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Home Maintenance

How To: Reseal Your Driveway

How To: Reseal Your Driveway

Your driveway is used every day and is exposed to the elements at all times. As the temperature wavers between very hot and very cold, your driveway moves along with it – expanding in the heat and contracting in the cold. This back and forth eventually causes cracks in your driveway. When these cracks fill with water and freeze, the ice expands and makes the cracks bigger. Pretty soon you have a driveway that is in dire need of some TLC.

Resealing your driveway is a great option when it isn’t ready for a full rebuild, but has enough cracks and crumbles that it’s starting to affect your home’s curb appeal and your own safety from trips and falls. Resealing your driveway takes a bit of time, but the end result is well worth it. And the fall is a great time to get it done when the temperatures are a bit cooler.

For this project you’ll need:

  • Broom or leaf blower
  • Pressure washer (optional)
  • Paint scraper
  • Driveway crack filler
  • Driveway patch
  • Gravel
  • Metal tamper
  • 3” paintbrush
  • Driveway squeegee
  • Driveway sealant

Step 1: Make sure the weather is on your side

The first thing you want to do before you reseal is, check the weather. Plan to start your resealing project when you’re confident that there will be no precipitation in the next 48 hours.

Step 2: Prep your driveway

Use a broom to get as much dust, leaves and other items off your driveway. A leaf blower comes in handy at this point and will speed up the process. Pull out any weeds that are growing through the cracks. If your driveway has moss growing on it, you can scrape it off with a paint scraper. If you have a pressure washer, using it after these tasks are complete will bring your driveway to an extra level of clean – but it’s not absolutely necessary.

Step 3: Fill in the holes and cracks

When your driveway is completely dry, you can start filling holes and cracks. For smaller cracks, use driveway crack filler, which usually comes in a bottle or tube. Squeeze the filler into the cracks. Try not to overfill the cracks or else the filler may still be visible after it’s sealed. If you do happen to overfill, scrape off the extra filler with the paint scraper.

For larger cracks, generally those that are a half-inch or wider, you will use a driveway patch product. If you add too much patch, it will take too long to harden, so fill the spot you want to patch with gravel first. Add gravel and tamp it down until it is two inches below the top of the hole. Once you’re at the level you need to be, pour the patch on top of the gravel, filling the hole with a half inch extra on the top. Tamp down the patch, adding more as needed, until you’ve made the patch level with the driveway surface. Let the patch set according to the instructions on the bag.

Step 4: Reseal the edges of your driveway first

Calculate the square footage of your driveway and then buy the appropriate amount of sealant to make sure you can cover it all. Mix the sealant inside the buckets by shaking them lightly or by turning them upside down. Similar to when you’re painting a wall, cutting around the edges of your driveway will help make sure you’re applying the sealant accurately. Dip a paintbrush into the sealant and cut around all the edges, giving yourself a three-inch border.

Step 5: Pour and spread the sealant

Once your border is done, the bulk of the work begins. Plan out how you’re going to spread the sealant on the driveway beforehand so you don’t get yourself stuck. Generally, you want to start from the top of the driveway and work your way down. Pick up one of the sealant buckets and carefully pour a thin line from one side of your driveway to the other. Then, use your squeegee to pull the sealant back and towards the edges of your driveway. Go back and forth between both sides, pulling the sealant towards you as you walk. When you start your next line across, overlap with the previous line a little bit to ensure full coverage.

While you’re applying the sealant, pay attention to how much you are spreading. If you are leaving it too thick on the driveway, it may not dry properly. Likewise, if you spread it too thin, the sealant won’t be thick enough to give your driveway the protection it needs. Follow the directions on the sealant to find that “just right” amount to apply. Continue to work your way to the end of your driveway.

While you’re applying the sealant, pay attention to how much you are spreading. If you are leaving it too thick on the driveway, it may not dry properly. Likewise, if you spread it too thin, the sealant won’t be thick enough to give your driveway the protection it needs. Follow the directions on the sealant to find that “just right” amount to apply. Continue to work your way to the end of your driveway. 

Step 6: Wait and reseal apply a second later if needed

After you’re done, let the sealant cure. This generally takes about 24 hours. You can do a second coat of sealant after the first layer has cured. If your driveway needs a lot of repair or is older, a second coat will offer you some extra protection. Keep people off the newly sealed driveway for at least 24 hours and cars off for at least 48. Your empty buckets and some caution tape at the end of your driveway can create a barrier to remind yourself and warn others to stay off. Once it’s finished drying, your driveway will look like new and your curb appeal will be restored and then some!


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