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Sealcoat VS Black Mac VS Coal Tar

Discussion in 'Seal Coating Forum' started by Loooogie, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. Loooogie

    Loooogie LawnSite Senior Member
    from YORK
    Messages: 295

    What are the pros and cons of each of these products for driveway sealing?
  2. sealcoatnow

    sealcoatnow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    Just exploring the residential seacoating business (my user name is rooted in optimism) after mowing and landscaping for 11 years. I'm in Northern Virgina. Can anyone give more input on the value of sand on residential driveways?

    It seems many contractors around here don't use it because of the issues with sprayers and the mixing labor involved. Thanks, Kevin
  3. EWS

    EWS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    blackmac is a cutback not a sealer. as for sand 3lbs per gallon... you need it to fill voids in the drieveways. if you have a professional unit it will not clog. there is no extra labor in mixing, you turn your agiatator on and thats it.
  4. BIGBOY2008

    BIGBOY2008 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    I just started seal coating recently and i do residential drives and smaller parking lots like those associated with lodges and churches.

    Im purchasing 30 gallons of coal tar sealer from the bulk plant in 55 gallon barrels. I am adding 10 gallons of water and 100 lbs of sand to the 30 gallons of sealer. As heavy as the stuff is 30 gallons of sealer to one barrel is all i want.

    I have two dispensing barrels with a brass in-line lever type shut off valves located on the side of the barrels and about two inches up from the bottom of the barrel. I have a 15 foot long garden hoses and a thirty foot long garden hose i can attach to the shut off valves. I also have pvc in-line lever type shut off valves and a two foot long pieces of pvc on the end of the garden hose sections.

    I have two pallets made of 2x6's and 2x4's with heavy duty solid plastic wheels on them.

    I add 7 gallons of water to the bulk barrels and mix it well then i transfer this mix into the dispensing barrel. I then rinse this barrel by adding the other 3 gallons of water into the bulk barrel and then pour it into the dispensing barrel. After that i add the 100 pounds of sand into the dispensing barrel and stir it well.

    I can basically roll the dispensing barrel to where i want it (open the brass valve) and dispense the sealer by opening the pvc valve. The top of the dispensing barrel is open so i can stop every so often and stir or re-suspend the sand into the mix. The trick is to stir it frequently.
    Just remember to have a 2x4 handy to prevent the pallet from rolling on sloped drive ways.
  5. EWS

    EWS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    wow bigboy thats way too much work. and a big liabilty if one of those barrells break in transport. as soon as you can afford a spray unit or even a steel bulk tank with a agiatator get one. it will make your job so much easier. I think you can get a 300 gal tank for like 1500 2000 new
  6. BIGBOY2008

    BIGBOY2008 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    I bought the barrels new and they are made of steel so they should not leak during transport. The barrels with the shut off valves are not used for transporting sealer...they are only used for dispensing it.

    I know its a lot of work but im saving to buy all new equipment cash down.
  7. EWS

    EWS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    how do you get the material to the job site if your not transporting the barrels....?????
    Its not always good to buy equipment cash down. look into leasing with a doller buyout. that way you can write it off 100 percent. just a good tip if your serious about this.
  8. puddin' pie

    puddin' pie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    you like to work hard?
  9. SurfaceMax

    SurfaceMax LawnSite Member
    from TX
    Messages: 72

    It is hard work but SealMaster actually still makes a unit they have made for decades that does just what he describes. It's a 55 gallon drum on wheels with a valve at the bottom and a handle with an agitator in the lid so you can stir the sealer (they are overpriced but) so the method has been around forever (almost 30 years I've been in the business and it was an "oldie" when I started).

    I'm sure nobody wants to work that hard, but I have a lot of people ask my advice because I've taught sealing & written articles & such over the years so I've met many people; and today I advise everyone on anything related to pavement equipment to not buy unless you can pay cash.
    This is especially true in sealcoating unless he can accumulate enough down his payments are low enough he can make them even if there is no sealcoating.

    The sealcoating business has never in it's 75 year history been as uncertain as it is these days.
    Some states have coal tar shortages=no sealer or very high price, other states have started running out of asphalt=no sealer or very high prices. At the same time customers are experiencing the "recession/depression" in the economy with high gas/food & mortgage prices and even if you do commercial their budgets are hurting because their tenant's sales are down.
    So nobody knows what will happen in the industry in the next year or 2 or 3. Not a good time to saddle yourself with high payments for a sealcoat rig when the customers may quit buying because your materials prices have doubled AND they may cut back on lawn service if the grocery & electric bills keep going up.
    So I'm sure he doesn't want to work that hard, but he's working smart with his plan to save all the profits for a good machine (and I have already started seeing good 1 or 2 year old sealcoting rigs like in the NPCA classifieds where somebody has those payments and just can't make it, or maybe they bought a second machine 2 years ago when business was great and now they don't need it...)
  10. BIGBOY2008

    BIGBOY2008 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    This is what i said...

    Of course im transporting sealer to the worksite in barrels. I have two sets of barrels...the first set without inline valves for transporting and the second set with inline valves strictly for jobsite dispensing. It would be very easy to knock a valve off during transport so i simply dont risk it.

    Thats not hard work...that is cake walk work. When i was a teenager i hauled hay all summer long from daylight to dark where it was loaded onto a full length school bus that was converted into a flat bed truck. Now thats what is call hard work.

    Im not buying anything until i have the money to buy it cash down. And to be honest i might still wait an extra season even if i have the money in hand.

    Several years ago i knew four people who were planning on buying commercial mowers. The first and second person took out loans and bought a new 4x4 trucks and dual axle trailers and top of the line commercial mowers and etc. The third person had been hurt at work and received a settlement and paid cash up front for the same equipment. I was the fourth person and on the way to the bank i had a strong gut feeling i had better turn around and go back home.
    The following summer was so hot and dry the grass did not grow.
    The first guy lost his new truck and mowing equipment and the second guy managed to keep his truck but not his equipment. The third guy sat on the porch and did odd jobs to make money but he didnt lose his new truck or mowing equipment. I walked around being gratefull i had not gone to the bank.
    The guy who paid cash down for the truck and equipment still has the same equipment and is making good money doing yards.

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