Asphalt driveway sealcoat - two types

From my experience, and from what I've read, there are two types of driveway sealcoat.
One penetrates; the other tends to sit on top and can get slippery. I'd like the former and not the latter.
Please fill me in on the details and buzzwords - I'm taking estimates and would like to avoid the slippery stuff.
Banty
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Banty writes:

Better to understand them in terms of the technology than the purported effects. And then demand specifics about how much material is going to be applied. Don't let them wave hands about how good something is.
Your technical choices are between (1) asphalt-tar-in-water emulsion with clay and sand fillers, (2) hot tar with no water, and (3) other non-asphaltic stuff (acrylic or rubber) in a water emulsion and possibly sand/clay filler.
They're all more or less paint. Nothing is going to "penetrate" and renew the dried-out asphaltic concrete. The only way it could be "slippery" is if you put so much on that you have a thick enough coating to produce a flat surface.
Best performance and economy is hot tar, but this requires the most equipment and other fixed overhead. Applying emulsions is basically nothing more than painting.
All of the coatings are woefully uneconomical in getting material in place for dollars. You are better off saving your money for repaving with new thick asphalt at $$/ton than applying a paper-thin coating of the same asphaltic substances at $$$$/ton. The illusion of value comes from the cosmetics of having a fresh coat of cheap paint, at least for a few days or weeks. Some people just want to believe a mere paint job will extend the life more than trivially.
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Where Richard Kinch lives, what he says is more or less true as far as sealing being worthwhile to increase the longivity of asphalt. He lives in Florida, where they don't get many deep freezes. In New England, however, seal coating dramatically lengthens the life of asphalt pavement. And you know what else? A smooth dark black driveway makes your whole house worth more money, and makes it easier to sell.
His arguments about the cost of the material vs. repaving is just plain laughable.
CWM
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I live in New England and don't seal mine and it looks better than some newer crappy jobs in the area. Cracks should be filled if they occur. The rest is cosmetic. Re-coat the week before you list the house for sale. Otherwise, it is a waste.
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Charlie Morgan writes:

As a kind of "life support" for a driveway near death, you get some extra time. That money is better spent on fresh pavement.

Cosmetics have some value. By all means, put on a fresh coat of paint on your driveway, as on looks alone it may more than pay for itself in perceived value in the eyes of a buying prospect. But in terms of genuine useful life, not in my estimate.
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Nonsense. The driveway should be sealcoated the forst time when it is about 2 or three years old. That's when it starts to really dry out.

Your "estimate" is way off. That much is crystal clear. As I said, you are not intelligent enough to figure that diferent climates may present different challenges.
My driveway, which has been maintained properly and a neigbor's which was put in by the same contractor during the same time as mine look VERY different after 10 years. MIne still looks pretty much as it did when new, and the neigbor, who didn't believe in sealcoating, is now looking at bids for a cap. DUH!
Yeah, I'm really sorry that I wasted almost $500 over 10 years on driveway maintenance. My neighbor is looking at a bill of somewhere between $3500 and $4000 to even us up. Smart!
CWM
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I am 49 years old:( When I was a little kid my next door neighbr put in a asphalt driveway. He still lives there although we moved over 30 years ago.
he sealed his driveway filled cracks and put in lots of effort, guess what his near 50 year old asphalt driveway stioll looks good.
admittely he isnt maintaing it like he used to, tom meehan must be about 80 today.
I seal my over 20 year old asphalt driveway every few years, it cracks a little but still looks good. I used to use the coal tar emulsions but use the latex based filler sealer today.
asphalt lasting 50 years, geez thats almost forever..........
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If you're happy, I'm happy. Mine is 28 years old, was seal coated once about 24 years ago. Looks like it will last another 28 years. Maybe your job was not so good if it needs coating to maintain itself. If, unlike your neighbor's driveway, you really made a difference, it was worth the effort, but if the job was a good one to start with, you'd be $500 and a lot of effort ahead.
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There is nothing wrong with the quality of my driveway. I had the old one torn out, and a lot of drainage work done. This driveway doesn't know what a puddle is, because it doesn't have any. I recoat it about every 6 or 7 years. It takes about 2 hours. BFD
CWM
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Charlie Morgan writes:

So you're saying adding a paper-thin layer of asphalt onto an inches-thick slab of the same asphalt will keep it from "drying out"? That for the first year or two it is not "drying out"?

I can only perform an engineering analysis of the problem. I am not intelligent enough to believe in your hunches.
Almost all asphalt pavement is on public roadways, maintained by engineers who know better than to waste money coating it. Asphalt coatings are sold to suckers who own private driveways and parking lots. The only cost- effective exception I know of is retailers who want to paint over their parking lots to get rid of ugly oil stain patterns from parked cars and improve the looks of the place. Or anyone else that values the looks. Durability is not part of the value.
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I'm saying you are WRONG.

Practical application and proof of theory based on real life results trumps your incompetent analyisis

Not around here.

And international airports! What a bunch of knuckleheads!
CWM
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Don't worry, I know better. And I've already encountered this character in misc.consumers.house.
I'm in upstate New York. And I do believe in maintenance.
Cheers, Banty
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Richard J Kinch wrote:

Regarding true penetration of the sealer, I agree. However, a painted vs. an unpainted surface of any kind is generally protected more than trivially. The purpose of sealcoating in a colder climate, or where there are seasonal shifts, is to prevent penetration of water into small cracks where a freeze/thaw cycle causes cracks to expand. If you can fill those cracks in with sealcoat (a good coat of "paint"), they won't fill in with water. Sealcoating doesn't "renew" the asphalt in the sense that it replaces lost oils. The renewal is surface and cosmetic in nature. It does, however, protect the asphalt. After all, a good coat of high-solids paint protects the wood on a house. It doesn't "renew" the wood in any technical way. Its renewal is also surface and cosmetic.
Here in the Chicago area, roads are constantly being repaved because of frost heave. This is because water has a fairly unique property among liquids. Due to the polarity of water molecules, when ice crystals form, water actually slightly expands and is at its least dense right about the freezing point. This means that any water which gets into cracks as a liquid, then freezes is going to push apart the sides of the cracks, opening them up more. Run through a freeze/thaw cycle a few times, and you have an ever-expanding crack. As a little experiment to demonstrate this, you can put a paper cup filled with water to the brim in the freezer, and come back the next day when it has frozen. The ice will probably be pushed out over the top, and the paper cup may actually be torn.
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road departments dont usually seal asphalt because at highway speeds sealer makes things slippery.
at driveway speeds this is a non issue.
I asked a penn dot engineer once out of curosity.
makes perfect sense
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We had a "professional" seal coat our driveway. It is rather steep. One day shortly after the job I wanted to take my wife to lunch. It had started to drizzle and the driveway was slippery. She fell and we went to the emergency room for X Rays rather than to lunch.
That made me distrust "professionals."
I discovered that local hardware stores sell two versions in five gallon buckets: one with "sand" to enhance friction and one "plain." After the drive to the hospital I bought the "sand" version.
Banty wrote:

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