Are your driveway sealer warranties falling through the cracks?

We thought that we would take a moment to share our thoughts on a “marketing” theme which has become prevalent in our industry. The “Warranty” on driveway sealers.

We realize that consumers tend to purchase products which advertise warranties under the belief that a warranted product must be a better product. Driveway Sealing is a time consuming task so why buy a product with a life expectancy of 3 years when there is one on the market offering 6 years. Seldom do consumers get around to actually reading or acting on the warranty.

Over the last few years, we have run across competitive claims boasting 5 year, 6 year and even 10 year protection. However, further reading of the warranty reveals that many of these warranties contain disclaimers or limitations on what is actually covered. We have seen warranty language with limitations such as: “must be single family residence”, “2 coats required”, “must have original receipt and container”, “ removal of snow & ice will void the warranty”. Also most of these warranties are pro-rated and limited to the amount of material required to remedy the problem area.

These warranties are misleading to the consumer. Is it realistic to sell driveway sealer in the Northeast or Midwest and not allow snow removal? Or keep used pails for 6 years?

We offer a realistic 3 year warranty period on our Polymer Modified Driveway Sealer without all of the disclaimers associated with competitive warranties. If a consumer has a problem within that period, we will visit the job site and resolve the issue in a timely manner. We believe that this is what your customers expected when they read the front of the can and not the limiting liability typical on back panel.

ASPHALT EMULSION – the new latex paint?

Have you heard the word “Emulsion” before and were unsure of exactly what it meant? Don’t feel alone, for it is a lingo that is usually reserved for manufacturers and raw goods producers. However, with everyone “going green” these days, emulsion can put you right among the rest of the greenies. In coating terminology, when you hear the word emulsion … think “water-based”. So what exactly is Asphalt Emulsion and why is it now more important than ever?

In the past, manufacturers used solvents to blend with raw asphalt and manufacture coatings. The solvent is used as a diluent to keep the asphalt coating in a liquid state and then evaporated leaving only the asphalt behind. However, changing laws and increasing legislative pressure to produce more environmentally friendly products have forced many companies to switch to emulsified products. This process eliminates solvents and replaces them with water. After asphalt emulsions are applied, the water evaporates leaving the asphalt material behind. So how does the performance of asphalt emulsions compare with solvent-based asphalt coatings?

The result in a nutshell—a significantly less expensive product with numerous benefits. The benefits include:

  •  No odor caused by evaporation of solvents.
  • UV resistance thus reducing “alligatoring” & cracking and extending the life of the coating.
  • Water clean-up rather than stronger and more corrosive products such as mineral spirits and xylene.
  • May be applied over damp surfaces or green concrete.
  • Increased resistance to sagging on sloped roof surfaces.
  • Provision of an excellent base coat for aluminum top coatings.
  • Increased flexibility compared to solvent based products.

What’s the drawback? Asphalt emulsions must be protected from freezing. Asphalt emulsions also require a curing period to become fully water resistant. They should be protected from rain during that period much like a latex paint or a water-based driveway sealer. Widely used for years in the southern sections of the United States, they have been slow to grow in the Northeast & Midwest because of the greater chance of inclement weather. However, if used properly with cooperative weather conditions, one can stand to save a lot of money and be green simultaneously. So the next time you get questions about “durability”, “ease of application” and “environmentally friendly” …think ASPHALT EMULSION!