If you have an asphalt driveway, you may be wondering if sealcoating is necessary and whether you can complete this project on your own. Here is an explanation of why and how to apply a sealcoat to your asphalt driveway.

Why Sealcoat?

Sealcoating an asphalt driveway offers many benefits. Sealed asphalt is more resistant to color fading because the sealcoat protects the asphalt from weathering effects that cause it to turn gray over time. Additionally, sealcoat seeps into hairline cracks in asphalt to mask their appearance and prevent water from freezing in the cracks to expand them further.

While many homeowners hire professional contractors to seal their asphalt driveway, DIY-oriented homeowners can often complete the job over the course of a weekend. The first day of your asphalt sealing project should be dedicated to preparing the asphalt, as there is a lot of work to be done before you begin to apply the sealcoat.

Clean Your Driveway

Begin by using a push broom to remove plant debris from the surface of your driveway. Pull up any weeds that are growing through cracks in your driveway, trim back any shrubs that are hanging over the edges of your driveway, and then use a pressure washer to remove any remaining traces of dirt or plant matter from the surface of your driveway and inside cracks.

After cleaning dirt and plant matter off of your driveway, you need to assess it for oil stains. You can attempt to remove stains by scrubbing them with soapy water and a stiff-bristle brush. If this is not effective, you can try using other methods to remove oil stains, such as scrubbing them with baking soda or soaking them out with water-displacing spray.

Repair Damaged Asphalt

While asphalt sealcoat can hide hairline cracks and prevent them from spreading, you should fill larger cracks to prevent the sealcoat from bubbling. The easiest way to do this is by using liquid asphalt patch.

Liquid asphalt patch is typically sold in bottles with a nozzle that allows you to simply squeeze the patching material into the crack. Shake the bottle first to make sure the patcher is mixed well, and then fill the crack until it is flush with the surrounding asphalt. Finally, use a putty knife to smooth out the patching liquid so that a ridge does not develop along the crack.

Like large cracks, potholes must be filled before you can apply sealcoat to your driveway. If you intend on filling potholes yourself, expect this process to add another day to your driveway sealing project to allow time for your pothole patch to cure.

Apply the Sealer

No matter what type of sealer you use, the application process is the same. Be sure to wait until your driveway is completely dry from cleaning and you expect two to three days of warm weather before you begin applying sealer. First, apply duct tape around the edges of the driveway and poly sheeting to your garage door to protect from splashing. You will also want to wear old work clothes, as you are likely to splash yourself with the sealer and it is almost impossible to remove from clothing and shoes.

You will need to use a powered mixing paddle to mix each pail of sealer. Once the sealer has reached an even consistency, use a dry brush to apply sealer along all four edges of your driveway. After the edges are covered, space the pails of sealer along your driveway according to the square footage that each pail can cover according to the manufacturer's instructions. Alternate pouring sealer and using a squeegee to spread the sealer evenly until you have covered your entire driveway.

If you carefully follow these steps for DIY asphalt sealcoating, you can keep your driveway looking like-new for years to come. For more information, contact a company like Lakeridge Paving Company.