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How Often Should You Seal Your Driveway?

If you desire your asphalt driveway to last longer, make sure to seal and maintain it properly. It is essential to seal the driveway because it helps in protecting it from harsh elements like sunlight, rain, frost, and chemicals. A properly sealed driveway should last between two and three years.

However, determining when to seal your asphalt driveway depends on several factors. For instance, you need to consider the state of your driveway. Other factors include the type of driveway and type of sealer used. Some types of driveways last longer than others. Also, if you used a low-quality sealer, your driveway won’t last long.

Factors Determining: How Often Should You Seal Your Driveway?

State of the driveway

The first thing that determines when to reseal your driveway is the condition of the driveway. If the driveway is in a bad state, you need to reseal it right away. For instance, if you feel that the sealer has faded or you notice potholes or cracks on the driveway, it’s better to reseal it before it gets out of hand.

An asphalt driveway cracks faster than a concrete driveway. However, proper maintenance can prolong the lifespan of the driveway.

Type of driveway

There are usually two popular types of driveways – concrete and asphalt driveway. So how often you have to reseal your driveway? You will have to seal coat your driveway after a few years or after several years, depending on the nature of the driveway that you have.

Concrete driveway

Concrete driveways are more durable than asphalt driveway. That’s why many homeowners don’t bother to seal their concrete driveway even after several years of beating by the elements. It’s recommended to reseal your concrete after every 2 to 5 years with the best concrete sealer.

Concrete driveways hold up well then asphalt driveways. Besides, concrete goes through a thorough process to allow it to seal correctly and stay longer. When concrete is installed, it’s given 28 days to cure completely. This process makes the sealant strong and provides outstanding protection.

Asphalt driveway

Asphalt is not as durable as concrete. Therefore, it has to be correctly maintained to last longer. Besides, sealing an asphalt driveway is quite cumbersome than sealing a concrete driveway. First of all, you will have to fill in cracks and potholes on the driveway before applying the sealant. Next, you will have to remove any plants on the driveway and clean it thoroughly.

After installing a new asphalt driveway, you should wait for at least six months before sealing the driveway with an asphalt sealer. When properly sealed, an asphalt driveway can last for at least two years before requiring a reseal. For the best results, apply at least two coats. But if your driveway is very busy, apply three coats.  

The climate that you live in

If you live in warm weather, you can even wait for 3 to 5 years before seal coating your driveway. But if you live in cold weather, you may have to seal coat your driveway every year or after two years. This is because harsh weather makes the sealer wear out faster.

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Driveways in cold weather experience large amounts of moisture, snow plowing, and freeze/thaw cycles that affect the sealer’s durability.

Level of traffic

Another thing that will determine how often you seal your driveway is the level of traffic in your home. If you live with many people in the same compound and drive cars on your driveway every morning and evening, your sealer won’t last long.

Driveways with a high level of traffic will wear out faster than driveways with a low level of traffic. That’s why it’s usually recommended to add a third layer of sealant on driveways with high traffic. Such driveways may need seal coating every year or precisely after two years.

Type of sealant used on the driveway

Last but not least, using the suitable sealant will also prolong the lifespan of your driveway. If you use a quality sealer, your driveway will stay in top shape for over a long period. But if you buy a low-quality sealer, you will have to reseal your driveway after a few years.

The best sealer for a concrete driveway is an acrylic high gloss sealer. On the contrary, the best sealer for an asphalt driveway is a coal tar sealer. An acrylic and coal tar sealer lasts longer than other types of sealers. You can relax knowing that your driveway will last for at least three years before having to reseal them. Nonetheless, proper maintenance is needed for the longevity of the driveway.

The number of coats applied

Aside from having a suitable sealer, it is important to know how much sealer do you need. The number of coats also applied matters. A driveway with a thin layer of sealant won’t last longer than that with a thick sealant layer. To get the best outcomes, apply two coats. But if you’re in a high traffic area, three coats will be ideal.

After applying the first coat, give it time to dry and cure for at least 24 hours before applying another coat. The thickness of the coat also matters. However, ensure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.

Conclusion

If you want to protect your driveway, ensure to seal the driveway at the right time. Sealing the driveway too frequently can cause ugly hairline cracks and peels. Instead, you should seal your driveway after every 2 to 3 years if it’s made of asphalt. But if it’s a concrete driveway, 3 to 5 years is okay.

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Other situations that determine how often you reseal the driveway include the driveway’s state, type of weather, and level of traffic. If the driveway is in a bad state, reseal it. Also, driveways with high traffic will be sealed more often than those with less traffic.