How to Seal an Asphalt Driveway (with Pictures)

Over time, an asphalt driveway can crumble, fade and crack. Resealing your driveway periodically will help it remain dark, fresh and free from visible defects. Driveway sealing is an approachable project for the average homeowner and can be accomplished in as little as an afternoon.

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How to Seal an Asphalt Driveway (with Pictures)

Purchase Your Supplies

Visit a home improvement or hardware store to purchase sealant for your driveway. A no-mix variety is ready to apply right out of the bucket, easing the burden on the homeowner. Carefully read all instructions before purchasing, and again before use, to ensure you have the correct variety.

You will need to determine how much sealant to purchase. Calculate the square footage of your driveway before going to the store and use that figure to decide how many buckets of sealant you will need. Generally speaking, a bucket of asphalt sealant will cover between 300 and 350 square feet. To spread the sealant, you will also need a squeegee tool.

If you have a recycled asphalt driveway, you may find it is more prone to potholes and cracks than a traditional asphalt driveway. You should repair these before proceeding with your driveway sealing. Check the specifications of any sealer you hope to use to ensure it is appropriate for use on recycled asphalt.

Sealing Your Asphalt Driveway

Plan to seal your driveway on a day without rain in the forecast. Check a few days out and be sure that your area isn't expecting rain for awhile, at least 48 hours. If it has rained within the last two days, you should wait on sealing your driveway until it has had a chance to dry out.

Wear long pants and sneakers that you don't mind staining with sealant on the day of your driveway work. Asphalt sealant can be quite messy.

Start by removing all debris from your driveway. Use a broom, leaf blower or vacuum cleaner to ensure all dirt, leaves and other plant matter are removed from the driveway. Use tape along the edges of your driveway if you are concerned about getting sealant on adjacent areas like concrete walks or patios.

Next, open the bucket of driveway sealer. Pour the sealant from one side of the driveway to the other in a swath about 6 inches wide, starting at your house or garage. Continue this process until you reach the road.

After you've covered the entire driveway, set the bucket down and use your squeegee tool to spread the asphalt sealer you have poured so that it is a thin layer covering the entirety of the driveway. Sealing is a process that should be completed quickly, as the asphalt sealant begins to dry immediately. Do not stop once you have started. To help you move more rapidly, you can set your buckets out along the driveway every 300 square yards or so, since that is all their contents will cover. Then, you will always have a full bucket at hand when one runs out.

Your sealed driveway will last even longer with a second coat. Follow the process outlined above, but, this time, pour 6-inch swaths of sealant in a perpendicular direction to what you had done initially. Make sure every bit of the driveway is covered.

Once you have finished sealing your driveway, you should avoid walking or driving on it for 72 hours to allow it time to dry and seal properly.