Coaltar: Is It The Best Asphalt Sealer?
Coaltar has benefits that just can not be beat by other products. The most important thing about coal tar sealer is that it must meet federal specifications, so it is far more standardized. The result? An extremely consistent product that's formulated to get the job done right. That is just not true for asphalt emulsion sealers, which can vary from brand to brand, and even from batch to batch.
Table of Contents
Coaltar Sealer Benefits
Best Resistance To Oil And Gasoline
Gasoline and oil eat away at asphalt, and that damage leads to water seepage causing cracks. Driveway sealing is an essential part of locking out those chemicals, and coaltar is the least penetrable of all sealer types. When it comes to protection from leaking vehicles, nothing is better than coal tar sealer.
Least Susceptible To Temperature And Humidity
As far too many contractors have found out the hard way, other types of sealant are not as forgiving of cooler temperatures or higher humidity. What that means is an increase in drying times, forcing the second coat to be applied 24 hours later. This forces you to leave the job site to return the next day for the second application. This is crucial to understand, and shows just how vastly superior coaltar is to other products! Setting up in just 3 to 4 hours, and curing evenly without stickiness is essential to a professional job.
Needs Less Sand
In order for an asphalt emulsion style sealer to work properly, each gallon requires 5 lbs of silica sand. That’s 2 more pounds than you’ll see being used for coal tar sealer. The extra aggregate is necessary to other sealers in order to get it to dry ‘faster’, last longer, as well as to make it skid resistant. That just doesn’t seem like the right answer for a professional job.
Sometimes tried and true is that way for great reasons. Coal tar sealer is the best at resisting chemicals, the least susceptible to temperature and humidity, the fastest to cure, and uses way less sand. Most importantly it’s standardized by federal regulations, for the ultimate in consistency from batch to batch. This is why we stand behind coaltar as the best product for asphalt sealing.
Note: Before you bid on any contract, be sure to look for the specification of sealer type. Many contracts specify that only coal tar can be used.
Why Do We Use Asphalt In The First Place?
Once upon a time, we built roads by laying down rocks and gravel. Although this worked, heavy vehicles and rain made a mess of things. The solution? Create a solid - but flexible - layer on top of that rocky road that would hold things together.
The best answer for this is asphalt, which is why you see roads made of blacktop, and not cement. Cement is just not flexible enough and cracks. It also doesn’t stand up to drastic temperature changes – the kind more than half the population of the country sees every year.
So where does coaltar come in? And is it the best asphalt sealer?
Why Not Use An Asphalt Emulsion To Seal?
You would think that the best way to protect and seal is with a product made of the same stuff, right? Well, that’s the thing. Asphalt has some drawbacks, and the biggest one is that it is unstable when unprotected, and it breaks down in the great outdoors. Coaltar on the other hand is very water-resistant, and acts as a barrier to sun, salt, rain, fuel spills, and more!
It’s so durable that the Federal Aviation Association insists that it is used on airport runways. Is that not an excellent indicator of what the best asphalt sealer is?
What Are The Drawbacks To Using A Different Blacktop Sealer?
Putting aside the best product for the job, there are more reasons that asphalt emulsion products just aren’t as good for sealcoating. These products are so relatively new, that the way they are made is just not consistent or regulated. Companies keep trying to add chemicals to make the emulsions more stable, and improve them. However, this makes it unpredictable, from one manufacturer to another, and even from one batch to another!
Coaltar on the other hand, because it’s been around since the 1950’s, is really consistent. That’s just one reason it makes the best asphalt sealer. Another is that it has a much wider temperature range for curing properly. That means that a change in the weather isn’t going to slow down, or ruin, the blacktop sealing as much as it does with the other stuff.
I hope you have a clearer idea of why coaltar is the choice for asphalt professionals, and should be your choice too. With this very short article, we’ve given you the tools to understand why we use asphalt in the first place. It’s simply the best way to have a flexible topping over a rock-gravel base for the best roads, driveways, and parking lots. The drawback is the way it can’t stand up to the elements without having a protective coating. The strongest, and best sealant, is one that is highly resistant to the elements and fuel spills. Consistency and curing ability are the final two reasons coaltar is the best asphalt sealer.
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