Driveway sealing?

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So I just had a contractor cold-call for driveway sealing--he was in the area touching up a driveway, had some leftover, could do mine right now and he'd take some money off. I haven't researched it so I said no--it's no savings if I chose poorly, right? So I do a bit of research and it seems somewhat unknown if it really prolongs driveway life. Cracks are bad and need to be sealed, and black sure does look good--but it's going to last or not on the basis of if it was done properly in the first place. Link1 mentions this, and sealing-opponent claims to be in NH no less--Link2 So, while I doubt there is a true BITOG consensus, is it worthy of discussing? Also, is there a recommendation for a crack sealer? I'm guessing I can just clean out the crack and go to Home Depot and get ___, but maybe I really should buy ___ instead? Edit: in case not clear, something to fill cracks, not a "sealer" like for the rest of the driveway.
 
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We used to get our driveway sealed every year (seems like the popular thing to do in my area). Then I read something similar to the link you provided and I quit having it done over a decade ago. Driveway is in good shape except one very small section.
 
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The red-flag for me in your scenario is a contractor cold-calling you because they just happened to have leftover material from a job and are willing to give you a bargain if you buy from them today. You were wise to pass. As for sealing coating, per the stasi running my HOA, I have to have the driveway done at least once every three years or the nasty-grams start. The driveway is almost 20 years old now and is still usable, but I don't have an untreated control driveway that I can use for comparison so I can't say that sealing made a difference.
 

supton

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Yeah, I don't like cold calls, but I did recognize the name on the truck. FWIW, no HOA here. Driveway was sealed at some point, there is remains of some sealer in divots here and there.
 
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Driveway sealing is recommended. We try to do it every two years. And please, do not do it yourself, and do not hire someone giving cold calls. The good ol' 'we have some extra left over' pitch. Sigh. One of our neighbor's adult son did their driveway and it is all peeling/cracked, and now a complete mess. Much, much worse than it originally was. I disagree with the links as our driveway is in relatively good shape 'because' of consistent sealing as we have lots of movement in our foundation. We do have come dips next to the garage apron where the wheels pass through, but that is due to settling. If you have cracks, get it sealed.
 

Nick1994

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Driveways here are concrete, so they don't get sealed. My grandpa has owned his house since 1972 (48 years) and the house was built in 1950. He had a guy a couple years ago knock on the door wanting to seal the small cracks it has cause "it's gonna get worse". My grandpa laughed and said, "those cracks have been there for at least 45 years, I don't think it's going anywhere" and the guy stormed off. crackmeup
 
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Originally Posted by supton
So I just had a contractor cold-call for driveway sealing--he was in the area touching up a driveway, had some leftover, could do mine right now and he'd take some money off. I haven't researched it so I said no--it's no savings if I chose poorly, right? So I do a bit of research and it seems somewhat unknown if it really prolongs driveway life. Cracks are bad and need to be sealed, and black sure does look good--but it's going to last or not on the basis of if it was done properly in the first place. Link1 mentions this, and sealing-opponent claims to be in NH no less--Link2 So, while I doubt there is a true BITOG consensus, is it worthy of discussing? Also, is there a recommendation for a crack sealer? I'm guessing I can just clean out the crack and go to Home Depot and get ___, but maybe I really should buy ___ instead? Edit: in case not clear, something to fill cracks, not a "sealer" like for the rest of the driveway.
If I were interested, I would have asked the contractor where his last job was nearby..... exact location. That way you could take a look at the finished job first, prior to committing.
 

pbm

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I don't like the 'cold call' thing....I remember reading a few years ago about Gypsy's (aka: Traveler's) doing scams involving 'blacktop'....be careful...
 
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My driveway blacktop was removed and replaced by a local family owned paving business. The patriarch was there for the last of the job, and I asked him about sealing. His reply was it does nothing for the driveway, but does lighten the wallet a little bit. He did say to fill any cracks, that being the best way to extend blacktop life.
 
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We don't seal ours. My logic is they don't seal the roads, and they hold up fairly well despite the sheer abuse they're given, and my driveway sees a very very very tiny percentage of that abuse. I will get a tar snake or whatever to fix any more serious cracks however, but I haven't had to do that yet.
 
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Had a guy stop by cold and ask me about sealing my driveway. Was young guy with a pickup truck and fancy hair. I was working on the water pump and had no time to deal with him and sent him packing. I really hate people coming to my house uninvited. But a lot of my neighbors took him up on the offer and had their driveways sealed. Theirs looks better than mine. My wife thinks it's just cosmetic. Never has asphalt growing up, we had concrete so I was curious about this topic. Thanks Supton for starting this thread. Now that I know who had their driveway coated, I'll see in a few months how they look.
 
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Originally Posted by Inspecktor
My driveway blacktop was removed and replaced by a local family owned paving business. The patriarch was there for the last of the job, and I asked him about sealing. His reply was it does nothing for the driveway, but does lighten the wallet a little bit. He did say to fill any cracks, that being the best way to extend blacktop life.
Exactly, and when you seal-coat, you are doing exactly that... filing in minor cracks to prevent them from becoming major cracks. Paving businesses don't like seal-coating because with seal-coating, one is prolonging the life of the driveway significantly... taking away from their paving business.
 
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Originally Posted by Skippy722
We don't seal ours. My logic is they don't seal the roads, and they hold up fairly well despite the sheer abuse they're given, and my driveway sees a very very very tiny percentage of that abuse. I will get a tar snake or whatever to fix any more serious cracks however, but I haven't had to do that yet.
Sure, they don't seal the roads, but they also redo them about every ten years around here.
 

JTK

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If you live in the rust belt it's a must do on an asphalt driveway if you want it to last. I do it every other year. I've had'em roll-up in their hoopty, black stained setups when I'm out getting the mail, etc, quoting a cheap price, but that always seems to happen when I don't need it done. I've also approached crews when they're doing a neighbor's driveway and had them do mine for cash. It's usually around $170-200 to have my 120'x 18' driveway done. It would cost me more than that in materials to do it myself. I believe it's a coal tar emulsion material they use. I realize it's nasty stuff and not used in lots of areas now because of that, but even If I used higher dollar store bought stuff, it doesn't last more than 2yrs in my climate with my usage. Crack filling is tough because it's always caused by an area that expands and contracts, so they tend to re-open. Best you can do is keep filling it, keeping it stable so you or the weather doesn't rip out chunks.
 
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Originally Posted by Nick1994
Driveways here are concrete, so they don't get sealed. My grandpa has owned his house since 1972 (48 years) and the house was built in 1950. He had a guy a couple years ago knock on the door wanting to seal the small cracks it has cause "it's gonna get worse". My grandpa laughed and said, "those cracks have been there for at least 45 years, I don't think it's going anywhere" and the guy stormed off. crackmeup
You are fortunate you are in Phoenix. In most other places those cracks would be filled with tar to keep rain out and prevent further damage from water or freezing.
 
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My first house had a large asphalt driveway that hadn't been maintained. It was badly cracked and had some potholes in it. Ended up having it resurfaced so it was practically a new driveway. I sealed it twice myself, and I will say it filled in the small cracks nicely and it held up well. If you do it yourself, aim low on the expected amount of coverage the stuff says it can do; I ended up buying two more 5 gallon pails when I realized the amount of coverage one pail said it could do was really optimistic. Budget in one pair of jeans and a really old pair of shoes that you will never wear again, because they will be trashed.
 
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In 2005 I moved to a home with a asphalt drive, my first ever. It had been there a long time already but still looked near perfect. I stayed there 10 years and then moved. It's still there, probaby 30 years old now, NEVER BEEN SEALED. It got sun most all day. Don't waste your money on sealing asphalt. I do notice one thing though, some asphalt seems different, like it has more large gravel in the mix. Those ones seem to hold up very well. I am in Minnesota btw.
 
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CT8

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I just had a contractor cold-call for driveway sealing--he was in the area touching up a driveway, had some leftover,???
 
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About 30 years ago, my Father in law made a point to highlight this exact question (to seal or not to seal?) to me: his driveway and his brother's adjoining driveway next door were installed at the same time, same paver, same base. FIL's driveway never had a sealer applied, while his brother's driveway did get sealed regularly. FIL's driveway actually looked a bit better. And yes, it was kinda funny to see the wide expanse of adjoining driveway pavement out front with a nearly perfect line at the property line, one side sealed, the other not.
 
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Originally Posted by VolvoZ
About 30 years ago, my Father in law made a point to highlight this exact question (to seal or not to seal?) to me: his driveway and his brother's adjoining driveway next door were installed at the same time, same paver, same base. FIL's driveway never had a sealer applied, while his brother's driveway did get sealed regularly. FIL's driveway actually looked a bit better. And yes, it was kinda funny to see the wide expanse of adjoining driveway pavement out front with a nearly perfect line at the property line, one side sealed, the other not.
Depends on traffic, weight of vehicles, etc. Lots of variables other than just time of paving.
 
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