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An asphalt driveway can take quite a beating from the elements. Before your driveway is too far gone, take some time to fill the cracks and add a coat of asphalt sealer. After watching this video, you’ll see how easy it is to do it yourself and ensure the long life of your asphalt driveway.

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It happens every spring. No, not the blossoming of the trees. You walk out to the mailbox and there it is. A reminder that it’s time to seal your asphalt driveway. While you may not be paying attention to your driveway, someone else is, because they want the business. So why not take an afternoon this weekend and do it yourself? All it takes are some supplies from your local independent home improvement retailer.

Today we’re going to apply a coat of asphalt driveway sealer to the driveway. We’ll start by making sure the surface of the driveway is as clean as possible. Then we’ll use some products designed to fill cracks and depressions to stop the surface from cracking any more than it already has. So let’s get started.

As with most coating projects, we’ll start by giving the surface a good cleaning. Wash all dirt and debris off with a garden hose and spray nozzle. Spray it down thoroughly.

For those tough oil and grease spots that won’t wash away, we’re using a driveway cleaner solution that we’ll pour directly onto the oil spot. A light scrubbing with a wire brush, then rinse it with the hose.

Here’s another area that needs some attention. This isn’t a pothole. But it’s well on its way to becoming one if we don’t take action. First, we’ll pour a generous amount of our driveway cleaning solution into the depression and scrub it vigorously. This will remove any oil or loose debris. Then we’ll rinse it and let it dry before we patch it.

While our driveway may look clean and ready to coat, we’re not ready yet. Now it’s time to really give it a cleaning with soap and water, or in this case, with a diluted mixture of our driveway cleaning solution and a pressure washer. We’ll first mix the solution in a garden sprayer according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Then spray it on our driveway, working in sections.

While we could use a garden hose and a scrub brush to scrub it clean, there’s nothing like a pressure washer to give the surface a deep cleaning to remove any remaining oil and grime from surface. A clean surface will ensure better adhesion of our asphalt sealer.

Using a low pressure tip on our pressure washer, we’ll go over the entire area sweeping the wand back and forth to give it a thorough washing. Take your time during this step and give it a good cleaning.

Once the surface is clean, it’s time to fill any cracks and depressions.

To fill this pothole-in-the-making, we’ll use this asphalt patch compound that is designed for a shallow depression like this. We’ll use this margin trowel to apply the patch compound to the hole, then we’ll spread it smooth with a trowel. That should just about do it.

We’ll have to let our patch set up fop 24 hours before coating with our asphalt sealer.

Now, we’ll move on to these smaller cracks in the edge of the driveway. If we don’t fill these cracks now, they will get larger and larger until the edge starts crumbling away. First we’ll clean out the crack using this 5-in-1 tool to remove any loose debris. Then sweep it out thoroughly with a push broom. If you have an air compressor, a couple shots of air will help blow any remaining dirt out of the crack.

Next, we’ll use this asphalt crack filler, which you just squeeze into the crack directly from the bottle. Just like squeezing ketchup ... and it’s about the same consistency, too. Now that our cracks and potholes have set up, it’s time to start sealing the rest of the driveway. Be sure to check the forecast. You’ll want a couple nice days in a row with no rain in the forecast to allow the coating to set up and cure properly.

After opening the bucket of sealer, we must mix it thoroughly using a long paint stir, or a scrap piece of wood as we’re doing here. Asphalt sealer is thick, so the longer stir stick gives us more leverage when mixing. Mix the sealer for several minutes.

To spread the asphalt sealer, we’ll be using this combination squeegee brush designed for spreading asphalt sealer. While the squeegee will give the sealer a smooth finish, we’re going to be using the brush to make sure the sealer gets worked into all the small cracks and crevices. It will also give the finished surface a textured appearance, which is what we’re going for.

We’ll work our way across the driveway in manageable sections. First we’ll pour out some sealer on the driveway, then we’ll spread the sealer in one direction, then the other direction to ensure proper coverage. Be sure to tape off any place that the driveway touches another surface like a sidewalk. Some painters’ tape should do it. Continue down the driveway in the same manner until you’re finished. The last step is to make sure nobody drives on the surface for several days. These orange cones will work great. You can also use the empty buckets from the asphalt sealer, although they are harder to see when it’s dark.

There you have it ... a driveway that looks as good as new. And one that will remain in great condition for many more years to come ... as long as you practice regular routine maintenance habits like we did today.

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  1. 1.wash

    Wash off driveway with water.

  2. 2.remove more stuff

    For tough spots, pour degreaser onto the stain and scrub vigorously.

  3. 3.adjust

    Powerwash with a mixture of degreaser and water.

  4. 4.screw

    Patch any cracks and soon-to-be potholes with driveway patch compound. Allow 24 hours to dry.

  5. 5.stir

    Stir the sealer for several minutes before applying.

  6. 6.seal drive

    Seal the rest of the driveway. Be sure to check the weather forecast. The asphalt sealant will need a few sunny days to dry. Don't park or walk on it until dry.


Project Faqs « back to project

What’s the purpose of sealing an asphalt driveway?

Sealing the driveway protects the asphalt from sun, moisture and grease that can damage the asphalt... More »

Should I seal my asphalt driveway every year?

Sealing your driveway too frequently could cause a build-up of sealer that could split and peel, which should split and peel. Always let the sealer... More »

How often should I seal my asphalt driveway?

Depending on the product you use and the number of coats you apply, every 2 to 4 years should be... More »

Can I use an asphalt roof patching material to patch a hole in a rubber roof?

No. Asphalt is not compatible with rubber roofing. Patch according to the manufacturers... More »

How do I clean up engine oil or grease from my driveway?

Use a driveway cleaner formulated especially for that... More »

I have a sloped driveway. Should I buy a sealer with more sand content for extra traction?

Sealers with more sand contain less coal tar emulsion, which is what actually seals your driveway. Since most sealers are rubberized, they will aid... More »

Which is better for sealing—Teflon™ tape or thread joint compound?

They do the same job, but Teflon™ tape is easier to work with and makes a cleaner... More »


Which is better for sealing pipe threads, teflon tape or pipe paste?

They both do a similar job, but the teflon tape is a bit easier to use. Be sure to wrap in a clockwise direction when using teflon tape. Pipe... More »

What utility knife do you recommend for cutting asphalt roofing shingles?

A fixed blade utility knife with a large hook replacement blade is your best... More »

My garage floor has cracks. Can I still use an epoxy finish, or is it primarily for relatively new floors?

You can use an epoxy floor finish on your garage, but you must first fill all the cracks using cement crack filler or a hydraulic cement patching... More »

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