Good Practices for Sealcoating

Professionalism and customer care are the hallmarks of any successful business. In the sealcoating business, professionalism and customer care mean following the practices that have been proven to maximize the quality of the sealcoating job and, with a job done right, customer satisfaction.

Protect yourself and your employees

Make sure you and your applicator teams are familiar with any product specifications and information distributed by the supplier of the product used on each job, including the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Make sure your applicator teams are properly outfitted for the job, including wearing appropriate clothing, gloves and, if conditions warrant, a hat and face shield. Your sealcoat supplier may recommend other protections as well – following manufacturer’s recommendations is an important good practice. Ensure that your employees are protected is as key to a successful job as checking that your equipment is in working order and that there are no leaks.

Protect the environment

While planning the project, talk to the customer and visit the site to identify any natural resources or possible environmentally sensitive areas that are priorities for protection. Use storm drain barriers and block to keep the emulsion on the asphalt surface. Sealcoats are water-based emulsions that cure over time and length of curing time varies with temperature and humidity. Typically, product suppliers include information about curing times with product specifications.

If it rains too soon after application, a wash off can occur. Do not apply sealcoat if rain in the forecast (a 24-hour forecast window is usually safe, but follow supplier recommendations). In the past five years, PCTC is aware of only two wash off events: At the University of New Hampshire storm water engineering facility where it rained within a day after a late-season application of UNH’s two-year sealcoat storm water runoff experiment began. A second wash off resulted when an unanticipated thunderstorm developed a few hours after application, which leads to the reminder to be aware of the chance of thunderstorms. A week or two after application, sweep the sealcoated area to remove any loose particles. Never dispose of leftover emulsion down a drain, storm sewer or any body of water. Dried sealer can be disposed of as industrial waste. When in doubt, ask your supplier.

Protect your customer

Give your customer clear instructions about how long to wait before allowing vehicles to use the newly sealcoated surface. Clean up after completion of the job, and don’t leave excess emulsion or unapplied dry sealer on your customer’s property without permission. Communication with your customer is the key to avoiding misunderstandings about the do’s and don’ts of freshly sealcoated surfaces.


For more about pavement sealers in preventative maintenance visit the Pavement Coatings Technology Council at