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Asphalt Questions and Answers



Before reading any further, you can answer most questions on your own when it comes to asphalt.


When taking your car into a garage for an oil change and the machanic askes, what type of paint would you like in your engine?
There is only one product to use on your car, OIL. 

So tell me...why would one treat their driveway any different and the cost to replace is around the same price... If you put water based paint in your cars motor, you destroy it.

No different than your driveway, Poly modified tars, coal tar, slurry seal and whatever name they have come up with this year is water based and your pavement surface is oil based, once water based products are used on your asphalt... you destroy it!
Weather you choose Acorn Pro or not, use a contractor that uses Oil Baesd Liquid Asphalt for long term, long lasting benifits to your pavement..




8. How Long Should A Sealer Last?

If the water emulsions are applied, it depends on the quality of the product and it’s application. On the other hand if Liquid Asphalt is applied this will depend primarily on its exposure to the elements. However, even after the Liquid Asphalt appears to have lost all its protection, it is still working from the inside out. This can been seen by the slower rate of absorption in subsequent applications. None-the-less Liquid Asphalt’s full effectiveness should last three years if adequately applied.

9. Are There More Than Two Types Of Sealers?

Not really.  While there may be many manufacturers there are still basically just two types of sealers, the water based Col Tar and Liquid Asphalt.

10. Will Sealing My Asphalt Prevent It From Cracking?

The hairline cracks are formed by the expansion and contraction of the top layer of asphalt as it dries out while the lower layer remains soft.

Sealing asphalt with Liquid Asphalt, Not Col Tar products helps reduce the development of these hairline cracks.

11. Is It Important To Fill The Cracks In My Asphalt?

Cracks allow water to migrate under your asphalt. This can cause the substrate to soften, which in turn can cause the asphalt to crack under the weight of heavy vehicles. Acorn would be happy to 

12. Do Any Guarantees Come With The Application Of Our Product?

The answer is no...but if your not happy, we will spray again at no charge.

Since asphalt surfaces vary, from the quality of the installation to whether or not the asphalt surface has been sealed before, If so with what product and how many times. We can assure you that we use a high quality product, we apply it properly, we don’t dilute it, and we apply it at the rate recommended by the manufacturer.

13. Is Our Sealer The Shiny Black One I’ve Seen?

Yes! Liquid Asphalt or Bitumin by nature, is shiny jet black when it is first applied.

14. Will It Stay Shiny Black?

No, in time (a couple of weeks it will fade to a nice dark flat black.

15. How Long Does It Take To Turn Flat Black?

It is the sun that affects how quickly liquid asphalt turns to a flat black, therefore it will depend on the time asphalt’s exposure to the sun.

16. Is Your Product Slippery?


Liquid Asphalt is "asphalt" and "grippy not slippery it will have the normal traction you would expect from asphalt. Other products, Rubberized latex which is another name for coal Tar offers no traction. Sand is added to it to offer more traction.

17. Is liquid Asphalt Enviornmently friendly? 

Yes...and the only product in asphalt sealing that is. A product of the earth and 100% recylable. If the other products were great...we would use them! At Acorn, we are not the only company that uses liqiud Asphalt, most companies that want to stay in business for a long time provide there customers with the right product.

Asphalt Info



1. What Is Asphalt Paving?

Asphalt Paving is a mixture of raw (liquid) asphalt, sand and gravel.

Raw (liquid) asphalt is extracted from the ground and is a by product of petroleum, heated to 500 degrees Fahrenheit then mixed with the sand and gravel. NO WATER OR RUBBERIZED COMPOUNDES.

2. Is there a driveway sealing company that manufactures or produces sealent ?

No...No driveway sealing company manufactors or produces driveway sealent. The sealent is made and supplied by the big Oil company's and is delivered to large distibution points.

3. Why Should Asphalt Be Sealed?

As previously mentioned, raw (liquid) asphalt is extracted from the earth and heated in order to mix it with the sand and gravel. Asphalt, once it has been removed from the ground and becomes exposed to the elements, begins to deteriorate. As asphalt deteriorates, the color fades gray and then slowly progresses to powder. In time this will allow the sand to wash away, which in turn allows the gravel to work free. Sealing Asphalt with (liquid ashpalt) halts this process.

4. What Should Asphalt Be Sealed With?

There are two basic options. One is the water-based top coating, called “Coaltar Emulsions”, which are commonly referred to as “Seal-Coatings” as they seal asphalt by coating it breaking it down with water. The other is “Liquid Emulsionized Asphalt,” Liquid Asphalt soaks into the old asphalt, sealing and replenishing it “from the inside out” and the only seal product that should be on your driveway. 

5. Is it true that Oil or Gas is present in Liquid Emulsionized Asphalt?

Components such as Gas, Diesal and Oils have been removed during the manufacturing process by the big gas companies. Liquid asphalt is a by-product used to make asphalt and roofing materials and more importantly are 100% recycleable. 

6. Which Sealer Is Best?

The water-based emulsions are the popular product of “Seal Coating” for Contractors in USA because of their low cost and ease and less expensive application and the wrong product on asphalt. However...there is no water or rubber in the production of real asphalt.

The disadvantage of the water-based emulsions is the build up and eventual flaking and cracking you get from subsequent applications as well as it’s affect on the substrate and the enviornment. “Liquid Asphalt” penetrates into the asphalt, water based products simply coat the surface. You could compare the two to the difference between painting wood with water based paint or applying a high quality stain sealer.

7. How Often Should Asphalt Be Sealed?

This is a difficult question as there are so many variables.

For one, you have the quality of the installation of the original asphalt pavement.

Then there is the question as to whether the Asphalt has been previously sealed, with which product, and how many times. Also customers’ views tend to vary! While some wait until much of the protection is gone before having it resealed, others feel that once it no longer "looks new" it is time to reseal. Nonetheless, once you have applied liquid asphalt to your asphalt the protection continues long after all traces of the sealer seem to be gone. A major benifit to the rejuvination asphalt.

Explanation of Asphalt Coatings and Sealing Materials

So… thinking of sealing your asphalt and your doing a little research on driveway sealing, after searching the internet you come across a number of different sites on how contractors and home owners sealed there drive and the products they use. Some have good things to say others say it’s a waste of time, why don’t they seal roads?. My name is Rod, Founder and Owner of Acorn. I have over 25 years in asphalt industry it dosen't make me any more special than the next guy...but I do have a wealth of knowledge.  Here I will help you make a decision on the product you choose that will best suit your asphalt needs.

What are the asphalt sealing products on the market in Canada? When searching the Internet you will come across websites from the USA and they have there ways of doing things that are completely different then we do in Canada. In Ontario contractors use 1 of 2 types of sealers available. Homeowners have an option of doing the drive themselves by heading to your local hardware store for the sealer you find in 17 liter buckets.

Lets get started…
There are several types of asphalt sealer material that contractors can apply to asphalt. These materials include store bought sealer, Coal Tar Emulsion and Cutback. This article will cover the different types and their benefits.
First...How is pavement made? First manufacters use sand, Stone and depending on the application smaller stones for driveways and larger stone for roads and parking lots. then put through a kiln or drying process to remove moisture, then the liquid asphalt is added...yes the stuff we use at Acorn Pro. Then goes through a process to mix the ingredients. Without the liquidified asphalt, pavement simply does not exist! Pavement is not made from Coal-Tar nor is made from big box store bucket sealers. Iol based Liquid Asphalt is the only product to seal and replenish your asphalt sriveway. This the whole reason we use this product at Acorn Pro. If Asphalt was made with Cole-Tar or rubberized latex sealer compounds. We would use them!!!

Build up and Peeling

Store Bought Coatings

The first product is what you will find in the big box stores.
Purchased in a 17-liter pail and typically the label will say Airport grade and Coal Tar.

The product is a water-based paint; its job is simple…paint the drive black.
Absolutely no benefit to pavement what so ever as paint is water based. 
There is not a product out there than can stop vehicle fluids from penetrating into the asphalt.

If the application is applied properly it will look good when completed and the PHA in the product is acceptable,

If that’s what you’re looking for... Keep in mind; it can get messy so be prepared. Typically the cost per bucket is 25-30 dollars and for a two-car drive you will require 2 buckets, $60, 1 roller at $15 so you’re looking at $75 minimum and will last on your drive for a year. Multiple applications will build up and destroy your asphalt.

Future Damage

Coal Tar
Coal Tar and rubberized latex sealer...Same thing!.This sealer is created as a result of the “coking process “ in steel manufacturing.
It is comprised of a mixture of thousands of different chemicals that are different in molecular

Structure than asphalt itself and is water based, much better than the Air Port Grade however like all sealers this will not stop
fluids from penetrating the asphalt


The lifespan on Coal Tar is about 3 years; the first coat
always looks impressive. Final coat looks a matt black finish. Coal Tar is big in the USA, but recent health concerns on the product and States are banning Coal Tar one state at a time. Numerous studies have clearly shown the dangerous carcinogens and even the contractors are changing what they use. PHA in the product is a staggering 38%.

Unfortunately after a couple of years the product dries from the heat and freezing during the winter and starts to create cracking and peeling in the top layer of asphalt.
On rainy days and slushy winter the product is dangerously slippery.
When they say they add sand…that’s why!
This product literally destroys asphalt over a period of time. The cost to seal a two-car drive ranges from a 100 to 180. If you really want the water based products...use the big boxe store's airport grade...far less long term damage.

Future Damage

Liquid Asphalt

Cutback, Liquid Asphalt, Asphalt, Asphalt paste, Oil Base and
bitumen are the common and industry names.  
Liquid Asphalt is not “tar.”  Tar is Coal Tar…. not asphalt.

Asphalt is a natural substance that has some amazing physical properties. 
It’s sticky (adhesive) and it’s elastic, able to stretch, bend and flex without
breaking (cohesive).  This material does an excellent job of waterproofing. 
At air temperatures, asphalt cement is a very, very thick liquid (highly viscous). 
When heated, it becomes thinner and easier to use.  Asphalt has been used since before Roman times as glue and for waterproofing.  In a few places in the world, it’s naturally occurring, such as in a lake on the island of Trinidad and in the LaBrea “tar pits” in downtown Los Angeles.  Almost all of the asphalt used today for paving comes from petroleum crude oil.  Liquid asphalt is the heaviest part of the crude—what’s left after all the volatile, light fractions are distilled off for products such as gasoline.  In Europe and Canada it is commonly called bitumen.


Asphalt is supplied in several different grades.  Generally softer asphalts are used in colder temperatures and harder asphalts in hotter.  Premium grades usually have polymers or other modifiers for use in heavy-duty applications such as intersections on city streets or airports or in extreme climates. Liquid Asphalt and it’s properties maintain your asphalt naturally, It water proofs your asphalt, offers the ability to prevent cracking, doesn’t freeze and is the only product that will replenish the lost oils in your asphalt.


This product is asphalt! It is what your driveway is made from. If you mix the proper amount of sand and stone…you make asphalt.  Asphalt is a product of the earth, the PHA are minimal at less then 5% and is the only product that is 100% recyclable. ASPHALT IS THE MOST RECYCLED PRODUCT IN NORTH AMERICA.

After reading thus far there is no doubt I am partial to liquid asphalt. I hope you understand why…well I'm educated in it...and now Im helping you make the right choice...It’s simply the best product on the market and will benefit your pavement. When your drive is sprayed it will last up to two years…however, if your Liquid Asphalt is applied for the first time, keep in mind, it will only last a year maybe a year and a half it simply is extracted into the pavement very quickly. After 2 or 3 applications the sealer will last for many years. Cost for a two car drive is $110

Future Damage

Pure Replenishment

Future Damage

Why not Roads

I have been asked the question every day…it’s a waste of money to seal your driveway, they never do roads!. Great question. As stated above asphalt roads are engineered much differently than a parking lot or a driveway, however…yes, they do seal roads…A different product is used because of its quicker drying times. It’s been something municipalities have been exploring for years to help maintain their roads. 

Roadways are a foot thick with asphalt and produced to have many years of success. Asphalt roads basically seal themselves from the inside out in the hot summer months but it’s not enough. Vehicle rolling traffic is required to maintain the pavements integrity…with out traffic, roads would crumble.

Recently the City of Guelph and Vancouver have been experimenting with soybean oils to replenish the oils in asphalt. Dry time is less than an hour and done at the right time day it when it won’t pose a problem to traffic. Studies show it’s a complete success.

Hope this helps


Acorn Pro


New Driveway, Here's some tips from Acorn Pro

Future Damage

Please refer to these tips to help you care for your investment. Since the liquid asphalt in pavement needs time to harden and cure, usually 12 months, your driveway will remain somewhat soft and especialy the two or even three months. You may walk on your new driveway immediately, but keep automobile traffic off it for at least 7 days in hotter temperatures.

Your new asphalt driveway will soften and harden as temperatures rise and fall. Watering down your driveway with a hose on hot days will cool and temporarily harden the asphalt. This is helpful, but not mandatory. If soap suds should appear do not be alarmed. This is a reaction between the diesel fuel found in asphalt.

Although your asphalt pavement contractor makes every effort to avoid puddles in your driveway, some small ones are inevitable depending on the natural slope and drainage of your ground.

Your new driveway can be scarred ( tire imprints ) so be carefull in the summer.

During the first 6-12 months while your driveway is curing, don’t park in the same spot every time. Do not turn your steering wheel back and forth when your car is not moving.

Avoid using jack stands or car ramps unless a piece of plywood is placed under them to help distribute the weight.


Lawn chairs, bicycle and motorcycle kick-stands exert weight on concentrated areas and will create holes and depressions in your new driveway


Although every effort is made to remove and kill and grass, weeds and dandelion before your driveway is paved, they sometimes have very deep roots. If any should push up through your driveway, contact us for instructions, or use a spot weed killer to simply correct the problem.

Avoid gasoline, oil, anti-freeze, power steering and transmission fluid spills and and leaks.

To preserve your new driveway, it is advisable to seal it 12 months after is has been paved. Unprotected driveways remains porous, dry out, become rough, and lose their life rapidly. This results in deterioration, ridges and upheaval due to frost and freezing. Asphalt is also softened and broken up by gasoline, lube oil, grease, road salts and anti-freeze which drips from cars. Sealer protects asphalt with a seal that is impervious to these harmful elements. Sealing too soon, however, may cause damage to your new driveway.

Call us for a recommendation for the best time to seal your driveway. With a professional job and scheduled maintenance, you can preserve the life and beauty of your new driveway for many years to come.

AcornPro...Leading the
way since 1988

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