How often you seal your driveway depends on what kind of driveway you have. Asphalt driveways should be sealed once every two to three years, while concrete driveways require sealant every four to five years. Concrete often goes unsealed due to a mistaken belief that it doesn’t require a sealer. Not sealing concrete can shorten the driveway’s lifespan as water seeps into the concrete.
How Does A Driveway Seal Work?
A driveway seal is created by laying a water-resistant membrane that helps protect the driveway from the harmful effects of weather, salt, and spills. The process is essentially the same whether you are sealing concrete or asphalt, but the sealant you use will differ. Regular sealing will preserve the lifespan of your driveway and keep it looking good longer.
What Are The Steps In Sealing A Driveway?
- Prep starts the night before. Turn over the bucket of sealant to allow the sediment to move away from the bottom. This will make it much easier to mix the next day.
- Cut the grass. Trim grass away from where you’ll be working and any growing up in cracks in the driveway. Cover areas you don’t want sealant nearby, like garage slabs, brick, or flagstones.
- Clean the driveway. Clean stains and pressure wash the drive before you begin repairs.
- Repair any cracks and holes. Leave time for repairs to cure before sealing.
- Seal the perimeter. In much the same way you would cut in the paint around windows, door frames, and ceilings in a room you are painting, you’ll want to first create a thin barrier line around the perimeter of your driveway. Use a brush that you don’t mind tossing.
- Apply the sealant. The best method will depend on the sealer you choose. Some pour or spray on, and others are spread with a large brush or roller. Check your chosen product’s instructions for the best results.
- Keep everyone off the driveway. Block off the drive and be sure kids and pets keep off. Sealant takes time to cure before you can walk or drive on.
When Should I Seal My Driveway?
It’s essential to seal your driveway at the right time. You want to wait for a time of year when it’s relatively dry, and temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees for the sealant to cure properly. Leave yourself a weekend to accomplish the task unless you have significant repairs or cleaning to complete before you begin. If that’s the case, consider hiring a professional to powerwash your driveway before you seal it.
What Are Different Types of Sealers?
- Coal Tar Sealer – Affordable, easy to apply, and highly effective; coal tar sealer will prevent gasoline and other leaked fluids from damaging the driveway. However, they damage the environment, emit high levels of VOCs, and can cause skin irritation.
- Asphalt Sealer – Safer than coal tar sealers and easy to apply, but requires reapplication every three to four years.
- Acrylic Sealers – Offered in many colors, these sealers are a blend of polymers and acrylic. They are highly durable and effective but more expensive than other options.
- Oil-Based Sealer – These emit VOCs that can harm your health but are more durable than water-based sealers.
- Water-based sealer – These do NOT emit harmful VOCs, but you sacrifice some durability for better health.
- Epoxy Sealer – Works on concrete. A durable coating protects against chemical spills, extreme heat, and cold. Suitable for climates with wild temperature fluctuation.
- Linseed Oil Sealer – Works on concrete. Seals, preserves, and protects. One of the safest options.
Thick? Thin? Or Quick-Drying?
- Thick – Good for rough driveways in solid need of maintenance. Also a good choice for those with harsh winter climates.
- Thin – Driveways that have been well-maintained and don’t deal with heavy winters. These are a lot easier to apply.
- Quick-Drying – These can be walked on in as little as an hour but require 24 hours to cure fully before you can safely drive on them. Just be warned that you’ll need to work quickly and efficiently with these formulas.
Delays Can Be Costly
Sealing your driveway is a big, messy job but one well worth doing. It’s easy to push it off to another year, but every delay increases the cost and effort involved in sealing it. Consider taking some of the load off with professional help pressure washing your driveway before it’s sealed. Squeegee Squad is here to lend a hand with our experienced crew. We will help you prep your driveway by giving it a thorough cleaning, leaving you less work.
Contact Squeegee Squad today for more information about our pressure washing services!