Leaf Blowers for Cleaning Asphalt
How to Prepare a Surface for Seal-Coating Asphalt
Whether you run an asphalt company, you work as a commercial property or lot manager, or you simply own a home with a long driveway, you know how important it is to maintain a smooth surface for cars and vehicles.
Unfortunately, weather and years of use can take their toll on asphalt-coated driveways and lots.
You'll know it's time either to resurface an asphalt lot or reapply seal-coating when you see some of these telltale signs:
- Spiderweb cracks and fissures
- Loose and missing chunks of the existing asphalt, or potholes
- Deep holes caused by a weak foundation, or sinkholes
Whether you need to resurface or seal-coat a lot, a commercial-grade leaf blower can make the job faster and easier.
Resurfacing vs. Seal-Coating
Resurfacing is the process of adding a new layer of asphalt over a lot or driveway. The layer of asphalt added is typically about 1" to 2" thick.
Seal-coating is the process of spreading a protective coating over a layer of asphalt. This layer reduces the amount of damage that sunlight, foul weather, and regular use can cause.
Resurfacing is considered restorative; seal-coating is largely considered preventative. If you have large cracks and potholes on your property, resurfacing is the practical option. Sealcoating, however, can repair minor cracks.
In either case, to ensure the asphalt or seal-coat adheres properly the first time, it's important to have a clean surface. Debris left behind can come loose, taking asphalt with it.
Using either a commercial backpack leaf blower or a commercial walk-behind leaf blower to clean the surface will ensure a higher quality application.
Using a Backpack Leaf Blower on Asphalt
As mentioned before, seal-coating can serve several purposes:
- Fills cracks and crevices
- Restores a smooth finish
- Extends the life of the asphalt
However, if you leave debris in the cracks and crevices you're filling, you're leaving loose material that can allow the overlying seal-coating to come loose with it after you're finished.
A commercial backpack leaf blower allows you to aim the nozzle directly at the cracks to blow out all dust, dirt, and debris. This can also be helpful if you're resurfacing a driveway, as the nozzle on a backpack blower can reach deep into a pothole to blow dirt out of it.
Backpack leaf blowers are great finishing tools for larger jobs, but they also can be your primary unit for smaller jobs like driveways.
Using a Walk-Behind Leaf Blower on Asphalt
For larger jobs like parking lots or roadways, using a backpack leaf blower to clean the entire space would take a while. If you're a professional, you know that time is money.
Commercial walk-behind leaf blowers remove debris from larger areas more quickly, saving you time so that you can complete more jobs. If you're a homeowner, you simply might enjoy reclaiming some of that time as free time.
For better results after using a walk-behind leaf blower, follow up with a backpack leaf blower to make certain you've removed all debris from deep down in the cracks before you begin seal-coating.
More Tips for Cleaning Asphalt
After you've blown the dirt from your surface, it's recommended that you scrub any sections where you find algae with a cleaning solution and water. Rinse the areas clean and let them sit for 24 hours, giving them one last pass with your leaf blower before you apply asphalt or seal-coat to ensure that they're dry.
Leaf blowers can do more for driving and parking surfaces than prepare them for seal-coating and resurfacing. They also do a thorough job of cleaning a parking lot or road before line-striping.
And of course, they're excellent for removing some of the debris that can cause damage to asphalt in the first place.