By sealing your own driveway you can save a lot of money, anywhere from $300-$1,000 depending on the size of your driveway. It may sound like a big project, but with the right tools and equipment it’s quite simple.
First you need to buy a high grade or long life seal coat. You have a couple different choices. In large cities, you may be able to find a distributor of professional-grade asphalt coating products and purchase a 55-gallon drum instead of the 5-gallon buckets from your local home center. Your driveway length will determine which route to take.
Either coal tar or asphalt sealants work well. In recent years, asphalt-based sealers have improved, with additives that increase durability and resistance to oil and gas. Asphalt-based is also better for air quality than coal tar-based because they do not emit high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Now, coal tar sealers are even better at resistance to oil and gasoline and much more durable overall than the asphalt-based. Both types can be found in plain or filled-sealer formulas. Filled sealers contain sand or other solids that fill small holes or cracks. The best-grade sealers typically have a 5-6 year warranty. Once you decide which kind works best for your driveway store it upside down until you are ready to use as this makes it easier to stir once it is open. You will also need a brush/squeegee to spread the seal coat, masking tape and crack filler if needed.
Second, make sure your driveway is clean by sweeping away debris. If there are cracks, use the crack filler to fill them. Make sure to make it even so when you do the sealing there are not a lot of bumps or ridges. Next use tape and cover the edges and trim. Let the filler dry overnight and the next day you can begin the sealer application.
Stir the seal coat and pour a thick line across the width of the driveway. Use the brush to spread starting with the edges. Then spread over the length of the driveway taking care to spread it evenly. If the brush starts to dry up or get a heavy feeling, you can use gasoline on the brush and rinse off with water. Make sure that it is not too hot outside because it dry up very quickly. Use caution tape across the driveway so that people will not walk on it before it dries.
Wait 24 hours before you walk on your newly sealed driveway and wait one week before driving on it. Now you can enjoy your new driveway and be proud that you did it yourself.