Sealcoating your driveway is one of the easiest and cost-effective ways of protecting and prolonging the lifespan of your driveway.
Typically, asphalt paved surfaces are susceptible to general wear and tear from traffic and weather. However, sealing your driveway regularly gives your driveway the extra protection it needs to resist deterioration and last longer. So, now you understand why you need to sealcoat your driveway.
However, most people wonder whether they can sealcoat their driveway on their own, or they should hire a sealcoating contractor for the project. The answer is, you can sealcoat your driveway on your own. However, you must have the right tools and skills for this to be successful. How can you sealcoat your driveway? It starts with preparation.
Preparing your driveway for sealcoating
Typically, asphalt driveways are designed to last for around 30 years. However, your driveway cannot last that long unless it was installed properly and you do regular maintenance. To keep your driveway in a good condition, you must fill cracks whenever they appear, and also schedule sealcoating after every three years.
Preparing your driveway for sealcoating is a very tedious task, which can take a full day. Applying the sealer, on the other hand, is the easiest task of all, which takes a few hours to complete. Here are 4 tips to help you prepare your driveway for sealing:
- Choose a day with the perfect weather – this is the first step, which is very important. Scout the weather reports seeing if you can get at least three days of hot temperature, without rain.
- Determine the size of your driveway – you need to take the dimensions of your driveway—this will help you know the number of materials you need.
- Clean your driveway – always make sure that you have removed all the dirt, leaves, grass, loose gravel, and other debris from your driveway before you start your sealcoating project. These can make your sealer lose its effectiveness.
- Repair the driveway – this is the last thing to do before sealcoating your driveway. Inspect it to see if there are any cracks, and then use an asphalt patch to fill the cracks.
Sealcoating your driveway
First of all, you will need to look for an alternative parking spot before you start your project. This is because you will need to wait for some time before the sealant dries up. You can wait for up to 48 hours if you apply two coats.
Preparing the sealant
- According to the experts from CSG Sealcoating, Tampa, you should place the sealer cans with the lids down. This allows the solids in the sealer to move around, thus making it easier to mix the sealer before application.
- Use a corded drill with a paddle to mix the sealer. Besides, look for a piece of plywood to create a flat and stable work surface to mix the sealer and station your tools.
- Although DIY sealcoating projects can be done with push brooms and shovels, it becomes easier when you use a squeegee. So, make sure you have one in place—it will make work easier for you.
- Since you have to apply a complete coat to avoid color or lap problems, you should purchase an extra container of sealant, just in case. You can save the container for final touch-ups. Besides, it serves as an insurance policy in the event your driveway requires more sealant than expected.
Define the borders
- Here, you have to use room painting as an example. Define the borders of your driveway using a 5-inch paintbrush.
- Apply the sealant into the crannies and nooks.
- If your driveway has areas that are hard to define or need extra protection like garage doors or slabs or paver steps, tape them off.
Applying the sealant
- Apply the sealant on your driveway. However, be careful to avoid spattering on areas that you shouldn’t, like tile floor, decking, garage door, or tiles. Make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s directions when applying the sealant.
- If you have a thicker sealant, consider scrubbing it with the brush side of the mop—this allows it to integrate better with rougher surfaces of an old driveway. If you have a thinner sealant, on the other hand, use the squeegee side to spread it.
- Now, depending on the kind of sealant that you have, you might need one or two coats. Either way. Make sure that you coat the entire surface.
- As you apply the sealant, start adding a new bucket when you are about halfway with the first bucket. This ensures that any color disparity is spread out evenly, leading to a new-looking and uniform driveway.
Common mistakes to avoid during DIY driveway sealcoating
- Don’t depend on your sealer to fill the cracks on your driveway. Make sure you’ve filled them before applying the sealer.
- Don’t forget to clean and prepare your driveway before you start your project. Failing to do that will make the sealant not stick on the driveway.
- Make sure you stir the sealant properly—and don’t use a stir stick as it will not blend the solids and water to give you the consistent mixture you need.
- Avoid using the wrong applicator. Using a squeegee when the instructions specify brush or vice versa can cause premature failure of the sealer.
- Sealcoating your driveway too often will make the sealer flake off. Therefore, you must wait until you start seeing asphalt aggregate before applying a new coat.