Caring For Your Driveway With Pavement Sealers
Nothing says that you care about your asphalt driveway more than applying sealer to it. Coating your pavement with sealer gives it a cleaner, more finished look. Sealers also protect your driveway from absorbing moisture and other solvents, as well as too much sunlight that can damage the asphalt material. You may hire a contractor to seal your pavement for you, or you also have the option of making driveway sealing as a do-it-yourself project. There’s a sense of accomplishment in finishing this project yourself, not to mention the savings you can incur. After all, contractors can charge quite a sum.
Pavement sealers come in two basic products, the asphalt based and coal tar based sealer. Water-based asphalt sealers, as the name suggests, contains asphalt in a water suspension. This type of sealer is more pleasant to the senses as they do not cause skin irritation and produces a more pleasant odor. Coal tar-based sealers are deemed more popular because of their durability. They contain coal tar, which is produced from the conversion of coal into coke, a material used in making steel. This ingredient makes your driveway stay black longer because it stabilizes the UV rays it absorbs. Coal tar-based pavement sealers are more resistant to damage coming from spills produced by vehicles like oil and other fluids.
Both kinds of sealers can be either plain or filled, which refer to the addition of fillers in them. There is an acceptable level of filler content in sealer, and varieties of filled sealers that have the highest acceptable filler levels are considered to be the best. Thus, when shopping for sealers, go for a commercial-grade coal tar filled variety. As for the price, go for the highest your budget would allow, so you can be sure that you're getting the best quality.
Applying pavement sealers on your own would need some qualities from you, that is, if you want professional-grade results. You need to be patient in preparing for this project, as half of the outcome of sealer application lies in how well you prepare for it. The surface of your driveway must be thoroughly cleaned and free of loose dirt, weeds and other vegetation, caked oil and other rubble. As long as you do not wear away the surface of the asphalt, you may consider pressure washing the surface, as this method is also effective in taking out dirt from the finer cracks.
Pavement sealers can only be applied once you have filled cracks and holes with crack filling mixtures. But first, you have to wait for the cracks to dry if you used water to clean the driveway surface. Once you’ve applied these crack fillers, you would need to wait until they become sufficiently hard before finally applying the sealer. This could take days, and you may check by poking the cracks with a toothpick. The fillers may look hard on the surface, but the interior may still be soft, so you’d need to double check.
High quality pavement sealers do not take a lot of effort to mix to get the correct consistency. There are no-stir and easy-to-stir formulations for these sealers, so go for these products, or else you’ll have a pavement with uneven texture and color.