When your pavement was constructed, the contractor you chose for your asphalt paving services probably advised you to have a sealant applied within the next year. He may also have mentioned that fresh sealcoat would need to be applied periodically. Whether it is time for your pavement’s first application or a subsequent application, you likely plan to collect bids from several contractors. When you review the bids, you may notice one that is substantially lower than the others. At first glance, it might look like you could save a lot of money by choosing this contractor. However, there is a very good chance that going with the lowest bidder could wind up costing you more in the long run.
Why the Lowest Sealcoating Bid May Not Be the Best Decision
What Is Sealcoating?
To understand why the lowest asphalt sealcoating bid may be the wrong decision, it might be helpful to discuss what a pavement sealer is and its function. Sealcoating contractors typically receive a sealant mix from the manufacturer. When the contractor is ready to perform a job, he or she combines the sealant mix with water, sand, and additives for the job. The liquid sealant is then applied to the pavement. For areas with limited access, the contractor may apply the sealant with a squeegee, but sprayers are typically used for parking lot sealcoating and other large pavements. When the sealant cures, it creates a tough shell that helps prevent pavement damage from UV rays, tires, automotive fluids, water, and other things that can cause problems for asphalt pavement. The sealant also rejuvenates the color of faded pavement.
Why Would One Contractor Have a Lower Material Cost for Seal Coating Than the Others?
All sealcoating contractors in the same area pay roughly the same price for sealant mix, sand, additives, and water. Manufacturers provide instructions on how much of each ingredient should be included in the mix. Therefore, all contractors who plan to follow these instructions will quote approximately the same price for materials. If one contractor quotes a price for materials that are substantially less than the others, it could be a red flag. Perhaps the contractor plans to use more water than the directions state; this thinner sealant will not hold up well, so you will need to have the job repeated prematurely. The contractor could also be mistaken about the scope of the job and is basing his quote on a smaller area.
Should Labor Costs Vary Between Contractors for Applying a Sealcoat?
The total costs could vary, but the hours of labor required should not be significantly different. If the hours are substantially different, you need to delve deeper. A contractor quoting many fewer hours could be planning to cut corners. For example, sealants should always be applied in thin coats, and two coats are fairly standard for parking lot sealcoating. Applying a single thick coat would require less time, but it will also lead to a job that will need to be repeated soon.
Are There Other Reasons That the Lowest Sealcoat Bid Could Be a Bad Choice?
Contractors must factor in their related costs when pricing any job involving parking lot maintenance or other asphalt paving services. These costs include general liability insurance, equipment maintenance and repair, workers’ comp insurance, vehicle insurance, safety gear for employees, and traffic control equipment. Contractors who do not carry insurance, lack the equipment to close an area to traffic, or do not ensure that their equipment and employees receive the attention they deserve can often submit a drastically lower bid than bids submitted by contractors who do these things.
Let Us Help
The Surface Masters can help you with your pavement-related needs, including asphalt sealcoating, concrete work, parking lot striping and marking, asphalt crack repair, and asphalt paving and repair. We perform work for a variety of greater Atlanta clients, including health care facilities, apartment complexes, educational facilities, restaurants, hotels, retailers, HOAs, and property management firms. We are known for consistently providing exceptional customer service, cost-effective solutions, and high-quality results on every job. If you would like a free quote, you can use our online request form or call 770-250-6392.