Tips for Choosing an Asphalt Driveway Sealer

August 06, 2021

Tips for Choosing an Asphalt Driveway Sealer

Sealcoating driveways protects them against everything from harsh weather to unexpected spills. But sealcoating a driveway isn't as simple as just spraying or brushing on a random sealer and waiting for it to dry. You can select from several kinds of sealers designed for use on asphalt pavement, each with its own sets of advantages and disadvantages. Here are some tips for choosing an asphalt driveway sealer.

The Type

There are three main types of asphalt driveway sealer: coal tar, asphalt emulsion, and petroleum resin. Here's what you need to know about each option.

Coal Tar Emulsion

Coal tar sealers are made from refined coal tar and select additives. They're the toughest sealers on the market and provide excellent protection against water, oil, gasoline, and UV rays.

The biggest downside to coal tar sealers is the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that they release during the application process. The more VOCs released, the more potent the smell and the more significant the perceived environmental impact. Certain areas have banned coal tar; if there’s a ban in your area, you will have to use one of the following sealers.

Asphalt Emulsion

Asphalt-based sealers are made from asphalt base resins and additives. They’re just as good at staving off water damage as coal tar sealers, but they’re less effective at protecting pavement from oil, gasoline, and UV rays. Asphalt-based sealers also wear down faster and require reapplication more often than coal tar sealers.

However, one upside to asphalt-based sealers is that they release fewer VOCs, which means less of a smell and they can be used wherever coal tar sealers have been banned..

Petroleum Resin

Petroleum resin sealers are made from a base of petroleum resin and added to various raw materials. These sealers are the best of both worlds. They can provide a similar level of protection as coal tar sealers and the low VOC levels of asphalt emulsion sealers. The one downside to petroleum resin sealers is that they’re often on the costlier side.

The Grade

The next tip for choosing an asphalt driveway sealer is to carefully consider the grade. Choosing the right type of sealer ultimately comes down to your budget and personal preferences. Selecting the right grade comes down to how long you need your sealer to last.

In general, you should avoid using consumer-grade sealers. These are the kind you'll find in home improvement stores. They're not very durable and don't protect well against weather. Instead, opt for commercial-grade sealers. Commercial grade sealers have more of the good stuff and less of the fillers.

Need equipment and supplies for your next sealcoating project? NAC Supply has top-of-the-line sealcoating equipment and supplies for sale. Whether you need coal tar, asphalt emulsion or petroleum resin sealers, brushes and squeegees, or spray hoses, we have it all. Shop with us today!

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