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How to apply driveway sealer?

Sealing your driveway with an asphalt sealer is time-consuming and cumbersome but worth it. If you properly seal your driveway, it will last for more than 30 years. But if you do a shady job, you may have to reseal your driveway after a few years.

In this guide, we’re going to show you how to clean and seal your driveway correctly. Sealing your driveway in the right way will help the sealer last longer and make your driveway look beautiful. But if you want your driveway to last longer even after sealing it, you will have to maintain it well.

10 Steps: How to apply driveway sealer

Note that sealing your driveway is not an easy task as it can take you the entire day. Besides, cleaning the driveway takes the most time to apply asphalt sealer in less than two hours. The bigger your driveway, the more time you will take to complete the whole job.

Step 1: Buy the right materials

Before you even think of sealing your driveway, the first thing to do should be to assemble all the right tools. You will need gloves, buckets, stiff-bristled brush, application brush, push broom, pressure washer, garden hose with a spray nozzle, patching compounds, oil/fuel stain detergent, and asphalt driveway sealer.

Since there are different asphalt driveway sealers for separate driveways, you have to pick the right sealer. Some sealers contain formulas made explicitly for newer driveways, while others are made with formulas meant for older driveways. Additionally, you should get the right amount of sealer for your driveway.

Step 2: Fill cracks and depressions

Examine the driveway and fill any holes and cracks that you come across. Holes and cracks in the driveway cannot be filled with a sealer. And if left unattended, they will cause your driveway to deteriorate quickly. Use a crack filler to fill up the gaps in your driveway.

Step 3: Monitor the weather

After assembling all the right tools and materials and filling cracks, the next step is to prepare your driveway for sealing. But before you commence, you should monitor the weather first. If the weather is chilly and cloudy, you should wait for it to get sunny. This is because asphalt sealer dries best in sunny weather and not a chilly one. Additionally, you should never apply the sealer during a rainy season as you will be disappointed.  

Step 4: Start with cleaning and priming

If you have inspected the weather and confirmed that the weather is fine, you can go ahead and start preparations. Begin with cleaning and priming your driveway. Use the soap nozzle on your power washer to apply the cleaner on the driveway. Next, scrub the driveway using a stiff-bristled brush.

The driveway holds a lot of dirt that requires thorough cleaning. Next, after removing dirt and debris on the driveway, monitor the driveway and use an oil/fuel detergent to extract oil and gas spots. It’s essential to remove oil, gas, and tree sap spots if you want the sealer to stick appropriately.

Step 5: Rinse the driveway

When you’re done scrubbing all sorts of dirt, debris, oil, and gas on your driveway, you can now turn on the power washer nozzle. It will flush the soap and residue left behind after scrubbing. If you lack a power washer, you can as well as use a garden hose and apply a strong water stream.

Later on, rinse the driveway with clean water and allow it to dry. If some water remains behind, use a push broom to help it dry.

Step 6: Get rid of the oil stains and grease

If you have oil and gas stains on the driveway, you should use an oil spot primer. This helps to coat stains so that the sealer can stick well when applied. Utilize a disposable chip brush to apply the primer. Apply two coats and allow the primer to dry thoroughly before applying the sealer.

Step 7: Mix the sealer

This is among the most difficult parts. You will have to mix the solids and water into a smooth consistency. Ensure the ratio is fair as you don’t want a diluted solution to make your driveway look pale. Select an area on your driveway where to mix the solids and water. Besides, it would be best if you avoided spills by placing a poly sheet on the ground.  

Step 8:  Apply the sealer

For the best results, start by applying asphalt sealer to all four corners of your driveway. Put the brush into the sealer and use it along the edges of the driveway. Spread it thick so that it fills the pores

Additionally, it would help if you staged the pails so that you can have an easy time applying the sealer. It’s recommended to work on small areas of about 10 to 20 square feet at a time. Avoid applying thick asphalt sealant at once. Instead, apply it in thin, overlapping coats using a squeegee or brush, according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

When applying the sealer, start with the upper side and move on to the lower side. Maintain a consistent pattern to avoid stepping on the already used areas.  After pouring the sealer, ensure to spread so that it’s even everywhere.  

Step 10: Allow the sealer to dry

The next step is to allow the sealer to dry. If the weather is sunny, your driveway should dry within 24 hours. But if it’s a bit chilly, it should dry within 48 hours. However, you should give it 72 hours to fully dry before driving your car on it.

Mistakes to avoid while applying driveway sealer

Never use a sealer to fill cracks. Instead, it would be best if you start by filling the gaps using a crack filler and then apply your driveway sealer.

Don’t apply the driveway sealer on a dirty and unclean driveway. You will be doing nothing as the sealer won’t stick on a dirty surface with holes, oil, grease, dirt, and debris.

Ensure to get a consistent mixture before applying it on your driveway. Always stir properly, and don’t rely heavily on the stir stick as it does not blend water and solids perfectly.

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when applying the sealer. For instance, if the manufacturer recommends using a brush instead of a squeegee, don’t do otherwise. The sealer may not seal properly, which will be a waste of time and resources.

Bottom line

Since you understand how to apply a driveway sealer properly, you can go ahead and protect your driveway. Not only will you prevent your driveway from deteriorating, but you will also change its looks.  Make sure to clean the driveway before applying the sealer for exceptional outcomes.

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