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I manage a large office park, and last year we had the parking lots sealcoated and re-striped. The contractor specified that they would apply 2 "overlapping coats" of sealer on the asphalt. When they were applying the sealer, our maintenance engineer noticed that they only applied one coat of sealer. The contractor then striped the parking lots, without applying a second coat. When confronted about only applying one coat, the contractor stated that they applied "2 overlapping coats in one application". We went ahead and paid them since their terminology in their proposal was very vague and confusing. We then noticed that the sealer began to wear off 4 - 5 months later. Is this normal?

Unfortunately this is happening more and more in the Atlanta area amongst a few sealcoating contractors, and NO, it is not normal.  In fact, it is very dishonest and the contractor is basically cheating the customer with such an application, saving on both materials and labor.  You see, according to manufacturer and federal specifications, sealer must be applied in at least 2 SEPARATE coats in order to achieve the proper application/coverage rate of .18 - .22 gallons per square yard.  Unfortunately, as you stated, there are contractors using the terminology "2 overlapping coats", or "lap coat", then claiming they are applying 2 coats in one application by simply "doubling up" or "overlapping heavily" the sealer in the one coat application.  This is contrary to all manufacturer and federal specifications, and the result will be a coating that will wear prematurely.  Sealer MUST be applied in 2 separate coats with a minimum of 2 - 3 hours drying time between coats in order to achieve the proper coverage rate, and a final product that will perform properly for years.  Be very suspicious of terminology such as "2 overlapping coats" and  "lap coats".  Require the contractor to spell out exactly how the sealer will be applied, and the coverage rates for both the final coating, and each individual coat.  On an average job, the first coat coverage rate will be +/- .12 gallons per square yard, and the second coat +/- .08 gallons per square yard.


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