Q:

Do I need to seal my asphalt driveway?

A:

Quick Answer

Although not absolutely essential, sealing an asphalt driveway extends its overall life and minimizes the need for repairs. Sealer fills small cracks to reduce damage from water, ice and growing plants. It also protects against ultraviolet radiation from the sun, as well as oil and gas spills.

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Full Answer

Asphalt sealers contain materials that coat and protect a driveway. Different mixtures have different benefits, so a homeowner must choose a formula that protects well in his climate. Sealers must be applied when the air temperature is between 45 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit and three days of dry weather are expected. A new driveway requires six months to cure before the first application of sealer is applied.

Carefully trimming the grass edges and cleaning up gas and oil spills with soapy water and a stiff brush are the first steps in prepping a driveway for sealing. Sweeping up any debris, filling large cracks and pot holes with patching compound, and hosing the driveway off complete the process. A rubber squeegee works well for spreading the sealant over the prepared surface. Most sealers require occasional stirring during the application process. Two thin coats provide the best coverage for most driveways. After the coats are spread, there is a 24-hour drying time before the surface is ready for normal use.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How often does an asphalt driveway need to be sealed?

    A:

    Seal an asphalt driveway once every two to three years; sealing the driveway more often may lead to hairline cracks and peeling. When sealed properly, an asphalt driveway has a fresh, black finish and is better protected from oil damage and cracks.

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  • Q:

    What is the average cost of an asphalt driveway per square foot?

    A:

    The price for an asphalt driveway varies by region but typically runs from $1 to $2.50 a square foot for the base coat. There is also an average cost of $1 to $2.50 per square foot for a basic topcoat.

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  • Q:

    What are some common driveway paint colors?

    A:

    While gray for concrete and black for asphalt are the most common driveway colors, the colors of stain, sealers and paint for driveways range from walnut brown, terra cotta and sand to vibrant options, such as rainforest green, aquamarine and court red. Most driveway coatings come in a variety of standard colors, but the availability of tints and other color additives makes options, such as lavender and mint green, unlimited. Darker colors, however, are typically recommended for driveways.

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  • Q:

    What is the best asphalt driveway sealer?

    A:

    The best asphalt driveway sealer is one that contains polymers and other additives that increase the range of protection offered by the product. These sealers offer protection against oil and gas spills in addition to protection from the effects of weathering. They also contain a high percentage of filler material that sinks into small gaps and cracks to create a solid surface.

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