Why You Must Hire Professionals to Sealcoat Your Parking Lots
Asphalt parking lots degrade over time as the binding cement that keeps them together breaks down. Regular parking lot use, as well as sun, snow, and rain cause this breakdown, resulting in crumbling surfaces that also fade in color and stain easily. Sealcoating the parking lot is the most efficient solution to this age-related problem.
Sealcoating is the process whereby a crude oil-based solution is painted onto existing asphalt. This coating restores the color and integrity of asphalt, solidifying any areas that were beginning to crumble. Asphalt sealcoating prevents water from penetrating the surface and breaking down the asphalt. A properly sealcoated parking lot also greatly enhances the overall appearance of any business.
When applied to asphalt parking lots every 2 – 3 years, sealcoating can greatly extend the life of these asphalt surfaces and prevent the need for costly stripping and repaving. Sealcoating is a much more affordable choice because it can be accomplished quickly and with minimal disruption to your business.
Why Hire Professionals
Business owners may consider applying the sealcoating treatment themselves to save money, but that is rarely the best way to go. Ironically, it most cases, it isn’t even the cheapest way to go. Hiring professionals is generally recommended and with good reason.
Professionals already have all the tools, equipment, and experience to get the job done right the first time. They have sprayers, squeegees, and brushes, as well as the correct crack and pothole filler, cleaning supplies, and other equipment necessary to ensure that only the parking lot is coated and coated well.
Doing it oneself means purchasing or renting equipment, ruining a pair of shoes and pants, and risking that the process won’t be done correctly and consequently won’t last. Not all sealers are created equal, either, and professionals have access to the best formulations that aren’t available through typical retail outlets.
Hiring the Right Contractor
When hiring professionals, getting multiple quotes is of course the first step, but hiring the lowest bidder may not be best choice. Make sure each contractor has itemized their quotes and be sure to closely compare what each one promises to do. For example, compare how each contractor plans to treat potholes, cracks or stains. Compare how many gallons each contractor estimates the job will require and how many coats will be applied. Hint: Parking lots need two coats, each to be applied perpendicular to one another.
One way contractors can reduce their costs and increase their profits is to use watered down sealant. Make sure any contractor being considered does not do this. Find out what brand of sealant they are planning to use and who their supplier is, as well. Truly professional paving contractors, like us here at Lyons & Hohl Paving, will be happy to answer your questions.
For each contractor being considered, make sure to find out how much experience they have with sealing commercial parking lots as opposed to only residential driveways. (Some of us have experience with both, as well as roadway and industrial paving projects, but not all contractors are so well-versed.) When sealing parking lots, contractors should also be PennDOT prequalified and properly licensed and insured. Don’t just take their word for it; ask for documentation.
Checking References Saves Money in the Long Run
Ask for references from past customers and then visit those past customers’ parking lots. Be sure to visit customers who had their parking lots sealed a year or more ago to verify the quality and durability of the contractor’s work.
It can be all too easy to fall for that seemingly great “today only” deal. But beware of contractors who are working in the area only today and offering such deals. This high pressure sales tactic is most commonly used by contractors who take short cuts, water down their sealant, and deliver poorer quality service.
Sealcoating should be applied when the weather is at least 50°F and dry and forecasted to stay that way for a few days. Because freshly sealcoated surfaces should not be driven on for at least 48 hours to ensure proper curing, contractors should include in their quote a plan for how they can schedule and manage the project without interrupting business traffic.
Although sealing an asphalt parking lot is something business owners could do on their own if they had the time, energy, and equipment; hiring an experienced professional instead will save money, stress, and hassle.
Thinking About Sealcoating this Season?
Lyons & Hohl Paving can help with your commercial parking lot preventative maintenance plan. You may think that professional contractors only perform large-scale new construction and resurfacing jobs, but we are also happy to troubleshoot problems you are having with your asphalt surfaces and perform needed repairs utilizing the best materials available. Get in contact today to discuss your needs.