The sun's rays are death to a driveway. You might not think that the rays gently falling on your driveway can do anything to damage the asphalt it is made from, but the truth is that the sun's UV rays will bake the liquids out of the tar that holds your driveway together. Once the tar loses these liquids, it loses its ability to flex with pressure and can start to crack. In order to get the most life from your driveway, you need to apply a sealcoat.
What Is a Sealcoat?
A sealcoat is a protective coating that sits on top of your driveway. There are a couple main types of sealcoat available. Coal tar, a byproduct of burning tar in industrial settings, can be crafted into a thick slurry, which you then paint over your driveway. Coal tar will have a rich black color that can make even a badly faded driveway look new. Coal tar is also more resistant to chemical spills. The second option that many contractors will use is an asphalt emulsion, which is basically a thickened version of the tar used in your driveway. Each option will have strengths and weaknesses, but you should feel confident in choosing either one.
How a Sealcoat Protects a Driveway
A sealcoat will help to waterproof your driveway in that it will keep water on the surface of your driveway so that it cannot work its way into the tiny cracks in the surface of the asphalt, expand, and thus cause bigger cracks. A sealcoat will also absorb the sun's UV rays before they have a chance to leach away the liquid in the tar. Thus, a sealcoated driveway should stay flexible much longer than a non-treated driveway. A flexible driveway can expand and contract with changes in the temperature rather than cracking. Finally, a sealcoat will protect your driveway against chemical spills. Otherwise, oil dripping from a motorcycle or gasoline spills from filling your lawnmower could dissolve the tar in your driveway and cause the pebbles to start separating out.
You can sometimes find buckets of sealcoat at home improvement stores. With a squeegee attached to a broom handle, you can then paint the sealcoat onto your driveway. While applying the sealcoat on your own can save money, If you don't do the job properly, the sealcoat will not work like it should. Thus, for the best results, you should trust sealcoating to the professionals. Look into paving by Pavement Solutions Inc or another similar company.
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