Frequently Asked Questions

Thumbnail Image 3How the Process Gets Started

How do I get a free estimate?
Call the office or fill out an online request. You should submit your full name, address, best contact number, and any specific issues with your driveway. Pro Seal will then provide a written estimate within two business days. We can leave a hard copy in your mail box.

How do I schedule my driveway?
Just give us a call or send us an email. Pro Seal will give you a definite date that we will be out to your home, weather permitting.

How does the weather affect my driveway project?
Our services cannot be completed in the rain or in cold temperatures. We carefully monitor the weather through multiple resources. Pro Seal Services takes responsibility for any work that is affected by the weather.

What time does the crew come to do the work?
The crew starts their route at 7:30 a.m. and can be expected anytime during the day. Due to the variations between driveways and the nature of the schedule we DO NOT assign specific time slots to each job.

Who will be performing the work on the driveway?
All employees at Pro Seal Services have been professionally trained

Do I need to be home during services?
No. You do not need to be present for any of our services. Since your driveway is easily accessible to Pro Seal we can estimate, prepare, and seal your driveway while you are at work or on vacation.

What are my responsibilities to prepare for the work?
Please make sure your cars are out of the garage and off the driveway by 7:30 am on the day the job is to be done. Please keep all pets off the driveway until dry. Lastly, make sure any sprinklers are not scheduled to come on for at least 48 hours.

How long should I keep the cars off my driveway after crack filling and seal coating?
Crackfill: 2-6hours.
SealCoat: 24hours
Paving: 72 hours

How should I pay for the work?
Payment is due upon completion of the job. An invoice will be left at the house the day the work is completed and you have several options for payment. An owner can accept a cash payment. You may mail a personal check. We also accept VISA, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. You can pay online or call the office with the credit card number and a receipt will be mailed to you when the payment is processed. If payment is not received within 30 days a 10% late charge will be applied to your invoice.

Sealcoating

How is the sealcoat applied? 
We utilize the latest spray system technology and brush squeegee applications.  Depending on the asphalt conditions, dimensions and square footage.

What kind of seal coat is used?
Several types of sealers are available depending on the condition of your driveway surface, a Pro-Seal associate will recommend the best mixture for your project.

What is done to prepare the driveway for the seal coat?
Any crack filling or oil spot priming will be done prior to seal coating. These services are typically done the day of the seal coating, all though bigger jobs the day before, the crew will trim back the grass from the edges of your driveway and blow the driveway clean before application. Any dirt sticking to the driveway will be scrubbed with a heavy duty broom

Why seal coat your driveway?
Neglecting asphalt maintenance can prematurely destroy your driveway. Rain, sun, gasoline, Deicer’s and oxygen all accelerate aging of unprotected asphalt. As an unprotected driveway ages, it becomes brittle & cracked. This allows water intrusion which causes potholes and accelerates the need for costly repaving. A regular preventative maintenance program of seal coating and crack filling will keep your asphalt driveway looking like new and resistant to all of these factors. Asphalt maintenance will keep money in your pocket, improve “curb appeal”, and attract the compliments of your neighbors.

What are the savings a homeowner can expect from regularly maintaining their driveway?
A regular preventive maintenance program is a cost effective way to help extend your driveway from 10-12 years to 25.

How long do I need to stay off the sealcoated driveway?
Time will vary.  48 hours is recommended.  72 hours under humid conditions.  Certain situations may require further drying time.  This will ensure no accidental tracking or damage to the newly sealcoated driveway.

Will you get sealer anywhere other than the driveway?  
No, the sealer will either be applied neatly by brush or sprayed using blocker boards to avoid over spray and splashing.  We cut the perimeter of the driveway as an extra precaution.

How often should I seal? 
We suggest that asphalt should be sealed every 2-3 years to maximize the protection and ensure the look and appearance of the asphalt.

How many coats will be applied? 
Due to the viscosity and the application techniques one coat is sufficient for residential surfaces and two coats for commercial.

How long will the job take?
Usually one to two hours depending on repairs, area and difficulty.

Will rain wash away the sealer? 
In just a couple of hours the sealer should dry enough to prevent it from being washed away.  If it does wash away, we will re-apply the sealer at no cost to you.

Will sealer fill in depressions?
No, sealcoat is only a surface coating, this type of damage is usually due to a faulty sub base below the pavement surface.

When is the best time to sealcoat?  
Sealcoat is best applied, weather permitting, from March through October and is only recommended to be applied with temperatures of 40 degrees (F) and above.

Store Brand Sealer vs. Professional Grade Sealer
This is a complicated answer – Typically applied too thick, store brand sealer tends to spider crack usually after the first season mainly due to the substandard ingredients. The cured sealer does not allow the asphalt to flex with the seasonal changes.  Due to the severity of the damages that are caused, they can not be reversed and in the end this will shorten the life of the asphalt.  Our company only uses the highest quality sealer.  It offers the highest degree of protection and quality. It is diluted to the manufacturers specifications to ensure its longevity and wear.  We use additives which serve a few purposes – to help suspend sand, giving the sealer  a deep, rich black color and to provide greater resistance to harmful substances such as salt and oils.

Should a new driveway be sealcoated? 
No, a driveway should cure for approximately 90 days to one year.

What Is The Customer’s Responsibility Before and After The Job is Completed?

  • The customer must remove caution tape and any barricading.
  • Customer must cut off water hoses and sprinklers to prevent any mishaps to newly applied sealcoat or crackfill.
  • Customer must remove and park vehicles away from area to be serviced.
  • Customer should remove soil from surface of asphalt to save time and money.  Removal of an abundance of soil will add to proposal/quote.
  • Customer will be expected to adhere and respect the responsibilities mentioned to prevent our return to correct damages caused due to the customer’s negligence.

Asphalt

What services are offered?
Paving, Grading, Milling, Excavating, Landscaping, Crack Joint Sealing, Asphalt Seal Coating, Striping and Trucking, etc,. See our Services Page as well for more detail.

What is Hot Mix Asphalt?
Also known as blacktop – known in our industry as asphalt pavement or hot mix pavement. Asphalt is an engineered mixture of aggregates. There are two basic ingredients in hot mix asphalt. The first is the aggregates (crushed stone, gravel and sand) and the second is asphalt cement (AC) – the black liquid that holds the pavement together. Mix the two ingredients and you get Hot Mix Asphalt.

What is the difference between Binder and Topcoat?
Binder (also known as basecoat) and Topcoat are types of asphalt paving material, made from hot asphalt cement and aggregate. Depending on the specified use the percentages and sizes of aggregate vary. Typically a “Binder” Course also known as the load bearing coarse contains mostly 3/4” aggregate (The stone in the asphalt is larger), and is applied first at a thickness, depending on the application. “Finish” or “Top” coat contains mainly 3/8” Aggregate (the smooth topcoat that you see on most asphalt surfaces) for a smoother finish and is applied over the binder; its thickness is engineered, dependent on job specs.

How soon can I drive on my new driveway? 
We generally recommend that you wait 72 hours before driving on a new driveway.

Why do some parts of my driveway have a slightly different texture? 
Most driveways are paved by a paving machine. However due to the size of the paving machine certain areas such as in front of garages, walkways or along walls are spread and raked by hand. These areas may have a slightly different texture as a result of hand tools. This is normal and as the driveway ages, these areas will become less noticeable.

What equipment is used to install hot mix asphalt?
A few examples are as followed: A milling machine is typically used to remove the surface material of existing pavement and the area is cleaned of loose debris on an overlay project. Distributor tanks are used to apply prime coats and/or tack coats. Dump trucks are used to transport hot mix asphalt material from the plant to the paving site and a heavy duty machine paver is used to pave a smooth pre-compacted mat. Then asphalt compactors/rollers with a vibration, are used to densify the material.

What is a prime coat and what is its purpose?
Prime coat is an application of low viscosity asphalt to a stone base course in preparation to asphalt pavement.
The prime coat is used to harden the base course and to provide adhesion between the base course and the asphalt pavement.

Why is a tack coat needed?
A tack coat is used on an overlay/resurface project, it is used to form a bond between an existing surface and the overlying course.

What is an overlay?
An overlay is the resurfacing of existing pavement. Existing asphalt or concrete pavements can be overlaid with hot mix asphalt with excellent results. Before paving, existing pavement should be checked for any repairs needed, cleaned of all loose debris and tacked for successful adhesion.

How thick do you lay the asphalt?
Asphalt thickness is engineered. Asphalt is generally 2-3″ thick, however it can be as thick as 4″+ depending on what kind of stresses you will put on the pavement. Pavement that is 3+” or thicker should be installed in multiple lifts/layers. (If your job is a “Spec Job”, we must follow plans/specs.)

Is asphalt less expensive than concrete?
There have been numerous studies which have shown that asphalt pavements have a lower life cycle cost. The initial cost of asphalt pavement construction is usually less than concrete. But, in addition to construction cost, an increasingly important factor is construction time. More area can be covered with asphalt pavement than with concrete in a period of time. Also, asphalt repairs are less expensive.

What are the advantages of asphalt over concrete?
Asphalt is more cost effective than concrete, also less expensive to repair. It usually does not need to be removed, it can easily be resurfaced. Asphalt is designed to flex with slight settlements. See our asphalt paving advantages page.

Is asphalt pavement high maintenance?
All pavements require maintenance. Preventive maintenance is the less expensive, early detection and repair of minor defects, before major corrective action is necessary. A parking lot is an investment, as is a building, just as a building must be maintained, so must a parking lot/area.

Why should asphalt pavement be sealed?
Asphalt is a porous material, susceptible to oxidation from the sun and damage from water penetrating beneath the surface of the asphalt. Also chemicals such as gasoline, diesel fuel, oil, antifreeze and even salt. Asphalt pavement will also ravel away after time. Seal coating not only makes your pavement look new, it protects it from oxidation as well as petroleum spills. Seal coating extends the life and protects your investment in your new pavement.

Infared repair

Why should I consider Asphalt Restoration for my asphalt repairs?
our Crew Members are experts in Infrared Repair and have probably handled the same type of problem you have multiple times  just this week. In addition to the experience, our Crews take great pride in the work they do and are truly craftsman that have developed many of their own techniques over the years.

Will I see the Infrared Repairs after they’re done?
Yes – it’s impossible to match old asphalt using new asphalt, even with infrared repairs. How well a repair blends with the surrounding asphalt depends on one main factor, how many times the surrounding asphalt has been sealed. Each time you sealcoat your asphalt, the voids between the aggregate get filled in a little more. The more times a driveway has been sealed, the less texture it has, leaving little chance it will match up with new asphalt that has more texture. Just imagine your old driveway next to a new driveway, that’s the difference you will see.

Won’t it blend in after a sealcoat?
It will blend better with a sealcoat (same color), but the textures will still be different and the repairs will be visible. Asphalt surfaces that have only been sealed a few times can eventually blend in pretty well with a few sealcoats, over a few years. If a new driveway is what you’re looking for, you’ll need a paving company that can give you a new driveway. Infrared repairs are a nice option if a large portion of your asphalt is in good shape and you can accept that the repairs will not be invisible.

Are Infrared Repairs a good option for me?
If you have a few bad areas that can’t be crack filled, they may be candidates for Infrared Repair. It’s usually not cost effective to repair single cracks; but alligatored cracks, settling and potholes are problems often repaired with Infrared. As a rule of thumb, if less than 20% of the drive has issues it may be worthwhile to use the Infrared process. If most of the drive is in poor shape – you might want to consider paving, if you have a few problem areas – Infrared may be a good option and if the drive only needs minor crack filling and a coat of sealer – call us for sealcoating.

Are Infrared Repairs Seamless?
Every repair process has seams, what matters is whether the seam is a cold joint or a hot joint (thermally bonded). Even new driveways have seams – everywhere a joint is matched, there’s a seam. Every sawcut repair has a cold joint – this joint is a point of weakness that will always open up. The perimeter of the repair is sawcut, asphalt is removed and hot asphalt is installed against the cold edge of the surrounding asphalt. The two surfaces never bond and eventually separate. Infrared repairs are thermally bonded – the asphalt is heated just beyond the repair area, allowing the repair area to become part of the surrounding asphalt. Without cold joints, there is no point of weakness.

Can you use Infrared process to pave my whole driveway?
Whole driveways are usually better off being handled by a paver that can lay the whole surface in a uniform manner, with all of the asphalt rolling out of the paver in the same direction (smoother surface).

How long do I need to stay off of my new Infrared Repairs?
Please don’t park directly on repair areas for 2 days. You can drive over repairs when we are completed, but please don’t turn your tires over the repair areas while in place.

How long do I need to wait to sealcoat my new repairs?
For best results, wait at least 1 week before applying a coat of sealer (repair area will blend better with the surrounding asphalt). Sealer is water based and asphalt is petroleum based, so the sealer will not adhere well until the surface has cured a little.

Resurfacing and reconstruction

  1. What is resurfacing and what is reconstruction?  Pavement resurfacing (also known as an overlay, asphalt overlay or pavement overlay) is the process of installing a new layer of asphalt over the existing pavement.  This new layer is generally 1.5 – 2 inch in depth.  Pavement reconstruction is the process of installing both the subgrade asphalt layer as well as the top pavement overlay layer.
  2. When should a parking lot or driveway be resurfaced? When the surface has become heavily oxidized but the base (also known as subgrade) remains in stable condition.  The condition of the subgrade can be tested through core-testing when there is any concern or question of what shape it is in.
  3. When should pavement be reconstructed?  When there is extensive damage or alligator cracks, it is more effective and cost-efficient to completely reconstruct than to do an overlay.
  4. How long should newly resurfaced pavement last? That depends on many factors as no two paving projects are identical.  Factors that determine pavement lifespan include weather patterns, the harshness of winter (freeze-thaw cycles), how many heavy trucks use the pavement in question, the thickness of the new asphalt layer, the exact condition of the subgrade prior to resurfacing and how well the new surface is taken care of through routine maintenance.  An average pavement overlay lifespan can be from 8-15 years, depending on the above factors.
  5. How long should completely reconstructed pavement last?  This again is dependent on many factors as outlines above for resurfacing.  On average, however, with proper routine maintenance a newly reconstructed parking lot or road can last from 15-25 years.
  6. How long before traffic is permitted on a newly resurfaced lot? At least a day.  Rubber tire traffic will not damage new asphalt but care should be taken to avoid sharp turns, such as turning the wheels on an unmoving vehicle.
  7. Why is edge milling prior to resurfacing important? Proper drainage conditions are extremely important to consider when resurfacing your pavement.  How well does your parking lot drain now?  How will this be affected by a new layer of asphalt?  As a general rule an asphalt parking lot should have a minimum slope of 1″ for water to drain properly. This translates to roughly 1 of fall for every 10 feet of pavement.This is why edge milling is important: by milling the edges of existing asphalt below the level of adjacent concrete, the new asphalt can be installed at the same level as the concrete, preventing water from becoming trapped between the asphalt and concrete.  Without edge milling, the new layer of asphalt will sit one and half to two inches higher than the adjacent concrete, increasing water damage to your pavement while also causing a trip or fall hazard for people.
  8. Why can’t a parking lot or driveway be resurfaced or reconstructed during the winter months? Resurfacing in cold weather leads to cold “seams” which can contribute to premature deterioration and failure. The general rule of thumb is to pave when temperatures are 50° F and rising.
  9. What can we do to maintain our new pavement asphalt after completion? It is important to implement a pavement maintenance plan and start budgeting for maintenance as soon as new pavement is completed. Due to New Jersey’s freeze and thaw cycles some cracks may appear after each winter. Yearly crack filling and routine sealcoating beginning after the 2nd year will keep your pavement in the best possible condition.
  10. Can you resurface over cracked pavement? Yes, sometimes.  Linear cracks (cracks that form nearly straight lines) can be filled with a  hot rubberized sealant.  We can also use paving fabric over cracks before resurfacing. Alligator cracks require much more extensive work to fix; if a small area has alligator cracking, it can be fixed prior to resurfacing.  If the entire lot has alligator cracking, complete pavement reconstruction (not just resurfacing) is probably needed.
  11. What happens to utility valves (manholes, water and gas boxes)? We install 2” cast iron risers to make sure utility valves are even with new overlay.
  12. How thick is a pavement overlay? Many engineers specify between 1.5 – 2 inches thick. We recommend installing pavement 2 – 2.5 inches thick, compacted to 2 inches, for the best results.
  13. We called 3 contractors for estimates and all the estimates are different: why is this? When you or your community is ready for pavement work, it is important to have specifications drawn up from either an Engineering firm or a reputable paving contractor. Have all contractors bid apples to apples: quotes can vary greatly if your contractors are not bidding on the same work specifications.  This is why it is important to educate yourself about the process; so you can make the most informed decision possible about your needs.
  14. Do I really need to completely reconstruct my parking lot or can I just overlay it? A resurface will only be as good as the underlying asphalt core surface. If 25-35% or more of the total parking lot area is in need of substantial removal due to subgrade or other problems, it is generally more economical, and more effective, to completely reconstruct the parking lot.
  15. What should I look at yearly for maintenance? Have your catch basins, retention basins and drains inspected and cleaned yearly.  Have cracks filled once a year.  These two simple yearly maintenance procedures can greatly extend the life of your pavement.
  16. How will you go about paving our community if there is not a lot of parking? Pro Seal Services creates a detailed color mapping system for each project that explains work being completed daily and where cars need to park. It is important for the manager to have a notice distributed to the community 1 month prior to start of work explaining tentative work dates. When parking is extremely limited, paving can be done over multiple days so as to have adequate parking available for everyone.
  17. Our reserve study is not in line with our estimates, why is that? Since September 11, 2001 petroleum prices have increased substantially. Petroleum is in asphalt and diesel fuel is used in all of our trucks. Have your engineer keep an eye on yearly costs and revise your reserve study as needed; this is an important part of your overall pavement management plan.
  18. What can I expect to pay for my paving project?  This depends on your individual project’s needs including size and scope of work.  Contact us directly for a customized quote.

Crack filling

  1. When should pavement be crack filled? Crack filling should be done throughout the life of your pavement and at least once per year to keep your pavement in its best possible condition.
  2. What time of year should a parking lot or other pavement be crack filled? Crack filling season begins in April and ends in November. Crack filling can be completed in the winter months as long as it is dry. It is best to crack fill going into the winter months when the cracks in asphalt are as wide as possible. In the colder months cracks expand and in the summer months, cracks contract.
  3. How often should pavement be crack filled? Since this is part of routine maintenance, it can be done as often as needed but should ideally be done at least once per year.
  4. Can all types of cracks be filled? No.  Only straight line cracks should be filled.  Alligator cracks cannot be filled.
  5. Why can’t alligator cracks be filled? When alligator crack areas appear in a parking lot it means that water has penetrated the subgrade layer and that pavement can no longer support the weight of the traffic. It’s a sign of extreme pavement deterioration that requires complete pavement reconstruction to fix.
  6. How long does it take the crack filling material to dry? The crack filling material is applied at 300° F but cools to the touch in minutes.  Black silica sand is broadcasted over fresh crack filler to prevent tracking.
  7. Will the crack filling material track into my buildings? It can if it is walked on prior to drying.  We use black silica sand over the fresh crack filler to help prevent tracking, but any pavement area being repaired should be made off-limits before any repair work is started.  During hot months crack filler softens. The black silica sand will also help at this stage to prevent tracking.
  8. Will sealcoat material stick to crack sealing material? Yes, it will.  The two materials will bond but since the crack sealing material is designed to expand and contract through a wide temperature range, sealcoat can chip away from the crack sealant.  There is a color difference between the two materials, so you can tell if a crack filled area needs to have another layer of sealcoat applied.
  9. We had our pavement crack filled and some of the cracks re-opened? This happens due to the freeze-thaw cycles in winter when greater expansion and contraction of pavement is occurring. Cracks may re-open due to excessive expansion and contraction.  The filler is designed to adjust to moderate temperature fluctuations, but it will not always work during extreme weather conditions.  This is why crack filling is a yearly maintenance procedure.
  10. How is crack filler applied and how does it work? Crack filler is applied hot (about 300° F) and is squeegeed tightly into crack. When crack filler cools off it expands. It’s designed to be flexible and moves with changes in temperature as pavement expands and contracts.
  11. Can pavement that has cracks be resurfaced or will it require complete reconstruction?  Linear cracks in pavement are fine for resurfacing and do not require complete subgrade reconstruction.  We use a paving fabric and sealant under the new asphalt overlay which keeps cracks from causing any problems.  If pavement has alligator cracks, it will need to be completely reconstructed.
  12. Does sealcoat hide cracks and crack filler, making pavement look like new?  No, it does not.  You will see crack filler through sealcoat, as the crack filler is designed to expand and contract with temperature changes.  Pavement takes on a dark, vibrant color after sealcoating, but you will still see repaired crack areas through the sealcoat.
  13. What is the best thing I can do to prevent cracks in my pavement?  Two things: commit to yearly pavement inspection and maintenance to fix minor cracks and problems before they turn into bigger problems.  Crack filling and sealcoating is the best way to prevent more cracks from forming in pavement.  Second, be diligent about inspecting your pavement so you find small cracks before they turn into bigger ones.