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Every year without fail, someone rings our doorbell wanting to seal our asphalt driveway, but I’m the DIY guy around here, so if I can do it the right way, I won’t pay anyone to do it.
Table of contents
- Update The Look Of Your Property With Asphalt Sealer
- Pros And Cons Of Asphalt Re-sealing
- Price Difference: DIY Asphalt Sealing vs. Hiring Someone
- Costs Using A Driveway Sealing Vendor
- DIY Asphalt Sealing Equipment and Costs
- Asphalt Sealing Process – How To Asphalt Seal Your Driveway
- Research DIY Driveway Sealing Before Your Begin
- Related Posts
- Subscribe To Canadian Budget Binder
Update The Look Of Your Property With Asphalt Sealer
When it comes to home renovations and maintenance, I’m picky.
I won’t do something to be cheap; I’ll do it because I know I can do it or call in the professionals.
There’s nothing worse than paying to get a job done twice.
Re-sealing your asphalt driveway can extend the life of your drive by keeping out water in the winter that freezes during cold weather.
The freeze-thaw cycle can destroy mountains, so a tiny asphalt driveway is nothing to Mother Nature.
Winter Wear On A Driveway
I use a metal shovel during the winter months because it cleans the driveway of snow with a better result than a plastic shovel.
The problem is that the metal shovel takes a layer of sealer with it every time.
No, I don’t need to invest in a snowblower either, as our driveway does not warrant that expense as it’s not significant.
Even so, the snow blower never gets the snow off the surface, and my neighbour still uses a shovel after snow blows his drive.
When I moved to Canada, the spring or summer asphalt driveway sealing was all new to me.
Although disappointing in the UK, the weather is never anything like it is here in the winter or summer.
It took a while to convince me of the benefits of re-sealing the asphalt driveway, even if it takes a beating during the winter and looks a little worse for wear in the spring.
I held off from sealing the asphalt due to the results of other people’s driveways.
Plenty of driveways with roller lines were severely worn and faded.
I couldn’t see the point of sealing them if they looked worse than initially.
After a couple of seasons went past, I could see the reason we needed the sealer and why other people’s drives looked like a disaster zone.
Some of the neighbours didn’t re-seal the asphalt regularly; in fact, some neighbours haven’t re-sealed their driveway since we moved in five years ago.
Consider driveway re-sealing as part of the general upkeep and maintenance of the house.
We turned it into an annual half-day project and part of our projected expenses.
Pros And Cons Of Asphalt Re-sealing
The asphalt sealer will protect your drive from the elements, especially during winter; it’s the quiet and destructive freeze-thaw cycle.
As soon as liquid water is absorbed into cracks in the asphalt, it is sure that when the temperature drops to below freezing, the water will expand as it turns into ice.
It’s the expansion and contraction that opens up small cracks into large cracks and large cracks into holes in the driveway.
The sealer is designed to fill these minor cracks as they generate over time.
The filler will be required for larger cracks and must be applied according to the directions before re-sealing commences.
Holes should be repaired by digging out the loose asphalt, vacuuming the smaller loose debris, and then filling it with hole repair, essentially asphalt in a bucket.
You’ll need compact this mixture into the hole to prevent any settling after it cures.
Let the hole repair cure; this takes roughly 6 weeks for some products to cure.
Another reason to re-seal your drive is that it looks clean and brand new every spring/summer and keeps the house’s general appearance up.
The only drawback I can see so far is that it is money out of your budget every year or two, and it can be a little hard work if you do it yourself.
Price Difference: DIY Asphalt Sealing vs. Hiring Someone
If you’re feeling particularly energetic, you can do it yourself and have various choices in most hardware or home renovation stores.
It can be pretty cheap depending on your product, like this year’s product used on my driveway.
This year I purchased two large buckets of Canadian Tire’s asphalt driveway sealer in a matte finish called Armor Coat.
I bought the Armor Coat Driveway sealing product while it was on sale for $14.99 each, along with a roller and a bottle of asphalt cleaner.
Upon reading the instructions and mixing up the product as requested, I found it was separated in the top two or three inches and went on like water for the first roll or two.
Fortunately, the product improved, but I had to continue stirring and mixing it occasionally so it wouldn’t separate.
The result was good, and it cured within the three hours that it said and has cured to a flawless finish.
I must keep the vehicles off the driveway for the next 24 hours.
In the past, I used the Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield Sealer, which has a 5-year warranty but does not cover using metal shovels.
That particular asphalt sealing product mixed a lot easier and was much more pleasant to use on the driveway, but it probably gave the same result in the looks department.
The difference between the two products from Canadian tire is the price.
This year’s product was $19.99 compared to $39.99 (regular price) for the brand name asphalt sealer.
Don’t forget the price of a roller or brush, depending on which application method you choose, and a bottle of asphalt cleaner.
Importance Of Using Asphalt Cleaner
My asphalt cleaner, “Airport grade,” cost me $9.99, of which I used approximately half a bottle to clean the oil spots off the driveway.
I don’t know about the airport grade claim, but it did the trick.
The asphalt cleaner is essential, especially after seeing what happens when you have a large oil patch on your drive and just re-seal straight over it without cleaning it first.
One of our neighbours tried with the most hideous results.
After about a week, the entire asphalt sealer over top of the oil patch had peeled off, and then the rest of the driveway started to peel off too.
They did fix the issue the following year but had lived all year with the eyesore, as did the neighbours.
Costs Using A Driveway Sealing Vendor
If you’re not interested in re-sealing, some late spring and summer vendors will re-seal your asphalt driveway for approximately $120.
Some of these services tend to spray asphalt sealant straight over the weeds at the ends of the driveway.
However, I remove the weeds before the sealer application to keep it neat.
Don’t expect frills from cart vendors; they spray and roll on.
DIY Asphalt Sealing Equipment and Costs
For our driveway, I bought two buckets of asphalt sealer because of the square footage of the drive, a roller (just the fluffy refill portion), and a bottle of cleaner for $49.67.
Of course, if you don’t already have a roller head and pole, you’ll need to invest in them too.
They are readily available at any hardware store or big box store such as Home Depot, Canadian Tire, Rona, Home Hardware, etc.
Use a roller head and pole specifically for driveway sealing because it tends to speckle everything with black hard asphalt sealer that’s tough to get off.
I use old cardboard boxes to avoid going over the lines where the driveway meets the garage.
Unfold them to sit in the gap between the drive and the garage, protecting the concrete from getting black sealer.
Keep a paper towel, a scrub brush, and a bucket of water in case of any spills.
There’s nothing worse than seeing a driveway freshly sealed with sealant splashes everywhere.
It does defeat some of the aesthetic purposes of the job.
Asphalt Sealing Process – How To Asphalt Seal Your Driveway
How to seal an asphalt driveway, or at least this is how I did, and it looks fantastic.
Always read the product label for instructions, but for me, it’s a 6 step process.
- Brush the driveway from top to bottom to remove loose debris, mud, leaves, etc.
- Wet the driveway with a garden hose or power washer.
- Spray on the asphalt cleaner for general cleaning, in which I brush the cleaner into the driveway.
- To remove oil stains from driveway spots, clean trouble areas where oil spots are, usually under the engine compartment of the vehicles.
- Depending on the product, either rinse and then apply the product while damp or wait for the surface to dry and then apply.
- Protect by cordoning off the area with tape or anything else you can use.
Research DIY Driveway Sealing Before Your Begin
Take your time and prepare your asphalt sealing process so the project runs smoothly.
If you accidentally hit the concrete of your garage floor or elsewhere, use a little cleaner and some water to dilute the sealer before it cures and scrub with your brush.
I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I like the result to be flawless. It’s an easy project for an afternoon during the weekend, but remember to check the weather.
I had to abandon the asphalt sealing once this week due to impending rain that never appeared, which was frustrating.
Lastly, with caution tape or string and paper, alert people that your driveway is wet so they don’t pull their vehicle in or walk all over it.
You can only imagine the potential disaster that will cause.
I just put my vehicle in front of the driveway with string and a caution note.
If you want to save some cash, completing your asphalt sealing is not that difficult if you research and plan.
If you are not confident in your driveway asphalt sealing ability or don’t have time, pay someone else to do the job.
Discussion: Have you completed the asphalt sealing process on your driveway? How much did it cost you, and what products do you prefer the best?
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