Having your driveway seal coated can be an expensive chore if you decide to hire it out to a professional. Luckily, there is no need to do this. Seal coating your driveway is a simple task that you can perform yourself without any prior knowledge or do-it-yourself skills. Does saving hundreds or even a thousand dollars sound good to you? Here are the steps.

1. Choose the right time. You will want a week when the temperatures are warm, but not too warm to work on the asphalt. There must be no chance of rain—this is important—and you must be able to keep foot traffic and cars off your newly seal coated driveway for at least a few days.

2. Prepare the driveway. You want as smooth and uncomplicated a driveway as possible. This means you need to get rid of weeds growing in cracks and around the driveway, as well as any dirt, dust, and rocks. Even a pebble can compromise the effectiveness of your seal coat. Get some crack filler from your hardware store and fill the cracks and chips. The ‘cold’ types are easiest to use, needing no heat. When your driveway is ready, use masking tape or painter’s tape to protect the areas around it, such as your house and the sidewalk.

3. Choose your seal coat. This is one area where price matters. The better, higher quality seal coats will cost a little more, but it will be more than worth it. You want a kind that promises less stirring and a long life span. It will say on the bucket how many square feet the seal coat covers, so be sure you know the approximate size of the driveway, but it usually covers a little less than advertised due to human error. Buy a squeegee or paint brush as well to help spread the seal coat.

4. When you are ready to coat your driveway, stir the seal coat carefully, even if it says it is a ‘no stir’ variety. Then, starting at your garage, pour a small amount over the first section you are seal coating. Using a squeegee or paint brush, spread the seal coat out to cover a large area. If you plan to do only one coat, it should be relatively thick. If you want to do two coats, you can apply the seal coat much thinner.

5. Check for imperfections. Every ten minutes or so, get up and look at your driveway from a few different angles. This will make it easy to see if the coating is relatively even and if there are any spots that you missed.

6. When you are done, tie a piece of colored tape or even caution tape across the end of your driveway so people know to avoid it. Remove the masking tape and give the area a last good check to make sure you are really done. When you are done, keep everyone and everything away for a day. The seal must sit undisturbed for 24 hours before being walked on and at least a week before being driven or parked on. This will ensure a beautiful seal coat that lasts for years.

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