Thinking about sealing your driveway? Get the facts!
What is Sealcoat?
Sealcoat – also called sealant – is a thin layer of black material applied to pavement surfaces. It may improve the appearance of old asphalt, but it contains chemicals that are harmful to humans and the environment. There are two common types of sealcoat: coal tar-based and asphalt-based. Both produce a deep black finish on driveways, but coal tar-based sealcoat contains much higher levels of chemicals called PAHs (polycyclicaromatic hydrocarbons) that harm fish and, under some conditions, pose a risk of cancer to humans.
Why Does it Matter?
Manufacturers recommend applying seal-coat every few years to maintain an even coverage. Sealcoat wears o over time from vehicles driving on the surface, snow shoveling and plowing, wind and rain. The sealcoat ends up in lakes, streams and storm water ponds, where PAHs may damage the health of aquatic species and could potentially enter the ecosystem. Flakes of sealcoat may also be blown away by wind onto surrounding property and lawns. The air near sealcoated driveways contains PAHs that could be inhaled during activities on or near the driveway. Dust from seal-coated driveways can also get tracked into buildings, increasing PAH concentrations in the home.
Get the facts:
A study at the Universityof New Hampshire Stormwater Centerfound that:
running off a parking lot covered with coal tar-based sealcoat had 30 times more PAHs than water from an unsealed parking lot
Soil near the parking lot had highly elevated levels of PAHs, and those levels remained high for three years after the sealcoat was applied to the lot.
Dust with highly elevated levels of PAHs was transported up to 20 yards
from the sealcoated surface by tire tracking and wind.
With all of this being said, we strongly urge you to choose a coal-tar FREE sealcoat such as Rynotite. You will get the rich black color, longevity, as well as NO foul odor or PAHs.
Thanks for reading!