How to Choose the Right Driveway Sealer for Your Driveway

Home maintenance projects can be extremely overwhelming for new home owners or aspiring DIY enthusiasts. What tools do I need? What brand to buy? Am I being suckered into buying accessory items that I may not really need? Let’s break down exactly what you will need to consider when maintaining your asphalt paved driveway.

The very first thing to think about is prepping the driveway. Before you do any sealing, you need to make sure the surface is free of dirt and debris. Using a pressure-washer is preferred, but just a hose and stiff bristled broom can remove most of the grim. This is important because you want the driveway sealer bonding to the actual asphalt surface of the driveway, and not bonding to the dirt, otherwise the sealer will flake up with the loose particles. After you’ve cleaned the driveway surface, you need to make sure that the cracks and holes are filled to create a smooth, level surface. For cracks less than ¼ inch, use our squeezable liquid crack filler. For cracks bigger than ¼ inch but smaller than ½ inch, use our trowel-able crack filling paste. If you have any big holes, you may want to consider using a chuckhole patch. Wait until all of the crack filler has cured and is dry to the touch before you seal the driveway. If it hasn’t cured yet, putting sealer on top of the crack filler will trap some of the blending agents underneath and it will not form a good bond with the asphalt. See label for coverage rate and application instructions.

After you’ve prepped your driveway, it’s time to decide what driveway sealer to use. For the basic, average driveway, our 81270 Asphalt Emulsion Driveway Sealer (yellow lid) will be all you need. If your driveway has a little bit of a slope to it, our 81280 Asphalt Emulsion Driveway Sealer/Filler (red lid) is ideal. This product contains a sand aggregate to help build traction and increase durability. For bigger sealing jobs, such as commercial parking lots, that most likely get a lot more traffic and abrasion, our 81290 Polymer Modified Asphalt Emulsion Sealer/Filler is the product we would recommend. This formula contains a SBS polymer that it meant to add durability as well as give the driveway the ability to expand and contract with the different temperatures. It will help prevent cracking and potholes better than the average sealer.

Now some of you may say, “I’ve seen a 4 year warranty on some sealers in the Big Box stores and you don’t, and it says they are ‘Airport Grade’ so they must be better.” Next time you are around one of those buckets, take a look at what they are actually warranting. In most cases, you need to keep the original pail, original receipt, and retain a sample of the original product for testing in their labs. It can only be used for a single family home with no snow removal. You cannot use it on commercial parking lots. You do not get reimbursed for the labor. Not to mention, most prorate the warranty so if it fails in year 2 of 4, you would only be reimbursed (assuming the retained sample failed all their lab performance tests) for half of what you originally paid for. Now I am not an airport runway engineer, but I would assume that if this sealer is Airport Grade, they should certainly be able to warrant it for use on commercial parking lots.

When it comes time for you next driveway project, give Asphalt Products a try. If you have any questions on product applications or where to get it, just give us a call at (800) 446-2340.

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