Cape Seal combines two preservation treatments, Chip Seal and Micro-Surface, to extend the life of a road. During the Chip Seal process, an application of asphalt emulsion is sprayed onto the road surface, which is then covered with pea-sized stone aggregate. Rollers follow to embed the crushed aggregate into the emulsion. The “Chip Sealed” road is then covered with a thin application of a polymer-modified asphalt seal, or Micro-Surface.
Benefits: Cape Seal combines the strength of a Chip Seal with the smoothness of a Micro-Surface. The combination restricts water penetration, which reduces the formation of cracks and other subsequent damage to the road bed. The combination also provides a smoother surface than would a Chip Seal alone, which is friendlier to non-motorized vehicles, and creates a uniform black appearance that improves aesthetics and visibility of pavement markings.
Challenges: Both applications require dry conditions and are restricted by precipitation. Therefore, inclement weather will delay application.
A certain amount of aggregate applied will work loose as the chip seal cures (approximately 1-2 months), and there can be dust present for a few days after the application. However, the micro surface application will significantly reduce tire noise, eliminate dust, and bind the remaining aggregate into a smooth and hard-wearing surface.
Preparation: Road damage, such as potholes and cracks, are repaired by KCRC crews prior to the Chip Seal process. In addition, low hanging branches and overgrowth may be trimmed.
What to Expect: The Chip Seal process is generally accomplished in one day, and intermittent lane closures are often used to allow drivers access. Post application, the new surface can be driven on almost immediately but, because of the emulsion and loose aggregate, slow speeds are required.
After the Chip Seal process, excess loose aggregate is swept off the roadway by mechanical sweepers. The roadway surface will improve as the surface stabilizes, resulting in a stronger more durable surface.
After the Chip Seal cures (approximately 1-2 months), the Micro-Surface is applied. This application is generally completed in one day and road closures will be enacted for the application. The new surface can be driven on 1-2 hours after the application.