How to Seal Your Driveway | How to Seal Your Asphalt Driveway | UNIQUE Paving Materials

How to Seal Your Asphalt or Blacktop Driveway

Sealing blacktop driveways is an easy job – if it’s done right. The project requires the right preparation before sealing, proper tools, supplies and an asphalt sealant you trust to get the job done. High-quality asphalt sealers, like INTEGRA-SEAL, reduce heat and UV damage and prevent water from penetrating pores and cracks during freeze and thaw cycles.

If you want your pavement to last for years, follow these steps to learn how to seal your asphalt driveway.

Preparation Before Sealing Blacktop Driveways

When you begin blacktop sealcoating, it is important to be properly equipped and have patience. It can take a whole day to clean and prepare your asphalt driveway for sealing. Plus, you’ll want to budget time to apply two coats of product and allow the driveway surface to dry for at least eight hours between coats. As you plan when to start your sealing project, it’s a good idea to monitor the weather and choose two days where temperatures are expected to be above 45 °F.

To get started with blacktop sealcoating, follow these steps:

  1. Clean and prime your driveway. Use a leaf blower or broom to clear away dirt and debris. Pick weeds and remove moss. Use a degreaser or primer to remove oil and gasoline spots.
  1. Rinse with a power washer or garden hose. Wash the driveway surface using a power washer or garden hose with a spray nozzle.  Let the driveway dry completely before repairing cracks in the pavement.
  1. Fill asphalt cracks. Asphalt cracks allow water and chemicals to permeate deep into the pavement. To prevent water damage, fill cracks with a trustworthy crack filler, such as KOLD-FLO® pourable crack filler.

Don’t know how to repair cracks in an asphalt driveway? Follow these simple steps.

  1. Protect and mask off driveway edges. The process of blacktop sealcoating is messy. Asphalt sealer splashes on clothing, garage doors and sidewalks. Before applying sealer, protect nearby doors and surfaces with drop cloths. Mask off driveway edges and use a small brush to ensure clean lines when you apply your sealer.
  1. Pour the blacktop sealcoating product onto the driveway and spread carefully. Beginning in the top corner of the driveway, pour the sealer on the driveway. Use a long-handled squeegee to spread a thin layer over the asphalt. Repeat this step until you reach the end of the driveway.
  1. Allow the sealer to dry and apply a second coat. Let the first coat of asphalt driveway sealer dry for eight hours. Then, apply a second coat and wait 24–48 hours before opening the driveway to vehicle traffic.

How to Seal Your Driveway: Supplies for Applying Driveway Sealer

High-quality asphalt sealer is one of the most important supplies you’ll need. Choosing the wrong asphalt driveway sealer can impact the long-term stability of your driveway. Many low-cost and low-quality formulas don’t provide premium coverage like leading products.

Additionally, having the right equipment for your blacktop sealcoating project can be of great assistance in the process.

Other supplies for people learning how to seal a driveway include:

  • Bristled broom, such as a Stiffwitch® broom
  • Pressure washer or garden hose with spray nozzle
  • Asphalt driveway sealer, such as INTEGRA-SEAL® modified asphalt sealer
  • Asphalt crack filler, such as KOLD-FLO® pourable crack filler
  • Oil stain remover
  • Small brush for edge work

Avoid These Common Mistakes When Learning How to Seal Your Asphalt Driveway

  • You can’t rely on the sealer to fill cracks. Fill them completely before applying the sealer.
  • If you fail to clean and prep the driveway before adding the sealer, you will have problems, as the sealer will not stick to a dirty driveway.
  • Make sure you are stirring the sealer properly. Just using the stir stick isn’t enough to blend the water and solids to achieve the consistent mixture.
  • Use of the wrong applicator will cause premature sealer failure.
  • Allow an ample amount of time for the driveway to dry before reopening for vehicle traffic.
  • Frequent sealcoating leads to sealer buildup that may lead to cracking, flaking and peeling. A quality sealcoat job on your driveway should last 2-3 years.

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Seal Your Blacktop Driveway

Knowing how to seal your driveway can be somewhat complex, and over the years, we have often received questions on the sealcoating process. Here is a compiled list of questions and accompanying answers regarding sealcoating your driveway: 

  1. Why Do I Need to Sealcoat my Driveway?
  2. Over time, the sun, rain, snow, and other elements will begin to break down the binder that keeps asphalt together. Then, your driveway will fade to gray and begin to crack. Sealing your driveway will provide a protective layer to protect against these harmful environmental factors.

  3. When Should I Sealcoat My Asphalt?
  4. The ideal time of year to sealcoat your driveway is in the summer months when the temperatures are around 50 degrees overnight, so you’ll want to stay within the May-October timeframe. This temperature range is key because the colder it is, the more difficult it is for the seal to adhere to your driveway.

  5. How Much Material Do I Need to Cover My Driveway
  6. Our INTEGRA-SEAL rejuvenating asphalt sealer comes in 1-gallon bottles, 5-gallon pails, 55-gallon drums, 2,200-pound totes, and 2,600-pound totes. Since we have various options available, be sure to measure your driveway in square feet and we can help you determine what will be the best fit for your needs.

  7. What About Oil Stains?
  8. You can pretreat oil stains with UNIQUE’s KWIK-LOK® Pavement Primer prior to applying the sealcoat. This ensures that your surface bonds well with the sealer.

Contact Us for Blacktop Sealcoating Products Today!

With more than 60 years in the industry, UNIQUE Paving Materials is recognized as the leading supplier of pavement maintenance products. We have mastered our products for all kinds of solutions, including sealing your driveway.

Determining how to seal your asphalt or blacktop driveway can stretch the life of your pavement. Invest in proper repair, timely maintenance and quality asphalt sealer to achieve the best protection.

Have questions? Contact us to learn more!

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About the author

Becky Dunlavey

With over 10 years of experience, I wear many hats at UNIQUE Paving Materials. In addition to managing our multimedia marketing efforts and coordinating trade shows and regional events, working with the sales and customer service departments has allowed me to gain a multifaceted knowledge of the industry.

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