I kid you not, every customer that asks about driveway cleaning also asks if I seal as well. It’s just a thing here in the affluent neighborhoods, everyone is convinced it’s the way to go.
I have lost thousands of $$$ when I have to tell them I only clean them. From what I’ve seen, someone is just going around in these subdivisions with a roller and doing a truly bad job.
I’m under the assumption to truly do it correctly I would need some fairly serious gear, can you guys give advice on what is needed to do this?
For small jobs, backpack sprayer will do fine. Larger, get you a NT 2.2gpm 12v with about 25-40’ of 3/8 hose, decent brass spray wand and wagon to pull it and your sealer around at site in. You can use the same exact setup for staining fencing and decks. Total cost including wagon, battery, wand and pump probably less than 350.
You don’t need any serious gear at all. Just spray it on. You can roll the edges if there is landscaping or edging pavers in the way and then spray the middle. You can also use an airless sprayer if you want.
Read up on sealers though. There are different types and quality. Some just seal the surface while others penetrate and actually strengthen it. You can also first add hardener/densifiers before you seal for additional strength. Be prepared for a sticker shock if using high quality sealers. Higher end sealers are about $400 for 5 gallons and only cover around 200 sq/ft a gallon. Of course this depends on how porous the surface is.
Cheaper sealers have lower solids at around 10% and are only Siloxane based. These only seal the surface of the concrete. Silane based penetrate down into the concrete and basically seal it from the inside out. The higher quality sealers will have upwards of 40% solids and are both Silane and Siloxane based.The Silane are smaller particles and penetrate down into the concrete while the Siloxane are larger particles and hang towards the top.The liquid is just a carrier which evaporates and leave the solids behind. Also, not all sealers will resist oil and grease stains as well so make sure you know what the customer is looking for.
You have to be careful if the surface was previously sealed and whether you can go with a water based or solvent based. When in doubt go solvent.
I would take a Sealing Course and go in it … There are many factors to sealing like weather, temperature…
Also, providing samples to clients is a good idea to avoid issues, sometimes you may lay down a coat and they dont like it? What now?
I’ve been considering offering concrete sealing, pavers sanding and sealing. It’s on my list of possibilities for additional services if I ever get slow or hire more. Also looking at staining. Mostly fences as it looks easy and fast $$$.
As to how easy, I can’t speak from experience but I watch some FB groups for this stuff. No need for special equipment(expensive). Spray it on and some rolling if need be. Build you a 1-2gpm 12v system and research the best products. You can even build a portable 12v system with rechargeable cordless tool batteries. Prep and product is the important part from my observations.
I offer sealing. Big problem you’ll have is you have to wash it and come back the next day to seal it. But it’s awesome money! I’ve profited thousands this year upselling sealing and 50% of the customers tell me to come do it again in 2 years. I use Thompson’s water seal. It’s on the cheaper end of sealers and works well. I think it’s $80 for a five gallon jug and that will seal 2 decent size driveways. Take some classes or watch a ton of videos. You have to apply it very evenly or it will cause weird looks (especially when it’s wet).
I don’t offer the wet look sealers. Just because it’s expensive and I don’t want the product on the truck going to waste.
Oh, and I NEVER post treat if I am coming back to seal. Just pre treat and wash. Very through rinsing and 24 hr dry time.
Obviously this is just my opinion but I think it’s definitely worth looking into a better sealer than Thompson’s. I guess I see it as if you offer a better product and you can charge even more. Thompson’s is one of the cheapest out there and has horrible reviews. Granted, the reviews could be based on who applied it but Thompson’s has never been known for quality. I just don’t want to see it coming back to haunt you.
The good sealers actually penetrate the concrete, produce a chemical reaction with the silica, and bond to the pores. They strengthen the concrete by up to 45%. This helps reduce cracking, salt damage, pitting, stains, etc. It prevents water intrusion by 95%.
You can get a high quality Silane/Soloxane sealer with 40% solids for $200 a fiver with free shipping. It comes with a ten year warranty. Definitely worth it for an additional $120 per 1000 sq/ft plus whatever more you want to charge. Don’t worry about what’s left on the truck. The customer pays for it anyways.
While Thompson is horrible when it comes to decks I feel like it’s a decent product for concrete. It lasts a couple years at the least. I have used it on my own concrete and for family many years. I never have cream lift even when I salt my walks in the winter with mag chloride.
I have offered the superior dealers in high end neighborhoods and was always told to use the cheaper.
Yes I feel like some of the complaints are homeowners who don’t evenly apply it or wash it properly before sealing. Homeowners are impatient and wash/seal same day or don’t wash at all.
I’ve gone back and tested absorbing time on concrete I treated and it was acceptable for the product. Just my opinion.
That’s what I see on the majority of driveways here. Many are applied badly and separate from the concrete. It has a glossy look to it and turns driveways into slip-n-slides when it rains. But they want that here.
I hear you. We all have our own opinions. I’m not saying your wrong or I’m right or vice versa. I just think if you do some research on the different types you’ll see what I mean. You can even get a 23% solids that’s a Silane/Siloxane for around $150 a fiver. Thompons is kind of a multi-use product and not made only for certain surfaces so I’m sure it’s a very low solids a Siloxane based. The liquid is just a carrier and evaporates and it’s the solids that do the sealing. I’m sure it’s less than 10% solids. I’m just saying for not much more cost you can get a far superior product.
That’s why I don’t offer it. I don’t want a complaint or me having to redo my work for free.
Easier money to be made.
I’ll do some digging in the off season. I’ve got 5 more weeks to book and I’m done for the year!
Bring on the snow!!
I post treated a drive today, and afterqord they asked if I could seal it.
Do I need to go back and rinse it off before I even consider sealing it?
I would! Never know how that dealer will react with dry sh sitting on it.
I figured alright thanks
The only sealer I can find here is Thompson multi surface 6 gal for 65 bucks. They want it sealed so I’ll do it.
You think just garden hose pressure will work to rinse the sh off. Prob go back tomorrow and rinse it
Ehh I would use a bit more pressure than that.
I like Thompson’s and have had good luck with it. I have had other steer me in other directions. But it’s been effective for me. Make sure you shake the can super good for 5 min before you fill your pump sprayer.
Sealing can be tricky. You never want it to run and you want it very even. Use the conical sprayer. You just want to barley mist the surface where it looks lightly wet. Anything more is too much. No walking or driving for 24 hours after applying.
Probably not the best idea to take this job on without insurance. Get insurance or pass on the job. As of right now you have no way to cover your mistakes.
yes, for sure and wait a few days
The Thompson’s will last about 2 years if you’re lucky. Explain that to them. The good stuff runs about $50-60/gal but will last much longer