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Does weather make a difference in the sealcoating process?

Absolutely, 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 essential to propery seal your driveway. If it rains during or immediately after sealing the pavement the 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. Please don't be upset though if we call to reschedule when it is sunny outside. If we call to reschedule it is because there is a significant chance of rain in the forecast. So, yes, it might be sunny now but that does not mean that it will be sunny three hours from now.

When is the best time of the year to have my driveway sealcoated?

April and May are by far the two best months to have your driveway sealcoated. The most important reason for this is the weather conditions. Most customers believe that sealcoating should be done in hot weather (.ie July or August)...this could not be further from the truth. Optimal sealcoating conditions would be average humidity with a temperature between 50-70 degrees. These conditions will allow the sealer to dry thoroughly from the bottom up. What you don't want is sealer drying from the top down which happens in the hot days of the summer. The sealer can still be applied without issue in the summer but the best time of year is Spring or Fall. We always recommend Spring though because we reduce our rates to compensate for the reduced demand for sealcoating. Basically, the earlier in the year you get your driveway sealcoated the cheaper it will be.

Why does asphalt crack?

Well, the second law of thermodynamics states that all thing in the universe will deteriorate over time. Asphalt is one of those things and cracking is one of those signs of deterioration. Cracks in the driveway are inevitable and completely normal. Cracks should be repaired when the get large enough to fit a pencil into.

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.

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

The driveway should be able to withstand light foot traffic as soon as it is dry to the touch. The manufacturer says that you should keep vehicles off the driveway for at least 24 hours. However, we highly recommend 48 hours because we strongly believe it results in a better seal in the long run.

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 or more as having a professional seal it.

Is Big Joe's Sealcoating insured?

We carry workman's compensation, general liability and commercial automotive insurance policies that cover the strictest guidelines. We are also licensed with Du Page County.

Does Big Joe's Sealcoating guarantee their work?

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

How often should I get my driveway 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 wait 1-2 years after the driveway is installed before you sealcoat it the first time. 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. Sealing your driveway also enhances the visual appearance and increases the value of your property. Asphalt sealcoating protects your pavement from the sun, salt, oil/gasoline leaks, and moisture.  It is much more economical to seal your driveway regularly than to completely replace it.

What are "alligator" or "spider web" cracks?

These are terms used in the industry to describe groups of cracks that form in a spider web pattern or look similar to an alligator's back. In most cases this happens because the driveway was not installed properly. A properly installed driveway will not get these types of cracks until it's at least 20 years old. Unfortunately these areas cannot be repared without cutting out and replacing the area with fresh asphalt. Sealcoating the driveway will slow down these areas from getting worse but using a crack filler on these areas will be a waste of money and will not fix the problem.

Can I resurface my existing pavement?

We usually advise customers to save their money towards 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 typically do not recommend pavement overlays because we have seen the end result of the overlay over time. 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.  A pavement overlay is thin layer of asphalt placed right on top of the existing layer of asphalt. When they start falling apart you will be left with a driveway that is littered 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 ten years or only lasting a year. The only accurate way to make this determination is to have your pavement inspected by a trained professional.