You just received your brand new sealcoat system and you can’t wait to give it a go. In this primer, we’re going to talk about how to mix sealcoating thoroughly, as well as how to transfer it to a sealcoat system.
Why You Need Properly Mixed Asphalt Sealcoat
Asphalt sealcoat is like paint in that you need to mix it before using. The solids settle at the bottom of the container, and you need to agitate it to re-incorporate the liquids with the solids.
If you don't mix your asphalt sealer, the consistency and finish of your sealcoating is going to be uneven. Chunks of solids can also go through your sealcoat spray system and get stuck at your spray tip, making your sealer spray erratically.
For the best performance and finish for your sealcoating project, asphalt sealer mixing is a must-do step!
Related: Asphalt Sealcoating System Tip: Losing Pressure at the Spray Tip
How Do You Mix Asphalt Sealer?
What You Need to Mix Pavement Sealer in 55-Gallon Drums
Before we start mixing asphalt sealer, we need to have the following:
- Access to water.
- A hose with a shut-off valve.
- A barrel mixer that is attached to a heavy-duty 18V or 21V cordless power drill. You can also use a corded power drill as long as you have access to an electrical outlet.
- A long broom handle or stick to conduct a dip test. This will help you determine whether the driveway sealer is thoroughly mixed or not.
Conduct a Dipstick Test
First, lift the lid off of the 55-gallon drum that contains the sealer.
Check its consistency. Unmixed sealcoat still has water sitting on top of the black sludge, while mixed sealer will have a consistency similar to thick soup or gravy.
Next, do a dipstick test. Dip the broom handle straight down all the way inside the drum until you reach the bottom.
Pull up the dipstick to check if the sealer is mixed.
Unmixed sealer will have thick black sludge coating the lower half of the stick while the upper half is wet with dirty water.
Clean the broom handle with water and set it aside.
Mixing Asphalt Sealer
Take your cordless drill and dip the drum mixer attachment all the way inside. Turn the drill on and start mixing the sludge.
Agitate the liquid thoroughly by mixing it up and down first, and then do a side-to-side motion.
Scrape the bottom of the drum to agitate the sediments that had settled at the bottom of the drum. Mixing driveway sealer can take around 4 to 5 minutes, so be patient.
Once everything is thoroughly mixed, do the dipstick test again.
If the stick has a uniform black line from top to bottom, then good job, that sludge is properly mixed.
Make sure that there are no lumps or sediments clinging to the stick for better application.
How to Load Sealer Into the Sealcoat System
Now that you’ve mixed the sealer, it’s time to load it onto the sealcoat sprayer system.
But before you do that, here are some of the things you need to check to make sure that your sealcoat system will work properly.
- Check if the engine contains enough oil by pulling the dipstick out. Add engine oil if it’s empty or if it doesn’t have enough oil.
- Make sure that there is gas in the fuel tank. Always use regular unleaded gasoline. If you’re tempted to use old gas or gas that’s been sitting in a can for a long time, then don’t. Keep in mind that gas breaks down over time. Using dirty or old gas can cause different problems for your sealcoat spray system engine, including stalling, starting problems, and more.
- Check the engine’s top and bottom drain plugs, making sure they are completely snug to prevent leaking.
- Always wear a pair of gloves to keep your hands clean.
Related: Different Types of Blacktop Sealers
Two Ways to Load Driveway Sealer into your Machine
1. From a Local Plant or Bulk Sealer Tanker
If you don’t want to mix your own sealer, then drive over to a local plant and have them load the sealcoat into your spray system.
2. Do It Yourself with 55-Gallon Drums of Sealer
If you’re planning to mix your own sealer and fill it up from the drum, then begin by opening the sealcoat system’s 2-inch loading port.
Before loading the sealer, make sure that the lower ball valve is in the ‘close’ position. To do that, simply turn the handle so that it runs non-parallel with the valve.
Next, make sure that the top valve is in the open position to allow the sealer to circulate into the tank.
Get a garden hose with an on/off valve so you can easily prime your pump or clean up any drips that occur during the transfer.
Next, get the transfer hose with quick-connect fittings.
One end of the transfer hose is going to connect to the 2-inch loading port on the pump, while the other end goes to the drum attachment which will be used to suck sealer from the drum.
After inspecting everything, prepare the sealcoat system by removing the plug from the loading port. Remove the pins, loosen the cam locks, and pull the plug out.
Grab the male end of the transfer hose and plug it into the loading port where you removed the plug from.
Fasten the cam locks until they’re good and snug.
Important: Prime the pump, hose, and plumbing to get rid of any air in the system.
If air is present in these components, then the pump is going to work extra hard during operation and you're also going to have a harder time getting sealer out of the drum into your tank.
To do that, make sure that the end of the transfer hose is above the level of your pump.
Next, grab your garden hose. Hold the female end of the transfer hose above the pump and begin filling it with water.
Stop when the transfer hose is full of water. Carefully connect the female end of the transfer hose and clamp it to the drum attachment.
Start the engine to load the sealer into the sealcoat system.
Related: Storing Asphalt Sealer the Right Way Protects Your Product
It's Cleanup Time!
Once you're done, clean up the back of your truck to remove any drips.
Roll up the transfer hose to make sure that it doesn't dry out and put it on the back of your truck.
If there's a bit of sealer left in the drum, simply reuse it for next time.
Seal those drums up and clean the drum kit by hosing it down with clean water. Keeping the drum kit clean prevents sealcoat from forming a crust on the surface and ensures that it will be easier to connect the next time you use it.
If you let the sealer dry on the fitting, it can be really hard to plug it into the ports and it’s sometimes impossible to get a good seal. Failure to clean it can also result in a leak.
Asphalt Kingdom is your trusted source of crack repair and sealcoating supplies. Browse our store for premium asphalt sealer, sealcoat systems, additives, and more. Give us a call at 1-866-399-5562 or just send us an email if you have questions about our products.