We can always tell when the weather's changing

It must be autumn as we've started to get our annual run of phone calls from property managers and contractors who want to know if they can still sealcoat pavement. Property managers want to know if it can still be done in the fall; contractors want to know what the temperature specs are for sealing in cold weather. Here's what we tell them. First, the rule of thumb is that the temperature should be 50°F and rising - and rising is the key. If it's 50°F and falling or if it peaks at 50°F and you apply sealer you are opening the door to a variety of problems that could affect the life or effectiveness of the sealcoat. The second thing we say (to property managers) is to rely on their contractor. The second thing we say to contractors is to rely on their sealer supplier. The supplier knows his material the best and can give the best guidance on what your concerns should be. The third thing we suggest, if there is concern about applying sealer, is to play it safe and try to schedule the work for spring. This isn't always possible, but it can help avoid problems and should at least be considered as an option. It's always tempting, and sometimes it's even necessary, to get those last few jobs done. By extending your season you're obviously generating more income and driving more dollars to your bottom line. But if you add those profits at the expense of a customer, or if you push the envelope just a little too much and have to go back to redo the job next spring, what have you really accomplished? So property managers, rely on your contractors; contractors, rely on your suppliers. It's in everyone's best interest to make the right sealcoating decision.