how often to seal a driveway?

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maverick23xy
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how often to seal a driveway?

Post by maverick23xy »

wondering how often you need to seal a driveway? is that the only driveway maintenace necessary?
dukeblue219
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by dukeblue219 »

What state or part of the world are you in, weather-wise?
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Raymond
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by Raymond »

Concrete or asphalt?
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OpenDelta
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by OpenDelta »

Raymond wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:36 pm Concrete or asphalt?
Or pavers/pavestones?
h82goslw
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by h82goslw »

Assuming you are referring to blacktop, I do ours every 2 years living in New England. After 20 years still looking good, although there’s a small hairline crack about 2 feet in length that appeared last year. Probably nothing to worry about with proper care.
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Padlin
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by Padlin »

I had the driveway sealer guys out to fill between the driveway and the road after it shrunk. When I asked about sealing it he told me that once you have it done you need to redo it every year or 2 for it to do it's job. I passed.

I'm in N.E. too.
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maverick23xy
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by maverick23xy »

i live in the northeast. blacktop driveway. i guess thats asphalt? it has cracks and some craters in it.... do i need to start from scratch and have it redone?
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Sandtrap
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by Sandtrap »

As long as base is sound and edges are not eroding
Patch properly
Recoat 2 inch.
Seal

3 bids from reputable licensed paving contractors.
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Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

maverick23xy wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:50 pm i live in the northeast. blacktop driveway. i guess thats asphalt? it has cracks and some craters in it.... do i need to start from scratch and have it redone?
Describe the cracks, are they hairline cracks or deep fissures? The craters, are they pothole sized or dips in the asphalt? The temperatures are dropping depending where you are in the N.E., you may have to hire it out as I haven't seen Home Depot carry the sealer in December.
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BernardShakey
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by BernardShakey »

maverick23xy wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:33 pm wondering how often you need to seal a driveway? is that the only driveway maintenace necessary?
What's this sealing we're talking about ? To prevent cracking due to repeated freezing and thawing ? Sorry, I'm out west and have never sealed a driveway in my 40 years of adulthood :wink:
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JoeRetire
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by JoeRetire »

maverick23xy wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:50 pm i live in the northeast. blacktop driveway. i guess thats asphalt? it has cracks and some craters in it.... do i need to start from scratch and have it redone?
Sealing a driveway is mostly for looks. It's like painting your driveway black. It does pretty much nothing to maintain the integrity of the driveway surface.

Cracks should be filled before freezing weather so that they don't get bigger. Craters need to be patched.

After that, if you want it to look nicer, have it sealed every two years or so. The frequency depends on the traffic and conditions. If you have your driveway plowed, it should be sealed at least every two years. If the driveway is lightly used and never plowed, you might get by with less frequent sealing.

I live in a community with an HOA. Last year, we had our two private roads sealed, along with all of the driveways. It looked really nice for a few months. The snowplows left a lot of marks that residents have complained about. The huge increase in delivery vehicle traffic due to the pandemic has also worn away a lot of the sealant. Oh well.

We also had a lot of cracks filled. That part might help extend the life of our roads/driveways - the sealant won't.
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stilllurking
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by stilllurking »

What are good brands of sealants to purchase for a residential DIY job in the spring?
likegarden
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by likegarden »

I also live in the Northeast, have an asphalt driveway, blacktop, have one crack across. I get it sealed every year for looks. In case you have small cracks on side and at road, they have some patch at HD. works wonderfully and permanent. I have same driveway since 1998.
squirm
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by squirm »

JoeRetire wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:11 am
maverick23xy wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:50 pm i live in the northeast. blacktop driveway. i guess thats asphalt? it has cracks and some craters in it.... do i need to start from scratch and have it redone?
Sealing a driveway is mostly for looks. It's like painting your driveway black. It does pretty much nothing to maintain the integrity of the driveway surface.

Cracks should be filled before freezing weather so that they don't get bigger. Craters need to be patched.

After that, if you want it to look nicer, have it sealed every two years or so. The frequency depends on the traffic and conditions. If you have your driveway plowed, it should be sealed at least every two years. If the driveway is lightly used and never plowed, you might get by with less frequent sealing.

I live in a community with an HOA. Last year, we had our two private roads sealed, along with all of the driveways. It looked really nice for a few months. The snowplows left a lot of marks that residents have complained about. The huge increase in delivery vehicle traffic due to the pandemic has also worn away a lot of the sealant. Oh well.

We also had a lot of cracks filled. That part might help extend the life of our roads/driveways - the sealant won't.

Exactly. We have a very long asphalt driveway. I don't get it sealed, waste of $$$. Cracks filled. Going on over twenty years.
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snackdog
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by snackdog »

Sealing protects the asphalt from degradation from water, UV, engine oil and anything else that would get on the surface. Large cracks can be sealed individually but a commercially applied seal coat should be put on top of all of it afterward.

Frequency depends on the condition of your asphalt. Any hairline cracks? Are the stones in the asphalt white or still black?
bondsr4me
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by bondsr4me »

squirm wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:20 am
JoeRetire wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:11 am
maverick23xy wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:50 pm i live in the northeast. blacktop driveway. i guess thats asphalt? it has cracks and some craters in it.... do i need to start from scratch and have it redone?
Sealing a driveway is mostly for looks. It's like painting your driveway black. It does pretty much nothing to maintain the integrity of the driveway surface.

Cracks should be filled before freezing weather so that they don't get bigger. Craters need to be patched.

After that, if you want it to look nicer, have it sealed every two years or so. The frequency depends on the traffic and conditions. If you have your driveway plowed, it should be sealed at least every two years. If the driveway is lightly used and never plowed, you might get by with less frequent sealing.

I live in a community with an HOA. Last year, we had our two private roads sealed, along with all of the driveways. It looked really nice for a few months. The snowplows left a lot of marks that residents have complained about. The huge increase in delivery vehicle traffic due to the pandemic has also worn away a lot of the sealant. Oh well.

We also had a lot of cracks filled. That part might help extend the life of our roads/driveways - the sealant won't.

Exactly. We have a very long asphalt driveway. I don't get it sealed, waste of $$$. Cracks filled. Going on over twenty years.
Do you fill the cracks yourself? If so, what do you use?
My asphalt driveway needs some repairs....30 yrs old now..
gac1979
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by gac1979 »

JoeRetire wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:11 am
maverick23xy wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:50 pm i live in the northeast. blacktop driveway. i guess thats asphalt? it has cracks and some craters in it.... do i need to start from scratch and have it redone?
Sealing a driveway is mostly for looks. It's like painting your driveway black. It does pretty much nothing to maintain the integrity of the driveway surface.

Cracks should be filled before freezing weather so that they don't get bigger. Craters need to be patched.

After that, if you want it to look nicer, have it sealed every two years or so. The frequency depends on the traffic and conditions. If you have your driveway plowed, it should be sealed at least every two years. If the driveway is lightly used and never plowed, you might get by with less frequent sealing.

I live in a community with an HOA. Last year, we had our two private roads sealed, along with all of the driveways. It looked really nice for a few months. The snowplows left a lot of marks that residents have complained about. The huge increase in delivery vehicle traffic due to the pandemic has also worn away a lot of the sealant. Oh well.

We also had a lot of cracks filled. That part might help extend the life of our roads/driveways - the sealant won't.
This ^. Except for one important addition. If you fall into the trap of sealing asphalt, you get stuck in a vicious cycle. The problem is that you will often see lines and darker/lighter areas after the first season or two - just from natural weathering. In other words, the sealer doesn’t wear well and you see all the imperfections. So you have to do it again. And again. And again.
CloseEnough
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by CloseEnough »

Never. I live in snow country and haven't sealed my driveway ever, going on over 30 years. No problems. Comments above that sealer is purely cosmetic are correct. As a consumer, I would also consider the substantial health and environmental risks with sealer, which while beyond this forum, deserve research before you go down this road. Good luck with your decision.
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by ponyboy »

CloseEnough wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:25 am Never. I live in snow country and haven't sealed my driveway ever, going on over 30 years. No problems. Comments above that sealer is purely cosmetic are correct. As a consumer, I would also consider the substantial health and environmental risks with sealer, which while beyond this forum, deserve research before you go down this road. Good luck with your decision.
This. How often do you see highways being sealed? That should answer everyones question. Fill in cracks, thats about it.
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JoeRetire
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by JoeRetire »

gac1979 wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:24 am
JoeRetire wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:11 am
maverick23xy wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:50 pm i live in the northeast. blacktop driveway. i guess thats asphalt? it has cracks and some craters in it.... do i need to start from scratch and have it redone?
Sealing a driveway is mostly for looks. It's like painting your driveway black. It does pretty much nothing to maintain the integrity of the driveway surface.

Cracks should be filled before freezing weather so that they don't get bigger. Craters need to be patched.

After that, if you want it to look nicer, have it sealed every two years or so. The frequency depends on the traffic and conditions. If you have your driveway plowed, it should be sealed at least every two years. If the driveway is lightly used and never plowed, you might get by with less frequent sealing.

I live in a community with an HOA. Last year, we had our two private roads sealed, along with all of the driveways. It looked really nice for a few months. The snowplows left a lot of marks that residents have complained about. The huge increase in delivery vehicle traffic due to the pandemic has also worn away a lot of the sealant. Oh well.

We also had a lot of cracks filled. That part might help extend the life of our roads/driveways - the sealant won't.
This ^. Except for one important addition. If you fall into the trap of sealing asphalt, you get stuck in a vicious cycle. The problem is that you will often see lines and darker/lighter areas after the first season or two - just from natural weathering. In other words, the sealer doesn’t wear well and you see all the imperfections. So you have to do it again. And again. And again.
Yup. The sealant wears unevenly. Thus, if you always want a dark black, "painted" look, you'll end up re-sealing it often.

(We had a hard time explaining this to the HOA residents here. I couldn't convince them that sealing was just for looks. And then they were unhappy when the looks faded quickly. Oh well.)
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maverick23xy
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by maverick23xy »

CloseEnough wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:25 am Never. I live in snow country and haven't sealed my driveway ever, going on over 30 years. No problems. Comments above that sealer is purely cosmetic are correct. As a consumer, I would also consider the substantial health and environmental risks with sealer, which while beyond this forum, deserve research before you go down this road. Good luck with your decision.
do you have an asphalt driveway? what kind of maintenance have u had to do over the 30 years?
eddot98
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by eddot98 »

So much misinformation in this thread. Bituminous concrete or asphalt concrete is what lots of people refer to as blacktop. The product consists of liquid asphalt heated to over 300 degrees F and mixed with specialized aggregate of specific gradation for its intended use. Asphalt cement (as it is referred to in the highway industry) is an engineered product with special additives used to modify its performance for different climatic conditions, different types and amounts of traffic. Asphalt cement is actually what’s left over after crude oil is distilled and the lighter oils such as javiation fuel, gasoline, and fuel oil are extracted. Asphalt cement still has some volatiles left, they are just not cost effective to distill. That’s important to recognize.
As bituminous concrete ages and oxidizes in place, those volatiles evaporate from the asphalt cement and the bituminous concrete dries out, becoming brittle and more susceptible to cracking, because like most materials, bituminous concrete expands and contracts with temperature variations. As time goes on, the asphalt cement dries out more and more cracks develop. Water infiltrates into the cracks, stripping the asphalt cement off the aggregates and permeates into the base gravel. In winter the water in the base can freeze and, because when water freezes it expands, it can push up the bituminous concrete. As this cycle repeats, the bituminous concrete layer cracks more, it becomes weakened and potholes can develop.
A quality driveway sealer, properly applied at the correct time, can stop the bituminous concrete from drying out. Crack sealer should also be used when appropriate. Driveway sealer is slippery and should never be applied on a highway where friction is critical to keep vehicles from skidding.
But, highway agencies routinely seal pavements with products such as chip seal (also called surface treatment), single course overlays (both ultra thin bonded overlays and conventional hot mix asphalt overlays), and micro-surfacing. Some agencies will use fog seal (a light spray of an asphalt emulsion), but without a light coating of a fine sand fog seal can end up lessening a pavement’s friction quality.
So, seal your driveway every 4 or 5 years with a quality product and seal cracks larger than a quarter inch a few months before sealing.
That would have cost $225, if I were to charge my hourly consulting rate.
CloseEnough
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by CloseEnough »

OP: yes, asphalt drive. I have occasionally filled larger cracks (last time with a shovel full of filler from a friendly nearby road crew. - hot!). That’s it. Regarding misinformation, I’d strongly suggest you research the health and, more importantly, environmental impact of use of driveway sealer, as well as whether it’s just a cosmetic fix. I prefer spending that money and time on other things more important to me than a shiny black driveway.
Bigt3142
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by Bigt3142 »

ponyboy wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:02 pm
CloseEnough wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:25 am Never. I live in snow country and haven't sealed my driveway ever, going on over 30 years. No problems. Comments above that sealer is purely cosmetic are correct. As a consumer, I would also consider the substantial health and environmental risks with sealer, which while beyond this forum, deserve research before you go down this road. Good luck with your decision.
This. How often do you see highways being sealed? That should answer everyones question. Fill in cracks, thats about it.
I live in Utah, they seal the roads at least every two years. When they do it they add gravel on top of the road surface.
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whodidntante
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Re: how often to seal a driveway?

Post by whodidntante »

I seal cracks and fill potholes as needed, and apply a decent sealer every 4-5 years. Call it unnecessary if you like, but my aging driveway is holding up much better than the street, and better than my neighbor's driveways who do not do the maintenance I described. I talk walks around the neighborhood and I see this plainly and up close.
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