Employee Development Training on Products, Equipment, and Processes

Lee F. Lowis / Jan 30 , 2019

GemSeal takes very seriously the responsibility to provide the best possible service to our customers. That means the entire team – from production and sales to inside staff – must work together to give the best products and advice to contractors. In January, Customer Service (CSR) and Sales Representatives from all GemSeal locations met in Orlando, Florida, for a comprehensive, 3-day employee development training session to improve their product knowledge, learn how to serve customers better, and pre­pare for the upcoming season.

Debby Aponte operates a spray unit.

Among the presentations, sales manager Rob Knarr led an equipment demo covering the Seal-Rite Spray System. He reviewed the operation of the unit, discussed the importance of the psi setting, and the right way to hold the wand to obtain a quality application of sealer. Rob also explained spray tip options and application uses. Afterwards, employees were able to operate the machine spray unit and learn about the internal components of an air-diaphragm system. This hands-on experience enabled them to feel how the wand worked and whether the machine was operating at the correct setting.

Graco® took the opportunity to participate by teaching the group about the features, application techniques, and how to troubleshoot stripers and Line Grinders.

Debby Aponte, CSR for Chicago, commented: This is the third employee development meeting I have attended and it is always educational. Employees are able to ask questions and get feedback from various plants to help us grow and operate more efficiently. I especially appreciate the knowledge exchange between sales and customer service; it broadens my perspective and promotes cohesiveness within the business unit.”

In addition to equipment demos and refresher courses, employees were able to participate in role-play exercises to gain a better understanding of the responsibilities of various departments within the company and to identify any potential areas for operational improvements.

In appreciation for everyone’s participation, all employees were able to spend an afternoon of leisure time, enjoying various Orlando activities—a great way to mix relaxation with productivity.

6 Things You May Not Know About Crack Sealing

Ken McBride / Jul 20 , 2018


Cracks are the root of all problems for pavement. Once a crack forms, water is able to seep through and erode the base causing deterioration. For that reason, crack sealing is recommended as the most cost-effective, preventative pavement maintenance procedure.

Longitudinal crack


Transverse cracks run from the side of the pavement toward the middle or all the way across.  Longitudinal cracks run the length of the pavement, next to the centerline or near the middle of a drive lane. Reflective cracking happens when a pavement has been resurfaced and existing cracks weren’t treated beforehand; now those cracks reflect up through the new pavement and re-form. Alligator cracking develops when crack sealing wasn’t performed earlier in the pavement’s life. Once the pavement gets to this point, crack sealing will not be effective. The proper long-term repair is to remove and replace the affected area.


The recommended time to perform crack sealing is in the spring or fall. Pavement expands and contracts with temperature fluctuations and, in spring or fall, the pavement is midway b/w its minimum and maximum movement. Treating cracks at this time of year enables the sealant to fill and seal cracks more effectively.


Routing or saw cutting preparation involves creating a reservoir so the sealant has room to adhere to the side walls of the crack.  This procedure can add up to 40% to the life of the seal job. Crack preparation can also be done using compressed air.  A blower or compressor will blow out any dirt and debris prior to sealant application.


Crack sealant can be applied with an oil jacketed machine using a hose and a wand which can be heated or non-heated. A direct-fire unit is another option. This equipment has a pour pot or bander; material is poured into the pot and then applied.

Over-band application


Do not over-apply crack sealant, which can be a common mistake during an over-band process. To avoid this, use a sealant disc on the equipment or have a worker follow up with a squeegee to make sure sealant lays tight against the surface. This is very important prior to resurfacing, for example, because hot mix will re-melt excess sealant material. When a roller comes along and hits that spot, the machinery will slip due to the melted sealant beneath it and create a bump on the pavement.

For more information on GemSeal’s crack sealant products or equipment, please visit any of our conveniently located One Stop Shops or contact us. You may also view our latest video on crack sealing.

Pavement Maintenance Seminar Brings Together Contractors Across the Midwest

Lee F. Lowis / Jan 18 , 2017

seminarThe GemSeal manufacturing facility in Auburn Hills, MI, has hosted well-attended pavement maintenance seminars for several years. Now, our Chicago facility is hosting its first-ever Pavement Maintenance Seminar on Tuesday, March 7, at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL. This educational event will bring together contractors from across the Midwest for education, networking, and to exchange ideas.

This one-day seminar is designed to help contractors stay up-to-date with information on changes in products, application techniques, industry regulations, and equipment.

The event kicks off at 8am and runs until 5pm. There are eight presentations covering topics including product application, business strategy, industry best practices, and equipment. Instructors will provide handouts at every presentation to help supplement learning. For a complete schedule of events, click here.

Plus, there will be over 20 exhibitors and products on display. The expo hall is open throughout the day so attendees can visit at their leisure and talk one-on-one with industry experts. As an added bonus, many products and equipment will be on sale during the event; however, this special pricing is available for show attendees only.

Registration is just $65 per person and includes access to all classroom presentations, exhibit hall, continental breakfast, lunch, refreshments, free gift, and door prizes!

Enroll on or before Feb. 15, 2017, to guarantee your spot.  Register online or call 847-678-6220. We hope to see you there!

Employee Training with Leading Equipment Manufacturer

Lee F. Lowis / Dec 7 , 2016

As part of our promise to provide the very best advice and technical support, our employees take part in ongoing training throughout the year.

Last month Cimline, a leading manufacturer of modern melter applicators for crack sealing, invited GemSeal employees to attend a seminar and facility tour at their Plymouth, MN, headquarters. Participants, including representatives from three other companies, received instruction and hands-on demonstration of Cimline’s new M-Series melters followed by a behind-the-scenes look at how the equipment is manufactured.  All participants then convened back in the classroom for a short test at the end of the day.

“This learning experience was a great opportunity for GemSeal employees to meet key support people within Cimline and offer feedback to their R&D department,” said Ken McBride, Regional General Manager. “The time spent together was not only educational, but it also helped to strengthen our relationship with a highly-valued equipment supplier.”

GemSeal personnel in attendance included Grant Stallsmith, Travis Parrish, Job Davis, Doug Gensler, Brett Budris, and Ken McBride.




GemSeal University Provides Training for Customers

Lee F. Lowis / Aug 1 , 2016

As part of our mission to provide the very best advice and support, we offer hands-on educational seminars through GemSeal University, our training program for contractors, distributors, and property managers.

Last week at our Tampa R&D facility, we conducted a class and plant tour for Professional Pavement Products (or PPP), headquartered in Jacksonville. PPP has ongoing education requirements for their employees and incorporated this seminar into their training. As a result, PPP’s managers and sales staff  from six regional offices were in attendance.

The seminar kicked off with a brief introduction by GemSeal President, Jeff Lax, and continued with a lecture presented by Paul Raymond, Technical Manager, and Natasha Albuquerque, Project Chemist. The instructors reviewed the process behind sealer manufacturing and the importance of quality control including which tests are necessary and why. Additionally, at the request of PPP, the group, along with GemSeal territory sales manager Rob Knarr, discussed alternative options to refined tar sealer, including the benefits of Black Diamond, a petroleum-based, high-performance sealer. From there, attendees toured GemSeal’s Tampa plant to see the process flow and precision colloid mill system and also visited the lab to witness firsthand a quality-control test.

“This is the third time PPP has partnered with GemSeal in the training of our employees,” said Greg Driskell, President and Founder of PPP. “Our brand promise is Products, Service, and Knowledge. This is a great opportunity to expand our managers’ knowledge of the processes behind the product. The more we know, the better we can keep that promise.”

The time spent together was not only educational, but it also helped to strengthen our relationship with a highly-valued customer and distributor. Through these opportunities, we aim to improve sealcoating practices across the nation.

If your team is interested in participating in GemSeal University training, please contact us to review session topics and schedule an event.