Driveway sealing?

Joined
Mar 24, 2011
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2,293
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CA
I went with one of those cold-call people back in early '90's. Just to give you an idea of how old that pitch is - my parents told me multiple times to avoid that sales pitch, as they did not when they were starting out and got a coating of used motor oil. I got a decent job (and saw the Henry cans), the guy worked on filling the large cracks before sealing. It was fine for a few years until I had the driveway redone in concrete. The driveway had been shedding a lot of small stones; all that stopped once sealed.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2007
Messages
1,083
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Northern New York
I do mine every 4 or 5 years here in the Rustbelt. All the salt and gunk takes its toll up here. 6 months after we has it done 22 years back I saw grass starting to grow up through the edges. I dumped sealer on it and never saw it again. I just do my own it's so dead simple. All I get is the cheap $15 a pail stuff Sams Club carries and use a squeegee applicator. I pressure wash the drive well. Then just pry off the top kick the bucket over . Then I grab the bucket and walk it out front 20' and set it upside down. Then go back and start floating it out front just pushing it around. Rinse and repeat . No style required and a skill level of 🤷🏼‍♂️Zero. You apply it more like floating concrete than painting . This is no place to try to save, spread it so it looks like a solid black shiny sheen and leave it be. That old 🤨I was just in the area doing another driveway routine is as old as the hills. Who knows what the guy is using. The infamous old trick is used motor oil or tar heavily laced with it. He will be long gone before you discover it's not drying🦨. Then not only is your pocket lighter but you get to clean up the mess. Be careful with those traveling blacktop seal guy. The same goes for the " Paint your barn or sheds guys".. It's likely a gypsy or some other out of town dude with some sort of scam he's running.
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
519
Location
The Orca
My neighbor fell for this. Said he got a great deal because they had too much leftover from a job down the street and paid less than he would have if he had done it himself. Four days later it was still soaking wet glistening in the sun. It was obvious what the "sealant" actually was. I always sealed my asphalt driveway back when we had one. The coal tar type worked best but the damage to the floors in the house from tracking it in over the years was apparent. Driveway always looked good though and it was pretty old. The neighbor across the street never sealed his and it showed.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
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2,931
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Central NY
I no longer get mine draws here in NY. But do make sure to seal the cracks myself. If big enough I use the stuff you have to melt with a torch.
 

supton

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Nov 9, 2008
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NH
Originally Posted by CT8
I just had a contractor cold-call for driveway sealing--he was in the area touching up a driveway, had some leftover,???
It's not that rural here, houses every 1000' or so, and I can see a couple of driveways have had sealing down already this summer. I kinda sorta recognized the name on the license plate, and afterwards a web search got a hit. So it seemed possibly legit. Beats me. Not seeing enough good argument here to bother. In better economic times it sounds like it'd be nicer to a crisp driveway (mine has weathered down to that old highway look), but given the current outlook I'll save my money. Especially since I strongly suspect I could do it cheaper myself.
 
Joined
Mar 5, 2015
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Juno Beach FL
They will hold up better in a cold climate much better if sealed every few years. I've kept my ten year old driveway crack free sealing 3 times since new. The prior house's driveway didn't get sealed and by 6 or 7 years after new the cracks were showing. I'm not a big fan of "just in case" over the top maintenance, but this is one that I believe to be needed, in a cold climate for sure.
 
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Joined
Apr 14, 2020
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North East, U.S.
If anyone is thinking about doing this, either professionally or personally, make sure there is very low chance of rain for at least the next 24 hours to allow the sealent to dry. Don't expect the seal-coating companies to care.
 
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
471
Location
Midwest
First several homes we owned had asphalt driveways. I sealed a few myself. Also have hired it done but only by reputable companies. It may not need it as some of you say but boy it sure looks great when it's done. Like new. One neighborhood we were in I did the drive myself over a two day period. Neighbors raved about how great it looked. A bunch of them hired it done soon after. You don't realize how faded and gross your asphalt looks until you start sealing it. Nice black clean look.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
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47,048
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New Jersey
I do regret not sealing some cracks in the asphalt. IME the public roads DO get this treatment. We had the driveway done once. Some rocks still come off when driven over and the wheels are turned. Overall ours is fine, I did it primarily to see what it would be like to have it done. I dont think I will again. But if someone came with a truck full of hot tar, Id contract them perhaps...
 
Joined
May 9, 2014
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Location
Minnesota
My brother, when he had an asphalt driveway sealed his every couple years.....over time he realized it was turning his vinyl and linoleum floor yellow. Just say no.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2016
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The White House
I had a kid come by and wanted to quote me on sealing my 1800 sq ft driveway. I told him over the last year or two I have been buying 5 gallon pails here and there when I find them on sale. I figured one day I would have enough to do it myself. So I told him if he wants to square it off and measure it, throw me out a price I will listen. He came back with 3,800.00, which included pressure washing, filling any cracks and two coats of his finest brew. I advised him that I only paid 4,800 for the whole driveway itself 3 years ago. I politely declined and figured I would just keep my plan and do it myself once I have about 40 pails stocked up.
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2007
Messages
510
Location
Pennsylvania
Just had my driveway re-paved after almost 20 years and had never re-sealed it. I had patched a few cracks here and there over the past 2 years but that was it. Most of the asphalt wear had come from my single stage snow blower which of course makes direct contact with the ground as opposed to a dual stage. Can't help but think that a sealer would come up in no time over one bad winter using the snow blower.
 

JTK

Joined
Aug 14, 2003
Messages
13,900
Location
Buffalo, NY
Not the best pic of it, but the asphalt portion of my driveway is at least 30-40yrs old and over 2100sq/ft. I try to seal coat it every other year. It was seal coated prior to us owning the home, but not sure how often. We've been here 10yrs. Never had a contractor slip motor oil into the mix that I know of at any of the homes we owned because this stuff dries to the touch within a couple hours. Here's a pic I snapped right after it was done last year. I never paid more than $280 for the square footage I have. [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
 
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Joined
Mar 21, 2004
Messages
26,590
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Upstate NY
My son-in-law is in the business in the Hartford area. He cannot do my DE drive (too far) but has told me what to get and look for. Crack filling is important. Nothing you can pour (crack filler in a 1 gallon container) will work. The stuff you buy, force in the cracks and heat with a torch may work. The professionals use hot liquid rubber. It's usually in a push cart and kept hot by heat from a propane tank. The better machine is on a trailer and has a boom with a hose that pushes out the hot rubber. That machine is $50K. Even professionally filled cracks may come back as there was a reason it cracked in the first place. As far as sealing, it makes it look better, protects against oil or gas spills and hopefully seals hairline cracks so they do not get larger. The gypsy rip off people use Gilsonite and thin with diesel fuel. If it needs to be thinned they should use mineral spirits (I think,). Not diesel. Gilsonite leaves a very shinny surface when it dries. I do not think it does a great job of sealing. Most places use coal tar driveway sealer. It does a good job and lasts a good period of time, BUT the dust produced as it wears gets into your house and some into ponds. It's pretty nasty dust from and environmental and health perspective. Many states ban it. The best sealer in my opinion is an asphalt emulsion sealer. It's expensive. You will probably not find it at Lowe's or Home Depot and may have to look hard for a company that can deal using this. The cold call people who say they have left over sealer probably use Gilsonite. Thinned with diesel or not, I do not think it does a good job. All companies fill there tanks every few days so they always have some left in their tank. It's time consuming to drive and get the tank filled so that is why they typically have a tank that can last several days. My son-in-law has a 12,000 gallon tank as his shop that gets filled once or twice a year. HomeDepot sells an Epoxy based driveway sealer that I am trying.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2004
Messages
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Upstate NY
Originally Posted by Inked
Just had my driveway re-paved after almost 20 years and had never re-sealed it. I had patched a few cracks here and there over the past 2 years but that was it. Most of the asphalt wear had come from my single stage snow blower which of course makes direct contact with the ground as opposed to a dual stage. Can't help but think that a sealer would come up in no time over one bad winter using the snow blower.
Good reason to get a two stage snow blower.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2007
Messages
1,083
Location
Northern New York
Originally Posted by Donald
Originally Posted by Inked
Just had my driveway re-paved after almost 20 years and had never re-sealed it. I had patched a few cracks here and there over the past 2 years but that was it. Most of the asphalt wear had come from my single stage snow blower which of course makes direct contact with the ground as opposed to a dual stage. Can't help but think that a sealer would come up in no time over one bad winter using the snow blower.
Good reason to get a two stage snow blower.
Mine gets scraped and dragged by a tractor blade, the bucket with downpressure as well as the blower. The sealer never gets torn up🤷🏼‍♂️
 
Joined
Mar 5, 2015
Messages
2,505
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Juno Beach FL
Originally Posted by JTK
Not the best pic of it, but the asphalt portion of my driveway is at least 30-40yrs old and over 2100sq/ft. I try to seal coat it every other year. It was seal coated prior to us owning the home, but not sure how often. We've been here 10yrs. Never had a contractor slip motor oil into the mix that I know of at any of the homes we owned because this stuff dries to the touch within a couple hours. Here's a pic I snapped right after it was done last year. I never paid more than $280 for the square footage I have. [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
You are doing it exactly right!
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2004
Messages
26,590
Location
Upstate NY
The last comment I will make is that I am not sure what HomeDepot or Lowes sells in all parts of the country but what I have seen in the northeast is a latex formulation. For roughly $20/5 gallons. The major suppliers sell coal tar, Gilsonite and an asphalt emulsion and they are all in the $80/5 gallon price range. No latex and its significantly higher cost that what HomeDepot or Lowes sells.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2015
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6,992
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New England
Scam in terms of in area so I will save you money. That is hook to make a quick decision as they drive through areas seeking work. People good at this have work prebooked. Sealing should occur after pacing new within a year. After that it's more beauty then maintenance.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2020
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North East, U.S.
Originally Posted by madRiver
Scam in terms of in area so I will save you money. That is hook to make a quick decision as they drive through areas seeking work. People good at this have work prebooked. Sealing should occur after pacing new within a year. After that it's more beauty then maintenance.
For me, it is more maintenance than beauty. I don't care if it kept the same old color, I would still do it. Hairline cracks don't repair themselves. And seal-coating professionally which includes crack filling probably costs 5-7% of redoing the driveway completely, so money is saved in prolonging the driveway as well.
 
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