Driveway Sealing - DIY or Contractor?

Old 08-02-07, 03:06 PM
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Driveway Sealing - DIY or Contractor?

Last year in our new house I sealed our asphalt driveway myself. PIcked everything up at Home Depot. One of the reasons I DIY is b/c we have a 30' long drive and 3 car garage. So I figured cost was a factor. I am about to price around but wanted to see if people knew contractor's used better materials than what I can get at HD. One flyer was sent to me saying they sprayed it on, but that sounds like it would be too thin? Anyone have experience here?
Old 08-02-07, 03:25 PM
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Driveway Sealing - DIY or Contractor?

I am not as asphalt expert, but sealing is definitely a DIY job.

The trick is to use the right materials. Often, big volume applicators buy the cheapest and not necessarily the right stuff (waste reclained, etc.) because they really do not rely on return sales and only want money in the pocket for some thing that looks good a few days after it is done. The shorter the life, the more potential business.

I hope someone with more knowledge can steer you toward the right products (not just the cheapest) to do a good job.

You are saving a lot by using your own labor, so why not use the right material, have pride and time to do other projects while admiring your driveway. - I would use pavers myself (obvious personal preference), but there is nothing wrong with doing the maintenance right by yourself.
Old 08-02-07, 04:15 PM
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I have a friend that has a driveway sealing business. He buys his sealer directly from the asphalt plant and claims it is both cheaper and a better sealer.[you have to have your own containers] Many use the same sealers that are available to the general public at any big box. I would assume that higher price = better product.

The correct way to apply sealer is to flood the asphalt and squeegee off the excess. This can be done by spraying but I suspect they spray so they can get by with using less material. My non professional observations tell me the more material applied the longer the job will last. Obviously clean asphalt will give a better job than applying sealer over dirt or mold
Old 08-03-07, 10:24 AM
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Asphalt sealing should be done when it is required.

If the asphalt is nearly new, why does it need sealing?

Sealing is a maintenance thing, it should be done when required to seal any cracks. Its purpose is to prevent water from getting underneath the asphalt which then freezes in the winter and causes heaving of the pavement. If the asphalt shows no signs of cracking, however small, then functionally you are wasting your money and time sealing it. The only advantage may be appearance (black rather than gray from fading) but the disadvantage is that you'll be making it unnecessarily smoother and slipperier in wet, snow and ice conditions.

When it's needed, the stuff available at retail stores is the same as the contractors use - an emulsion of bitumen, which may be slightly thiner for spraying.

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