Frequently Asked Questions

What’s slurry seal?
Slurry seal is a cold-mixed asphalt surface treatment used on roads for many of the same reasons homeowners use driveway sealer. It’s an economical way to preserve pavement while it corrects minor problems that develop with aging asphalt. It also gives the pavement a fresh, clean look and a safer driving surface. What makes slurry different from the driveway sealers we’re familiar with is the addition of finely crushed gravel aggregate which is used to toughen the surface and provide improved traction and safety. Slurry is used by state and local authorities to bring certain roads up to targeted condition levels and to help preserve the good condition of other roads before they fall into disrepair. Doing so saves considerable money.
What's Latex Micro-Surfacing?
Latex Micro is a type of slurry seal that blends latex, asphalt emulsion and very fine gravel to form the slurry. Unlike regular slurry, it can be used in multiple layers to address a wider range of low to moderate road problems. It provides a very durable new surface with improved traction, visual appeal and ride quality. If you've driven on the I95 HOV lanes in Northern Virginia, you've driven on latex micro.
Why does slurry seal look and feel different than "regular" asphalt?
Since slurry seal is a liquid, cold-applied asphalt treatment, it isn't steam-rolled like hot-mix asphalt and won't have the same road feel. It will have a smoother profile with time as traffic, gravity and the elements help it settle in.. One concern we hear is that it's too rough for kids to bike and board on. It may seem so at first, but rest assured that with a little time, the slightly rougher texture is perfectly safe for all the activities people do on roads. In fact, we put slurry seal at the start/finish for the 2015 UCI Road Championship bike races and were told by cyclists that they really liked the surface for it's smoothness with improved traction.
Why are Surface treatments a good choice?
Keeping our roads safe and in good condition is an enormous task for state and local officials. Weather, continuous use, how the road was originally built, and the dynamic nature of the ground itself all play a part in the slow decline of every road. As good stewards of our tax dollars, officials have become expert in monitoring, analyzing and deciding the treatments for the thousands of miles of roads in their care. Explore Road Maintenance 101 to learn about what kinds of problems can arise with roads, the most cost-effective treatments for them, and when and why various surface treatments are a smart choice.
How does it get put on the street?
When it comes time to resurface a road, there are many steps involved to install it safely and efficiently. To ensure both of those goals are met, crews have to rely on the cooperation of residents and motorists as they go about their work. Residents can help crews achieve great-looking neighborhood roads by adhering to some guidelines for working together. Explore Homeowner Info to learn about the install process, tips for eliminating disruptions to your routine, and what residents can do to help us do a good job for your neighborhood.
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