GemSeal’s New Black Diamond – A Cut Above the Rest

GemSeal’s new Black Diamond Sealer and other products provide solutions across America.

Covered from Sea to Shining Sea

Everyone loves the look of a freshly sealed parking lot; the color pops and the curb appeal is undeniable, not to mention its numerous protective benefits. At the same time though, the seal coating industry is under pressure. Refined tar sealers – despite a growing body of science which supports their safe use – have been banned in certain areas. As a result, everyone seems to want an alternative to coal tar, yet still have all the benefits of refined tar sealers.

Black Diamond is more durable than asphalt emulsion and provides better coverage.

For that reason, GemSeal Pavement Products, a manufacturer based in Charlotte, N.C., developed Black Diamond™ Pavement Sealer. GemSeal has met the industry’s needs with a product that combines the performance of refined tar sealers with the environmental benefits of asphalt-based sealers. How exactly? GemSeal wouldn’t provide details, except to make clear that Black Diamond contains zero refined tar, making it legally acceptable for use in states from California to Maine. With its unique properties, Black Diamond is more durable than asphalt emulsion and provides better coverage. Plus, its natural pigment resists oxidation enabling superior color stability.  Black Diamond also provides performance closer to refined tar sealers through ease of application, fuel resistance and toughness against power steering marks.

Like their other quality pavement products, GemSeal manufactures Black Diamond using a colloid mill process, not a batch process, to ensure consistency. All GemSeal plants have their own lab, which conducts hourly and daily product tests for evaluation. Furthermore, GemSeal is company-owned, not franchised, which helps to ensure high standards and process consistency across all of their facilities.

Black Diamond was tested for over two years before entering the market at the beginning of 2014. Crews love working with it because there is no irritation due to its unique chemistry. It can be applied at lower outside temperatures and has a higher dilution rate than most asphalt emulsion sealers, which provides peace of mind and saves money on the job.

We spoke with Alex Demos, president of Professional Paving & Concrete Company based in Glen Ellyn, Ill., about his recent experience applying Black Diamond. Demos explained, “This product could quickly become the future of the sealcoating industry. It provides all the benefits of traditional coal tar products in ease of application, wearability drying time, weather tolerance, as well as fuel and oil resistance; the big difference is that it does not contain coal tar.” He continued, “Our crew felt extremely comfortable applying it right out of the gate. It edged out very well with both squeegee and broom and laid out nicely with spray. In fact, we plan to offer it as a feature product in our portfolio.” In regards to his supplier, Demos commented, “GemSeal anticipates our needs. They offer a tremendous amount of depth and resources. We feel as though we have a true partner that provides value to our business and the industry as a whole.”

We also spoke with Harold Green, president of Chamberlain Contractors out of Laurel, Md., regarding his decision to use Black Diamond. “In the Maryland, D.C., and Northern Virginia markets, several jurisdictions now restrict use of coal tar sealers. Last summer, we heard about Black Diamond, which provides the performance of refined tar sealers without the negative components associated with installing coal tar,” Green recalled. “A few months later, in October, we installed a single coat of Black Diamond on a commercial parking lot complex in Beltsville, Maryland. The coverage was superior to other products we have used in the past and the foreman and application crews loved working with the product because there was no burn!” Though he has been only using the product for a few months, Green is impressed. “We will continue to monitor its performance, but the results to date seem very promising,” he said.

Black Diamond isn’t GemSeal’s only new development. The company has also been working hard to introduce better-quality crack sealants and paints to the market. Its new line of hot-pour crack sealants is designed to match the climate of various regions. One formula, for example, has a flexible softening point making it ideal for locations experiencing frequent freeze-thaw cycles. Another formula has a firmer softening point to resist sticking or tracking, which is helpful for hot regions.

Additionally, GemSeal’s new fast-dry latex and acetone acrylic paints are resin-rich for increased durability and brighter colors. In fact, independent testing results prove that they are nearly 50% more durable than standard dry paint. Additionally, they have low VOCs and are acceptable for use nationwide.

Both of these new product lines have been specified for use by large national accounts, which is no accident! To meet the growing need for pavement maintenance, GemSeal has developed a National Account Program to connect contractors with the right relationships and GemSeal products to build their business locally, regionally, or nationally. The program is a great opportunity for contractors to work on multi-site contracts and earn repeat business.

A major aspect of GemSeal’s national account program is the education of property owners and managers on the benefits of pavement preservation. GemSeal believes that by creating awareness and helping property managers understand pavement management, property owners will, in turn, increase the use of sealcoat, crack sealants, and lot marking paints. In short, this creates a heightened demand that will present more opportunities for all contractors, both large and small.

For information about GemSeal’s complete line of products, including Black Diamond, or to learn more about their National Account Program, contact GemSeal at 866-264-8273 or visit