Asphalt driveway sealing: 25 Tips To Great Driveway Now!


Asphalt driveways are great for many applications, driveways, parking lots, and roads. It is usually cheaper than concrete and quicker to put down. When taken care of, a driveway can last a decade or longer. We show you how to fix your asphalt driveway, the asphalt driveway sealing tips and what works, what doesn’t.

What are asphalt driveway sealing tips that I should consider with my driveway? If your asphalt driveway is in serious need of repair you should follow these tips: 1. sealing is cheaper than replacing, 2. however, sealing doesn’t last more than a few years, 3. use a quality sealer, it does make a huge difference in the fininsh and longevity of the sealant, 4. clean your driveway before your seal, 5. let it dry completely before you patch, 6. patch when it is dry, 7. let it dry, 8. finally, apply the sealant – generously. Drench, don’t paint or spray it on. 9. Use a broom squeegee

Should I seal my asphalt driveway?

Yes, if your driveway can be saved…and chances are it can be. If your asphalt driveway is more than 10 years old than, chances are, it needs some TLC and is falling apart

RELATED: 3 Simple Methods to Permanently Raise Concrete with Foam NOW!. If you have cracks, spider cracks, crumbling corners or the center of your driveway is breaking up…then you need a fix.

Ok what should I do?

  1. Clean it. Your driveway needs to be clean before you patch it. You should use a broom or leaf blower to remove any of the loose debris, leaves, and dirt.
  2. Wash it. Use a power washer to clean it off. You really need to clean off all of the deep-down dirt, grease, oil that has built up over the years. Use a quality degreaser to get it clean.
  3. Remove loose asphalt. If there are spots where you have loose asphalt then you should use a shovel to remove it from the driveway. If left in place it will likely break apart in the new year and leave a bigger hole.
  4. Trim your grass. Trim your grass back at least 2″ all the way around your driveway. This way you will be able to completely seal it and your corners won’t break down in 2 years.
  1. Patch it. Patch uneven spots and any holes. Use a quality patch kit like this one here. You can get a cold or a hot patch kit. Hot patch kits are ideal as you can form them into the area easier than with a cold kit. If you get a cold kit then you have to use a heavy stamper to compress the asphalt into place.
  2. Seal it.
    • Equipment:
      1. Sealer,
      2. Patch it or EZ Street asphalt patch
      3. squeegee,
    • Temperature: Ideally above 60 degrees F. 65-75 degrees is better but don’t apply it over 85 degrees.
Equipment
Sealer
Patch It
Squeegee
Driveway cleaner and degreaser

Process

How to apply it:

  • Turn it over. Turn the 5 gallon bucket over the night before so it mixes. Turn it back over, right side up, 1 hour before you start. This will help mix the sealant further.
  • Pour it slowly. Open bucket and pour it near the top of the driveway near the center. About 4 quarts or 1/5th of the bucket on the driveway.
  • Get used to how runny and easy it is to move on the driveway with your squeegee so you don’t put too much down and have a mess.
  • Wax-on/wax-off – Move your squeegee like you would a mop that is mopping up a big mess….cleanup in isle 9!
  • Pull it to the edge. Take it almost to the edge of the driveway and then slowly pull the liquid to the edge. You don’t want it dripping all over your grass. This stuff is hard to clean up.
  • Pour the next 1/3rd of the bucket and squeegee your way down the driveway.
  • Repeat. Pull it to the edge until everything is covered.

Bonus tip: Put a second coat on the next day – once the 1st coat has dried 24 hours. The second coat will make sure your sealant lasts much longer than just one coat.

Asphalt driveway sealing tips: What is the best sealer for asphalt driveway?

1. Latex Polymer

DIY 5 gallon bucket – overview. This is the best method for applying seal coat to your asphalt driveway. It takes as long as the other methods and lasts much longer than any spray on oily sealant.

It is much thicker and usually lasts at least a few years compared to just a few months with the sprayed-on type.

Pros:

  1. 1-hour quick dry. This doesn’t take days to cure like some other brands.
  2. Fills and seals. Unlike coal tar, this product fills holes and seals the asphalt driveway.
  3. 10 year warranty!
  4. Enhanced rubberized system. Provides superior grip, traction.
  5. Resists tire marks (from turns)
  6. More flexible than coal tar. This is a great characteristic since asphalt itself is flexible and expands, contracts. It helps aphalt from breaking due to the different

Cons:

  1. Very few
  2. Has slightly less coverage than coal tar

2. Coal Tar (sprayed tar)

Overview: Commercial spray on. Don’t pay the premium for the commercial spray on seal coat. Most commercial spray on seal coats are oil or a thin “coal tar”. This is easy for the commercial companies to apply the seal coat to your driveway – so it is built for speed – not for quality.

Pros:

  1. Contractors love this product since it is cheap. This is about the only good quality it has.
  2. It is easy to spray.

Cons:

  1. Coal tar has poly cyclic aromatic hydrocarbons ( it has carcinogens – IT COULD CAUSE CANCER).
  2. Irritating fumes – very strong odors that are irrating to your eyes for several weeks.
  3. Not environmentally friendly.
  4. These thin seal coats don’t last long on your driveway – perhaps 6-12 months…max. So you are paying more $$$ for the commercial spraying company to quickly apply thin oily sealant to your driveway – that doesn’t last. Why would you choose this option?
  5. DIY self spray on. The same problems with the commercial application apply to this DIY method. This method does not provide you a quality seal coat on your asphalt driveway. It also is not quicker than the squeegee method and is often much messier. Don’t choose this option.

Asphalt driveway sealing costs

Latex asphalt emulsion sealers like Ultra Shield cost around $50-60 for a 5 gallon bucket. These are the higher quality versions with 10 year warranties. You can get regular high quality sealers with 8 year warranties for a few dollars cheaper.

I have a 20′ X 16′ (320 square foot) and used the Ultra Shield 5 gallon bucket. It was enough for the entire driveway and some was still left in the bucket. I put a second coat after it completely dried for 24 hours with a 2nd bucket and have a great finish that lasted years!

2 buckets = $120

squeegee = $20

Patch It = $20

Total cost = $160.

The commercial coal tar sprayer quoted me at $500! Insane!

Commercial Coal Tar. Asphalt sealing costs an average of $400 with the typical cost range of $242 and $643. On average, seal-coating costs $0.14 to $0.25 per square foot depending on where you live, the cost may vary.

TypeSF CoverageSF CostLife Expectancy
Latex300$0.10120+
Coal tar400$0.066-12 months
Asphalt emulsion300$0.0624-48+ months

Do asphalt driveways need to be sealed? If so, how often?

Yes. After they have been 1st laid down, you should seal them at least every 2-5 years depending on where you live and how quickly it wears off. Even with the best sealant you will need to re-seal to keep your asphalt sealed so it doesn’t break down with the extreme winter. Water is horrible for asphalt and concrete alike.

How do you dispose of the latex sealer without killing the environment?

Make sure not to pour the remaining sealer away or down a storm drain. One pint of oil or sealant can produce a slick of approximately one acre of water. EPA.gov

There are only a few option you have for disposing your own bucket.

  • Recycle at the local landfill. Most landfills accept used motor oil and tar from homeowners. At our local landfill, they have designated areas for paint, oil, and other chemicals. It is usually free (paid for with your taxes).

How long to stay off an asphalt driveway after it is sealed?

6 hours – before you walk on it. Although most latex sealers will be dry in an hour, it is best to let it completely dry with a minimum of 6 hours before you walk on it. It would be safer to wait at least 24 hours before attempting to do so.

24 hours – before you can drive on it. This is a minimum for driving a vehicle on your newly sealed driveway. The chemical compounds in your latex sealant needs enough time to cure. Any attempt to drive on it before 24 hours will likely leave streaks in your newly sealed asphalt driveway – which will look horrible.

Pro tip: If you wait at least 48 hours before driving on the newly sealed driveway than it will have more than enough curing time.

If you use 2 coats than it will need the extra drying time before you drive. Think of it this way…would you drive on a newly painted wall if you could?

Can you seal an asphalt driveway when it is wet?

Technically you could but this would be a horrible idea. Your latex asphalt sealer needs to stick to a clean, dry surface for the best results. Moisture on your driveway can lead to problems after you seal it would can impact how long your sealer lasts. Why risk it?

Can you use a paint roller to paint the sealer onto the driveway?

Technically you could but you shouldn’t. Latex based sealers are meant to be squeegeed on by design. They are not intended to be applied with a paint brush. If you don’t have any other tools to apply the sealer than you could use a paint brush but it would be a mess and is not recommended.

Why not?

Brushes are not designed for sealers for several reasons:

They roll the sealer on. It is designed to be brushed or pulled by a squeegee.

Rollers tend to lose fabric in the paint and leave bumps in the paint. This also shows up in latex sealers for asphalt driveways.

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D. Hahn

DIY guru, dad, husband, blogger. When I'm not creating life hacks I'm teaching my kids how to fix stuff after their dad breaks it.

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