How to Get Started in Asphalt Seal Coating

Marvin with Wis-Coat

Stan: I am with Marvin with Wis-Coat today. He's going to talk about sealcoating. It is a very lucrative additional business that you can get into. It can be either be a solo business, or it can be an additional service onto whatever outdoor service business you're already doing.

Marvin: True.

Stan: Marvin was eighteen years old. He saved up enough money to start his own seal coating business and now he's doing up to eight thousand dollars a day in seal coating driveways. He's going to teach us how you can do it as well.

Stan: Before we get started, Marvin, can you just tell us what exactly is seal coating?

What is Seal Coating?

Marvin: So your asphalt over time loses some of the essential aggregate that's on top. You'll notice that it goes from smooth to a little bit rough, and then if you look across your neighbors and theirs is cracked and has potholes, that's from lack of seal coating. So what a seal coating does, this goes on top. We use a product, either an asphalt emulsion promotion or a cold tar emulsion, which are essentially the same thing. You layer that on top with a seal coating.

That prevents water penetration, which can cause freezing, which can cause cracking and separation. You know you don't want those cracks in your driveway to then get water, and then crack even further creating potholes. But it also prevents oxidation, which is the main key of drying out and creating allegation. Which you can see is real checkerboard after all of these years. This prevents that, and you can do it every two to three years to prolong the life of your asphalt up to thirty to forty years in some cases.

Stan: OK, so for a person that's just getting started and they don't understand half of what you just said right now, how do they get started launching their own seal coating business?

How Do You Start a Seal Coating Business?

Marvin: Sure. The very first important thing is to get educated. I think that's with anything. So there's resources out there, there's a couple great magazines that you can find on this small niche area. The other resources, a lot of the companies that supply products to businesses like mine create resources as well to help you apply these, mix them right, do everything that you need to do to create a good quality job. And beyond that, I would find a mentor. Find somebody that is willing to help you move along, if you work for one of those companies already doing this as a side business. You're already a step ahead of the game.

Stan: Oh for sure. Next, Marvin, I want to talk about two levels of investment into the equipment. What's the bare bones that a person that maybe doesn't have anything to get started, is going to try to do? And then if a person is very serious and has a little bit of money to invest in, I want to go a step up. What, how would they get started? Let's go bare bones first.

Marvin: That's true. So we're going to say that you have a truck. If you don't have a truck, we're going to say that you bought a truck. Set the money aside for that, get a truck people! So start with that. I mean you could start with buckets, but for the same affordability you can get a polypropylene tank, which is a plastic tank. You can go to a major distributor, get the material at a very minimal cost.

Liquid Rubber Compound

Stan: So you go to a distributor that will pour the liquid rubber compound into the polypropylene tank.

Marvin: Right. So they'll put an aggregate based seal in there, whether it's an asphalt emulsion or beyond. We use one called a polymer-modified master seal, which helps stretch a little bit. That lasts a decent amount of time. And then you can get you can started with a hand blower. You don't have to get a nice push blower, believe it or not, you can start with that, a good stiff brush to make sure you get all the dirt clean. It's hard to apply it to a dirty area. And you can make it last. Get some brushes, start squeegeeing that thing on, be very careful to pay attention to detail, because customers love attention to detail.

Stan: They're hiring you for attention to detail. And that's reputation; a customer that's happy with you will tell ten people, but a customer that's pissed off at you will tell a hundred. And that's a fact. So how much is that bare bones set-up going to cost them?

What is the Cost?

Marvin: So, I think they can probably get into that for around fifteen hundred to two thousand dollars. With a truck. Fifteen hundred to two thousand dollars will get you creating great quality jobs, that then you'll be able to use for references. If a customer wants to see one, you'll have one that they can look at and refer them to.

Stan: So then you'll get more business, because they can look at the neighbor's driveway, exactly. Fifteen hundred to two thousand dollars or less. Say somebody like yourself has been saving up and they're looking at what business should they get into, and they're thinking maybe seal coating is for them, and they've got a little bit more money to invest beyond bare bones. What do they do, what should they think about investing?

Marvin: Sure. So once you get to that point to where you're doing jobs, start to set aside some money to reinvest. Reinvest in either another truck, or nicer equipment to create a better quality job. You need to become efficient. That's the thing, because once you start getting a fair amount of jobs, you're going to want to do more jobs in a day. That's creating a greater profit margin. You're going to check out some of the equipment, some of those real nice rigs which I know you'll start to see once you get into this field. Price those out, they're going to be pretty expensive but they're very reliable. You'll find that out for sure

What Do You Want for a Nicer Setup?

Stan: What do you think a person should save up to get into a nicer set up?

Marvin: Sure, after all there are many factors that make those units that have the hot melt rubber for the cracks. They have one of those on a hot melt pot. They have a hydraulic agitated tank, five hundred to a thousand gallon tank should do for anybody and those are on one unit, and they are above ten thousand dollars or more.

Stan: I would say, you continually reinvest. I've been in business for, I'm forty five years old. I've been doing this since I was thirteen. So for thirty two years, I started with zero, I continually reinvest today. That is something that never technically stops, you're always striving to improve.

So now we go into understanding some of the technical components of this business. You go over to Marvin's channel because we just we just literally broke the tip of the iceberg on what the seal coating industry holds. The potential is there, we know an idea of what it is and the potential market making up to eight thousand, you made up to eight thousand dollars per day with just two guys. There were just two guys, he's done it. He didn't start with a silver spoon in his mouth. Go over to Wis-Coat, you have your own YouTube channel.

Contact Mavin at Wis-Coat

Marvin: YouTube, Twitter, Facebook. You know our Facebook group. You can get a hold of me; whatever you need to do to help advance your situation, investing in your education, we can help you.

Stan: He's the seal coating guru. It's Wis-Coat. Plus you have a Facebook group with almost four hundred members now?

Marvin: Right. Great. And that's been a really great reference; we were talking about educating yourself. There's guys on there that have done it in situations that I haven't even been in. And no, it doesn't cost you a penny to get educated. That's US Seal Coaters.

Stan: Perfect. Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, you got it. All right, you guys know where to find him. Thinking about going this business? He's the guy.

Marvin: Hey, thanks.




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