Sealing your asphalt driveway is an important part of maintaining your home. It protects the asphalt from weather damage and extends its lifespan.
But should you do it yourself or hire a professional? In this blog post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of both DIY sealing and hiring a professional contractor. By the end, you should have a better idea of which option is right for you.
What is Blacktop Driveway Sealing?
Blacktop driveway sealing is the process of applying a protective coating to an asphalt or blacktop driveway. The sealant helps to protect the driveway from damage caused by weather, UV rays, and chemicals such as oil and gasoline.
It also helps to prevent cracks from forming in the pavement, which can lead to more serious issues over time.
Blacktop driveway sealing typically involves cleaning the surface of the driveway, filling any cracks or potholes, and then applying a layer of sealant using specialized equipment such as a sprayer or squeegee.
The whole process is designed to extend the life of your driveway and keep it looking its best for years to come.
Why is Sealing Your Blacktop Driveway Important?
Sealing your blacktop driveway is important for several reasons:
- Extra protection from the elements: Sealant forms a barrier between your driveway and the elements, protecting it from damage caused by rain, snow, ice, and sun exposure.
- Preventing cracks: Over time, exposure to the elements can cause small cracks to form in your driveway. These cracks can quickly turn into larger ones if left unsealed, leading to more serious issues that may require costly repairs.
- Improved appearance: A freshly sealed blacktop driveway looks clean and new, improving the overall curb appeal of your home.
- Routine maintenance: Sealing your driveway regularly is a cost-effective way to maintain its condition over time. By preventing damage before it occurs, you can avoid expensive repairs down the line.
Overall, sealing your blacktop driveway is an important step in maintaining its condition and extending its lifespan. It’s recommended to have your driveway sealed every 2-3 years or as needed based on its condition and usage.
DIY Blacktop Driveway Sealing
There are many reasons why homeowners might choose to seal their own driveways. The most obvious benefit is cost savings. If you’re on a tight budget, doing it yourself can be a great way to stretch your dollars. You’ll also have more control over the process, which can be helpful if you’re particular about how you want things done.
If you’re considering a DIY approach, there are a few things you should know. First, it’s important to have some experience with asphalt repair or maintenance before attempting to seal your own driveway. Otherwise, you could end up doing more harm than good.
Second, you’ll need to rent or purchase all the necessary equipment, including an asphalt roller, squeegee, brush, and tar kettle.
This can add up to a significant investment, so be sure to factor that into your decision-making process. Finally, keep in mind that sealing your driveway is hard work. It’s not unusual for people to underestimate the time and effort required to get the job done right.
How Much Does It Cost to Seal a Driveway Yourself?
Doing it yourself is a great way to save on driveway sealing costs, but there are some considerations you’ll want to make before beginning the process.
To seal an entire driveway yourself, you can expect to pay about $3.60 per square foot instead of spending around $4.75 for labor if you hire a professional asphalt sealer. That savings of $1.15 per square foot comes out to a total of $575 for the entire job, so it’s definitely worth giving it a try if you’re looking to cut costs on your driveway sealing project.
However, with any DIY home improvement task, there are risks involved should anything go wrong during the process. If your driveway comes out uneven or patchy due to incorrect application, you may need to hire a professional in order to fix any errors and ensure that the final result is satisfactory.
In such cases, attempting DIY sealing could end up costing more due to additional labor time required by professionals hired to fix things up post-sealing job.
Whatever path you choose in terms of driveway sealing, be sure you take all necessary precautions and do your research beforehand so that the final outcome is just as good as if not better than what a professional can offer!
How Long Does it Take to Sealcoat a Driveway?
Sealing a driveway is an important step in maintaining its integrity and safety, but it can also be a tricky task. Sealing is generally best done during the summer months when temperatures are above 50 degrees and the weather is ideal. The whole process should take no more than two days to complete. The first step involves collecting the necessary supplies such as a coat of sealer, brushes, mixing buckets, and a garden hose.
Next, it’s time to clean the surface of debris and dirt before hosing off any excess water to prevent puddles from forming.
Once the driveway is dry, you are ready to apply the sealant. Cover up any nearby foliage or grass with drop cloths before using a brush to spread sealer evenly across the surface until it looks uniform in color. Allow this to dry for 12-24 hours before you can assess if more layers need to be added.
Finally, your driveway should be safe to walk on after 24 hours of curing time but leave your car for another 48 hours until completely dry for full protection against wear and tear from traffic
How to seal a blacktop driveway
The first step in sealing an asphalt driveway is preparing the surface for sealant. This is done by cleaning the area with a cleaning agent that’s specifically made for driveways, such as a degreaser or commercially available asphalt cleaner.
After allowing the area to dry – usually about 24 hours – any cracks can then be filled with an appropriate sealant. In some cases, oil spots may need to be addressed as well by applying an asphalt oil-based primer before completing the crack-filling process.
Once the cracks have been filled and have had enough time to cure and adhere to the underlying asphalt surface, it’s important to sweep away all loose debris before beginning the sealing process. Treating any oil spots with a special primer will help ensure that your driveway will be adequately sealed, so make sure this is done if needed.
After ensuring that all areas are clean, you can apply a commercial-grade asphalt sealant using either a roller or a sprayer.
Make sure you give even coverage over the entire surface and don’t forget to cover edges where your driveway meets sidewalks or other pavement features.
Once applied allow 24 hours of drying time before heavy vehicular traffic is allowed on your newly sealed driveway.
When it comes to applying asphalt sealant, using the right equipment can make all the difference. Asphalt sealcoating equipment, such as asphalt sealer spray machines and asphalt sealing tools, are essential for achieving a smooth and even application.
The spray machines are especially helpful for larger driveways, while the sealing tools are great for small areas and touch-ups.
Investing in quality driveway sealant and equipment is key to ensuring that your residential driveway stays protected from the elements and looks great for years to come.
So, whether you choose to tackle the job yourself or hire a professional, be sure to take the time to properly prepare the surface and use the right tools for the job.
Avoid these common blacktop driveway sealing mistakes
One of the most common driveway seal coating mistakes is depending on the sealer to fill cracks. If a single driveway has a large or small crack, it should be filled using the appropriate filler before applying a sealer. Even though some sealers come with agents that promise to repair minor cracks, this will not make them disappear entirely.
Therefore, it is important to use the right kind of filler so that you can ensure that it doesn’t break down over time and cause further damage to your driveway surface.
Another mistake when it comes to driveway sealing is failing to clean and prep the area prior to applying the sealer.
This means getting rid of any dirt or debris in order to get smooth and even coverage. If you don’t spend time cleaning your driveway, then the sealer won’t stick properly and could end up running off or pooling in certain areas.
Additionally, any liquid spills should also be wiped away in order for the sealer to stay intact for longer. Proper stirring of the sealer itself is another factor that mustn’t be overlooked either; if it’s not mixed properly then it might have an uneven finish once applied.
Using an excess sealer is another mistake that can be avoided. Too much sealer will create a thick coating that cracks as it dries, resulting in further damage to your driveway surface.
To avoid this, you should make sure to apply the sealant evenly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application. Another tip is to avoid applying sealer when temperatures are very high or
Check the Weather Before you Start
Checking the weather before you begin any asphalt driveway sealing project is essential for both saving time and money. This is because you need at least two days of dry weather to allow time for the sealer to fully cure.
Moreover, temperatures must remain above 50 degrees F during application and throughout the night of its application in order to preserve the effectiveness of the sealer.
Moreover, it’s best to avoid applying sealer on hot, sunny days as this can cause the sealer to dry too quickly.
If you ignore the forecast, your $100 worth of sealer might get washed away in a heavy rainstorm. Therefore, always consult a reliable weather forecast ahead of time and plan accordingly if you’re going to start a paving project.
Make sure to postpone or rearrange plans depending on what type of conditions are in store before beginning any sealing project on an asphalt driveway.
Buying the Right Materials to seal your blacktop driveway
When it comes to purchasing driveway sealers, buyers should carefully consider their options. Though there may be bargain products that may initially seem more cost-effective, these types of sealers often contain large amounts of water, meaning they have lower coverage rates and shorter guarantees. Therefore, in the long term, they may not be the best value for money.
Premium quality sealers are made with higher quality resins and UV stabilizers and also contain filler and elastomeric material which make them a much more reliable option being that they last longer and typically offer longer guarantees.
It is also essential that buyers check the manufacturer’s labels carefully when selecting driveway sealer because different formulas will suit different sealing conditions; for example, newer driveways require one formula whereas older ones in need of regular maintenance require another.
Coverage levels also differ by product so one has to choose the correct sealer and quantity to avoid overspending or running short on materials before the job is completed.
Pros of DIY
- Cost savings: Doing it yourself can save you money on labor costs.
- More control: You’ll have more control over the process and can customize the job to your liking.
- Flexibility: You can work on your own schedule and take breaks as needed.
- Personal satisfaction: Completing a DIY project can be very satisfying and boost your confidence.
Cons of DIY
- Learning curve: Sealing a driveway requires some experience with asphalt repair or maintenance. Without this knowledge, you could end up doing more harm than good.
- Equipment costs: You’ll need to rent or purchase all the necessary equipment, including an asphalt roller, squeegee, brush, and tar kettle. This can add up to a significant investment.
- Time-consuming: Sealing your driveway is hard work that requires physical labor. It’s not unusual for people to underestimate the time and effort required to get the job done right.
- Risk of mistakes: Without professional expertise, there’s a risk of making mistakes that could result in further damage to your driveway.
Professional for Blacktop Driveway Sealing
On the other hand, there are plenty of good reasons to hire a professional contractor for blacktop driveway sealing.
The most obvious advantage is that it’s much less work for you! A professional will have all the necessary equipment and expertise to get the job done quickly and efficiently. They can also spot potential problems with your asphalt that you might not be able to see (or know how to fix).
Of course, there are some potential downsides to hiring a professional too. The most significant one is cost – hiring someone to do the job will almost always be more expensive than doing it yourself. However, it’s important to remember that you get what you pay for.
A cheap contractor might cut corners or do a subpar job that will need to be redone sooner than if you had just hired someone reputable in the first place.
That’s why it’s so important to do your research before hiring anyone – look for online reviews, check references, and make sure they’re properly licensed and insured in your state or province.
What is the cost of hiring a professional blacktop sealer?
The average cost of sealing an asphalt driveway costs around $470. However, depending on your specific needs the price can range anywhere between $250 to $770 at the lower end and up to $1,500 at the higher end. To get a better estimate of exactly how much it will cost you to seal a driveway all you’d have to do is ask for multiple quotes from different asphalt experts in your area.
This way you’ll be able to compare prices as well as read reviews or previous customer feedback about each company before making a decision. Some pros may have access to special discounts or materials that could help reduce costs even further so don’t forget to ask about those too!
Ultimately, it pays off greatly in the long run if you take the time to find the right contractor for your driveway sealing needs. With proper care and maintenance, an asphalt driveway can last for many years.
- Expertise: asphalt contractors have the knowledge and experience to perform the job correctly and efficiently.
- Quality results: Professionals use high-quality sealant products that provide better protection and longevity for your driveway.
- Time-saving: Hiring a professional can save you time and effort since they have the necessary equipment and can complete the job quickly.
- Warranty: Many professional contractors offer warranties on their work, providing peace of mind in case anything goes wrong.
- Higher cost: Hiring a professional contractor can be more expensive than doing it yourself due to labor costs and materials.
- Scheduling conflicts: You’ll need to coordinate with the contractor’s schedule, which may not always align with yours.
- Risk of scams: Some unscrupulous contractors may overcharge or provide subpar work. It’s important to do research, read reviews, and choose a reputable contractor to avoid these risks.
- Lack of customization: While professionals will do their best to meet your needs, they may not be able to customize every aspect of the job according to your preferences.
Making Your Decision
So which option is right for you? Ultimately, it depends on your needs and circumstances. If cost is your primary concern, then DIY might be the way to go (assuming you’re comfortable with tackling such a big project). If time is of the essence or you’re not confident in your ability to do the job well, then hiring a professional is probably your best bet.
No matter what decision you make, be sure to take action soon! The longer you wait to seal your blacktop driveway, the more damage weather and traffic will cause – leading to an even bigger repair bill down the road.
In conclusion, sealing your blacktop driveway is a crucial step in maintaining its condition and extending its lifespan.
By protecting it from the elements, preventing cracks, improving its appearance, and providing cost-effective maintenance, you can ensure that your driveway remains in good condition for years to come. It’s important to have your driveway sealed every 2-3 years or as needed based on its condition and usage.
A professional asphalt sealcoating service can help you determine the best course of action for your driveway and provide an expert application of high-quality sealant products. So don’t wait until it’s too late – invest in the long-term health of your blacktop driveway today!