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A Buying Guide: Which Asphalt Seal Coater Is Best For You

Giving your asphalt driveway a coating every three years will not only make it last longer, but will also make it look better. A seal coat can help protect your asphalt driveway against the sun, moisture, rain, oil, gasoline, and other materials that can potentially harm and shorten the life-span of your asphalt driveway.

DIY (do-it-yourself) products and materials that you can buy in the supermarkets and handyman stores to fill cracks and seal asphalt driveways are often not as good as the ones used by professional contractors. But, there are products that you can use to achieve the same results as when professional contractors do it. You just have to know which materials to use. Doing so will help you save up to 65% of professional fees.

The options that you can choose from when you visit your local store may be limited. You just have to make the best out of the products that you can buy. When you are out shopping for the best asphalt sealer for you and your asphalt, here are the things that you should consider:

Should You Buy Coal Tar or Asphalt Based Sealers?

Asphalt sealers that you can find in retail stores are often water-based emulsions which can contain water, latex, polymer, clay fillers, additives, asphalt, or coal tar. Asphalt-based sealers are quite popular because it is friendly to the environment. Significant changes and improvement have been made to asphalt-based sealers to make it more durable, more resistant to gas, oil, and ultraviolet rays. But, coal tar is still the best choice when it comes to sealing asphalt driveways. Coal tar sealers are more resistant to oil, gasoline, moisture, and UV rays. The use of coal tar has proven to improve the longevity of asphalt driveways. The only drawback of using this kind of sealer is that it emits high levels of VOC (volatile organic compounds) which can make the air smell foul and is potentially harmful to the environment.

Quality

Judging the quality of coal tar and asphalt-based sealers according to their formulation would be difficult as this information is proprietary. You will not be able to get this information on the label. Thus, making it difficult to determine which one is better in terms of formulation. However, the rule-of-the-thumb says that products that are better in quality come with a long warranty. The longer the warranty a sealer comes with, the better. This way, you and your investment are protected. When buying a sealer, make sure that you check the warranty before paying for it. This will easily be seen on the label.

Coverage And Cost

Asphalt based sealers are a little bit expensive because it emits lesser VOC levels and the process and technology added to improve its performance. Thin coal tar that can cover about 400 square feet usually costs up to $8 per 5-gallon of sealer. Don’t expect this kind of sealer to last for more than one season. Plain sealers, which is a level higher than the previous sealer, costs up to $11. This type of sealers is unsanded which has a more solid texture. This can cover up to 350 square feet of asphalt. The same goes to sealers in the upper end. The heavy-duty sealers can cost up to $20 per 5-gallon of sealer. And depending on the condition of the asphalt driveway, it can cover up to 350 square feet of asphalt.

Buying a sealer really depends on your needs and how exposed your asphalt is to foot and vehicle traffic. For asphalt pavements that do not go through a lot of foot traffic, a low-end sealer can be used. For places that go through a lot of foot and vehicle traffic, it is recommended to use heavy-duty sealers.

Why Sealcoating Asphalt Pavements Is A Must

Business owners face the same struggles and decisions that need to be made. Which investment to invest to? Which investment to let go? What costs to cut? What strategy to focus to? However, your business is not only about what you can do inside the confines of your office. Your business extends to what is outside of your business. It extends up to your parking lot.

If you have allotted a space for every vehicle that your employees own, then having a parking lot that is in superb condition is a must. Ask yourself whether your parking lot is in good condition or not. Will it last for another year or two? If not, have you considered applying a seal coater over it? Doing so would save you and your company more expenses of reconstructing your parking lot.

The decision of having your asphalt seal coated only takes understanding your asphalt needs. Asphalt is made of gravel, sand, stones, combined with cement to keep everything together. As time goes by, these materials break because they are continuously exposed to sun, rain, gas, oil, and other organic or inorganic materials that can damage each material, and thus shorten its lifespan. As it loses its traction, flexibility, and pliability, it will not be able to withstand heavy loads and heavy traffic. To lessen the effects of organic and inorganic materials to asphalt, sealing it must be done.

The Benefits

Sealing your asphalt with a seal coat will give you several benefits. The most obvious benefit that you can enjoy with a seal coated asphalt is that it will make your asphalt look better. In addition, a seal coat can also help prolong its longevity as it helps protect the asphalt layer against any destructive agent that can damage and make it prone to breakage. Besides from enjoying the two benefits mentioned, here are the other things you can enjoy when you seal coat your driveway or parking lot:

  • You and your customer will enjoy better traction when you drive or walk over your parking lot.
  • It will help traffic lines become more visible as an asphalt sealer can make your asphalt look darker.
  • Applying a seal coat on your driveway will make your curb look better.
  • A seal coat can also decrease the damage that organic or inorganic compounds on the asphalt.
  • A sealed asphalt driveway seals away moisture and water, which helps prolong the life and bond of each material.
  • It impedes oxidation, which is the primary agent of asphalt hardening that results to breakage.
  • It protects your investment.

As you can see, you will benefit more with sealcoating your asphalt driveway and parking lot. Having it done is a matter of deciding whether you want it or not.

DIY Asphalt Sealcoating

Sealcoating your driveway is one of the most essential steps in prolonging its life. It can protect your driveway from harmful agents that can make it lose its waterproofing ability and adhesive ability. If you have not sealed your driveway yet, then you should. You can either consult a professional and have this done, or you can do it yourself. If you have decided to seal your driveway the DIY way, here are the steps that you should follow.

Step 1: Planning

Plan your sealing properly. This means that you have to determine the length and width of your driveway as this will determine the amount of sealant that you will use. A five-gallon sealant will be able to cover a 400 to 500 square feet driveway. Also, make sure that you have all the essential ingredients and tools to prepare and seal your driveway such as a sealer brush and safety glasses. You will also need an old set of clothing, old sneakers, rags, spray bottle, paint roller, push broom, leaf blower, weed trimmer, long stem paint stirring paddle, and oil spot primer.

Step 2: Clean and Prepare Your Driveway

On the day that you are going to seal your driveway, make sure that the temperature during the day is not below 18°C (65°F) and not below 10°C (50°F) at night. Anything below the said temperatures will not help cure the sealant properly. When you have determined the right temperatures, then you can start preparing the driveway by trimming away any grass or weed along the edges. Also, make sure that debris and dirt are removed from the surface. You can use a powered blower and a broom to do this.

To remove dust on the surface, you can pressure wash the surface. This will help remove dusts, debris, and grasses that have fallen between the cracks. Once this is done, you can then re-blow your driveway with the power blower that you have. You have to remember that the sealant will bond better if your driveway is super clean.

Step 3: Sealing Cracks and Holes

You can do this by using an asphalt patch or an acrylic sealant. Or if you can get hold of a hot rubberized crack sealant that professional pavers use, then you should use it to fill the cracks and holes that are present on your driveway. This hot sealant is better when it comes to repairing small cracks and holes. Remove any excess sealant on the driveway as soon as it has cooled down. Also, make sure that the oil primer you used with the sealant is dry before you start sealcoating your driveway.

Step 4: Sealcoating

Before you pour the sealer unto your driveway, make sure that it is thoroughly mixed. Use the stirring tool that comes with it. If it doesn’t have a stirring tool, you can use any object (stick or wood) to stir it well. Make sure that no sand stays at the bottom of the bucket and see to it that everything is suspended. Once this is done, you can pour the sealant on the driveway. You can start spreading small amounts of sealant. This will make sure the sealant will not dry out on you before you are able to spread and smooth everything out. Work your way across the driveway by using the sealer brush and spreading the sealant in straight or perpendicular lines. Make sure the lines overlap each other by an inch or so. Try to make the lines as even as possible as it will be evident when the sealant is completely dry.

Sealcoating a driveway may be a taxing job to do. But, you will be satisfied once everything is done. You will also give your driveway a better chance of surviving that long. If you are not so keen with the DIY way, you can always consult the professionals so you can have expert help on your side.

Sealcoating Your Parking Lot Helps Your Own Business

asphalt_roadSealcoating your asphalt can increase the lifespan of your parking lot by years, which means saving you money in the long run. The savings can be upwards of $1000 even for a small car park. If you’re a business owner or a property manager, this is something that you should include in your to-do list. A parking lot is the first thing that your business clients will notice, so it better leave a good impression on them. Hiring a professional sealcoating service to get the job done is the best way to do it.

Everyone knows that these winter months will not be kind to an asphalt parking lot. If it is done correctly, occasional asphalt maintenance can double the life of your parking lot, reduce the likelihood of larger repair issues, and provide a smooth, clean jet-black finish to your parking lot that will enhance your business establishment. You can avoid costly damages like potholes and overlays by sealcoating now.

Parking lots are often subjected to direct sun light for hours on end on a daily basis, especially if it’s warm outside. Sealcoating, when done efficiently, will prevent oxidation and help the asphalt withstand the harsh ultraviolet rays. After a certain period, the asphalt binder, which is usually tar, will harden and this hardening results in a fragile surface that will crack and break. If you have a fracture on the surface of the asphalt, it will enable water to enter inside and weaken it. When the temperature drops down under freezing, the breaks will be worse. Put pressure around those holes (like the weight of a car) and they will easily grow the size of large containers: potholes. Sealcoating protects the top layer of the asphalt and fills in any voids, reducing exposure to air and water and thereby extending the life of your parking lot by providing a protected layer that prevents elements from infiltrating through the asphalt.

We all know that oil and gasoline from automobiles can wreak havoc in your parking lot. Sealcoating your asphalt will prevent these substances from doing damage because a professional-grade sealer contains chemical additives that will easily repel oil and gasoline.

By sealcoating your parking lot, it will last longer and look much better. Furthermore, sealcoating is much less expensive than re-paving. But you need to get this done professionally to ensure that it is done right. Make sure that you hire contractors who are certified experts in this field and don’t be deceived by contractors offering the cheapest service. Cheapest is not always the best.