How To Seal Asphalt Driveway
Over time, some wear and tear begin to show in the asphalt – whether it’s properly installed or not. Sections will begin to crack, crumble, or fade. This lowers the curb appeal of your home and can even reduce your property value. Not to mention it’s also unsafe and an insurance liability.
A sealcoat application should be applied shortly after your driveway is installed. From there, sealant should be reapplied every 2 years. This sealcoating is a protectant. Sealant freshens up the appearance of a tired-looking driveway and prevents further deterioration.
While sealing a driveway may not seem too complicated, it’s possible a DIY attempt can do more harm than good. Although we understand the need to save a few bucks, mistakes made when sealing a driveway yourself can cost you more in the long run than hiring a professional.
As the leading paving/sealcoating company in New Castle, PA, we obviously recommend you hire professionals like us and spare yourself all the unnecessary time, aggravation, and headaches. But, if you absolutely must do-it-yourself, here are a few recommendations to minimize the potential for disaster.
Give Asphalt Time to Cure
Make sure you don’t seal your driveway too soon after it is installed. In the New Castle area, we recommend waiting about 90 days after the driveway has been installed. You want to give the asphalt sufficient time to harden before applying sealant.
Pay Attention to the Weather Forecast
There’s no problem if the weather is humid. A dampened asphalt is better to apply sealant to. Precipitation and chilly temperatures are what’s going to bring problems. Temperatures falling below 50 degrees or some rain in the forecast can create many issues. You also need to consider the forecast for 3 or 4 days after the sealant has been applied.
Wear disposable clothing. If you plan on wearing the shoes you regularly wear, have a new pair of shoes on standby. The likelihood of getting black sealant on your shoes is high – although you could try wearing plastic bags over both shoes. Be sure to wear gloves when you’re applying the sealant. It’s best that sealcoat chemicals not make contact with your skin.
Be Sure to Properly Clean & Prep
Clean your driveway as thoroughly as possible prior to sealing it. Trapped oils between the asphalt and sealant will gradually ruin your driveway by eating away at the asphalt. If your driveway is in need of repairs, make sure those repairs are addressed before sealing your driveway. Otherwise, those problems will only get worse under the new sealant.
All weeds should be pulled. A push broom could be used to remove debris off your driveway. It’s recommended that a pressure washer be used to clean out large cracks. Store-bought asphalt cleaner can also be used to remove oil stains. The entire driveway should then be scrubbed with detergent and water. Do this right before the asphalt sealer is applied. This way, the asphalt is still damp for the first sealant application.
Choose a Preferred Sealcoat
Driveway pavers typically use two types of seal coats – refined coal tar emulsion and asphalt emulsion.
Coal tar sealers offer protection from gas spills or leaking oils. They are highly durable and resistant to the elements. The downside is they’re harsh on the skin and emit a horrible smell when first applied. Although they’re typically less expensive, they also require constant stirring throughout the application process.
Asphalt emulsion sealers are the most widely used asphalt driveway sealer. They’re known for their ease of use. However, they don’t protect as well against oil or gasoline spillage and they tend to fade quicker.
This is another instance where a professional driveway installer could save you from making a horrible decision.
Mix the Seal Coat Product
Your buckets of sealant should be purchased at least two days before you seal your driveway. They should be turned upside down. This helps mix the sealant and provide a consistent color. If a bucket is about a third full, the second bucket can then be mixed with it. This helps keep the color of your sealer uniform.
Driveway Sealing Tips
Avoid applying excess sealer. A thin layer of sealant will give you your best result. There’s no reason to waste money applying a thick coat. Complete coverage is typically achieved with two thin seal coats. That’s something a professional driveway paver doesn’t get wrong. DIY’ers on the other hand commonly use too much sealant.
A couple gallons can be poured onto the driveway. Try to work in smaller areas. This way the sealant doesn’t dry too fast while it’s being spread. A brush broom or squeegee can be used to apply sealant where the driveway has overlapping ribbons. The squeegee can be used to carefully pull the sealer to the edges of the driveway.
The first coat should be laid out in long horizontal stripes down the driveway. It will take anywhere from 6 to 12 hours for the sealer to dry. Once it is dried, the second coat can be applied in vertical stripes.
Stay Off the Driveway Until It Dries
Keep off the driveway until the second coat is completely dried. The specific drying time will be mentioned in the directions on the sealer’s container. On average, it’s roughly 24 hours.
To keep people from accidentally driving onto the driveway, rope off or use empty sealer cans to block off the entrance.
Want Professional Sealcoating?
Hiring a professional asphalt contractor will not only save you time, it will also ensure you get a top of the line job. Professional sealcoaters use only the highest-quality pavement sealers for maximum resistance, durability, adhesion, and flexibility. When you choose a reliable asphalt maintenance and sealcoating company like Fulena Pavers, you’ll get a finished result you’re going to love. Call us today at 1-800-257-6081 for a free no-obligation estimate on driveway sealcoating.