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Sealcoating a Driveway: A Complete Guide for Homeowners

Sealcoating a driveway is a critical maintenance step that can extend the life of your asphalt surface and keep it looking great for years. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about sealcoating a driveway, from understanding its benefits to the step-by-step process of doing it yourself.

What is Sealcoating?

Sealcoating involves applying a protective layer over your asphalt driveway. This layer shields the asphalt from damaging elements like water, oils, and UV rays. Without sealcoating, an asphalt driveway can deteriorate quickly, leading to cracks, potholes, and expensive repairs.

Benefits of Sealcoating a Driveway

  1. Prolongs Driveway Lifespan: Regular sealcoating can double the life of your driveway by protecting it from damage.
  2. Prevents Water Damage: Sealcoating fills small cracks and holes, preventing water from seeping in and causing further damage.
  3. Enhances Appearance: A fresh sealcoat gives your driveway a smooth, black finish that looks clean and well-maintained.
  4. Resists Stains: Oil, gas, and other substances are less likely to penetrate and stain a sealcoated driveway.
  5. Cost-Effective Maintenance: Sealcoating is a relatively inexpensive way to maintain your driveway compared to major repairs or replacement.

When to Sealcoat Your Driveway

Sealcoating should be done every 2-3 years, depending on the climate and traffic your driveway endures. The best time to sealcoat is during mild weather conditions, ideally in the spring or early fall when temperatures are between 50°F and 90°F.

Preparing for Sealcoating

Materials and Tools Needed

  • Asphalt sealant
  • Driveway cleaner
  • Pressure washer or garden hose with a high-pressure nozzle
  • Broom or blower
  • Crack filler
  • Squeegee or brush
  • Painter’s tape

Step-by-Step Preparation

  1. Clean the Driveway: Remove all dirt, debris, and stains from the driveway. Use a driveway cleaner and a pressure washer or high-pressure hose to thoroughly clean the surface. Allow it to dry completely.
  2. Repair Cracks and Potholes: Fill any cracks or potholes with a suitable filler. Allow the filler to set and dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Protect Edges and Surroundings: Use painter’s tape to protect areas where you don’t want the sealant to go, such as the edges of the driveway, adjacent walls, and garage doors.

How to Apply Sealcoat

Step-by-Step Application

  1. Read Instructions: Before you start, read the manufacturer’s instructions on the sealant container. Different products may have specific application techniques and drying times.
  2. Stir the Sealant: Thoroughly mix the sealant to ensure a consistent texture. Use a paddle or a drill with a mixing attachment.
  3. Apply the First Coat: Start at one end of the driveway and pour a line of sealant along the edge. Use a squeegee or brush to spread the sealant evenly across the surface. Work in small sections to ensure even coverage.
  4. Let it Dry: Allow the first coat to dry completely. This usually takes 24-48 hours, depending on the weather conditions.
  5. Apply a Second Coat: For added protection, apply a second coat following the same process. Again, let it dry completely.
  6. Remove Painter’s Tape: Once the sealant is dry, carefully remove the painter’s tape.

Tips for a Successful Sealcoating

  • Check the Weather: Ensure there’s no rain in the forecast for at least 48 hours after you apply the sealant.
  • Use High-Quality Products: Investing in high-quality sealant will provide better protection and last longer.
  • Work in Sections: Working in small sections helps maintain a wet edge and ensures even application.
  • Regular Maintenance: Regularly clean your driveway and reapply sealcoat every 2-3 years to maintain its condition.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Not Cleaning Properly: Failing to clean the driveway thoroughly can prevent the sealant from adhering properly.
  2. Ignoring Cracks and Holes: Sealcoating over unrepaired cracks and holes will only provide a temporary fix. Fill these before applying the sealant.
  3. Applying Too Thin or Thick: Applying the sealant too thin will not provide adequate protection, while too thick can lead to peeling.
  4. Bad Weather Timing: Applying sealant when rain is expected or in extreme temperatures can ruin the sealcoat.

Why Professional Sealcoating Might Be Best

While DIY sealcoating is possible, hiring a professional ensures the job is done correctly and efficiently. Professionals have the right equipment and experience to handle the job, saving you time and ensuring a high-quality finish.

Advantages of Professional Sealcoating

  • Expertise: Professionals know the right techniques and products to use for optimal results.
  • Time-Saving: A professional crew can complete the job much faster than a DIY approach.
  • Guaranteed Results: Many professionals offer warranties on their work, giving you peace of mind.


Sealcoating a driveway is an essential maintenance task that can significantly extend its life and keep it looking great. By following this guide, you can successfully sealcoat your driveway and protect your investment. However, if you prefer professional assistance, consider reaching out to a trusted company.

For a quote, contact VIV Construct Group. VIV Construct Group is a local landscaping, new driveways, and block paving company covering the Cambridge, Newmarket, and Ely areas.