Q:

Do I need to seal my asphalt driveway?

A:

Quick Answer

Although not absolutely essential, sealing an asphalt driveway extends its overall life and minimizes the need for repairs. Sealer fills small cracks to reduce damage from water, ice and growing plants. It also protects against ultraviolet radiation from the sun, as well as oil and gas spills.

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Full Answer

Asphalt sealers contain materials that coat and protect a driveway. Different mixtures have different benefits, so a homeowner must choose a formula that protects well in his climate. Sealers must be applied when the air temperature is between 45 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit and three days of dry weather are expected. A new driveway requires six months to cure before the first application of sealer is applied.

Carefully trimming the grass edges and cleaning up gas and oil spills with soapy water and a stiff brush are the first steps in prepping a driveway for sealing. Sweeping up any debris, filling large cracks and pot holes with patching compound, and hosing the driveway off complete the process. A rubber squeegee works well for spreading the sealant over the prepared surface. Most sealers require occasional stirring during the application process. Two thin coats provide the best coverage for most driveways. After the coats are spread, there is a 24-hour drying time before the surface is ready for normal use.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the best asphalt driveway sealer?

    A:

    The best asphalt driveway sealer is one that contains polymers and other additives that increase the range of protection offered by the product. These sealers offer protection against oil and gas spills in addition to protection from the effects of weathering. They also contain a high percentage of filler material that sinks into small gaps and cracks to create a solid surface.

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  • Q:

    How do you apply asphalt driveway sealers?

    A:

    To seal an asphalt driveway, first wash and degrease it, then repair damaged areas and apply sealer. A pressure washer, brushes, degreaser, shovel, tamper, telescoping floor squeegee, sealer, backer rods, putty knife, filler, pry bar, masking tape and hedge trimmer are needed for the job.

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  • Q:

    What is the average cost of an asphalt driveway?

    A:

    As of 2015, the average cost of having an asphalt driveway installed is about $2.24 per square foot. It may cost as little as $2,300 or as much as $10,300, depending on a number of factors.

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  • Q:

    How often does an asphalt driveway need to be sealed?

    A:

    Seal an asphalt driveway once every two to three years; sealing the driveway more often may lead to hairline cracks and peeling. When sealed properly, an asphalt driveway has a fresh, black finish and is better protected from oil damage and cracks.

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