Sealing Asphalt Driveway How Often

You’ve invested in a driveway made of asphalt, now it’s time to protect it. If you’re asking, ‘how often should I seal it?’ you’re on the right track. Sealing not only extends your driveway’s life but also enhances its appearance.

But, there’s a fine line between not sealing enough and overdoing it. Let’s dive into how often you should seal your asphalt driveway and what factors determine this frequency.

Get ready for a driveway that’s always in tip-top shape!

Understanding Asphalt Driveway Sealant

You’ll need to grasp the basics of driveway sealant before you can make an informed decision on how often to apply it. This sealant, often referred to as a driveway sealer, is a protective layer applied to your driveway. Its primary purpose is to shield the driveway from the damaging effects of the elements, particularly sun and water. The sealant also helps in maintaining the aesthetics of your driveway by giving it a glossy, fresh look.

Typically, a new driveway made of asphalt doesn’t need a sealer until after the first six months. After that, you should consider sealing your driveway every 2-3 years. Factors such as the weather conditions in your area, the amount of traffic your driveway gets, and the quality of the sealer used can influence this timeframe.

Importance of Sealing Asphalt Driveways

Understanding the importance of sealing your driveway can help you maintain its look and longevity. It’s not just about aesthetics, though. Sealing your driveway provides a barrier against the elements, preventing damage and increasing the lifespan of the asphalt.

Here’s why sealing your driveway is so important:

Protection from the elements:

Weather Damage

Unsealed asphalt can crack, crumble, and fade due to exposure to sunlight, rain, and temperature fluctuations. Sealing your driveway helps to prevent these issues.

Oil and Gas Stains

Cars can leave behind oil and gas stains that aren’t only unsightly but can also damage the asphalt. A sealant makes it easier to clean these spills before they can cause harm.

Economic benefits:


Regular sealing can double the life of your driveway, saving you the cost of early replacement.

Curb Appeal

A well-maintained driveway can increase the value of your home and make a great first impression on visitors.

Factors Influencing Sealant Frequency

When determining how often you should seal your driveway, it’s important to consider several factors.

Your driveway’s age is key. New driveways need their first seal within six months to a year of installation. After that, you’ll typically want to reseal every two to five years. Older driveways may require more frequent sealing due to wear and tear.

Next, consider your driveway’s usage. If it’s heavily trafficked or hosts heavy vehicles, you might need to seal it more often. The weight of such vehicles can cause quicker degradation of the asphalt, leading to an increased need for sealing.

Weather conditions in your area also play a big role. If you live in a region with harsh winters or scorching summers, you’ll likely need to seal your driveway more frequently to protect it from extreme temperatures and potential damage from ice or heat.

Lastly, the quality of previous sealant jobs matters. If the previous seal wasn’t applied properly or was of poor quality, you’ll likely have to redo the job sooner.

Ideal Conditions for Sealing

Knowing the right conditions for sealing your driveway is just as important as understanding how often it needs to be done. Ideally, you should consider the weather and the condition of the asphalt itself.

Firstly, let’s talk about the weather. You need a dry and warm climate. Moisture is the enemy of sealant, it prevents it from adhering to the asphalt properly. Therefore, avoid periods of rain or heavy dew. Temperatures should ideally be above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Weather conditions to consider:

– Dry days

– Warm temperatures above 50 degrees

Secondly, the asphalt condition is crucial. It should be clean and free from any oil or gas spills. Also, newly laid asphalt needs to cure before sealing, usually 6 to 12 months.

Asphalt conditions to consider:

– Clean surface

– Cured asphalt

Step-by-Step Sealing Process

Now that you’ve ensured the right conditions, let’s dive into the actual process of sealing your driveway.

Firstly, ensure your driveway is completely clean. Any dirt or debris could prevent the sealer from properly adhering to the asphalt. You can use a broom or a leaf blower to remove loose debris. For stubborn dirt, a power washer could come in handy.

Next, you’ll want to repair any cracks or potholes. Use a crack filler for smaller cracks and asphalt patch for larger holes. Make sure they’re fully cured before moving onto the next step.

Once your driveway is clean and repaired, it’s time to apply the sealer. Stir the sealer thoroughly and start at one end of your driveway. Using a squeegee or a broom, apply the sealer in thin, overlapping coats. Remember to work in small sections to ensure even coverage.

Give the sealer enough time to dry before using your driveway. This could take anywhere from a few hours to a day, depending on the weather conditions.

That’s it! You’ve successfully sealed your driveway. You’ll find that with a bit of effort, your driveway can look as good as new and last for years.

Signs Your Driveway Needs Sealing

You might be wondering how to tell if your driveway needs sealing. Don’t worry; there are clear signs you can look for.

First and foremost, notice the color. A newly sealed driveway has a rich black color. If yours is gray or faded, it’s a sign that the sealant has worn off.

Also, take note of the texture. An unsealed driveway will feel rough, and you might even notice loose asphalt. Cracks are another obvious sign. They start small, but as they deepen and widen, they become more damaging and costly to fix.

Here are some signs to look out for:

Color changes

– Gray or faded color

– Presence of white streaks or patches

Physical damage

– Cracks or potholes

– Loose or crumbling asphalt

If you observe any of these signs, it’s time to consider resealing. Remember, regular maintenance can extend the lifespan of your driveway and save you money in the long run. So, don’t wait until your driveway is in a state of disrepair. Keep an eye out for these signs and act accordingly.

Common Mistakes in Asphalt Sealing

When it’s time to seal your driveway, there are common mistakes one should avoid to ensure a successful and long-lasting result.

First off, don’t rush the process. The sealer needs time to fully penetrate the asphalt, so plan accordingly and allow ample drying time.

Skipping the prep work is another mistake you might make. You’ve got to clean the surface thoroughly and repair any cracks or holes before applying the driveway sealer. If you don’t, you’re simply covering up the damage, not fixing it.

You might also be tempted to save money and buy the cheapest sealer, but that’s not always the wisest choice. Cheaper sealers may not provide the same level of protection, which can result in needing to redo the job sooner than expected.

Applying too much or too little sealer is another common pitfall. Too much sealer can cause it to peel, while too little won’t give you the protection you need.

Finally, don’t forget to check the weather forecast. Sealers need dry conditions to properly cure, so avoid sealing your driveway if rain is expected within 24 hours.

Having a Contractor to do the Asphalt Sealing for You

Hiring a professional contractor for the sealcoating process of your driveway is essential if you lack the experience. A professional contractor like Hickory Asphalt has the knowledge, skills, and experience to properly prepare the surface, apply the sealant, and ensure a smooth and even finish. They have access to high-quality materials and equipment, and can identify and address any underlying issues such as cracks or damage before sealcoating.

Additionally, they can save you time and hassle, as they will efficiently complete the job with minimal disruption to your daily routine.

Ultimately, hiring Hickory Asphalt will ensure that your driveway is properly sealed and protected for years to come.