The Best Way to Sealcoat: Spray vs Brush
Asphalt Sealcoating Spray vs Brush
In order to extend the lifespan of your asphalt, you need to apply sealcoating. Spraying sealer creates a smooth layer on top of the asphalt, protecting it from the elements, including sun, wind, and rain. Without sealcoating, your asphalt will begin to deteriorate as the materials that make up the substance begin to come apart.
With that said, when it comes to applying asphalt sealcoating, you have two main application choices to make: sealcoat sprayers vs squeegees
But which is the best method and application process for applying sealcoat to asphalt? First, let's take a look at each method.
Using the Spray Method
When it comes to choosing a sealcoating sprayer, you have several options. There are several different types, each of which work best for parking lots, roads, and driveways of different sizes.
Different Types of Asphalt Sprayers
Portable Sealcoat Sprayer with a Drum Hookup – For those need less sealcoating to get the job done, this sprayer hooks up to a 55-gallon drum of the product. It works in much the same way as the version with the tote hookup since you can mix the asphalt emulsion inside of the drum and use the sprayer device to siphon it from the barrel and spray it in place. This sealcoat sprayer works great for driveways and other small asphalt spaces.
- For $1,379, this sprayer with a drum hookup provides you with enough power to cover about 2,800 square feet of asphalt in around an hour. As far as pricing is concerned, contractors can charge $200 for a 1,000 square foot sealcoating job. This allows you to recoup your investment in around seven jobs of that size.
Sprayer with a Tote Hookup – A tote of asphalt sealcoating holds 275 gallons of the product. The sprayer that works with totes fits onto the top of the tote, with a hose leading to the pump itself, which is moved around manually. A hose and wand sprayer (optional) attach to the pump, allowing you to spread the asphalt emulsion sealer without having to move the tote around. The tote sprayer, like the gallon sprayer, work great for driveways.
- This option costs $1,319 and will cover approximately 2,800 square feet of asphalt surface in one hour. You can charge around $200 for 1,000 square feet, so you’ll recoup your investment after completing approximately seven jobs of that size.
Sealcoat Spray System with a Built-in Tank – This type of sprayer is a cool, all in one device that can hold up to 230 gallons of sealcoating at a time. You’ll need a sealer transfer kit to get the emulsion sealer from the drum or tote into the tank, but once it’s there, the job is simple. Complete with wheels to make it easy to move the sprayer and tank around, as well as a hose for easy application, you can move the sprayer around as needed to complete the job. Most tank spray systems fit in the beds of trucks or on trailers. These sealcoating tanks are great for large parking lots and even a long driveway.
- This option costs $4,539, but it can pump 225 gallons of sealcoating per minute, which is enough to cover almost 23,000 square feet of asphalt. If you charge $200 per 1,000 square feet of sealcoating, you’ll have your investment recouped in 22 jobs, or in just one large one.
The one thing that all of these devices have in common is the fact that they spray a thin, even layer of sealcoating over the desire surface. This makes application go very quickly. However, these sprayers aren’t cheap, can be heavy, and are often used by someone with professional sealcoating experience.
Pros of Using a Sealcoat Sprayer:
- Quick and easy sealcoating application
- Easier to lay down a thin layer of material
- Cover more ground in a shorter amount of time
- More profit in your pocket
- More professional look
Cons of Using a Sealcoat Sprayer:
- Price: quite a monetary investment up front
- Equipment is heavy and will need to be hauled in a trailer or truck
The Squeegee and Brush Method
Of course, asphalt sealcoating can be applied by hand. This takes longer, but it’s a less-expensive option for those that are just starting their sealcoating business and those who are trying to DIY the sealcoating job themselves.
Using the squeegee and brush method, a small amount of mixed sealcoating is poured out onto the driveway or parking lot. It’s spread out in a thin layer using a squeegee, or in some cases, a squeegee and brush, until the entire surface has been covered. This method works just fine and can actually leave a thicker coat than a machine.
Using a Squeegee Brush
Obviously, this method is less expensive than the sealcoating sprayers because all that you need is a special sealcoating squeegee and brush, as well as a drum or a smaller container of sealcoating.
All you do is brush on the driveway sealer in a thin and even coat until you've covered the entire driveway, then let it dry. If you're interested in DIYing your driveway, check out our different driveway sealers and our DIY driveway sealer package.
If you have a smaller surface to cover, and are a DIY-er on a budget, then manually completing the sealcoating process in this manner is a good option.
Pros of Using a Squeegee Brush
- Very inexpensive
- Lightweight tools are easy to manage
- Low barrier of entry
Cons of Using a Squeegee Brush
- Can be messier than using a sprayer
- Tougher to get a consistent layer of sealcoating down
- Sealcoating jobs take longer and your dollar per hour profit goes down significantly
Asphalt sealcoating will protect your surface, helping the asphalt beneath last longer. In order to apply the sealcoating material, you have several options, ranging from sprayers to more manual squeegees and brushes. It all comes to down to the size of the asphalt area that needs to be covered and your budget when making the choice between the two options.