Driveway sealers play an important role in the protection of the asphalt, brick, or concrete that makes up your driveway. There are several different types of driveway sealers available, all of which have their advantages and drawbacks. Depending on the condition of your driveway and the amount of protection you require, you can chose from the below options.
1. Coal Tar Sealer
Coal tar sealants are made from coal tar, sand, clay, polymers, and other additives that give it pliability, ease of application, and resistance to the elements. They are the most durable and long lasting option and last for many years. These sealers are impervious to gasoline and other fluids from vehicles. They are also resistant to fading and discoloration from intense sunlight. They are also quite affordable. The drawbacks of coal tar sealers include low environment friendliness, high level of volatile organic compounds, risk to health, and the possibility of skin irritation.
2. Asphalt Sealer
Asphalt sealers are composed primarily of asphalt. They are slightly higher priced than coal tar sealers. However, they are a much safer option if you consider the environment and your health. They emit negligible levels of volatile organic compounds and are also safe and easy to apply. However, they can degrade just like an asphalt driveway. After three or four years of exposure to the sun, moisture, and automobile fluids, an asphalt sealer will have to be replaced with a new coating.
3. Acrylic Sealer
Acrylic sealers are entirely synthetic and contain polymers and acrylic as the main ingredients. They are high on price, but they have none of the drawbacks of asphalt or coal tar sealers. Many professional settings see the use of these high quality sealers, which provide years of protection. Acrylic sealers are also available in many colors.
4. Water-based Sealer
Water-based sealers are more environmentally friendly, just like paints. They offer good coverage, but may not be as long-lasting or durable as oil-based sealers.
5. Oil-based Sealer
Oil-based sealers are based on grease or petroleum and are may emit more volatile organic compounds that are unsafe for your health. They do, however, provide good resistance against the elements and may last longer than water-based sealers.
6. Crack Filler Sealer
Crack filler sealers are available in hot-applied and cold-applied versions. The hot-applied versions require the use of a torch for simultaneous heating of the filler as you apply it between the cracks. The cold-applied fillers can be applied with a caulking gun. The hot versions are suitable for smaller cracks.
7. Epoxy Sealers
For concrete driveways, epoxy sealers provide a durable coating that protects the driveway from external elements such as chemicals, gasoline, excessive heat, and cold. It reduces the tendency of cracking when concrete is subjected to temperature fluctuations.
8. Linseed Oil-based Sealers
Linseed oil has been used as a sealer on concrete before the advent of commercial precuts. It is an effective sealer, preservative, and protective agent that you can use to cover your concrete driveway. It is also one of the safest options available.