Knowing how to choose the right asphalt sealcoat is the best way to save money on asphalt maintenance and safe-guard your pavement. The best sealcoating means the difference between getting 2 to 3 years of protection from it, instead of only 6 months. Here is how to know you are getting the right product for your blacktop.
Look for a Commercial Grade
Many of the sealants you find in home improvement and hardware stores are consumer grade. Consumer grade sealcoats will not last as long or weatherize as well as commercial grade. While commercial grades may cost more initially, they will save you time and money in the long run.
Commercial grade sealers are designed to be strong enough for use on airplane runways and other areas that get heavy traffic. You might think that your driveway or parking area does not get enough traffic to warrant the extra cost, but the real difference is in the number of years that the product will last.
Even the commercial grades must be replaced more often in areas with a lot of traffic. It’s just that the consumer grades will not last any time at all under heavy traffic. It’s not a big job to do, but there’s no reason to have to do it more than every two or three years.
Don’t Buy the Shiny Coatings
If you see a driveway sealcoat that has a shiny finish and is supposed to last for 10 years, avoid it at all costs. The shiny finishes do not provide protection against the weather. When they are new, they make the area slicker than it should be.
Although the claim is that the product can last for up to 10 years, there are no effective sealers that last that long. The company might claim that the coating lasts a long time, but they will not give you a written guarantee on that.
Choose Coal Tar, if Possible
Coal tar driveway sealant is the most durable. It is similar to the tar you see being poured on public roadways. The sealcoats usually contain 20-35% coal-tar pitch.
Although it is the most durable kind of coating, coal tar is not available in all areas. As of 2011, the use of coal tar sealants had been banned in Washington State, the District of Columbia, Austin, Texas, Dane County Wisconsin and several cities in Minnesota.
More bans may be enacted as time goes by, so it is important to check with your local jurisdictions concerning any restrictions on the type of driveway sealant you may use. Latex and acrylic sealants are good options when coal tar is not available.
Factors to Consider when Choosing Sealcoating Equipment
Keep the following factors in mind when choosing asphalt sealcoating equipment for your job:
- Capacity: This is measured by how many gallons the tank will hold, and how many square feet that will sealcoat. A great starter system that is designed to work with a 55 gallon drum of sealer will cover 5,500 square feet. Our line of sealcoating spray tank systems comes with a choice of 130, 230, or 330 gallon capacity, giving you coverage from 13,000 to 33,000 square feet.
- Size: This is a truly important consideration, since you have to have the right asphalt sealcoating equipment that will actually fit in your vehicle. That’s why on every spray system we carry, we give you the dimensions and weight. We even include a sidebar “Learn before You Buy” that tells you what models of pickup truck it will fit in.
- Options: Length of hose, spray tips, re-circulation systems, transfer kit, hose reel, and more will all have an impact on your ease of use. Be sure to consider these carefully.
- Build Quality, Warranty, Delivery, Assembly and Support: These are crucial factors in choosing asphalt sealcoating equipment. You’ll see that all our spray systems come fully assembled and ready to use, and every system has detailed build quality and warranty. Add in our sealcoating experts’ support at 1-866-399-5562 and you can see Asphalt Kingdom is a secure and supportive supplier for all your asphalt needs.
How to Determine a Good Sealer from a Bad Sealer
A good sealer will have the following properties:
- Quick Drying: Look for 3 to 4 hours drying-time as a sign of best quality
- Coal Tar Based: For consistent product, and best protection against fuel stains like gas, diesel, and oil
- Airport Grade: Airports can’t use second-best asphalt seal coat, they need to have the job done right for protection from airplane fuel spills
- Used By High-Demand Clients: Read referrals online and look for positive sealcoating feedback from high-demand users like mall parking lots, church lots, and golf courses
- Long-Lasting: Look for a reasonable length of time, like 2 to 3 years for asphalt maintenance.
On the other hand, it’s just as important to know the hallmarks of a sealer that is not a quality item. A bad sealer will:
- Take Days To Dry: Avoid any product that needs 24 to 48 hours to dry.
- Damage Easily Under Fuel Spills: Asphalt emulsion sealants are quickly damaged by gas, diesel, and oil. These most definitely won’t say Airport Grade Asphalt Seal Coat.
- Stay Shiny Black When Dry: Definitely not a good thing. The sealcoating should dry to a flat black as it binds to the base, to form a watertight seal.
Did you know that winter de-icing salts do melt snow and ice, but they also make brine? This is why your pavement needs sealing protection. Otherwise, you give that salt solution a chance to cause real damage like cracks.
You don't need to hire someone to do your sealcoating for you either. You can buy an airport grade asphalt seal coat product and do the job yourself. With a little know-how, anyone who’s responsible for asphalt maintenance can get the job done right the very first time.
At the end of the day, you want to be sure your asphalt maintenance dollars are giving you the best bang for your buck. To get long-lasting results, check for the key qualities, good and bad, that will show you whether it’s a good or bad sealer. Remember the bad sealer jobs you’ve seen in your very own neighborhood, and make certain you’re choosing the right asphalt sealcoat for your pavement.
For help deciding the best solution for your needs, give us a call at 1-866-399-5562. Our friendly, experienced staff knows how to get you the started off on the right foot. Whether you're an experienced sealcoat contractor or a first time home driveway sealer, they'll give you the information you need to do your job.
In addition to excellent equipment and reasonable prices, Asphalt Kingdom goes above and beyond when it comes to customer service.
When it came to locating a sealer manufacturer, they even called around for me to get product and price information. Further, they gave me a deal on Asphalt Kingdoms sealer to get up and running.
If there's another company out there that has this kind of customer service, I'd like to hear about it!!!
Let us earn your business. Browse our sealcoating equipment and get started on your project today.