Preventive Maintenance - Surface Seals
The City of Urbana recognizes the importance of extending the life of newly improved asphalt pavements by applying approved sealants to keep "good roads good."
Surface sealants provide the following benefits:
- Seal and waterproof the surface
- Delay the aging process
- Improve the durability of the asphalt wearing surface
- Reduce cracking and road fatigue
Normal treatment of newly constructed pavements can provide 5 - 7 years of additional service life. Please see the Additional Information section below for specific information about the type of surface seal specified by the city.
Conventional Surface Seal Application
Step 1: Apply sealant. A substance which has a brown milky appearance is sprayed on the street. It can take approximately 30-45 minutes for the product to penetrate the surface. To view an example video of the application of the surface sealant, click here.
Step 2. Apply blotter material. A light coating of blotter material such as sand or limestone is spread on the street. Blotter material is spread over the sealant to help it adhere to the pavement, soak up excess sealant, and allow motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians use of the street.
Step 3. Sweep up blotter material. After the sealant adheres to the pavement, the blotter material is swept off the street usually within a couple of days after the blotter material is applied.
To view photos of pavements during and after application of the surface sealant, click here.
Pilot Surface Seal Application
Application of sealant. A substance which has a colorless appearance is sprayed on the street. It can take approximately 30-45 minutes for the product to penetrate the surface. To view an example video of the application of the surface sealant, click here.
To view photos of pavements during and after application of the pilot surface sealant, click here.
Impacts to Traffic
During sealant application, there will be minimal disruption to local traffic. Motorists can drive on it, but it may splatter onto the vehicles. If the substance does splash onto vehicles, it can be removed by immediately washing the vehicle with soap and water. The sealant can also be removed from vehicles by using bug and tar remover.
Impacts to Parking Areas
Signs will be posted at least 72 hours in advance of the beginning of the project to let motorists know when and where parking restrictions will be in effect. Vehicles left on the streets in the restricted parking areas will be subject to towing. Signs will be removed when parking is permissible, which is expected to be within 24 hours after the surface seal is applied and the blotter material is swept up.
Impacts to Pavement Markings
The type of surface sealant specified for use on city streets will not obliterate pavement markings. Initially the pavement markings are covered by the sealant but after a few weeks the striping will return to its original visibility.
2018 Surface Seal Street Maintenance Project
For a list of streets and a letter to residents/property owners, please see the Additional Information section below.