Driveway Sealcoating: The Why, How and When

What is the purpose of driveway sealcoating and why should you consider it for your home? Whether you DIY or hire a contractor, here's how it helps.

Judson Burdon
Posted by Judson Burdon on August 12

Do you know that the driveway is one of the exterior features that is covered during a home inspection? That's right – having a beautiful driveway affects the value of your home. If you plan to sell, it's definitely a top priority to maintain it including your driveway. You would want to make sure its appearance is pleasing to the eye. Your driveway must be in top condition if you want to attract more buyers or tenants for your home. This is where driveway sealcoating can make a difference.


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Is Sealcoating Driveway Worth It?

If you want to preserve your driveway's appearance and structure, sealcoating is the key. It's the only way to ensure your driveway lasts for years.

When you don't seal your driveway with driveway blacktop sealer, expect more costly repairs and even replacements. Sealcoating, on the other hand, gives your asphalt surface an extra layer of protection from harmful elements.

UV rays, snow, oil and chemicals can be extremely dangerous to your driveway. When it's not protected, these elements will gradually get into the surface and destroy its foundation. It may be too late to fix it or it may cost you a lot of money to get it repaired. The only way to secure your driveway is by sealing it. Is it worth it? Yes. It's the only way to preserve it.

Video: Is it worth sealing a driveway?

How Often Should You Sealcoat Your Driveway?

It's important to note that you shouldn't sealcoat your driveway too frequently. Otherwise, you risk damaging it.

As to how often depends on a lot of factors. Does your driveway receive a lot of traffic? Do you live in snowy climates? Is your driveway exposed to a lot of elements? Ideally, you should sealcoat once every 2 or 3 years. Make it once every 2 years if your driveway gets a lot of traffic and is constantly exposed to chemicals, snow or oils.

Video: How often to seal a driveway?

You need to also seal your driveway after every repair. For brand-new driveways, it's imperative to sealcoat it after 90 days or when the asphalt is hardened and fully cured. The ideal time to sealing your driveway is in the summer or when the temperature reaches at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot weather cures the sealant properly.

Related: Asphalt Top Coat: Learn How to Protect Your Pavement

How Do You Sealcoat a Driveway?

There are a few steps you need to take before sealing your driveway. Make sure that you have all the proper equipment and supplies with you the day before sealcoating. Also, wear safety glasses, gloves and shoes when sealcoating.

Preparing your driveway is the first thing you need to accomplish. You cannot sealcoat a dirty driveway. If there are grasses or weeds growing on the surface, get rid of them by clipping and then use the vinegar solution for killing them so they do not grow back. Use a degreaser for cleaning the entire surface area. Deal with any grease stains, if there are any. Use specialized cleansers for getting rid of stains that may affect the sealer's color. After cleaning, rinse the entire area using a pressure washer. Get rid of everything on and below the surface.

The next step is to repair potholes and cracks. Use crack sealers for fixing smaller cracks. Use an asphalt repair mix for those potholes. Then cut in borders by using a 4-inch paint brush. Include nooks and crannies.

Next is to apply the sealant. Make sure that you following product directions when applying it to the surface area. Be careful and pour the sealant only to the driveway surface areas. For new driveways, it's recommended to apply 2 coats. Depending on the sealant, you may not be able to use the driveway for at least a few hours to a day. Wait until it's fully cured.

DIY Gator Patch and Sealcoat Package

What is the Best Driveway Sealcoating?

There are three main types of sealants. We have the thick, thin and quick-drying sealer. Commercial grade sealants will also be excellent for your driveway. Although they are highly recommended for airport runways, they certainly will provide the utmost protection for your driveways too. If you want the best quality sealant to improve the appearance and preserve the structure of your driveway, consider commercial grade sealants.

Choosing the best sealcoating also depends on the condition of your driveway and your location. If you live in less snowy climates, you are better off with a thin sealer. Do you need to use your driveway right away and able to work quickly? Consider getting the quick-drying formula. Just a quick reminder: although they dry faster, it still takes at least 24 hours for them to fully cure.

Driveway sealcoating using a quick-drying sealcoating mix can take at least 24 hours to cure

Thick sealers are ideal for driveways with excessive cracks bumps and potholes. However, there is still a need for you to fix your driveway before sealcoating it. Remember that sealcoating is designed to provide a layer of protection for your asphalt or concrete driveway, it's not meant to treat the cracks or other issues you are having.

Also, make sure that you acquire your sealer from a reputable supplier. Check out our store for a list of the best solutions for your driveway. We have quick drying sealants that can last up to 3 years.

Sealcoating is the Best Solution to Preserving Your Driveway

Over time, your driveway will deteriorate especially when constantly exposed to elements such as the sun's UV rays, chemical spills and oils, and winter ice. Do not wait until these elements find their way underneath your asphalt or concrete. Otherwise, you will have an even bigger problem. Fix cracks and potholes in a timely manner, wait for it to fully cure, and then seal your driveway.

Investing in a sealcoat sprayer can make sealcoating driveway easier.

When sealing, you can either use the spray method or by hand. Investing in a sealcoating sprayer may be a little costly but you can save money in the long run.

Sealcoating is a pretty simple process and it's incredibly effective in maintaining your driveway. Just make sure that you have the right supplies, equipment and the perfect temperature for the sealant to properly cure.

Are you ready to sealcoat your driveway? Contact us today so we can assist you with preserving your valuable asset.

Related: When's the Best Time to Sealcoat Your Driveway?

Pros and Cons of Sealcoating Your Driveway

Installing asphalt on your driveway is an affordable solution that offers the same durability as concrete. You can maximize its benefit by applying sealant after installing the asphalt. Driveway sealcoating is not complex but it does have its pros and cons.


✔️ Improves Your Home's Curb Appeal

While it's not required to seal your asphalt, experts recommend it if you want your driveway to look better. Without sealcoating, your driveway will only look gray and dull. That will not be very pleasing to the eyes. You'll know it's not concrete because of the darker shade. The sealant should give your driveway a darker and smoother finish. The smoother surface of your sealed driveway also makes cleaning a lot quicker to do. It will be easier to get rid of snow compared to just having asphalt installed.

Driveway sealcoating can ease cleaning while preventing costly damages.

✔️ Protects Your Driveway From Damage

It's not enough to install asphalt in your driveway. Not sealing it will only make it more susceptible to damage from the elements and other things. Sealcoating can effectively protect your driveway from rain, hail, snow or oil. It will give you a water-resistant surface, protecting you from the elements. Your driveway is also protected from the sun's damaging UV rays.

✔️ It's Easy to Seal Coat a Driveway

While it's always better to consult a professional when sealing your asphalt, there are homeowners who prefer to do it themselves with the help of instructional videos or helpful articles. Feel free to read the many articles we have published on the topic.

✔️ You Are Helping the Environment

Do you know that asphalt is one of the most recycled product in the United States? More than 100 million tons of asphalt are being recycled annually, saving about 2 billion dollars in cost.


⛔ Cost

While there are costs involved when sealcoating the driveway, not sealing it will only cost you more money in repairs and even replacements down the road. Sealcoating it is more cost-effective than having to do expensive repairs at a later date.

You Need to Seal Coat in Warmer Months

The best time to sealcoat your driveway is during summer when the temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It's not advisable to seal coat in the winter as the colder season will negatively affect the performance of the sealer. The sealer may not bond with the asphalt or will not cure correctly.

It Requires Maintenance

Homeowners need to seal their driveway every 2 or 3 years or as necessary. Keep in mind to never put off sealcoating for more than a year. Otherwise, it will only cost you more. Before sealcoating, it's important to also seal cracks and potholes. It's a necessary step when sealcoating. Don't worry - doing this every two years is more cost-effective in the long run. Repairs can be extremely expensive especially when the driveway is severely damaged.

Needs a Waiting Period to See the Best Results

You cannot seal coat your driveway after applying fresh asphalt. It's important for you to wait until the asphalt is fully cured - and this will take at least 6 months. If the asphalt is installed in colder months, it could take more than 6 months for it to cure.

It Won't Indefinitely Preserve Driveway

Regular maintenance of your asphalt — sealing it every 2 or 3 years — will preserve your driveway for about 20 years. Without applying sealant, your asphalt driveway will only last about 12 years. Do make sure that you use the best sealant when sealcoating your driveway for maximum results.

Sealcoat Edger

Repairing the Driveway Before Sealing It

Before driveway sealcoating, do a thorough inspection of the entire area. Identify stains and cracks that need to be repaired. For oil grease, you can use soapy water and brush for removing it or a degreaser for tougher stains. Use only the best crack fillers for repairing the cracks and holes. Get an asphalt repair caulk to help you fix larger cracks. You may have to apply it more than once to get the surface repaired correctly.

How Much Does it Cost to Seal Your Driveway?

In the US, the average cost of sealcoating is between 10 - 15 cents per square foot. It may be a little higher in California or New York as contractors usually charge more. There are other contractors who would charge per 1000 square feet and not by the square foot, so make sure that you review the entire contract before proceeding. You may also have to pay an additional for the labor cost but this would depend on the contractor you work with.

How Much Money Can You Make with a Sealcoating Business?

Asphalt sealcoating is a lucrative industry. You can already get started with just the basic equipment. How much you can earn from this business depends on you. Do you plan to make this a full-time business or only during weekends? Use our Sealcoating Profit Calculator to see how much you can earn.

Get quality equipment and tools to help you get started. You will need an asphalt crack filling machine used mainly for filling smaller cracks on asphalt. Keep in mind that you cannot sealcoat the asphalt right away – it needs to be repaired first. Get a hot pour crack fill from our store for a professional finish. You will also need to buy a broom or blower to help you save time. While you can use a squeegee for sealing, a spray system is even better.

Buy an RY10 crack fill melter and a pallet of rubberized crack filler and save

Marketing can help you become more successful with your sealcoating business. If you know where to get good leads, you should be able to make enough money and maybe even build a fortune with it.


Make sure that you have an accurate quote before sealing the deal. Include any extras such as line striping or crack filling - your client should know what exactly they are paying for the service.

Are you ready to get started with sealcoating your driveway? Visit our store for the best tools and equipment you'll need to repair and seal your asphalt driveway or sign up for our free Homeowner's DIY Asphalt Maintenance Course.

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Topics: Sealcoating, Property Management

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