How late in autumn and early in spring can one go?
By Marvin Joles III
We spent a lot of winters in Wisconsin having to keep our equipment outdoors at Wis-Coat. Thankfully we don’t have to do that anymore and hopefully you do not have to either. Whether it’s in the obvious locations or not so much, here’s a list of places in your Sealcoat and Asphalt Maintenance equipment setup you should winterize.
Whether you have a diaphragm pump, piston pump or transfer (trash) pump, the process is usually the same. Rinse your unit out completely to start, then rinse it again. Be sure to run water through your spray hose and wand as well, then drain it and remove it. Really try to get any sealcoat residue out of there. Then, pump an RV anti-freeze though the unit. Get one that is rated for the coldest temperatures you can find. Something -35* or more is ideal. If it’s possible to remove the pump and store it indoors (we used to keep ours in the basement at our house), that may be ideal.
When we used water-based paint, we used a winterizing fluid designed by the machine manufacturer. That is what I recommend. Since then though, we have switched to primarily using solvent-based paints and now use mineral spirits to keep the machines winterized. Pump whichever fluid you are using to winterize, through the return and through the line to your gun until it runs though. You will likely want to do this no matter if you are storing your line striper inside or outside over the winter to reduce “Build-up” over the months you aren’t using it.
I have a feeling this one could get overlooked, but if you have a plate compactor with a water tank, don’t forget about it. Drain that tank of water completely. Use an anti-freeze like you would for the sealcoat pump, pour it into the reservoir tank and run it though until it comes out of the drain holes, then close the valve.
Whether you use it to clean pavement before servicing or to clean your equipment, most companies invest in a pressure washer at some point. Don’t overlook this machine for winter prep. What we do, is take a piece of water hose and cut it a few feet long, angle it up, stick a big funnel in it and pour anti-freeze in there while its running and spray it until it comes out of the tip or the nozzle. Sometimes this is a two man operation because you may need to keep pouring anti-freeze in while it pumps.
Water Tank on Sealcoat Rig:
Most trailered Sealcoating Machines (Rigs) are designed by manufacturers with a water tank and pump on them for easy clean up or just when you need water to be put somewhere. Be sure to pump all the water out of it completely and pour some anti-freeze in there and pump it through until it comes out of the end of that hose. This has worked for us on our yellow rig very well, and the small diaphragm pump that is on there has held up fine.
I know some of this is easy info to some contractors, but many new contractors may not have the experience doing winterization yet. Also, a couple of the items above may be places that slip any sealcoating contractor’s mind. If you know of other areas that may need attention for freezing temps, feel free to reach out and tell me. You can contact us though any of the Social Media apps out there with @blacktopbanter or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marvin Joles III, Owner of Wis-Coat Asphalt Maintenance and host of Blacktop Banter podcast. You can listen to and watch Blacktop Banter podcasts by visiting https://blacktopbanter.com