If you have a concrete or asphalt driveway, you might be wondering if you should seal it. Sealing your driveway can provide many benefits, such as protecting it from water damage, oil stains, and weathering.
Remember that before applying the sealer, it is essential to thoroughly clean the driveway, removing dirt, debris, oil, grease, or stains. The best way to be sure the area was properly cleaned is pressure washing!
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What Is Driveway Sealing?
Driveway sealing is the process of applying a protective coating to your driveway surface. The coating can be made of different materials, such as asphalt-based sealers for asphalt driveways and penetrating sealers for concrete driveways. The sealer forms a barrier that prevents water, oil, and other substances from penetrating the driveway and causing damage.
Why Should You Seal Your Driveway?
Sealing your driveway can offer several advantages, such as:
- Appearance: A sealed driveway looks cleaner and more attractive than an unsealed one. It can also enhance the curb appeal and value of your home.
- Cost: Sealing your driveway is much cheaper than repairing or replacing it. According to HomeAdvisor, sealing a driveway costs between 10 and 30 cents per square foot, while installing a new driveway costs about $2.25 per square foot.
- Tire protection: Sealing your driveway can prevent cracks and potholes from forming, which can damage your vehicle tires.
- Moisture protection: Sealing your driveway can prevent water from seeping into the pores and cracks of the concrete or asphalt, which can weaken the structure and cause cracking and heaving.
- Oil and stain resistance: Sealing your driveway can make it easier to clean and remove oil and other stains, as they will not penetrate the surface.
- Improved longevity: Sealing your driveway can extend its lifespan by preventing deterioration and damage from the elements.
How to Seal Your Driveway
The steps to seal your driveway may vary depending on the type of material and sealer you use. However, here are some general guidelines to follow:
- Choose the right sealer: For asphalt driveways, use an asphalt-based sealer that contains the same ingredients as asphalt. For concrete driveways, use a penetrating sealer that creates a chemical barrier against oil and water.
- Prepare the surface: Before applying the sealer, make sure the driveway is clean and dry. Remove any dirt, debris, oil, grease, or stains with a broom, a pressure washer, or a degreaser. Fill any cracks or holes with a patching compound. Wait for the surface to dry completely before sealing.
- Apply the sealer: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to apply the sealer. Typically, you will need a squeegee, a roller, or a sprayer to spread the sealer evenly over the surface. Start from one end of the driveway and work your way to the other end. Apply two thin coats of sealer for optimal results.
- Let it cure: After applying the sealer, let it cure for at least 24 hours before using the driveway. Avoid driving or walking on the sealed surface until it is fully dry.
When to Seal Your Driveway
The frequency of sealing your driveway depends on several factors, such as the type of material, the climate, and the traffic. However, here are some general recommendations:
- Asphalt driveways: Seal your asphalt driveway once every three years. The best time to do it is during summer or early fall when the temperature is warm and dry.
- Concrete driveways: Seal your concrete driveway once every five years. The best time to do it is when the temperature is between 50°F and 80°F.
Sealing your driveway is a simple and effective way to protect it from water damage, oil stains, weathering, and cracking. It can also improve its appearance, cost-efficiency, tire protection, and longevity.
It is important to properly clean the surface before you begin the sealing process. To be sure the area is properly cleaned, make sure to use a pressure washer.
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