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How to Seal a Driveway in 4 Steps

Brick Driveway

Driveways take a lot of punishment between your car, footsteps, and a huge range of adverse weather. Erosion from rain, sun, snow, wind, and more can cause your driveway to crack unless you seal it first! Sealing your driveway is the best way to protect it from the elements and help it last as long as possible. Let’s check out exactly how to go about sealing your driveway.

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Before You Start

Driveway_shutterstock_Patryk Kosmider
Image Credit: Patryk Kosmider, shutterstock

First, you need to gather everything you’ll need to seal your driveway. Having everything you need together will cut down on time.

You Will Need:

  • Trimming equipment (power trim edger, shovel, etc.)
  • Driveway cleaner
  • Hose with nozzle or power washer with soap attachment
  • Oil spot primer
  • Paintbrush
  • Driveway sealant
  • Push broom
  • Power mixer
  • Mixing paddle

To know how much sealant you need to buy, first measure your driveway’s length and width, then multiply them together. For example, a 10’ x 30’ driveway will measure 300 square feet. Driveway sealant is typically sold in 5-gallon buckets that cover roughly 400 square feet per bucket. Unless you’re sealing a very long driveway, one bucket should do the job.

How To Seal a Driveway in 4 Steps

1. Clean the Driveway and Edge the Landscaping

person pressure washing the driveway
Image Credit: Virrage Images, Shutterstock

Use whatever trimming equipment you have to remove any unruly weeds or plants that may be intruding onto the driveway. You can use a shovel, power trim edger, or anything you have available. There’s no need to buy special equipment since the objective is just to keep the edge of your driveway clean and neat.

Next, use your broom to clear off any dust, dirt, and other debris from your driveway. You want to get it as clean as possible, then pull out the driveway cleaner. You can apply the cleaner with a power washer or garden dispenser nozzle, whichever is more convenient.

Once the cleaner is applied, scrub the driveway with your broom and wash away the residue with your hose or power washer.


2. Prime Your Driveway

Using a brush, apply the oil spot primer to any oil-stained areas on your driveway. Driveway sealant sticks poorly to oil stains, so this is essential if you want the sealant to stick. Allow the primer to dry after application, then make a second coat if the stain is still visible. You can get oil spot primer at most hardware or automotive stores.


3. Mix the Sealant

You’ll need a power mixer and mixing paddle, which are available to rent or buy at many hardware stores. For many brands of sealant, you open the lid and make a hole in the top of the bucket, then insert the mixing paddle of your power mixer. Place the lid back over the container, then mix the sealant.

To mix, slowly push the mixer toward the bottom of the bucket, then work your way up. Don’t make hasty motions, or you could splash the sealant. Mix the sealant to the manufacturer’s instructions, which may be found on the exterior of the container.


4. Seal Your Driveway

Wait for a mild, dry day above 50 °F (10 °C) to apply the sealant. Anything below that temperature might stick poorly. Avoid excessively sunny days, too, because the sealant can dry too fast and crack.

Pour a small portion of sealant onto the top corner of your driveway and brush the sealant on with your push broom. Gravity will push the sealant toward the bottom of your driveway, so brush in even, horizontal strokes. Work in 5’ x 5’ squares, or similarly small areas, to help avoid pouring too much sealant at one time.

Apply a second coat if desired but wait until after the first coat is completely dry. After your final coat, wait 48 hours before driving a car onto the driveway.

If you take more than one session to cover the whole driveway, mix the sealant each time to ensure the material always comes out smooth.

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Sealing your driveway is the best way to protect it from harsh elements. It takes a little hard work, but the job is easily done within the span of a weekend. It’s definitely worth the money and labor to protect your driveway from the elements for years to come.


Featured Image Credit: Dashman, Pixabay

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