Is your driveway starting to show signs of wear? Maybe it has oil stains, mold and algae growth, or even minor cracks. If that sounds like YOUR driveway, it’s probably time for a fresh sealcoat. But what does that involve? Are you better off doing it yourself or hiring a professional?
The Process of Sealcoating Your Driveway
Of course, you don’t want to just buy sealant and pour it all over your driveway. You want it done right. So what does that process look like? It starts with good driveway preparation.
Clean your driveway. Using a broom or leaf blower, clear all the dirt, dust, and leaves from the asphalt. Next, give it a good bath with a pressure washer to clear away stains, mold, algae, sap, and residual car oil. Many people think that there’s no harm in skipping this step, but neglecting to clean your driveway can be damaging. If there are destructive elements left on the surface of the asphalt, the layer of sealant will trap them there. And they’ll continue to eat away at your driveway beneath the sealcoat.
Fill in the cracks. But isn’t the sealcoating going to do that anyway? Actually, no. Sealcoat doesn’t have the flexibility and adhesive features needed to be an effective crack filler. Relying on sealcoating to fill your cracks might make your driveway look good for now, but those spots will be more prone to re-cracking in the future. On the other hand, crack filler is designed to stick and flex in a way that prevents re-cracking. So don’t skip this step either!
Make sure it’s all dry. After giving your driveway a good bath, you’ll want to make sure it’s completely dry before applying sealcoat. Also, it’s a good idea to have a couple of dry days in a row before you even start this project. Sealcoating can be washed away or damaged if it gets wet before it’s fully dried and cured.
Finally, it’s time to sealcoat your driveway! You’ve made it! Now comes the real work. Apply sealcoat to your entire driveway, paying careful attention to the edges. Most experts recommend two full layers of sealcoating. You might need a third layer over the more damaged areas of your driveway.
If you’re a big DIYer, that process might not sound so bad. Maybe it’ll be fun! And one of the benefits of doing it yourself is that it’ll probably cost a bit less. But before you get started, there are a few other things to consider.
Before pressure washing your own driveway, it’s important to do your research and get some training. Improper use of a pressure washer can degrade the surface of your driveway, taking years off its life. Common causes of damage are using the wrong nozzle, spraying too close to the surface, using too much pressure, or holding the nozzle over one area for too long.
The sealcoating process can also be a challenge too. You have to determine what method you’ll use to apply the sealant and how to implement that method properly. Should you spray it on? Use a squeegee? Will you need a brush? All valid questions that require additional research. If sealcoating is done improperly, it doesn’t provide full protection for your driveway and might wear away in a year.
So the true cost of DIY sealcoating is your time and money. You’ll need to spend time researching and learning new skills. And you’ll need to purchase or rent all the products, materials, and tools yourself. And if the preparation or the sealcoating itself isn’t done the right way, you might find that it was all for nothing. And you’ll soon find yourself spending more time and more money to repeat the process of sealcoating your driveway or to repair damages.
But we don’t want that to happen to YOU! A professional sealcoating service is an ideal choice to protect your driveway the right way. Why?
- They’ll save you time by completing the whole project from start to finish (including driveway preparation).
- Getting your sealcoating done professionally means getting it done right the first time, so you don’t have to worry about damage to your driveway or having to redo the project.
- A professional sealcoating company will bring their skills, expertise, and experience to YOUR driveway so that it’ll look great and last a long time!
So is it better to DIY or hire a professional? In our opinion, sealcoating is one of those services where hiring a professional ensures the highest quality and best bang for your buck.