Driveway usually takes a lot of punishment from both the traffic and the constant weather conditions to which they are exposed. This can result in a variety of problems and damage that can become both difficult to repair and expensive. The best way to prevent this sort of thing from happening is to seal your driveway as this will really help preserve it and keep it in great shape. While you may have to invest a little bit more in getting the materials that you will need, sealing your driveway is relatively simple and will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Before you actually do any work, you should let your driveway rest. If you have just built it, it takes around 20-30 days for the driveway to settle down. During this time, the concrete will sit into its place and properly adjust to the ground. You should take extra care to clean it and remove any sort of dirt or debrief that may accumulate on it over time. This is also the time to remove any sort of oil stains and similar stuff, as well. It is important to note that most, if not all sealers, can't be applied to driveways that are wet. You have to wait between 24-48 hours for your driveway to fully dry before you can apply any sealers.
Types of Sealers
There are several different types of sealers that you can choose from and a vast variety of different manufacturing brands that are essentially too numerous to count, but all fall into one of the types mentioned here. Asphalt Sealers are composed mostly of thick or low density asphalt and they present a good choice for asphalt based driveways. Synthetic sealers like acrylic sealers are known as the more expensive solution but at the same time, they don't come with the drawbacks of being coal tar based. They are not high maintenance you won't have to replace them every few years. Coal Tar Sealers are cheap and this is their primary advantage. They are not particularly durable and can be difficult to apply in some cases. Moreover, there is even a ban on coal tar sealers in the USA. Oil based sealers are mostly based on oil and grease and in some cases can be bad for your health if they emit too much disintegrating organic compounds. They also last longer than water based sealers which are much more eco friendly but don't last very long. Another eco solution is the Linseed oil which can serve as good protection, as well. One of the most effective sealers are the epoxy based sealers but have in mind that you have to apply them fast and in equal measure.
What is important to note is that different sealers can require different protection gear. Ordinary water based and linseed oil sealers are often not dangers and don't come with chemicals that can harm you. On the other hand epoxy and oil based sealers will require from you to have gloves and in some cases full protection gear. With tar and asphalt based products you will have to work with extremely hot materials that also emit a lot of fumes which are toxic. Before you choose a sealer make sure that you read all the safety warning first.
There are many different ways to apply all kinds of different sealers but in most cases it requires very little effort. You can do in without too much complicated tools and most of the time it won't be very difficult. In most cases applying a sealer just comes down to spraying it on your driveway. Investing into overly expensive tools may not be necessary but if want to get the job done properly, getting a good sprayer that can properly disperse the concrete driveway sealer is important.
While sealing your driveway may require some extra work and a bit of an investment, you can be sure that this investment will repay itself. Damage from weather conditions and constant temperature fluctuations can really damage your driveway and force it to crack. By applying a good sealer you can prevent all that and the numerous repairs that follow which can be rather expensive.
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