As we estimate sealcoat jobs, it’s ever so important to properly inspect the lot’s condition. Hopefully being in the asphalt maintenance business you are able to identify different failures -- and know the ways to fix them.
When it comes to sealcoating there are now, more than ever, many different options of sealer. I’m not talking just refined coal tar or asphalt emulsion, but now we have the option of Premium Sealers. While Premium Sealers have been around for decades, it appears they are becoming more popular now.
Most major brands offer a premium version of sealer, but just like premium gasoline -- get ready to pay. I’ve personally never balked at the cost. I’m a believer that as contractors we shouldn’t have a race towards the bottom. Just like gasoline, not everyone can afford nor wants premium, but in some cases, it’s what the doctor ordered.
As you get called to look at a lot or driveway, you will see what’s going on. But most importantly, what’s the traffic load like? In writing the correct prescription for a sealcoat, you will want to be able to offer a product that will not only seal and protect but offer a level of service to meet the lot’s needs. This is where some of the premium sealers come into play.
Some Premium Sealers offer a higher solids count, or improved aggregates, along with specialized polymers to aid that aggregate suspension or even help the sealer perform at its best. If I’m looking at a high-traffic grocery store, and I see the entrances are just shot, I’m going to look at premium options to give the owner the best shot of prolonging the sealer’s life.
Why can’t I just make my own premium sealer? Sure, you could. But you can’t discredit the experience and knowledge of the manufacturer, who not only knows your area but knows the product, and exactly what formulation works better than others.
Premium Sealers are not the only way to ensure a success. Making sure the lot is clean is just as critical. If I could pressure wash every lot we sealed, I’d do it. Unfortunately it’s cost-prohibitive on most large lots, but get as close as you can; just don't skimp on cleaning.
Next, follow the manufactures specifications for sealcoats. Undoubtedly the normal rule of 24-hour dry time before traffic is important, but it’s even more important if you are trying to solve a problem of premature wear, or if the parking lot experiences high traffic volume.
It may be a situation where you time the job just right, so that you can get 24 hours of no traffic. Or perhaps you can sealcoat smaller pieces of the lot to allow that goal to be achieved. But either way, if you are dealing with a critical area, then by all means follow the 24-hour dry time rule. Normal sealcoats usually call for two good coats, however, you may opt for a third coat in those high-traffic areas.Always consult with your supplier, as they can give the best time tested advice to solve your particular challenge. Fortunately now days with the options of Premium Sealers, it makes our jobs even easier to seal and protect our client’s pavement to our best abilities, plus they add another revenue stream to our businesses. Let me know if you regularly use Premium Sealers, and what you think.