Sealing your asphalt driveway or parking lot is to serve two main purposes: to restore the inherent black color of the asphalt pavement, and to protect the structural surface area as the binder for vehicles from getting any accidents. Asphalt sealing doesn’t require too much-complicated effort, but caution. Depending on how much your traffic volume is, the asphalt driveway sealer needs applying every 5 to 7 years.
When freshly sealed, the driveway sealing has a rich black color. But over time, because of the gradual decay, the asphalt driveway will become grayer with a coarser texture which has been turned into liquid asphalt (known as bitumen). If you are a homeowner looking for an asphalt solution, this page is totally for you!
We’re taking out all information about asphalt seal coating: from equipment cost to all factors that affect seal coating cost estimates. Also, this article will guide you on whether you can do this home project by yourself and what you need to complete the most perfect driveway seal coating.
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WHY IS SEAL COATING IMPORTANT?
A new asphalt surface is recommended to be sealed right after paving within a year. This is because asphalt sealcoating will play a role as a protective coat to last its longevity more than decades. The driveway sealer will establish a beginning for driveway maintenance. However, many homeowners reject to have driveway sealing until it gets cracked or damaged, which will increase your final maintenance bill several.
Applying sealant to an asphalt driveway is just like us when applying sunscreen to protect our skin against UV ray attacks. The proper application can protect the driveway surfaces from the destructive effects of UV radiation, direct sunlight, water penetration, gasoline, oxidation, and any other contaminants from vehicles’ fuel. With an unsealed surface, your driveway surface will get the highly destructive cracks, especially in dry air temperature, the cracks will expand and lead to more repairs later on.
If you ignore any damage and wait till the situation that not even seal coating can repair, your asphalt pavement requires you to totally repave with a nine-cloud cost. You can expect an inexpensive cost of $0.15 and $0.25 per square foot as the driveway sealing pros, but if you don’t take action immediately, the final cost can increase up to $10,000 on average for a 240-square-feet lot.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED FOR DRIVEWAY SEALER
Follow the manufacturers’ instructions to best choose and use the right equipment as well as supplies for every process in the seal coating project. Using the wrong one can lead to premature failure. Get a quick look at the detailed breakdown of which materials and equipment should be used for asphalt sealing.
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Supplies for Cleaning
Many homeowners get the failure to clean the asphalt surface before applying sealer. Cleaning debris, dirt, oil spots, moss, and other debris is imperative unless you want the asphalt sealer not to stick to a driveway and protect it. After all, without cleaning, the sealer will flake and wear and tear over time.
There are many different materials for cleaning that you can look for their pros and cons as well as cost:
Water and horse: this supply is the cheapest among materials for cleaning, at just $15 – $30. A water horse will help you clean the debris with its water ray.
Degreaser Cleaner: this is so eco-friendly and can remove effectively all grease, oil stains, drips, or leaks on your asphalt surfaces. Not only clean the surface but also protect your entire driveway sealing from damage caused by these leaks. This material costs you about $100.
Pressure Washer: it is rare to be used, just when there is particularly heavy moss to remove oil spots and all stains before the seal coating process. This will allow water to dry on the surfaces. The price of renting an electric power washer half-day is about $60, and purchasing one is from $135 to $300.
Supplies for Sealing
Once you finish cleaning all the debris, let’s look for the materials and tools required for effective seal coating.
Asphalt Sealer: an asphalt sealer is used as a crack sealer to protect property from damage caused by ice and water penetration. With over 50 square feet of coverage per gallon, the asphalt sealcoating is typically bought at the price of $7 per gallon and an average of $350 for a 55-gallon pail.
Liquid Crack Filling: with liquid asphalt sealing, you can easily seal some small cracks along with a pour pot. It costs you from $13 to $20 per gallon and about $180 for a crack pour pot.
Sealcoat Broom or Squeegee: For small driveways, you can use a squeegee or a broom to apply the sealer to save money and time as best you can. Its cost is about $30 – $40 to purchase a broom/squeegee.
Mixing paddle: to mix the sealer prepared for the project, buy a mixing paddle at the price of $15 to $25.
Asphalt sprayer: depending on the size of the driveway and its complexity, a seal coating machine will cost from $900 to $17,500.
For an estimate, we would inform you that the total cost for all tools and materials would be higher than hiring driveway sealing pros for the first time. We say “first time” since in the long term, if you’ve already bought these tools in the beginning, it would not cost more, but hiring does! But to purchase these for the first time, hiring is such a wise decision.
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You will feel tedious with the sealing preparation since this process can take you a full day. This includes time for cleaning and doing repairs and of course the drying time. Meanwhile, the driveway sealer application phase just takes you only a few hours per coat. Most sealcoating contractors recommend two coats for the best driveway sealing with an 8-hour-drying time per typical coat.
You must prepare all asphalt driveway sealer materials beforehand. With a driveway sealing pros, you can save about $200 on labor costs and all the tasks would be performed for you. In case you want it DIY, you’ll need a broom, squeegee, mixing paddle, duct tape, dashing brush, and a power washer (but not necessary).
For repairing damage before seal coating, you’ll expect to pay about $1 – $4 per square foot to fill cracks, chips, or drips.
AVERAGE DRIVEWAY SEALING COST
In general, a typical cost for driveway sealing is about $0.7 per square foot installed. You should remember that this is the installation cost, not count the material. For a DIY project, you just expect to pay $0.3 per square foot while there is around $0.6 to $1.4 per square foot for average contractor installed cost.
FACTORS IMPACT DRIVEWAY SEALING COST
There are several factors that affect your final driveway sealing cost:
Type of Asphalt Sealer
There are many different types of asphalt sealers available in the market. You can weigh the pros and cons of each type to choose which is best for your project.
Coal Tar Emulsion: it costs around $465 per 55-gallon drum with a coverage of 5,500 square feet. This extra layer provides you with the most affordable and durable sealer to protect the driveway from pollutants, UV rays, and water. However, this sealer is not environmentally friendly and can cause some health problems.
Acrylic: the price for this sealer increased to $900 for 5,500 square feet of coverage. This is particularly best for parking lots for some shopping malls or supermarkets. This material is both durable, environmentally friendly, and water-resistant. It has only one disadvantage expensive cost.
Oil-based: this doesn’t contain too many advantages but durable seal coating. Its price is around $850 to $1,200 for a 55-gallon drum. It takes several days to cure this layer and not perfectly protect against UV rays like other different materials.
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Asphalt Surface Area
The larger the surface size is, the higher the material costs. Moreover, depending on the function of each area, the cost can vary differently. For example, you’ll need less sealant and labor costs for a residential driveway compared to a commercial parking lot. However, the cost to pay for labor and contractors might be higher for a smaller area because it doesn’t separate the final cost.
In addition, you will need to consider how big the cracks are and whether there are any weeds between cracks that required removal. All these things will raise your cost for driveway sealing.
Different materials at different times can bring different cost rates! You can imagine that: if you use oil as the main ingredient for sealing, then when you seal asphalt during the time this material is expensive, your final cost will increase.
Number of Sealer Coats
Determine how many coats are needed for your project, it depends on how much traffic in your area is. For some projects in which your driveway is low traffic, one coat is enough. However, if you get a construction site or a parking lot containing heavy vehicles, two to three coats are recommended to protect property from weathering, such as rain, ice, or snow.
You can’t have driveway sealing any matter what the weather is. The best condition for asphalt sealing is between early April and October and it cannot rain. The temperatures are preferred to be above 50 degrees F but not scorching-hot sunny since the sealer might dry faster. Meanwhile, rainy days cannot allow wet sealer to be dry.
Because of the weather requirement for an asphalt driveway, labor costs for some harsh-weather regions could increase higher than in other areas.
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