Frequently Asked Questions
Isn’t all sealant the same? Shouldn’t I just go with the cheapest price?
Brewer Cote brand sealant is unmatched in quality and longevity; it is a one-of-a-kind sealant that is non-tracking and a naturally dark, slate black color. Arrow adds premium latex additives for flexibility and durability.
How long should my sealcoat and crack repair last?
There are factors that decrease the lifetime of the sealant: degrading (crumbling) surface, high vehicle traffic, heavy-duty vehicles, overhead vegetation, harsh winter temperatures, scraping from snow plowing, chains on tires, chemical spills, low spots that hold water, and more. The longevity of the hot rubber crack filler is mostly dependent on the amount of shifting of your asphalt surface during freeze/thaw cycles.
What should I look for in a sealcoating contractor?
Are they fully insured and have workmen’s compensation? Ask for proof of this insurance. You will be responsible for property damage or injuries that could happen if the workers are uninsured. Do they employ quality workers who are fairly paid and trained? Will they answer detailed questions about the quality of their sealant and other products? There are many fly-by-night sealcoating companies that are here today and gone tomorrow. If you have problems or questions after the job is done, they may not be around to take care of it. Stick with a company who is involved in your local community.
What exactly is sealcoating?
Sealcoating is like painting your house. The asphalt in your driveway can deteriorate due to exposure from the sun, heavy traffic or oil spills. Brewer Cote® pavement sealers are designed to protect and beautify your asphalt driveway or parking lot. Sealcoating prevents oxidation of the asphaltic binder, prevents weather damage, reduces maintenance costs, and adds years of life to the pavement.
What sealcoating is not.
The important thing to remember about sealcoating is that it is a cosmetic process and is not a structural repair. If your property requires any patching or crack sealing, these must be done first before the sealcoating takes place.
How often should I sealcoat my property?
We do not believe in sealcoating a surface too often unless it gets a lot of traffic or exposure to the weather. What this generally means is that a property should be sealcoated every other year or when it starts to look ‘dry’.
My driveway has a lot of cracks. Will you fill these?
As part of the production process, we will use a hot pour crack fill to fill significant cracks. We define 'significant' to be cracks of roughly 1/8" or wider. At times, we may elect to use cold pour crack fill on a specific location. In general, if the asphalt has extensive 'alligatoring', you will still be able to see the random cracks through the sealcoat. On a budget? We recommend the homeowner to fill cracks with a trowel grade crack filler that is available at Menards or Lowes. Sealing should then be done approximately 1 week or more after crack filling is complete.
What will the finished product look like?
Sealcoating gives your property a uniform, black color that many people find very attractive. When you examine the surface, however, you will still be able to see areas that have been crack filled or patched due to the different texture of the asphalt. Worn asphalt that has been previously sealcoated has a much smoother appearance than new asphalt that is just sealcoated the first time.
Do you have any suggestions for making the production process run smoother?
Yes. If you have a lawn sprinkler system, please make sure to shut it off. While we will barricade areas that we have sealcoated, you should advise your lawn service and trash pick-up to stay OFF the surface for at least two or three days to prevent scuffing.
What should I do to prepare for your crew?
All we ask is to have the driveway clear before the crew arrives. Our crew is very busy during the day and they begin work as soon as they arrive at your home.
When can I drive on my newly sealcoated surface?
Every situation varies due to the weather, but as a rule of thumb, you should stay off the drive for at least 2 to 3 days to allow the sealcoating time to properly cure so that it doesn't track onto adjoining areas or scuff. Rainy days cause the product even longer to cure.
Are there any adverse effects to applying sealcoating too often?
If you sealcoat the drive every year, and unless the property gets a lot of traffic, the sealcoating will build up and it can flake off.
Can you sealcoat in any type of weather?
No. Sealcoating should only be done when the ground temperature is at least 50 degrees and rising for a 24 hour period. Colder than this, and the sealcoating tends not to adhere to the asphalt surface very well and may not have a rich dark black color. Obviously, we do not schedule sealcoating projects when rain is imminent, but if the product is down for 2 or 3 hours before a sudden summer rain shower, the surface has generally set adequately to prevent washing out of the sealcoating.
When should an asphalt sealer be applied?
New asphalt should cure a minimum of 60 days or more. Once the asphalt is free from oils and sufficiently cured you can apply the sealer.
How should the asphalt be prepared before sealcoating?
Surfaces must be clean and free from all loose dirt and material. Pavement surfaces should be repaired with a suitable hot or cold asphalt mix. Cracks should be filled with hot or cold applied crack fillers. Treat all gas, oil or grease spots with an appropriate product.
What if I have oil stains?
If your driveway has oil stains, they may show through the sealer. If the stains are fresh to the touch, we suggest pre-cleaning them yourself with a degreaser prior to our arrival to seal the driveway. This is the most cost effective way to deal with a few spots on the driveway. If you prefer, for an additional cost, we will pre-treat the oil stains either with a degreaser or special oil spot primer.
How is asphalt sealer applied?
Pavement sealer can be applied by brush, squeegee, or specialized spray equipment. Equipment must be capable of spraying sealer with sand added.
What are the benefits to using additives in sealer?
Additives can assist in speeding up the dry time for additional coats of sealer, help with sand suspension, and reduce power steering marks.
Is sand required for application?
No, but clean silica sand can be included in the mix design. Sand provides slip resistance, helps with drying, and adds to the durability of the sealcoating material.
Is there anything I can do to help extend the life of my sealcoating job and/or asphalt?
If you pre-salt your driveway before a winter storm, it will prevent the snow from being packed down and help to prevent digging up the driveway with snow blower tire chains. Pre-salting makes a brine which gives you a residual effect the next time you get snow. We recommend not using tire dressing in your driveway as it can leave an unsightly stain. Carwash soaps have a tendency to make the sealer look gray. Although both of these don’t appear to harm the sealer, they do make it less attractive.
Are different types of sealer available?
Yes. The traditional sealcoat that has been in use since before WWII is a coal tar-based sealer. This creates a hard, durable film, has a deep, dark color and has increased resistance to petroleum spills. An asphalt-based sealer was developed in the 1980s and is considered to be more environmentally-friendly as it has lower PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon) levels. These products do not smell as much and can dry faster. Brewer Cote® offers water-based asphaltic products and acrylic products that are environmentally better and user-friendly. Their drawback is that there are strict mix specifications. The sealcoating industry is an industry in change. The sealer that Arrow utilizes at this point is primarily the coal tar sealer.
What about the sealer on my grass?
Because we brush apply the sealer, the crew will be walking through the seal and it will get on their shoes. When they reach the end of your driveway, they will intentionally step off onto a piece of carpeting on the grass/pavement as opposed to leaving footprints on your grass or in the street. The sealer will not damage your lawn. If it does get on it, it will quickly grow out in a mowing or two.
Will you get sealer on my Belgian Blocks?
Absolutely not. Our trained and experienced crews are very careful to keep the sealcoating material on the driveway. We know you take pride in your home, so we take great pride in providing a clean and neat finished product.
Do you guarantee your work?
Absolutely. All our asphalt maintenance and repair work is covered by our 12-month satisfaction guarantee. If there is any part of our work that is determined to be defective at any point up to 12 months from the work being done, we will return and repair the defective work at no charge. Our guarantee covers our work, but not normal wear and tear, weather, or equipment related damage. We guarantee every aspect of the job.
How do I pay for the driveway sealing?
If you are home, you may pay our crew foreman or leave a check in a pre-arranged place so we can pick it up.