September 03, 2020
The best way to protect an asphalt driveway or parking lot is to patch any holes and apply asphalt sealer. Traffic patterns will dictate how often this task needs to be done, but generally speaking, sealcoating once every two years will keep asphalt surfaces in good shape. Sealcoating keeps water and sunlight from damaging the asphalt prematurely—it is the first line of defense against the elements. The standard way to apply sealcoating is to use a squeegee and spread it around. Sealcoating contractors also have the option of spraying the sealcoat instead. There are advantages to both methods, and we will explore both here. Which one is better for sealcoating, squeegee, or spray application?
Spraying sealer on an asphalt surface works almost exactly how one might imagine. The crew uses a truck with a spray system and a tank full sealer. Before applying the sealer, the crew must clean the asphalt completely. All dirt and debris must be removed, weeds pulled, and water dried. Starting at one end of the area, a worker sprays the sealer from a nozzle at the end of the hose wand until the entire surface is covered. Think of a garden hose, but imagine it spraying sealer instead of water.
The most recognizable piece of asphalt sealcoat equipment is the squeegee. It is the tool of choice for asphalt contractors to spread asphalt on smaller surfaces. Workers fill buckets with sealer and pour it directly onto the asphalt, using the squeegee to spread it around. The squeegee method takes more time and is harder work than spray application, but it covers an area well and doesn’t miss any spots.
Squeegee and spray application sealcoating each have their pros and cons. Spraying is a much faster way to apply the sealer, and crews can cover larger lots and in a fraction of the time it takes to use a squeegee. However, with the faster spray method, there is a possibility that the crew may miss spots, and the overall application could be thinner. Using a squeegee is more hands-on, and the workers will know exactly what spots they’ve hit and what they’ve missed. They will be able to apply a thicker layer of sealer as well. Ultimately, spraying is better for large areas when time is short, and squeegee is better for smaller lots and a thicker application.
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