08 Jan What type of sealant should you choose for your asphalt ?
Well-maintained asphalt keeps its original appearance and lasts longer
No matter how old your pavement is, regular maintenance helps it retain its original appearance and improves its longevity. Bitumen is a heavy fraction of crude oil, and since asphalt is made from bitumen, it possesses similar physical properties. A soft and flexible material, asphalt requires preventative treatment and regular maintenance to prevent damage caused by the sun, heat, the passage of vehicles, oil, gasoline, road salt, water seepage, or stagnant rainwater. The surface as well as all cracks must be filled by applying a protective sealant to prevent the pavement from becoming discoloured, bursting, cracking, warping, sinking, or chipping.
These days, we can find non-slip and resistant acrylic sealants on the market that have the advantage of being able to give an asphalted surface different colours, such as grey, terracotta, or green. Less expensive than bitumen-based sealants, they’re otherwise unsuitable for asphalt, since they remain on the surface and prevent it from breathing. Sealants made from acrylic, which is a foreign body to asphalt, lack adhesion and promote the deterioration of asphalted surfaces, which crack and chip after a year or two, since water seeps into the pavement.
Sealants with bitumen
As opposed to the water or tar-based sealants sold in DIY stores, which only colour the pavement, oil-based sealants with bitumen – also referred to as coal emulsion – are made of ingredients similar to those present in the asphalt, protect asphalted surfaces, and help them preserve their original dark colour. By penetrating the pavement, they offer better flexibility than other types of sealants, don’t give off any odours following application, and let the asphalt breathe. Their texture helps make the surface smooth and harmonious, with a natural and totally even black finish.
Bitumen and polymer-based sealants
With great moisturizing abilities, bitumen and polymer-based sealants preserve the elasticity of the asphalt pavement and prevent penetration by water and hydrocarbons while preventing the appearance of cracks, blisters, or chipped sections. Treating pavement that’s starting to show cracks and potholes with a sealant helps stop water seepage and reduce damage. For more seriously damaged pavement, recovering or replacing the damaged parts is required.
Regardless of its age, an asphalt surface requires an appropriate sealant to preserve its original look and make it last over time. While acrylic sealants give a beautiful appearance to asphalt pavement, bitumen-based sealants – with or without polymers – also help protect the pavement, repair cracks and potholes, prevent damage caused by bad weather, and help extend the lifespan of the asphalt.