What is Sealcoating?
Seal Coating generally consist of a mixture of emulsified asphalt, water, mineral fillers, and various other admixtures.
Sealcoating is applied directly to the surface of asphalt pavement.
How does it help?
It seals the asphalt preventing oxidation and erosion of the top layer of asphalt.
Sealcoating seals small cracks that can turn into large cracks and prevents water from seeping into the base material.
Sealcoating helps protect the asphalt from the sun as well as the harmful effects of chemical spills such as oil and gasoline.
Sealcoating provides an attractive black, smooth, clean surface.
Sealcoating costs pennies a square foot compared to the dollars needed to repair or replace damaged asphalt.
When should sealcoating be done?
The Asphalt Sealcoat Manufacturers Association recommends waiting 6-12 months before Sealing new pavement. After a surface has been sealed, it should be re-sealed every 3 - 4 years or as necessity dictates.
Are all sealers the same?
There are far more variables to the sealcoating industry than consumers realize. Which directly influence the differences in quoted prices. First of all, there are different brands and a difference in the quality of sealers available. A good contractor will choose a good product even if it's more expensive -, one he knows will give years of good protection and value. Second, sealer is water-borne (also called emulsion). Therefore it can be easily over-diluted with water to save the "contractor" money. Unfortunately, it is very hard for a consumer to tell what the water content is in sealer (unless it's so over-diluted it looks "watery or "runny". ) Sealer should have a consistency like a thick batter. Most good applications will have an average of 10 - 20% water dilution rate. This is a big reason consumers should choose a reputable contractor with a good guarantee and who has references over a year old in your area.
Usually a good contractor will be more expensive because he doesn't over dilute his material, he will use a quality product. He will always add silica sand or other specialized aggregate so the sealer isn't slippery when wet and lasts longer, He has all the required insurances and licensing to be in business. and will stand behind the work with a guarantee.
Shoddy contractors hardly ever have any insurance, offer a low price to get a large volume of work, hire cheap inexperienced labor, dilute the material heavily, and will not offer a guarantee, once paid.
Do not make an impulsive decision based solely on price. Make sure your contractor has an upstanding report with the Better Business Bureau. Make sure they are a well established business. Get several bids, compare products and check references. Keep in mind you usually get what you pay for,
A well-paved blacktop surface can last 20-40 years if maintained at proper intervals. Save money by hiring a reputable, paving or sealing contractor. They can help you maintain your investment. Spending a little more now, can save you a lot down the road.