Before you proceed to seal your driveway there are a few things you should consider.
When Sealer Makes the Most Sense
Sealing a driveway is a cost-effective method of maintaining a mature driveway. It makes sense when your driveway is neither new nor old. It is not necessary to seal a new asphalt driveway because its inherent oil based compound is quite resilient to harsh weather. However, it does not make sense to seal an aged driveway when it contains numerous cracks, has significant holes, or is crumbling. At that stage in a driveway’s life, it is simply better to plan for repaving. Note, driveway sealers are intended for asphalt driveways, not concrete.
Selecting a Sealer
Spend a little more for good quality, airport grade driveway sealer. Choosing a premium sealer ensures a longer life-span (about 3 years). Select a formula that is “rubberized” and “fast drying” to allow for best coverage and return to normal use in the shortest possible time. It’s also a good idea to use a sealer that emits a “low odour” and allows for “easy clean up” especially if you elect to do do-it-yourself. A 17 litre pail offers coverage ranging from 250 to 500 square feet depending on the age of the driveway. Fairly generous application of the same sealer will cover about 375 square feet. If you are uncertain about the quantity of sealer you require simply measure your driveway. Most hardware suppliers or building centres will calculate how much sealer you will need if you let them know the length and width of your driveway. A newer driveway will also likely need less sealer than an older driveway, which will likely be more porous and will therefore absorb more sealer.
Applying driveway sealer is not difficult, but it is messy – be sure to dress in clothing and footwear that you are willing to discard when finished. Before sealing your driveway be sure to remove any obstructions to access, because once you start you will not want to be moving benches, waste containers, or other heavy items. Vehicles should be parked curbside or elsewhere to enable drying. Plan to sweep your driveway of loose gravel and debris. Also, hose down or pressure wash your driveway to remove any dirt. If you have grease or oil stains, a mild detergent will aid in breaking them down to be washed away. Let your driveway dry for 24 hours before you start applying the sealer. Do this preparation and purchase necessary materials the day before your apply the sealer. That way you can start applying the sealer mid-morning and will likely be done by noon and this will allow sufficient time for the afternoon sun to dry the driveway. Most sealers will be dry to the touch in less than 24 hours, but it’s a good idea to allow two full days for drying. Weather conditions may vary that timeline. A clear, warm day is best.
Once driveway sealer has been applied, be sure to examine it closely to ensure complete coverage. Run safety tape or tail marker across the end and any entrance points to prevent accidental use during the drying period. Safely discard all containers and applicators.
We’ve talked about sealing your own driveway but if this is not a job you want to do yourself, there are many reputable companies that will apply a spray or roll on sealer for you.
If you have any questions about sealing your drive way or about real estate in general, please connect with Team Brad Bird anytime. We’re here to help!