You wake up on a beautiful Saturday morning. You’re having company over today so last night you cleaned the house, spruced up the landscaping, and made sure everything was in order. Feeling relaxed and prepared, you walk out to the mailbox to get the paper. But when you look down, all you see is cracks on your driveway! It’s unsightly, somewhat dangerous, and definitely something you should have taken care of earlier. Just like the rest of your home, your driveway takes work to maintain. Seal-coating is the most crucial part of keeping your driveway in tip top shape. However, getting a professional to do the job can be expensive. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer who’s up for a little hard-labor, you can skip the cost of hiring a professional and apply a seal-coating yourself. We’ve got some great tips on seal-coating your driveway!
Applying a sealcoat not only improves the appearance of your driveway, but also increases its service life. Seal-coating protects your driveway from the sun’s ultraviolet rays and keeps water from seeping into cracks. This will prevent freeze-thaw damage or undermining of your driveway. However, this protection doesn’t last forever. You should apply a sealcoat to your driveway every three years. However, if you live in an area with lots of sun exposure and your driveway is subject to heavy traffic, you may need more frequent applications. Basically, if you see fine cracks in your driveway or it’s surface seems to be graying, it’s time for a seal-coating!
When you’ve determined that it’s time for a seal-coating, the next step is to decide if you’re going to do it or if you want to hire a professional instead. Getting an estimate from a professional may help you make the decision. You should also keep in mind that professionals have better products available to them.
However, with a little research, you can find the right consumer-available driveway sealer for your needs. Your basic choices are asphalt-based product or coal tar. Coal tar is generally more durable and resistant to oil or gasoline damage, but asphalt-based is better for the environment. Do not assume the quality of the product based on the price! Instead, look for the length of the warranty. A five to six year pro-rated warranty is usually best. The amount of product that you will need for the job will depending on the type, amount of sand fillers, and the condition of your driveway. However, the general rule of thumb for determining how much to buy is five gallons for each 250-400 sq.ft. Purchasing a few extra returnable containers may be a good idea to make sure you can continue our project without interruption.
Once you have your sealer, you can begin the process of seal-coating. First, you will have to fill all cracks over ⅛ inch with a compatible crack filler. It is also extremely important that your driveway be clean before you begin. Take time to sweep away dirt and debris. It is often recommended that you power wash the driveway before seal-coating. You should also pre treat any spot residue such as oil leaks.
Make sure to carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions regarding things such as compatible products, preferred weather for seal-coating, number of coats to apply, use of vehicles after application, etc. The general manufacturer recommendation is that you choose a day where there is no rain forecasted for that day, the day before, or the day after. It is also best to sealcoat during the summer months as most products require an outdoor temperature of 60 degrees or higher. Make sure you have an alternate location for parking cars, as some products recommend keeping cars off the driveway for at least a day after seal-coating. Finally, you may need to invest in a squeegee applicator, as most manufacturers recommend using one. When everything is in order, apply even coats of product down the driveway following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Whether you decide to do it yourself or hire a professional, just remember that it’s crucial to sealcoat your driveway. We understand how important it is that you maintain the home you’ve worked hard for and everything that comes with it in. That’s why we want to provide you with these tips, but also a quality homeowners insurance policy. There’s no better way to protect your home and the loved ones you share it with. If you’re interested in getting a free quote or reviewing your policy, please contact us at 1-860-684-5270. Happy seal-coating!