Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need to sealcoat?
How soon can I have sealcoating and striping done?

Asphalt is porous and needs sealcoating to ensure that it has a much longer life than that of unsealed pavement. Even on a weak pavement, sealcoating will prevent water and oxidizing effects of the sun, salts, and petroleum spillage. This high-quality coating preserves the pavement surface, and the asphalt and aggregate layers will remain protected and moist for flexibility. 
 

New asphalt pavement can be sealed 90 days after installation. Striping can be done once the sealer is completely dry.

How often does the sealcoat need to be reapplied?

Coating of the surface should be done yearly to prevent costly major repairs.  

Why do I have to worry about doing sealcoating my pavement is new?

Once laid the pavement starts to degrade due to rain, sun, and traffic. Winter snowplowing and salting is especially hard on the pavement. One completely true and unavoidable fact of asphalt paving is that; if a small amount isn’t spent each year, then in 5-7, maybe 10 years if you’re lucky, a huge amount has to be spent.

Is sealing my asphalt really that important?

Sealcoating needs to be thought of as “waterproofing” and just as you seal or waterproof wood decks yearly, the same should be done for asphalt surfaces. As a matter of fact, more attention should be paid to asphalt paving than wood decks because of the chemicals, snow removal operations and vehicle traffic that it is subjected to on a daily basis.

Sealer is sealer so I’ll just hire the cheapest company or guy that comes along.

WRONG plan. There are all kinds of grades of sealer, so you get what you pay for here. We only use a premixed sealer from the Brewer Co. a primere manufacture. There is also contrate mixes out there that contractors can dilute themselves, and they do to the point of 80% water when it should only be 60% or less. Of course there are the traveling “Gypsys” from out of state who mix used motor oil with water, and by the time the first rain comes and it washes off they are who knows where with your money. You want a local contractor with professional equipment and signage, and charging a fair price.

Why would I hire A-1 when I can get the sealer at one of the big box lumber yards?

Easy answer here would be the hassle involved to get the materials, tools which are really just an OK homeowner grade to get by and time vs. having us come do it correctly with the professional materials and tools.

For the longer answer, or those who feel the need to be handy, let’s look at the expense. Since the sealer is not of professional quality (yea I know the bucket says it is, but then why don’t more contractors get it there then?) you need to do two coats. 1 gallon will cover +/- 80 sq.ft. (again I know the bucket says 100 --- NOT) so the average drive needs 20 gallons for the 2 coats and it will take a whole weekend if it’s hot to do it (1 day for crack filling, and 1 for sealing) and the material will be $65-70 plus tools for $20 and $30 or so for crack filler so that is $115-120. On top of it all--- do you have a powerful enough blower to get rid of the dirt and dust? Not unless you have a push behind model. Now on the other hand we would charge around $100 and do it in a day with professional materials which will last longer and provide better protection.

Will the weather cause any scheduling issues?

It can, if there is rain in the forecast we hold off because the sealer is an asphalt/ polymer mix that is water soluble so rain will spot it up and can even wash it away. The temperature also needs to be above 50 for timely drying. In the fall it can be applied until the nights are reaching freezing since its water soluble.

Is one method of application better than another?

Spraying is the best way because it gives the thickest even coating. Brushing takes more time and is uneven and is used by under equipped contractors concerned with profit not quality because they don’t want to spend the money to get a spray unit. Think about it this way, if you’re doing painting with a spray can it’s very easy to put too much on and get runs but not with a brush. With a brush you can get uneven streaks because it is pulling all of the material along and leaving behind what goes thru the bristles.   

Squeegee, not an acceptable method as it barely coats the surface. You use a squeegee when you’re trying to get water off of a surface, so why would you want someone to use it to spread a coating?

Can cracks just be covered over with sealer?

NO, the sealer will fill in small imperfections under 1/8th of an inch or the thickness of two quarters, but a mastic or heated filler must be used on bigger cracks and “alligatored” areas.

Really, why do I have to spend the extra money to have cracks filled?

Because if you don’t you are inviting trouble over the cold winter months. Very costly repairs or even replacement will be needed because the cracks and holes let water seep into the aggregate foundation under the pavement. In the cold months during the freezes, the water turns to ice and expands along with the cracks and holes. Fixing these cracks and holes now along with sealing the pavement will preserve your investment. The money spent on prepping before the sealing is nothing compared to thousands for patching or replacement.

How costly can repairs really be?

The average to have a residential drive removed and replaced is around $3.50 a sq. ft. So that is like 30 times the cost of the coating and crack repairs. It seems like a pretty easy call to make on what to do.    SEALCOAT

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