Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Selecting the right sealcoating contractor

Questions to ask when selecting a sealcoating contractor:

Your investment in asphalt pavement, whether it is a parking lot or simply a residential driveway, will require maintenance to extend the life of the surface.  It is the “welcome mat” to your business or a vital part to the curb appeal of your home or residence.  Maintaining the asphalt is important and sealcoating with SealMaster sealer such as MasterSeal or Polymer-Modfied MasterSeal (PMM) is one of those steps.  However, selecting the appropriate contractor for sealcoating is as important as just making the decision to protect the asphalt to begin with.
The first thing to look for in a sealcoating contractor is their history or reputation.  Can they provide references?  Will they offer you properties to look at to see the quality of their work?  You can also contact your local SealMaster at 800-395-7325 for contractor referrals.  Avoid those individuals that are going door to door and offering to sealcoat your driveway at a great price because they have left-over material from work before.  More often than not you’ll never hear from them again.  That’s not good if any issues arise and you need them to make good on any mistakes. 
Secondly, you should compare warranties on workmanship between sealcoating contractors.  How long do they claim their application will last or wear? Also, what is included in the quote?  Are they including any crack repair or PatchMaster pothole repair?  And remember to get any promises in writing and collect any additional information from them such as business cards, reference lists etc…If any striping is necessary, ask if they are doing the work or if it will be subcontracted out.  If they are hiring another contractor to do striping, be sure to check them out as well.  Once you’ve selected a contractor, make sure they have insurance to protect you and your property from any damages or loss.
Before any work begins, do not be afraid to ask what equipment they have or how the sealcoat will be applied?  SealMaster’s asphalt-based sealers like MasterSeal or Polymer-Modified MasterSeal (PMM) can be applied by spray or squeegee.  Based on the size of the job, you need to be sure they have the appropriate tools to clean and prepare the surface and the necessary tools or equipment to apply the sealcoating or other materials in an efficient and timely manner. 
If you are the property owner of a facility involving a decent size parking lot, you will want to be conscience of how the work is completed and the time involved.  If the sealcoating crew is only preparing the lot with brooms without the use of blowers and if they are applying sealer by hand instead of a spray machine or squeegee machine, that will cost you in the end in additional labor costs.
What do you need to know about the sealcoating material?  Ask them how many coats are included in the quote?  It is best practice to demand or specify two coats.  The first coat of MasterSeal or PMM will fill in the voids and porosity of the asphalt surface.  The second coat is the wearing layer.  The second coat is important to get longevity.  The top of the rock or smooth sides of the rock in asphalt tend to wear quickly and a second coat of sealer will help reduce that wear.  Also, verify the contractor is following SealMaster’s specifications for mixing and applying sealcoat.  With that, it is important you know the square footage of the area getting sealed so you have an idea of how much material should be applied.  You can view specifications and application instructions at www.sealmaster.net.
Other tips to follow include keeping an eye on the weather.  Do not allow application if temperatures are expected to fall below 50 degrees for 24 hours and make sure no rain is forecasted for the same 24 hour period to ensure proper curing and performance.  Once the sealcoating is complete you must keep vehicles off the driveway or parking lot for 24 to 48 hours.  Following these few steps will ensure the sealcoating will beautify and protect your asphalt pavement for years to come.
Click hear for more information regarding SealMaster sealcoating materials: http://www.sealmaster.net/Pavement%20Sealer.shtml