Are you interested in beginning your own sealcoating company? If so, there are many things you need to contemplate, such as the different types of sealants and the right fee to charge. This article will explore more behind these aspects and give helpful tips you can use to start your business. 

Why is Sealcoating Important?

Sealcoating is crucial because it improves the quality of an asphalt surface. Without it, the area would suffer from cracks which can affect its durability, traction, and aesthetics. You’ll notice that sealcoating:

  • Blocks damaging UV rays.
  • Prevents oil and other liquids from oozing into the asphalt.
  • Helps snow and ice melt faster.

What Can Be Sealcoated?

Many believe that only parking lots can be sealcoated. While they can be, there is a vast selection of other options available, like sidewalks and playgrounds. 

The First Steps to Take

Knowing where and how to start your business can be a daunting process. But, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind before you begin. 

One is marketing yourself. Whether through flyers or online ads, you need to make your presence known. If you desire to do commercial work, such as for government agencies, it’s essential to research your competition, discover how to bid on the jobs, and prove that you’re the best pick. 

You also need to ensure that you have the right vehicle. A regular pick-up truck won’t work well for major projects. You’ll need to invest in a tanker truck that can hold large amounts of sealant and other tools. 

Another thing to remember is to file your business with the IRS. After you register it, you’ll be given a special tax ID which you can use for obtaining insurance and for opening a separate company bank account. 

How to Determine Your Fee

One of the trickiest aspects of running a sealcoating business is figuring out the best fee. If you price yourself too cheap, it might appear as if you’re not experienced. On the other hand, prices too high could dwindle how much business you get. 

Ideally, base your price on a specific fee per square footage. Overall, a standard rate of $0.20 per square foot is recommended. 

Once you decide on this, you can then alter the rate based on various characteristics. These include:

  • How big the job is.
  • If extra supplies, such as additives, are needed.
  • If the assignment is situated on a difficult landscape.
  • The manual labor required.
  • If additional coats are necessary.

You might also want to consider offering discounts for repeat customers or for those whose asphalt is in pristine condition already. This doesn’t have to be steep, but it often impresses the client which can lead to more jobs down the road. 

Key Sealcoating Equipment

Before marketing your business, you need to make sure that you have the correct tools. Here are some of the most vital. 

Sealers

This is what will fill in and cover the cracks. You’ll find many available, but there are four that are mainly used. 

Asphalt Emulsion

This sealer is a mixture of water, asphalt, and emulsifying agents. These components are thick and can’t be diluted with extra water. Despite this, it’s a bit more eco-friendly than other options and has an expanding feature that allows it to quickly soak into cracks and secure itself to the surface better.

Coal Tar

Coal tar sealers are a blend of coal and steel byproducts. They’re sought-after because they’re affordable and leave behind a resistant outer layer. 

Fill and Seal

Fill and seal choices contain sand that fits into small cracks to close them. This can give the surface better traction. 

Plain

This is a standard sealer that’s used to leave behind a dark black layer to enhance the asphalt’s looks. 

Once you put the sealant on, you can then use an additive. This is a combination of rubber and latex and improves the asphalt’s looks, texture, and durability. It also encourages the sealant to dry faster. 

Power Brush

This features a thick squeegee at the bottom which lets you maneuver the sealer in different directions so you have better control over it. However, make sure that the brush comes with a handle. If not, you’ll either need to invest in one or you’ll find yourself having a tough time applying the coating. 

Brush Holder

You’ll also want to search around for a brush holder. This secures the broom to prevent it from sliding around during transport. Some also have cleaning mechanisms that can rinse the brush off and prepare it for your next job. 

Spray Wand

A spray wand provides precision when sealcoating and allows you to get into difficult crevices. Besides this, the tool can be used to quickly sealcoat small areas. By spraying it over the patches, it can cut the amount of time spent on the project. Many spray wand nozzles can be adjusted to different lengths so you can customize them for each task. 

Edging Brush

As its name implies, this brush will safely smooth asphalt near edges. It has long, thin bristles which keep the asphalt in place as you slide it around the border. While it requires meticulous manual labor, it ensures that the sealant doesn’t seep into the grass or nearby landscapes. 

Spray Hose

This utensil is critical if you plan to use a spraying machine to apply the seal. It’s a bit thinner than traditional hoses and has knobs on the end to connect to the sealant container and the spraying equipment. When you turn the device on, the hose will transport the liquid to the nozzle so it can be applied. 

Because you’re just starting out, you don’t necessarily need to purchase expensive gadgets at first. Instead, look for budget-friendly yet high-quality ones. This way, you can tell whether you want to continue with the business. If you do, you can then buy more expensive items. 

Some options to look at include:

  • Seal-Rite SR-700 Trailer
  • NAC Supply Tote Spray System
  • Asphalt Kingdom Contractor’s Silver Package

How to Provide the Best Sealcoat

Sealcoating isn’t just simply spreading a fresh sealant over asphalt. If you want to do a good job, you need to make sure to pay attention to certain details. Some things to keep in mind include:

  • Making sure that the day you sealcoat has low humidity and is at least 55℉.
  • Wiping off any oil or gas stains before sealing.
  • Blowing away debris on the surface.
  • Using long brush strokes when applying the sealant. 
  • Carefully reading through the sealant’s instructions before spreading it.

Sealcoating can be a profitable business but you need to verify that you have the right equipment, use flawless techniques, and market yourself well. While it will take time and patience to build it up, the investment will be well worth it in the end.