All you need to know about Driveways

Your home is not only indoors where you are housed way from the harsh weather elements. Your driveway is also your home. Maintaining your driveway is part and parcel of maintaining your property. This might not be one of the easiest things to do. There is need to know how to seal it or even repave it. So first of all when should you seal it?

holte-86497_640If the driveway has areas where the pavement is rutted or severely broken, where the pavement sort of looks like the hide of an alligator – we call this “alligatoring” or alligator cracks – this is when you need to start thinking about new asphalt. When a pavement gets to that point you really can’t crack fill it any more.

To crack fill over a patch of alligator cracks would basically turn the area into a continuous sheet of crack filling rubber. If you would do that, in warmer weather, vehicle tires can adhere to this large area of crack filler and literally pull the pavement out of the driveway.

Also, a driveway that has been sealed/oversealed over the years can cause this alligatoring effect. The key is to look very closely at the pavement. Alligatoring from oversealing has more of a look of cracked glazing on pottery and doesn’t actually crack the pavement underneath, while alligatoring of the pavement will show actual cracks down into the pavement where an object like a butter knife could be inserted. Merely sealing really can’t cure either condition.

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You do not just get any sealer for your driveway. If you want to save money then you can go for acrylic resin based sealers but the best is pure acrylic resin. When going out shopping for the the se3alers then ensure that you do plenty of reading. Read the label and data sheet. Look out for things such as non-yellowing or resistance to grease.

Types of driveway sealers

The most common types of film-forming driveway sealers are acrylic-resin based. Acrylic sealers provide the best performance characteristics for the cost, and they often are blended with epoxies, polyurethanes or silicones to improve performance, durability and water resistance. Acrylics, themselves, are also available in different forms, with some types delivering better performance than others. Styrene acrylic, for example, is a lower-performance acrylic resin that may yellow and degrade when exposed to direct sunlight. The best type of acrylic is a virgin or pure acrylic resin. These sealers will last longer than styrene acrylics, with no yellowing.

Buying tips

Before buying any driveway sealer, read the technical data sheet as well as the product label. Most suppliers will have technical data available on their websites, and it can tell you a lot about what you’re getting. Key words or phrases to look for are non-yellowing, waterproofing, dust proofing, breathability and resistance to oil, grease, and acids. The product should have detailed instructions on how to apply it as well as recommendations for maintenance and re-application.Penetrating sealers are made of specialty resins (silicones, siloxanes and silanes) that penetrate into the concrete and form a chemical barrier to water, oil and other common contaminants.

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Most people prefer concrete driveways. It is therefore important to know what to consider for the same. You should have three things in mind safety appearance and durability.

Safety: With concrete driveways, the surface should be resistant to slips once the sealer has set and dried. A waterproof, penetrating concrete sealer is best instead of a film forming sealer since the former doesn’t have gloss and provide slip resistance. When checking for slip resistance, apply the sealer in a discreet portion of the driveway during both wet and dry conditions to make certain that it meets your safety requirements.

Durability: No sealer is exactly the same and no sealer can last your whole life. Normally, concrete sealers can last between one and three years dependent on the sealer type and the weather elements it’s constantly exposed to. The quality and exact resin type is a big factor when considering durability and performance, as well as the cost of the sealer — the saying “you get what you pay for” applies here.

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