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FAQ's from Big Joe's Sealcoating

Why do estimates vary so much from different sealcoating companies?

     A smart man once told me, "Good work is not cheap, and cheap work is not good"!
     We have spoken to consumers who have received quotes for sealcoating with over a 15¢ difference per square foot between the low and the high bids. The lowest bids are so low that if you know the cost of sealcoating materials today you would know that you could not even buy the materials to do an inferior, one coat, sealcoating job at that price. That would not include the costs for labor, fuel, preparation of the pavement, any other needed work, or profit.
     Sealcoaters who furnish these outrageously low prices are cutting corners to still make money at the customer’s expense.  Most of these fly-by-night companies water down their sealer.  Some really shady sealcoaters do things as atrocious as mix-up their own sealcoating materials out of used motor oil and any other black substance that they could put on pavement and call sealcoating.  To learn more about this please read this article from

How long do I need to stay off the pavement after sealcoating?

You should keep off the Driveway for about 24 hours with the cars.


Should I sealcoat my driveway myself?

     Sealer sold in the hardware or home improvement stores is not the same product the contractors use. Big Joe’s Sealcoating understands the proper process, preparation, and application of the sealer. In addition, we have all the necessary tools required to do the job properly. After purchasing the necessary tools, sealcoating your driveway yourself usually ends up costing the same as having a professional seal it.

Are we fully insured?

     Big Joe’s Sealcoating holds insurance certifications to cover the strictest guidelines.  Big Joe’s Sealcoating has full liability insurance for up to $1,000,000. We also carry full coverage insurance for our trucks and equipment.

Do we guarantee our work?

     Big Joe’s Sealcoating always guarantees their work.  If there is any problem we will correct the situation at no charge to the customer.

When is the best time of the year to have pavement sealcoated?

     Big Joe’s Sealcoating generally does asphalt sealcoating from April 1st through the end of October (give or take a couple of weeks).  The outside temperature should be above 50 degrees in order for the asphalt sealer to cure correctly.

How often should I get my pavement sealcoated?

     This will vary between every one to three years based on the conditions.  Some of these conditions include traffic on the area, winter conditions, salt applied during the winter, and gas/oil spills on the surface.

What is the best way to protect and maintain asphalt?

     Correctly installed asphalt will provide years of trouble-free service, however, it must be maintained properly to maximize its life. It is important to sealcoat your pavement within 12 months of installation and every one to two years thereafter. It is also necessary to seal any cracks exceeding ¼ inch in width and complete any other repairs as needed.

Why does asphalt need to be sealed?

     Asphalt sealcoating protects and extends the life of your asphalt, it also enhances the visual appearance and increases the value of your property.  Asphalt sealcoating protects your pavement from the harsh rays of the sun and moisture, salt in the winter, as well as from chemical spills such as oil, gas and other agents that can deteriorate the asphalt.  It is much more economical to seal your driveway or parking lot regularly than to completely replace it.

What are alligator or spider web cracks?

     These are groups of cracks that form in a spider web pattern or look similar to an alligator’s back.  These cracks are caused by water penetrating and damaging the structural integrity of the subgrade.  Because these types of crack usually spread we often recommend that the asphalt be sealcoated to slow the deterioration process.  Eventually though, the affected area will deteriorate too much and will need to be removed, the subgrade re-compacted or reconstructed, and the asphalt replaced.  This can be accomplished by getting an asphalt cut out in the affected area.  Please see our services page to learn about asphalt cut outs.

Can I resurface my existing pavement?

     We usually advise our customers to save their money for a brand new driveway instead of a pavement overlay.  The overall condition of the asphalt is the most important factor in determining if your current pavement can be resurfaced.  If the structural integrity of the pavement base is compromised, you probably should not consider an overlay.  We usually do not recommend pavement overlays to our customers because we have seen the end result of the overlay a couple years later.  What typically happens is all the problems that the overlay covered up make their way to the surface of the overlay.  The overlay might look good for one to two years but then it will fall apart and resemble the pavement you originally covered up. 
     Pavement overlays are very thin and within a couple years it will start falling apart leaving you with potholes or crumbling along the edges.  In addition, very few companies properly install pavement overlays which could be the difference in the overlay lasting three to four years or only lasting a year.  The only accurate way to make this determination is to have your pavement inspected by a trained professional.

Why does asphalt crack?

     Asphalt settles in much the same way as a new home settles onto its base. The amount of settling puts a strain on the base and asphalt by expanding and contracting the asphalt, which sometimes leads to small cracking.  It is normal for small cracks to appear over time on any asphalt surface under any conditions.  Sealcoating your pavement will slow the progression of small crack turning into larger cracks.

How soon can I get my new pavement sealcoated?

     As soon as the light oils have dried from the surface of the new pavement, through oxidation.  To determine if your new pavement is ready to be sealed spread some water on the surface.  If the water spreads evenly without beading, and shows no "rainbows" from surface oils it is ready to be sealed.  It usually takes about 6-12 weeks before new asphalt can be sealcoated.

Does weather make a difference in the sealcoating process?

     Yes, if rain is in the forecast for the scheduled day the work is to be done, we may call to reschedule your appointment.  We recognize this is an inconvenience, but dry pavement is important to proper curing of the asphalt sealer.  If it rains during or immediately after sealing the pavement and drying of the sealer is adversely affected, we will take responsibility for any problem areas and correct them at no additional cost to the customer.