The Importance of Surface  Preparation and Priming

Without a clean and ready surface, your sealcoating will suffer. It is extremely important to take certain steps to prep your worksite to ensure a good end result. 

Part of the process is to be prepared yourself. A good applicator, one that intends to stay in business and be trusted by its clientele, should do his or her best to be educated and to prove to customers that he or she is an expert in the industry. Reputations and relationships are everything in this highly competitive business economy.

Properly Billing For Your Time
This is an area that can make or break your profit margin. In some cases, you may actually spend more time cleaning, preparing and priming the asphalt surface to accept the coating successfully. Estimating a job without actually doing a site evaluation is a risky business practice. You should be able to properly identify these issues and know how they will affect the man hours you bid on a particular job.

Why Sealer Sticks or Doesn't Stick
Knowing when not to sealcoat could one of the keys to your success. A good understanding of asphalt surfaces themselves, sealcoatings and why they work, the effects climate has on the cure process, and generally, best practices for preparing the surface to accept the sealcoating will help you know when, and when not to do an application.

You should understand how to do a "water break free" test on newer asphalt pavement surfaces. Conversely, you should know when an asphalt pavement surface is too old and badly oxidized, or the aggregate is too polished, to allow the coating to properly adhere to the surface.

Climate will play a big role in the success of the final product and a good applicator will be able to determine the impact that inclement weather will have on a job.

Know Your Site and its Hazards
Proper site survey. Again, not doing a proper site survey and finding a lot more work than you intended when you get there can kill your profits or could influence your judgment and lead you down a path that cuts corners and could hurt your reputation. Google Earth’s maps may be several years old and may not show the true, current condition, of the site. Proper planning is yet another key to your success. 

Landscaping and edging issues. Once on the site check the edge of the asphalt on the lot for overgrown grass or any serious amount of sand, dirt, or muck built-up. Bring these issues to the attention of your client and ask them to have their lawn maintenance service address this issue before you arrive to do the job. Although it is normally the lawn service company's job to take care of this, you are ultimately responsible for removing dirt, sand and debris before applying the 
sealcoating and YOU may end up dealing with this if they do not. Your talking to the customer about the issue early, will avoid surprises should there be an issue the day you show up to do the application.

Tree sap. If the lot is lined with trees or there are trees overhanging the asphalt surface then you might see problems down the road that are unexpected. Sealcoating flaking off and general adhesion problems that are uncharacteristic of your normal applications. Tree sap is one of those things that gets overlooked. Trees like olive, maples or pines on the site can cause sap problems. Trees can leave a fine mist of little sap particles onto the asphalt surface. This one has baffled more than a few people. Sap will cause the sealer to release from the asphalt surface. If you have visible tree sap on the lot it will have to be power washed off, or primed much like an oil spot.

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