Driveways can really take a beating from the elements. Rain, snow, and sunlight can cause a driveway to start cracking in only a few short years—and if the damage is left unchecked—can totally ruin it. That’s why homeowners need to stay on top of their driveway maintenance to ensure that it not only looks good for as long as possible but so it remains functional as well.

A big part of driveway maintenance is knowing when to reseal the asphalt. Once that’s been determined, the homeowner then needs to figure out which asphalt sealer is best for them, and then they need to apply that product effectively to get the best results. To help all of our readers achieve those goals, we’ve decided to go ahead and write this guide on the subject. In this guide, we’ll cover how to purchase a great asphalt sealer and how to apply it properly. Let’s get started with the project and get to work.

How To Buy A Great Asphalt Sealer

Several different products fall under the asphalt sealer umbrella and not all of these products are equal in application or durability. That’s why we’ve decided to go ahead and write a guide that briefly touches on all of these asphalt sealers so all of our readers can differentiate the difference between them.

Asphalt-Based Sealers

These products are made up of asphalt cement and their main advantage is that they emit fewer toxic fumes than coal-tar sealers. That makes these products widely popular among homeowners. Anyone applying an asphalt-based sealer can expect it to last anywhere from 5-8 years.

Coal-Tar Sealers

At one point in history, coal-tar sealers were the most widely used product used. It was a product that lasted a long time and held up to the elements well. Unfortunately, it was also a product that emitted toxic fumes, and as a result, many areas are banning its use. The National Toxicology Program considers coal-tar to be a human carcinogen, so its use is no longer recommended.

Fill & Seal Products

Another type of sealer that’s commonly used is fill-and-seal products. These products contain either sand or a sand analog that fills cracks up to a 1/8th of an inch wide, while it’s spread over an existing driveway. This product is usually applied with a driveway squeegee or a broom and it leaves a non-skid surface. This is a product that can’t be used on driveways with cracks larger than 1/8th of an inch without the user patching the driveway first.

Getting Your Asphalt Ready For A Driveway Seal Coating

Anyone who is going to perform a do-it-yourself driveway sealing is going to want to check out this section. This section will give the homeowner some general tips on preparing their driveway for sealing.

Beginners Might Want To Use A Premixed Sealcoating

One of the first things we’d like to suggest to our readers is to start with a premixed seal-coating if they’ve never sealed a driveway before. That’s because these products are premixed and don’t require the blending that some products need.

Make Sure There’s Plenty Of Time

Another thing we’d like to mention is that the homeowners are going to make sure that the driveway won’t be disturbed until it has fully. As a general rule, most asphalt sealers cure withing 24 to 48-hours, but some products might need more time.

Make Sure The Weather Is Going To Cooperate

It’s also worth noting that it’s important for there to be the right weather conditions for driveway sealing. That means that it’s not going to rain and that the outside temperature is going to be at least 60-degrees Fahrenheit a full 24-hours before and after the asphalt is sealed.

It’s also a good idea to have the coating process done by 3 p.m if the homeowner lives in an area that’s prone to morning dew or fog. This is to prevent the product from being washed off before it has enough time to fully set.

Use Two Thin Coats Instead Of One Thick Coat

Although we’ve seen plenty of people try to put down one thick coat of asphalt sealer on their driveway, that is actually the worst thing a person can do. One thick coat is going to be prone to cracking and will actually have a shorter lifespan. It’s better to instead use two thin coats on the driveway.

Give Asphalt Repair Products Time To Work

Even though there may be a tendency for people to use an asphalt repair product on their driveway and then immediately use a driveway sealers, we highly recommend that people don’t. That’s because asphalt repair products need time to work. We suggest allowing the products approximately 4-6 months to cure before beginning on a driveway sealing.

Don’t Apply On A Driveway With More Than A 20-Degree Slope

The last thing we’d like to convey to our readers about asphalt sealing before they start a project is not to apply a sealer that slopes more than 20-degrees. That’s because it will have a tendency to flow off of the driveway and significant ripples may also appear.

Tips For Sealing Your Driveway

As we conclude the end of this guide, we would like to take a few moments to give all of our readers a few bits of advice on sealing their driveway. Although this section isn’t very detailed, it does provide the basic points that homeowners should think about when they’re patching their driveway. Anyone who needs a more detailed guide will want to find some of the other guides on the subject that populate the Internet. With that said, below are some points to remember while sealing a driveway.

  • Make Sure The Driveway Is Clean
  • Make Sure That Grass Around The Driveway Is Trimmed And Edged.
  • Make Sure The Proper Tools Are Used Such As A Driveway Squeegee.
  • Give The Driveway Plenty Of Time To Cure.
  • Complete The Driveway Sealing As Quickly As Possible.