If you have a concrete driveway, you have made an investment into this area of your home. If you are like most homeowners, you will want to take the necessary steps to ensure you maintain this valuable investment. One very important step many homeowners fail to take is applying sealcoating. By sealcoating your drive, you will help to protect your concrete from the damaging rays of the sun, as well as moisture and other chemicals, which can wreak havoc on this area. Still unsure this is a process you need to do? Here is some additional information which may help you make up your mind.
What Is Sealcoating?
A concrete sealcoat is simply a barrier applied over top of your concrete to help protect your driveway against any damaging elements. This barrier goes on in liquid form and will help to fill shallow cracks. One of the most important aspects is it will discourage water, as well as other liquids from seeping through your top surface. This will keep the interior base of your driveway intact, which will help to prevent shifting and other damage.
You may think all of the damage to your concrete is being caused by the freezing and thawing which occurs in cold climates in the winter, but this is not the case. There are elements in all climates that can be just as damaging. Some of these are:
- Oil or gas from leaky vehicles
- Deicer, antifreeze, and other chemicals used for the care of your vehicle
- UV rays from the sun
- Natural shifting soils, and more
With this in mind, it is important you initially seal your concrete, as well as reseal it, as needed. This will not only prolong the life of your driveway, but will save you from having to do costly repairs throughout the years.
Sealcoat Will Not Fix Your Cracks
If your driveway already has minor cracking, applying a layer of sealcoat will not repair this surface damage. In this case, you will be better off hiring a paving contractor to resurface, or apply a concrete overlay on your drive. While both processes are used for the repair and maintenance of your driveway, they are very different.
When the contractor applies an overlay they will use a paver to lay a thin coating of additional concrete on top of the drive you already have. While any major damages will need to be repaired prior to either process being performed, an overlay will help take care of minor damage and imperfections.
Types Of Sealcoat
If you choose to apply your sealant yourself, there are two basic types of sealers on the market to choose from. Most will fall into one of the following categories:
- Penetrating sealers - these types of sealers help to provide protection by chemically reacting within the concrete itself. This reaction will help to protect the concrete from moisture penetration, and chemicals. Penetrating sealers provide a natural matte finish. What makes penetrating sealers different from the other types of sealers is they allow moisture vapors to escape.
- Film-Forming sealers - unlike their penetrating partners, film-forming sealers forms a protective barrier over the surface of the concrete. This type of sealer is most commonly used on different types of decorative concrete work. They come in a variety of chemical compositions and which one you choose will often depend on the area it is being applied on. The materials you will have to choose from are:
Although penetrating sealer will usually give you the best results on the types of exterior concrete used in driveways, this does not mean you do not want to consider a film-forming sealer. You may even choose to use both types, especially if you have decorative concrete edging, or stamped designs within your driveway. Contact professionals like Island Asphalt Co for additional information.