Thursday, October 2, 2008

Tips For Sealing A Driveway

I’ve seen a little traffic recently from my driveway-sealing entries. Some folks are still trying to get asphalt driveway sealing done before the weather breaks!

For them, I have one word of advice: Hurry!

Temperatures play a big role in the success of this job. Most recommendations are for temps to be “55 degrees and rising” when applying sealer. On the other hand, if your surface is too hot, it’s recommended that you spray it with a hose. Just mist it – you don’t want puddles everywhere!

Based on some of the keyword searches, here are some other things you’ll want to do before you start sealing.

Plan – You won’t be able to drive on a sealed surface for 24-48 hours. Where will you keep your car (s) in the interim? If your driveway is the main access on foot to your home, also plan how you will seal so that you can still get in the house once you’re done!
Clean and Clear –Before you do anything to your driveway, you should sweep it off and hose it down. If you have lots of oil deposits, you may want to put some degreaser down to get it good and clean.
Patch and Prime – Before you even think about sealing, it’s important to do any needed repairs. Crack-filling can literally make or break your driveway. Make sure you clear out roots, weeds, gravel or other debris before starting. (A shop vac is great for this.) This will help ensure that the patch properly bonds to the surface and ultimately to the sealer. You don’t want to give water a chance to get in there! Cracks of ¼-inch wide or ¼-inch deep or less, unless they cover a significant distance across the drive, can usually be filled with the sealer itself. Wider than this, you’ll want to get a good liquid patch. Deeper than this, you’ll want to get a trowel-in patch to fill them. And temperatures are important here, too. Use that same 55+ as your guide. Depending on how many cracks you fill – and how deep they are – you may want to wait from 24 hours to two weeks for the filler to cure prior to sealing. Make sure you read the guidelines on the fillers you consider, especially if you’re on a deadline. And, if you have a lot of oil or grease spots on the surface, you may want to cover them with a primer. It's quick and easy and this will keep those spots from bleeding through your new surface.

Hope these are helpful. Good luck with your projects!

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