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How to Sealcoat a Parking Lot

Sealcoat being applied to the edge of a parking lot.

Alright, let's get down to business on sealcoating that parking lot! As you know, sealcoating not only gives your parking lot a fresh, new look but also extends its lifespan by protecting it from the elements, such as sun, water, and oil. There are cheap ways to get started, as well as premium methods to make the job faster and easier. Let's dive right in!

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

First off, you need to grab your materials. If you're doing this on a budget, the bare minimum supplies you'll need are:

  1. A good quality coal-tar emulsion sealer. It's durable, resistant to fuel and weather, and is generally the most affordable option.

  2. Broom and dustpan, or a leaf blower, for cleaning the lot.

  3. Paint rollers and extension poles for applying the sealer. A squeegee can also do the trick.

Step 2: Prepare the Parking Lot

A clean parking lot is a sealcoating-friendly parking lot. Sweep or blow away any debris, leaves, and dust. Any existing oil spots should be treated with an oil spot primer. If you've got any potholes or cracks, now is the time to fill them with an asphalt patch or crack sealer.

Step 3: Apply the Sealer with Precision

Alright, so you've mixed your coal-tar sealer according to the packaging instructions, and your lot is clean and ready. Here's how to apply that sealer without making a mess:

  1. Mask the Edges: You want the sealer on the asphalt, not on the curbs, or any other areas. So, let's mask off those areas. Use wide masking tape and run it along the edges of the asphalt and up onto the curb. This will prevent the sealer from bleeding onto the curb. It's a bit tedious, but trust me, it's worth it for those neat, professional results.

  2. Start at the Top: Pour a line of sealer across the highest part of your lot. Why? Gravity, my friend. Starting at the top and working your way down makes the job easier.

  3. Spread It Out: Using a paint roller or squeegee attached to an extension pole, spread the sealer out over the asphalt. Make sure to spread it in an even, thin layer.

  4. Mind the Edges: As you get close to the taped-off areas, be extra careful. Apply the sealer right up to the tape, but not over it. Take your time with this. You want a straight, clean edge along the curb.

  5. Maintain a Wet Edge: This is a pro tip. Always try to maintain a 'wet edge'. This means you don't let the edge of your sealer line dry before you extend it. Maintaining a wet edge prevents the formation of lines of dried sealer.

  6. Remove the Tape: Once you've finished sealing the entire lot, and while the sealer is still wet, carefully remove the masking tape. You should be left with a nice clean edge along your curb and other masked areas.

Proceed with the rest of the steps as described previously, letting each coat dry thoroughly before applying the next, and giving the whole job a good 24-48 hours to dry before reopening the lot. And there you have it, a parking lot that's not only protected but also looks fantastic with crisp, clean lines! Good luck with your project.

Step 4: Allow Time to Dry

Let your sealer dry thoroughly. This usually takes about 24-48 hours, depending on weather conditions. Don't allow any vehicles on it during this time, and consider putting up signs or cones to keep folks informed.

Step 5: Apply a Second Coat

Yes, you read that right. One coat isn't enough, my friend. For the best results, apply a second coat after the first one has dried completely.

Step 6: Final Drying

Once the second coat is applied, give your lot another 24-48 hours to dry. Patience is key here! After that, you're ready to re-open your shiny, new-looking parking lot.

Now, if you've got a few more bucks to spend, consider investing in premium sealcoating equipment. Here's how these toys can make your job easier and quicker:

  1. Power Cleaners: These machines use pressurized air or water to clean the lot thoroughly. A clean surface allows better adhesion of the sealer.

  2. Crack Fill Machine: A crack fill machine allows you to fill cracks more efficiently and with a higher-quality result than by hand.

  3. Sealcoating Spray System: A sprayer can help you apply the sealer faster and more evenly. It also allows you to use less material and achieve a smoother finish.

  4. Line Striping Machine: Once your lot is sealed, this machine will help you lay down sharp, accurate parking lines. It might not seem essential, but clean lines can significantly enhance the appearance of your lot.

There you have it! The road to a fresh, well-protected parking lot is well within your reach. Remember, whether you're going budget-friendly or splurging on the premium gear, the key to a successful sealcoating job is patience and preparation. Good luck!


If you need professional sealcoating services, contact us using our form and we can assist you with knowing more about the process, getting a local contractor, and having the work done.

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