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2014 Asphalt vs Coal Tar Sealer Prices: Costs Outpace Inflation

This year the price of driveway sealcoat continues its climb over previous years. Both coal tar and asphalt-based products saw the largest p...

This year the price of driveway sealcoat continues its climb over previous years. Both coal tar and asphalt-based products saw the largest percentage increases in the last 4 years inspite of a dwindling variety of coal tar based products.

1973 Ad for Coal Tar Sealer
The survey, which we have done annually since 2011, saw the price of coal tar sealers jump over 7% and the average price of asphalt-based sealers leap up over 17% in the same timeframe. The survey is a from a web-based search of consumer products in 4 to 5 gallons buckets. While the retail market for sealers represents a small percentage of the overall sealant market (estimated to be 10% or so), it may be a barometer of overall products prices.

The number of retail choices of coal tar products also continues to fall. About 2 out of every 3 sealer varieties in 2014 were asphalt-based, compared to nearly 20 years ago 90% of sealers on the retail market contained coal tar. That is good news for the health of the environment and the DIYer and his/her family, but it is only a drop in the overall coal tar bucket. At this time the only way to reduce this is through legislation or consumer preference.

Frequently people ask which product lasts longest or is better. Generally speaking, these products, no matter which primary ingredient it contains, become more expensive with the addition of polymers and fortifiers that make the product perform better. In other words, which would you think would last longer a coal tar sealant at $113 per 5 gallon bucket or one that costs just $13?

This is illustrated with the below price-versus-warranty graph using the retail "Black Jack" line of asphalt-based driveway sealer. A product that just has a 2 year warranty is about half the amount of one that has a 10 year warranty. Which is "better?" It would depend on what you can afford. Longevity of the products are a function of the quality of the ingredients and the quality of the installation.


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Coal Tar Free America: 2014 Asphalt vs Coal Tar Sealer Prices: Costs Outpace Inflation
2014 Asphalt vs Coal Tar Sealer Prices: Costs Outpace Inflation
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