Oil-Based Vs Water-Based Sealer: What To Choose?

Oil-Based Vs Water-Based Sealer What To Choose

Oil-Based Vs Water-Based Sealer: What To Choose?

Asphalt driveways have longevity for 15 to 20 years. But you can extend its lifespan with proper maintenance, specifically sealcoating.

Sealcoating is a cost-effective preventative measure that can help protect asphalt pavement from the effects of oxidation, ultraviolet light, corrosive chemicals, and salts. It fills in small cracks preventing water from seeping into hairline cracks and turning them into bigger ones. Sealcoating also enhances traction, slows down wearing, and maintains the deep black color of the asphalt driveway.

Planning to sealcoat your asphalt driveway?

In general, there are three types of asphalt sealants: water-based sealer, oil-based sealant, and coal-tar sealant. However, if you plan to DIY sealcoat your driveway, you might find that only the first two types are available in local hardware. This is because coal-tar sealant is rapidly disappearing due to its environmental hazards.

When choosing the appropriate sealer for your asphalt driveway, you need to consider the properties of each product. At the outset, an oil-based sealcoat may seem the best choice due to its durability. But looking at the advantages of water-based sealers, you may need to reconsider your decision.

Here are the key differences between water-based and oil-based sealers.

Water-based Sealer

Most commonly used for DIY sealcoating, water-based sealer or slurry is a composition of cement and asphalt. It is much like paint that you can apply using a broom or roller.

It is preferred by many because of its simple application and relatively affordable cost. Water-based sealer stays on top of the asphalt surface instead of seeping into it. This leaves a smoother, shiny finish compared to the oil-based sealer. Slurry takes less time to fully set, so you can use the driveway soon after sealcoating without disrupting your schedule. This also means you don’t have to deal with the strong odor of wet sealcoat for a long time.

The downside with slurry is that it tends to dry out, peel off, and crack in just a couple of years. If the sealcoat layer has started to peel off, it may be difficult for the surface to adhere to new layers. So, you will need more frequent reapplication than with other sealcoat types.

Since water-based sealers contain fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs), it is not considered an environmental hazard. You don’t need to worry about the disposal of leftover water-based sealers. When in a dry state, it can go with regular household waste.

If you are planning DIY sealcoating and are looking for an affordable option, the water-based sealer is your best bet. But if you’re after quality, durability, and longevity, then you should go with oil-based sealcoating.

Oil-based Sealer

For Jacksonville experts from CSG Sealcoating, the oil-based sealer is the recommended variety for sealcoating projects. This petroleum-based product consists of asphaltic chemicals or asphalt rejuvenators to create an oily suspension. It can be easily distinguished from water-based sealers because of its duller look. The additional polymer content makes the sealer supple and durable, but this can make cleaning more difficult.

Once applied oil-based sealcoat seeps into the surface, creating a flexible bond that reduces expansion and contraction of the asphalt layer during the winter months. This helps prevent cracks.

Oil-based sealcoat ensures complete penetration and bond with the existing, rough asphalt surfaces. Depending on the climate and volume of traffic, an oil-based sealcoat can last up to four to six years.

Although oil-based sealers are ever-reliable, they also have some drawbacks. Firstly, this type of sealcoat has a longer cure time. Depending on the size of the asphalt surface, the project may take three days. Make sure you schedule the project well to avoid disruptions in your week. Oil-based sealers also emit a strong odor that can linger for several days and even after its application.

Oil-Based Vs Water-Based Sealer: What To Choose?

Unlike water-based sealers, oil-based variety contains VOCs which can cause environmental pollution. In fact, some chains have dropped oil-based sealers. This also means you should not discard left-over oil-based sealers in regular household trash. Due to its chemical content, the permanent disposal of excess oil-based sealers should be done in a hazardous waste facility. Ideally, an oil-based sealer should be installed by experienced paving contractors to ensure proper and safe handling of the material.

These are the key difference between water- and oil-based sealers. Regardless of the sealer type, sealcoating your asphalt pavement is a worthwhile expense that can prolong the lifespan of your driveway.

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Oil-Based Vs Water-Based Sealer: What To Choose?

Oil-Based Vs Water-Based Sealer: What To Choose?

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