Coal Tar Sealer Bans - How Will They Influence Job Costs?

May 20, 2017

Coal Tar Sealer Bans - How Will They Influence Job Costs?

I have spoken to several sealcoat contractors that have jobs in South Barrington (IL) and they were unaware of the coal tar sealer ban there. Contractors must use asphalt emulsion and I understand the fines are quite expensive. On August 19th, the Village of Winnetka became the second municipality in Illinois to ban the use of coal tar based sealers.Starting in 2015, any company wishing to apply driveway sealers in Winnetka, IL would have to become registered with the village, and pledge not to use coal tar based sealants. It’s not unreasonable to think other villages along the North Shore will also ban coal tar.

These bans will put a strain on contractors working in these areas—switching from coal tar to asphalt emulsion, day to day, will take extra effort in planning, execution and scheduling. Sealcoaters will also have to keep in mind that the application season for asphalt emulsion is at least 20% shorter than with coal tar. When pricing jobs in these areas, adjust your square foot price, to reflect your additional cost. Remember, the Village Councils in these towns voted to use a more costly product and decided homeowners and business owners wouldn’t mind paying more—they know there should be a price increase.

If you don’t consider the additional cost— it will affect your profit margins. Don’t good contractors deserve a living wage for their efforts? It’s better to pass on a job, than to do it for the cost of material and $2 per hour. Sealcoating Contractors—get your prices up; you shouldn’t have to pay for pointless legislation.

If you have questions about the coal tar bans, feel free to call us at 877-767-4622

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