View Full Version : Startup ?

Tim Baden
05-22-2005, 08:21 PM
I read in the other post about trailer mounted seal coating machines but can't you get started by using the pail method and still make some good extra money?Not being a cheap skate,like to try this and see how it goes then get better equipment.
Thought I would go to lowe's buy a couple squeeges leaf blower and trimmer to edge the drive and get the seal coat there too.
BIG question-how much to charge,I have been told and read everything from 10-50 cents sqr ft.just to seal coat no patching or anything eles.
Do you prefer a squeege or broom and why?
If someone could give me a average on how much to charge I can get some drives right away.

05-23-2005, 08:51 AM
Sorry, I don't have a lot of time this morning to answer your Q.
we have an old seal-coat machine, but some times we still use buckets..
we used the pail, bucket method for years, it's a little more messy, but you can make money on residential driveways. I'ts to slow to do large commercial lots this way.Imo
So, shure we use a couple of 55gal drums and use one pail for dipping and pour it into your other pails,

05-23-2005, 09:09 AM
I''l be back on latter and I'll answer your Q's sorry no time now. latter
Pricing for sealing good to average condition asphalt is $90 to $100 for 1000sq ft in our area

DJ Contracting
05-23-2005, 10:52 PM
I'm finding here in mid MI. that the going rate is .07 per square foot, now a buddy of mine in Lansing said thats also is the rate unless you have a lot of cleaning to do, then they add a penny or two.

Tim Baden
05-24-2005, 10:34 AM
Thanks guys,I thought 50 cents sounded pretty high. Think I am going to put some flyers out and check with some people I know.
My folks have some friends that said theu wanted me to give them a bid.

05-24-2005, 10:12 PM
What about cost of materials and where can you buy in bulk? 7-10 cents sqft sounds like good money but not if the materials cost 5-8cents a sqft

05-24-2005, 11:00 PM
Coal tar emulsion in bulk (not buckets) last year was 1.55 a gallon, 1 gallon will spray out 80 sq ft .That gives you a pretty good profit right there at 10 cents per sq ft you also can factor in that with a spray unit you can apply alot of material in a short amount of time, just think an average 300 dollar sealing job is about 30 minutes prep work on the driveway, 30 minutes spraying the sealer and about 15 minutes to clean out the unit....... I always charge a minum of 150 dollars regardless of how small a driveway may be, on all otheres its 10-15 cents per sq ft depending on how much prep work is needed.....

05-25-2005, 12:14 PM
Coal tar emulsion in bulk (not buckets) last year was 1.55 a gallon, 1 gallon will spray out 80 sq ft .That gives you a pretty good profit right there at 10 cents per sq ft you also can factor in that with a spray unit you can apply alot of material in a short amount of time, just think an average 300 dollar sealing job is about 30 minutes prep work on the driveway, 30 minutes spraying the sealer and about 15 minutes to clean out the unit....... I always charge a minum of 150 dollars regardless of how small a driveway may be, on all otheres its 10-15 cents per sq ft depending on how much prep work is needed.....

Our other company is PRO-SEAL BLACKTOP SEALING we added this on three years ago.

Just gonna ditto Jackmans info here..........

05-25-2005, 12:45 PM
I was looking into this, but the prep work looked like a ***** - not something I want to spend my time doing.

When you say 30 minutes for prep, how good are you cleaning the existing bed? Are you actually cleaning it with detergent or just sweeping it off?

05-25-2005, 01:08 PM
We have been sealing with 4, 55 gal drums and a self propelled sealcoat machine, with spray wand and a couple of brooms and squeegees.
and we offer striping also and B-Ball courts too
We get our Sealer from the local asphalt plant for, 55gal is around $35.
Stay away from the 5gal pails from your local home fix up store.
The going rate in my area including prep work is $90 to $100 for 1K,sq,ft.
For a cheap start up get a old truck or trailer, It's going to get sealer all over it any way. You can show up in your good truck and bid the lot or drive.O.k.
now get 3 or 4, 55gal drums, the ones that the whole top comes off. go to your local baulk dist. and fill 3/4 full, You will add some water to the concentrate if your using a coal tar emulsion sealer. Get your self a couple of brooms some floor and a couple of small roofing brushes, and a couple of squeegees.
Now as for applying the sealer..
squeegee, broom, spray.
I prefer to use a squeegee on residential drives. brooms leave marks and the over spray from spraying is a mess. we don't seal lawns, concrete, garages, cars, houses, cats or dogs...etc. We use brooms for sealing the rough edges and where the asphalt has an alligator skin appearance and to get the sealer out of puddles then go over it with the squeegee to get rid of the brush marks. A good squeegee operator can leave no swerl or brush marks, for a drive that looks like a big smooth black mat.
Spraying is good for large commercial lots, it's fast ,it's messy.
Prepping a drive, I'm not to sure how your edger is going to work on a paved drive? As the edges on an asphalt drive are at a slite angle and are all most never straight. On some we can gust give a fast sweeping run a flat, straight shovel down the edges for a clean line running down the edge and some we get out the oil spot cleaner and power washer. we use to use a leaf blower also but as of the last couple of years it has not been used much, too much dust and dirt on the lawns and on the neighbors car, who is now pissed and will not be calling you to seal his drive...
#1. tip, go (LOW-BALL) (1 )drive in a good neighborhood as a -show drive- leave a sign with your name and # with your yellow caution ribbon and the pho will start to ring, it works every time..
Sorry, for going on and on, hopped Ive answered more Q's than raised new ones.

05-25-2005, 09:41 PM
If 55 gal will cover 80sqft X 55=4400 sqft and it cost $35 a gal,, thats a mrkup of $405 per barrel at 10cents a sqft. Not bad money. I am just wonder tho, how often do you have to sealcoat a drive or parking lot to keep it looking good. If i was to get every parking lot in my community, I still dont know if I could make such a business work. If the product last for several years, I would soon run out of work or have to start traveling farther just to stay in business.

What do you use to remove the oilspots in parking lots?

05-25-2005, 10:59 PM
To answer betterlawn's question on prep work I basicly just do what ever is needed to get the drive way clean the most common things I find are the grass growing over the edge in that case just cut or edge then wire brush any dirt off.... Muddstopper"s question on oil spots with them I just give it a hard wire brushing blow off and apply "Petro Seal" (available thru Sealmaster Supply) without the Petro seal the old oil stain will not allow the sealer to stick to the asphalt. Another common problem you might find is cracks, I think its best to have a hot tar kettle to fill the deep ones for the small ones I have used "Gator Pave" (also available thru Sealmaster supply".... Muddstopper on makeing a sealing biz work, for me its just a side thing for the occasional drought summer when the lawns and landscape work drops off..I agree that to just run a seal coating biz would be tough as the season is a short one...

DJ Contracting
05-29-2005, 09:51 AM
Sorry to reply so slow , however we pay $1.49 per gal at a local asphalt co., now i have a few questions about the poly tank compared to the steel tanks. I would like to set up one of my truck with a tank mounted in the box, with a B/S motor so i can also do larger parking lots.
1. can you get a ploy tank with an agitator
2. can you use a poly tank from a TSC store (6" top opening 2" lower )
3. what advantages do the steel tank have over the poly.

05-29-2005, 12:21 PM
To answer your questions they do make a poly tank or a plastic tank with an agitator. Equipt mfg makes them.....They cost just as much as a stell tank air setup..

I have a 500 gallon trailer full air spray system... No its not messy, if youre somewhat decent with the spray wand you will keep the sealer on the grass.

If you look up STAR SEAL on google......They make what is called a " business in a box". Its a 275 tote tank, hoses, wand and a pacer pump.

If you go to any sealcoating forums all they do is make fun of this thing, but Ill tell you from personal experience that IT WORKS. I started out my first year with one of those and it made me enough money to pay cash for my spray system which i will say cost around the price of a new truck.

For under $1,000 to start I would pick up one of those machines.
Heres the link

http://www.starsealofohio.com/catalog/sealcoat-rig.html (http://)

DJ Contracting
05-29-2005, 08:38 PM
I did some investigating into that system that and found that i can buy the same motor and pump and use a truck (425 gal tank) from TSC and all the hardware to make my own for $750.00, and i get 225 gallons, more. So tomorrow i'll get started and when i'm done i'll post pictures :waving:

05-30-2005, 12:46 AM
I have been in the sealcoating business since 1998. I started with a truck-mounted gilsonite (oil-based) machine that consisted of an 80 gal. square tank, a 1 inch Viking gear pump powered by a 5hp briggs with a gear reducer, and 100 ft. of spray hose (1/2 inch) and wand. Where I live, many homeowners actually prefered oil-based sealer, and it was much easier to apply on residential driveways as opposed to emulsion sealers. There was no "cutting in" or brush-work involved. The spray pattern was razor-sharp, and with a steady hand overspray could be completely avoided. The sealer cost about $2.50 /gal, but with that stuff, you could cover 20,000 square feet with 100 gallons. Those days are over now in PA due to the new VOC laws, so this year I had to switch totally to emulsion sealer.

I had been doing emulsion for the past 3 years anyway on commercial work, due to the wearability and traction issues of oil-based sealer in high traffic areas. Here is how my new rig is set up:

-230 gal. hand agitated tank with built-in 30 gal. water tank (for cleanup and extra water toward the end of the mix)-custom made steel

-poly brush water box (keeps the brushes wet at all times)

-1 gal. basket strainer---a MUST if you want to spray emulsion!

-2 inch Pacer trash pump--Despite what many will say, these pumps work. I spray with one on a daily basis, and they WILL pump sealer with sand loads. No, they don't last forever but what does? I usually go through 30-40,000 gals of sealer each season and burn up 2 pumps in the process. A pump / motor combo costs 250 bucks. So that's 500 dollars a year. Not too bad and MUCH cheaper that complex air-operated systems that pulsate and wear out just as fast.

-100 ft. of 3/4 inch goodyear spray hose and wand.

It's pretty much a more heavy-duty version of the Star Seal econo rig. Those tanks and green suction hoses are gay, but the pumps ROCK. feel free to ask me anything else. Hope this helps.

BTW, it's 10 cents for residential, 7-8 cents for commercial. that's what you should be getting.

DJ Contracting
05-30-2005, 08:01 AM
one correction on post #15 thats 150 gallons more not 225 as i stated and the pump is the 2" pacer trash pump, that Chinenjim uses.

06-02-2005, 04:53 PM
Remember, if you are going to spray this stuff, you NEED a strainer. Otherwise you will be getting clogs left and right. Make sure that if you use a 2 inch pump, that everything behind it is also 2 inch, even the suction port on the tank, to insure optimal pressure.

DJ Contracting
06-02-2005, 11:24 PM
Where do have to locate the stainer, in the 2" suction line or the 3/4" spray line. I have a water transfer kit with a strainer that will be located in the fill cap, i would believe that when i circulate the seal coat that the strainer would break up any clumps. check out this web site www.starsealofohio.com and you can see the strainer that i'm talking about. Thank for any advise Joe.

American Seal-Right
06-22-2005, 09:06 AM
As far as pricing is concerned look at your local paper and see what other sealer are quoting in thier ads (example, 1000 sq ft for $109.00) that works ot to $.109 cent per sq ft which is good in upstate New York for residential driveways. Commercial applications average around $.06 per sq ft. As far as a tank goes I have used the buckets from HD, as a beginner its hard because they have sand in them and you have to make sure the sand is througouly mixed so you don't get rough or raised patchs. Tanks are the best, you can buy your product in bulk (see sealmaster.com and look for a supplier in your area). Search the web for seal coating equipment and find tank suppliers or just go to Tractor Supply and get the round 325 gallon plastic tank with legs, buy the 3.5 hp sludge pump and enough T's, 90's, unions, and hosing to plum your tank so the pump recirculates the product back into the tank (fitting out of the bottom of the tank to a T one part of the T goes to the pump the other to a on/off valve, from the pump Out-Side another hose and fitting back to the top of the tank you'll have to use a hole cutter and make your own new opening on the top of the tank use the pump to mix and recirculate your product. This set-up will cost you around $700.00. Or you can just go over to Tarvia Seal in Syracuse and buy a steel tank all set up for sealing for about $1,500.00. Either way you will need a 3500# trailer to get it around. As far as brush or squeege, the squeege does not leave anough product on your customers driveway, get the 3' brush with the 7' aluminum handle ($75.00) you will also need a steel broom and good blower and weed eater. Good luck

07-01-2005, 02:56 AM
make friends with the full timer at a sealer supplier. Most people instantly forget about where they started. use a 55 gallon drum, rig up the plumbing and a hose and use sand in the sealer. use a brush, Tampico brush is the softest one they make. If you use a brush the most you'll get out of a gallon is 60sq st. You'll have to keep the brushes wet all the time after the first time you use it. be creative and make a brush tank or pay about $300 Get a back pack blower, pass out flyer after you do a job, but don't leave foot prints on there sidewalks.

08-11-2005, 07:19 PM
Ive Been Spraying Gilsonite For Several Years , Looking To Go Waterbase, Hows The Spray Pattern Different From Oil To Water . Is It Worth It For Residential? I Orginally Used A Air Diaphram Pump (alot Of Money ) But I Could Not Control The Spray,it Was Loud, Bulky,unable To Slow Up The Material. Iam Back To Using Gilsonite, But Looking Foward To Changing