How To Seal Coat Your Asphalt Driveway

How To Seal Coat Your Asphalt Driveway

Sealcoating Your Driveway

Asphalt driveways can last several decades and still look great… but not without proper care. You would never go into the snow without a jacket or into the blazing sun without sunscreen, so why would you let your asphalt driveway be exposed to the elements without a seal coat? Sealing your asphalt drive way is so important in keeping it in good shape for as long as possible. Despite what you may think, seal coating your asphalt driveway is not a lot of hassle.

 

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Of course, hiring a professional to seal coat your driveway will produce the best results simply due to the fact that these individuals will have had years of experience. They will most likely make fewer mistakes, pay more attention to detail and have it completed faster than if you did it yourself. However it is not impossible for you to complete this task, so you do also have the option of doing it yourself. If you do choose to complete it without hiring a professional, you will have to undertake the same process they do.

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To begin the process, professionals will prepare the driveway. The first step is to clean the driveway with scrubbing brushes and brooms, removing all dirt and debris. It is especially important to clean out any cracks and potholes. Once this is complete, cracks and potholes need to be repaired by filling them in with a filling sealer or blacktop patch. (Note: If you need to do this, carry it out about 4 weeks earlier than the date you wish to seal on so they have time to completely set.) Trim any shrubs near the driveway, tape over any edges that you don’t want sealed but are in contact with the driveway (e.g. bricks, gutters), and cover over your garage door.

thermometerBefore applying the sealant, you must check the weather. The temperature of the driveway must be at least 50 degrees at the time of application and for 48 hours afterward, so check the forecast and make sure the temperature is well above 50 degrees. Also, find out the rainfall prediction; the seal coat cannot come into contact with rain for 48 hours after it has been applied. Morning dew can also pose an issue if the sealant is not completely dry; ensure you have applied the sealant before 3 pm so it has enough time to dry and protect itself from morning dew.

When preparing to apply the sealant, it is very important to read all directions and information given to you with the sealant. With these directions, the manufacturer will often recommend a particular method and type of equipment to be used. Always stick to these recommendations as they will make your particular sealant application the most successful it can be. Before you start, ensure you will have no interruptions as you cannot stop once you have started. You will need a long-handled tool such as a rubber squeegee, paint roller or one that has been recommended. Also, wear old clothing as you will get sealant on them.

Begin by pouring a 6-12 inch ribbon of sealant across the top of your driveway, near the garage door. Using your tool, spread this amount thinly across the area in front of your garage, coming about 3 feet down the driveway. Ensure you have pushed the sealant right to the edge of your driveway. Repeat this process to cover the entire driveway, always overlapping each section. If recommended on your sealant packaging, apply the second layer of sealant over the top of the first. Depending on the type you purchased, the second layer may be applied immediately or you may have to wait until the first layer has dried, which is usually after 6-12 hours. After 24-48 hours, your seal coat will be completely set and dry. It is only now that you can drive and use the driveway.

This process is carried out by professionals when they apply a seal coat to an asphalt driveway but can also be followed by you. Hiring a professional will likely produce a more seamless application but you can do it just as well if you follow instructions carefully. Sealing an asphalt driveway with instructions can be easy and is most definitely essential in ensuring it lasts for many decades to come.

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