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How to Seal an Asphalt Driveway

September 25, 2016

 

 

If you have an asphalt driveway, you probably already know that it requires sealing on a regular basis.  

 

I recommend sealing an asphalt driveway every 2-3 years.  If the driveway is not sealed properly, water and ice will infiltrate it and cause the driveway to crack and crumble.

 

Fortunately this is an easy process that most do-it-yourself homeowners can handle. 

 

The first step is prepping the driveway.  Begin by edging any grass or vegetation away from the driveway.  Next make sure there are no weeds growing up through cracks in the driveway by removing them or spraying them with a weed killer. 

 

After removing weeds and edging you are ready to pressure wash the asphalt.  I recommend a pressure washer with 2500 psi or higher.  With a fan tip blade work your way from the highest point of the driveway to the lowest point so that the water can carry dirt and dust off of the driveway.

 

Once the drive is clean and free of dirt, it’s time to patch any cracks or potholes.  First fill any cracks with an asphalt elastic crack sealer.  This can be found in a caulking tube or 1 gallon jug at your local hardware store.  Squeeze the elastic sealer into the cracks in your driveway that do not exceed 3/4”.  

 

For larger cracks or potholes use a cold asphalt patch and tamp the material down with an asphalt tamper.

 

Next you are ready to seal the driveway.

 

There are two different options for sealant.  Which one you choose should be dependent on the condition of your driveway.  

 

If your driveway is in great condition with little to no cracking, I recommend a regular driveway sealant.  If your driveway has several cracks and has started to crumble, I recommend a more viscous gel sealant.  

 

Gel sealant is more expensive then a regular sealant, but it has the added benefit of filling and smoothing a badly cracked and deteriorated surface.

 

If you are using gel sealant, be sure to turn the buckets upside down prior to applying the sealant.  This ensures that any materials that have settled on the bottom of the bucket will be reintroduced into the sealant. 

 

Whichever sealant you decide is best for you, the application process is the same. 

 

Begin with a wide bristled paint brush and paint the sealant onto the edges of the driveway.  Apply the sealant about 1 ft from the edge of the driveway.  

 

Next start at one end of the driveway and pour the contents in a line across the width of the driveway.  With a rubber floor squeegee, draw the sealant out over the asphalt.  

 

Once the first coat is fully applied let it dry for 1-2 hours and apply the second coat.  After 72 hours the driveway should be fully cured and ready for vehicles. 

 

Remember, this process may be laborious, but I assure you it is far cheaper then the cost of a new driveway!  

 

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