How to Seal an Asphalt Driveway & More

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Driveway sealing can add years of life to your driveway and protect against both environmental and chemical damage. Canadian weather can harm the surface of your drive. Over the years, your driveway is exposed to everything from salt, car fluids and weather like rain, ice or heat, causing cracks and depressions.

Asphalt sealing is an affordable way to increase your driveway’s lifespan. A professional driveway sealing company can help you determine the best sealing schedule based on your location and the freeze-thaw cycles of your area.

Getting a smooth and professional looking seal on your driveway depends on the application and ensuring the proper materials are used. When done right, your sealant should last up to 3 years before requiring reapplication, adding curb appeal and value to your home.

Sealing Asphalt Pros and Cons

Driveway sealer provides a protective coating on your drive that protects it from chemicals, UV rays and freezing and thawing. But how do you know whether driveway sealing is right for your home?

Pros

Driveway sealing is the most affordable way to repair and resurface your asphalt without having to remove and replace your driveway.
It offers the best protection for blacktop and concrete driveways.
It can be used for both commercial and residential driveways.
It can easily be applied in just a few hours and is usually ready for your vehicle within 24 hours.

Cons

Driveway sealing usually needs to be applied every few years.
You need to have ideal weather conditions before sealing a driveway. Temperate, dry conditions are the best conditions for application.
You can’t use your driveway while the sealant cures.

It is always beneficial to play your driveway sealing accordingly to prevent interruptions to your daily life. Most homeowners experience very minimal interruption and equickly enjoy the benefits of a freshly sealed driveway.

Driveway Sealing Preparation

It is important to tackle driveway sealing as soon as you begin to notice these common issues with your driveway:

Driveway Sealing Services
Cracking or potholes
Stains from oil or water
Discolouration
Warping or depressions in your driveway surface

If you notice these issues with your driveway then it is time to begin preparation for sealing.

One of the first and most important things to do to prepare for sealing is to remove any dirt or debris from the surface. This will allow you to get the cleanest and best seal possible for your driveway.

Seal an Asphalt Driveway

A powerwasher is the best method of removing any built up dirt or debris on your driveway.

Do not apply the sealant until your driveway is completely dry. If it rains or is exposed to any moisture, then wait until it dries up to avoid uneven or poor adherence.

Other tools you may need include a broom, mixing paddle, dashing brush and poly sheet to protect surfaces from damage while the sealant is curing. Before beginning, patch any cracks to guarantee a smooth application of the driveway sealant. It is recommended to use two coats to ensure the best finish. Wait at least eight hours between coats to get the best finish.

Remember you will not have access to your driveway for up to two days, so plan parking accordingly.

Driveway Sealing Mistakes to Avoid

Like any household repair, driveway sealing takes time, care and patience to ensure a job well done. There are a few simple tricks you can follow to avoid having to do the job over again.

First, it is important to make sure any cracks are filled before beginning. Do not attempt to seal the driveway without taking care of these cracks first, otherwise the sealant may split and you will have to start over.
Keep your work area clean at all times. Follow the preparation guide including power washing and removing all dirt and debris to avoid a flawed finish.
Make sure your mixture is prepared properly. Use the right kind of mixing tools to ensure a smooth and clean application. Follow the directions of the manufacturer such as using a squeegee to make sure the sealant adheres to your driveway.

Never apply sealer more than recommended by professionals and manufacturers. Too many coats will create flaking and leave your driveway looking messy.

How Long Does Driveway Sealer Need to Dry Before Rain?

It can be difficult to predict the weather. That’s why it is important to check the forecast before you begin sealing your driveway. Sealants need between 4 to 8 hours drying time. Most manufacturers will recommend up to 24 hours to ensure the driveway has cured properly.

To avoid rain damage, take these steps to ensure your driveway sealant is applied at the right time.

Ensure your driveway is dry before applying sealant.
Turn off sprinklers, water fountains or other devices which may expose your driveway to moisture.
Wait at least 6 hours before walking on the drive and 24 to 48 hours before parking on the driveway.
If your vehicle is leaking any fluids, see a mechanic before parking on the driveway again to avoid damage from oils or other vehicle fluids.

Taking the time to make sure your driveway is protected from moisture and rain will increase the lifespan of your sealant.

Check the Weather Before you Start

Driveway Sealer

Before you begin, make sure to check the forecast. Driveway sealant should only be applied in dry conditions. Rain, high heat and sun can prevent the sealant from curing properly. Remember once the sealant has been applied, you will need a minimum of 4 to 8 hours before it will be able to repel rain.

Sealing your driveway usually takes between 24 and 48 hours, so if you see rain or bad weather in the forecast , then reschedule your sealant application. Remember, even water runoff from lawns or eavestroughs can damage your driveway sealant.

How Much Does Driveway Sealing Cost?

Factors Involved in Driveway Sealing Costs:

Sealing your driveway is the most cost effective way to increase your driveways lifespan. The cost of sealing your driveway will depend on several factors including size, time of year and level of damage.

The average cost of sealing the average sized driveway is $300, with larger driveway running approximately $1,200.

Other factors that may impact the cost of your driveway sealing include:

Time of Year – Driveway sealing will be more expensive outside of prime sealing times (Late spring until early fall).
Pre-Existing Damages – If your driveway has significant cracks, depressions or other cosmetic issues, you may have to take care of them first before sealing. This can add to the cost of your driveway sealing budget. Always seal your driveway regularly to prevent damage.
Surface Preparation Costs – Do you need to bring in professional cleaners to prep your driveway for sealing? Do you have to do a lot of crack filling first? Make sure to factor any preparation costs into your budget before beginning.
Area – The larger the area of your driveway, the more sealant, crack filler and work it will require. This can increase the cost of labour and materials.
Traffic Flow – Does your driveway get a lot of use? Foot traffic and vehicles can have a significant impact on the frequency of sealing.
Mobilization of the Crew and Materials – Assembling a qualified crew is important to getting the kind of sealant job that lasts. If you choose not to do the sealing yourself, you will need professionals who have the skills and right materials to ensure a job done right.
Cost of Materials – Each driveway has its sealant specifications. Asphalt will have different requirements from concrete. If your driveway requires more materials to get the job done, you can expect to pay more.
Layout and Size of the Pathway – A traditional rectangle driveway is the easiest kind to seal. If your driveway is larger or has intricate patterns or details, it may require additional hours and care to ensure the look and protection you want. This can increase the cost of sealing your driveway.

Equipment Needed For Driveway Sealing

Sealing a driveway requires a few standard pieces of equipment to ensure the job is done accurately and to the highest level of protection.

The most common equipment needed include:

Stiff-bristled brush and push broom
Garden hose with a spray nozzle or power washer
Application brush or squeegee
Gloves

You will also need tools for applying the sealant

Asphalt driveway sealer (enough for two coats)
Patching compounds to fill any cracks
Oil/gas stain detergent to remove any stains on your driveway that the garden hose or power washer miss.

All these materials can be found at most hardware stores.

Step-by-Step Driveway Sealing

Now that you are ready to begin sealing your driveway, there are a few key steps to ensuring the best adherence and curing.

Begin by preparing the area. Remove any dirt or debris using a broom followed by a deep cleanse using a powerwash and detergent to remove any stains.
Fill any cracks or depressions in your driveway using a patching compound. If the depressions are too deep, consult a professional to see if a patch or other material will be more suitable.
Spray the surface again to remove any additional debris or dirt. Wait for the surface to be completely dry before beginning patching.
Prepare your sealant by following the instructions. Most sealants will require you to turn the contents of the sealant upside down for effective blending. Remember to stir the sealant occasionally to maintain consistency.
Apply the sealant beginning with the corner of your driveway. Work in small sections to ensure the best coverage. Use thick coats with a long handled brush or squeegee. Let the first coat set properly before moving on to the second coating. The entire process should take between 24 and 48 hours.

FAQs:

Do you do commercial asphalt sealing?

VIP Paving offers professional residential and commercial asphalt sealing including retail properties, apartments and condos, parking lots and manufacturing yards and other large asphalt surfaces.

Why should I seal my Driveway?

Sealing your driveway helps ensure you get a long lifespan out of your asphalt or concrete. It is the most cost effective way to protect your driveway without having to install a brand new one. Sealing your driveway protects it from weather, chemicals and vehicle damage.

When is the best time of the year to seal my driveway?

The best time to seal your driveway is when the weather is not too hot and there is little chance of rain. Late spring to early fall is the most ideal time of year to seal your driveway. We recommend always checking the forecast before beginning a driveway sealing project.

How long after an asphalt driveway is installed can it be sealed?

Asphalt requires 90 days or 3 months to cure before it is safe to put sealant on it. This allows the driveway to settle properly. Heat, rain and vehicles can cause a driveway to shift while it hardens, so it’s always best to wait until the driveway is completely cured before adding a sealant.

How long does it take for the sealing to dry?

Most driveways take 24 to 48 hours to cure. You can begin walking on it within one day, but it is recommended to wait 48 hours before parking vehicles on the driveway again. This will prevent the sealant from cracking or causing depressions.

How often should I reseal my driveway?

Sealing your driveway increases its lifespan by years. But this is only achieved with regular reapplication. It is recommended to reseal your driveway every 3 years to prevent cracks and damage from weather, chemicals and vehicles.

Call a Professional Driveway Sealer Today!

Professional Driveway Sealer

If you are ready to protect your driveway, contact VIP Paving. Our team of professional and friendly driveway sealant experts can help extend the life of your driveway. We have the knowledge and tools to ensure your driveway sealing is done right. We serve Toronto and the GTA, with more than 20 years of paving experience including asphalt paving, concrete paving, commercial paving, brick and interlocking paving and landscape services.