Are they all the same thing, or do they have different properties and applications?
Generally the terms asphalt and bitumen are interchangeable when it comes to using them to describe a surface sealant; however, asphalt (or hot-mix as it is commonly referred to in this context) is made up of sand and stone aggregates, bound together by bitumen. The hot-mix is laid on a prepared base, which provides a stable foundation for the pavement.
Once laid, the hot-mix provides a smooth, flexible and durable finish which is ideal for road surfaces , driveways, car parks and other areas which may encounter a high volume of traffic, or drag caused by turning wheels.
Unlike hot-mix, spray seal is formed by applying a spray coat of bitumen over a prepared base then laying an even spread of aggregate on top. Spray seal can be applied in a single or double coat.
It’s important that the base for the spray seal is well-prepared, since it’s thinner than hot-mix and will closely follow the shape of the base. While this means it’s not quite as strong as hot-mix, spray seal is still flexible, attractive and water-proof.
As a more affordable alternative, spray seal is ideal for paving large areas where high traffic volumes are not an issue, such as rural driveways, private roads, and footpaths. We would not advise spray seal for industrial purposes.
Whether you choose hot-mi x or spray seal for your project, a well-prepared base is essential to the longevity of your finished pavement. AAA Asphalt employ a permanent earthworks crew with the experience and equipment to lay foundations for asphalt paving of any size or dimension.
We prefer to use our own team to prepare the base course, so we can ensure the quality of the preparation and offer a greater warranty on the finished product.
Contact us to discuss which surface sealant is best suited to your asphalt project.