If you have an asphalt driveway you can easily seal coat your driveway and make it last longer and look new again. You can seal coat most driveways in one or two afternoons. An asphalt driveway should be seal coated every 3 to 5 years but there are all kinds of seal coating so check the information on the bucket of sealer to see how many years it will last. You do not want to get the 1 year kind as you will need to reapply each year. With a little planning, shopping for supplies and this guide you can seal coat your own driveway and save money.
In order to seal a driveway you need to check the weather report to see if the weather will be 60 degrees or higher without the chance of rain for the next 3 days. It is very important that you apply driveway seal coating at the right temperature without rain until it dries.
Before you go shopping measure your driveway so you will know how much driveway sealer products you will need. If you are using 2 thin coats as suggested you’ll need enough for 2 coats. Buying extra and returning it later is better than running out in the middle of the job. Below is a list of things you may need for the project.
Asphalt cleaner for gas or oil stains
Oil primer for asphalt
Rubberized crack filler
Asphalt for sunken areas and large cracks
Flathead screw driver to open driveway sealant
Trowel to spread asphalt
Tamper or large flat edge rock like a brick
Thick stick or paddle to mix driveway sealant
Sealer squeegee or brush spreading tool
Work gloves or rubber gloves
Once you’ve checked the weather you’ll need to plan your next step.
If you have low spots and larger cracks you may want to patch/fill them with asphalt patch. Clean out the area to be fixed. You may be able to accomplish this with a hose and a high-pressure nozzle. Let the area dry thoroughly before patching.
Trowel out some of the patch and use the tamper to pack the asphalt down. Don’t over-fill cracks and holes. Asphalt patch is available in 1 gallon buckets or 5 gallon buckets. Most asphalt applications require a 2 week dry time so if you need to use asphalt patches you’ll need to wait 2 weeks for the final step to seal coat over those patches.
Next you’ll want to clean the driveway. This step can be done the day before to save time and let you get an early start of the sealing part the next day. Thoroughly sweep the entire driveway. Scrub oil and gas stains with an asphalt cleaner to remove the stain so the driveway sealer will adhere to the driveway better in that spot. If the oil or gas stains are more than a few drops you’ll need to prime them with an oil primer for asphalt. After removing any stains, dirt or debris from the driveway wash the entire driveway with your hose at full pressure. The better the cleaning job the better the driveway sealant adheres to the driveway and the be
tter your results.
Wash back the edges of the driveway to expose the asphalt edge covered by grass. If the grass has grown over the edge you may want to do a little weeding so the edge is more defined. Make sure the hose jet is used to wash all the dirt off the asphalt. Any sand or dirt not washed off the driveway will be a spot where the seal-coat will not adhere properly. Also, washing the driveway the day before gives it a chance to dry so you can see if you missed anything.
Note, if you have trees that drop leaves all the time you’ll need to do a touch-up sweeping just before you begin seal-coating.
Next you’ll want to seal any cracks that are ¼ inch or wider with rubberized crack filler. Asphalt crack filler comes in a one gallon jug where you snip off the top and squeeze it into the cracks. It’s also handy to have a disposable paint brush to smooth out the crack filler so there are no big ridges on top the cracks.
By the time you finished filling the cracks you can start to mix the driveway sealer which comes in 5 gallon buckets. The buckets are very heavy to carry so if you cannot lift about 50 lbs then bring a helper when picking these up. Each 5 gallon bucket covers a thin coat of about 400 sq feet depending on surface of pavement and method of application. Stir bucket of driveway sealer with a big stick or paddle making sure to incorporate the thick bottom layer with the thin liquid top layer as to make a uniform consistency.
It’s easiest to seal a driveway if you seal the edges first with a paint brush or paint roller. Dirt and debris tend to get on the brush when you do the edges so having a rag to wipe off the brush when it gets dirty prevents the sealant from getting dirt into it. When finished with the edges start at the highest part of the driveway and pour some sealant down and then use the sealer squeegee or spreader broom tool to spread the driveway sealant to a thin coating. Work your way back and forth down the driveway working on one 6 foot section at a time.
When you are finished use the empty buckets at the end of the driveway to prevent anyone from driving on the newly sealed driveway. Most driveways dry within 36 hours but each product is different so make sure to check the bucket for specific information.