Asphalt is a very popular material to use for roads, but it is also used for home driveways. If you have an asphalt driveway, it may be susceptible to cracks and potholes. The best way to prevent this type of damage is by sealing the driveway. It is very easy to seal, and once you do, you not only reduce cracks, but protect it from gas and oil spills, and damage from the sun's UV rays.
Gather Your Supplies
Before you start any home project, you should make sure you have the right supplies. Some supplies for sealing an asphalt driveway are already in your garage, but you might need to pick up some of them from your local hardware store. To seal the driveway, you will need:
- Application brush
- Asphalt driveway sealer
- Push broom
- Stiff-bristled brush
- Pressure washer
- Hose with a spray nozzle
- Patching compounds (optional)
Prepare the Driveway
The best day to seal asphalt is when no rain is expected and it isn't too cold. This will allow for enough heat to dry the asphalt. Get ready by wearing your gloves and preferably a mask that covers your mouth and nose so you don't inhale vapors from the sealant. Remove any grass or weeds around the edge of the driveway, and clean off gas or oil stains with your detergent and stiff-bristled brush.
If there are already cracks or other types of damage, patch them up before applying the sealant. If you're patching up cracks, read the directions to see how long it takes to dry before continuing with sealing the asphalt. Use your broom to wipe away any debris.
Wash the Driveway
Once you are done getting the driveway ready with patching and cleaning, wash it once more with your garden hose. If you have access to a pressure washer, that is the ideal way to get it clean. The water is used to get any debris or remnants that your broom didn't clean off the asphalt. Let the surface of the driveway dry completely before continuing. If you are working on a hot day, it shouldn't take very long for the water to dry.
Get the Sealant Ready
To pre-mix the contents of the asphalt sealant, leave the lid on and turn it upside down. Give it a gentle shake to mix it. Turn it back over and pry the lid off the tub. Stir it well to continue mixing it. You will want to continue mixing it periodically as you work to keep it mixed well for an even sealing job.
Seal the Driveway
With the sealant mixed well, it is time to apply the sealant to the driveway. Start at one corner of the driveway and pour a small amount of the sealant to the driveway. Working with one square section of driveway at a time, pour the sealant in thin coats, allowing it to overlap between each section. Use an application brush to spread the sealant around so that all of the asphalt is completely covered.
Once the asphalt has been covered in the sealant, let it dry. Do not walk or drive on the asphalt driveway when the sealant is driving. It typically takes at least a day or two to dry completely, but look at the instructions that came on your sealant. Contact a company like Bituminous Roadways, Inc. for more information.