now not feeling the bump driving out of the garage or over our bridge.
Matt Welch
Matt Welch
October 27, 2022.
Top Job paved our asphalt driveways and we couldn't be happier. The service, quality and price were the best I could find and I looked everywhere! Great job guys! I'll be calling back when I start my next project.
Todd Wardrop
Todd Wardrop
October 26, 2022.
I'm so impressed!!😀 Top Job has done such excellent work on my neighbor's driveway ... I'm so jealous. It's absolutely beautiful, and I can't believe how smooth it turned out. It's just perfect. What a great company!

What Our Customers Are Saying

Very impressed with the quality of their work and the organization of the company. The project estimator was spot on as to when the bid would be received and the work was professional  from start to finish. I appreciated the opportunity for a walkthrough inspection after the crack filling was completed as I had some very large cracks in the asphalt. I give this company a ten out of ten (which I really do) and highly recommend them.

Paul Pratt