The average cost to seal an asphalt driveway is between $250 and $700 per 1,000 square feet
Your driveway is more than a place to park your car. It's the first thing visitors see when they pull up and can be a place to make memories playing ball or greeting friends. To keep your driveway in tip-top shape, you can have a professional seal your asphalt every few years. You can expect to pay between $250 and $700 to seal an asphalt driveway, though the national average is $475. At the lower end, you could pay as little as $140. At the top end, you may pay up to $1,500. Let’s break down the cost.
How Much Does It Cost to Seal an Asphalt Driveway per Square Foot?
Asphalt driveway sealants cost $0.06 to $0.38 per square foot, which works out to $40 to $165 per 5 gallons, based on the average 5-gallon sealcoat covering up to 500 square feet.
But remember, the cost per foot and the amount of product you need varies based on the viscosity of the sealant. Thicker liquids cover less square footage but provide a denser, more generous sealant layer than thinner substances. Plus, you'll need to account for labor which is an average of $1.15 per square foot. This gives you a range of $1.21 to $1.53 per square foot, including labor and materials.
How Much Does Asphalt Driveway Sealing Cost Near You?
How Much Does It Cost to Seal a Driveway Yourself?
You can save around $1.15 per square foot on labor costs if you seal your driveway yourself. For a 500-foot driveway, that's a savings of $575.
Sealing Asphalt Driveway Cost Breakdown
Sealcoating prices have two components: labor and materials. Labor costs considerably more per square foot than materials.
Labor Cost to Sealcoat a Driveway
The labor cost of driveway sealing is, on average, $1.15 per square foot. So if you don't fancy trying to reseal the driveway yourself, you'll pay around $575 per 500 feet or $1,150 per 1,000 feet. Remember, too, some contractors have a minimum labor fee, so if you only have a small area, you'll pay the same labor costs as the contractor's minimum fee.
Cost for Asphalt Driveway Sealing Materials
Sealcoating prices vary substantially depending on what type of sealant you choose. Coal tar emulsion, for example, costs $0.06 per square foot, while eco-friendly asphalt sealant costs $0.38 per square foot. At the lower end of the budget, you could pay $30 for materials per 500 feet and, at the top end, $190 per 500 feet.
Driveway Sealing Cost by Sealant Type
Which sealant you choose impacts the cost of the project significantly. If you live in a temperate climate and your driveway never gets too hot or too cold, you won't need a fancy top-of-the-line sealant. But if your driveway gets buried under a foot of snow or scorches in the desert sun, it's a good idea to choose a UV- and weather-resistant sealant with a long lifespan, or you'll have to reseal multiple times each year.
Coal tar driveway sealant is the least expensive, at $0.06 per square foot and lasts 2 to 4 years. However, this material contains large quantities of carcinogens that may run off and pollute your soil and leech into the water table. The impact is so significant that many areas now prohibit the use of coal tar sealants. So while these sealants are still an option in some areas for those on a tight budget, if you're concerned with your environmental impact or you grow fruit, vegetables, or herbs on your property, this is probably not the best choice.
Fast-Drying Sealcoat Cost
Synthetic fast-drying asphalt sealcoats need replacing every 2 to 3 years. They typically cost around $0.10 per square foot. Fast-drying options are less harmful to the environment than coal tar, although they still release some volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This sealant dries and cures comparatively quickly and is ready to drive on in 24 hours.
Asphalt emulsion is a popular choice, as it's moderately priced and is better for the environment than both coal tar and fast-drying sealers. It's also more durable, lasting four years or more in the right conditions. Asphalt emulsion costs between $0.08 and $0.10 per square foot. However, you must apply it in warm weather, and it's susceptible to stains from oil and gasoline spills. So if you haven't been able to part with your old high school ride, choose a more stain-resistant sealer or park your car on the street instead.
Latex acrylic is one of the more expensive driveway sealers, but it's non-toxic and doesn't stain easily. A blend of synthetic polymers and acrylics, this type of latex sealant costs $0.20 to $0.25 per square foot. Acrylic isn't the best choice for DIYers though, as it's difficult to spread. However, it's an excellent option if you've got deep cracks or moderately sized pits and holes that need to be filled. It's also UV-resistant, so it holds up well in hot climates. With basic care, this sealant can last 5 to 10 years. And, because it's stable and non-toxic, it doesn't give off any potentially harmful volatile organic compounds or VOCs.
Oil-Based Asphalt Sealers
Oil-based sealants are less common than acrylic or latex emulsion, but they're a solid compromise for those on a tight budget. These sealants cost $0.15 to $0.20 per square foot, last up to 4 years, are less damaging to the environment than coal tar, and are great for filling shallow cracks and holes.
Eco-friendly asphalt sealants, like BioSealCoat, are the most expensive, at $0.25 to $0.38 per square foot. However, they also have the smallest impact on the environment, and they have a reasonable lifespan of up to 5 years.
Fill-and-seal is a thick sealant that contains some aggregate, such as crushed stone, coarse sand, or gravel, and is similar to the asphalt currently on your driveway. It essentially allows you to patch damaged areas and fill substantial cracks and holes. This kind of patching method costs $0.35 to $0.50 per square foot and, once dry, still requires a top coat of regular sealer.
What Factors Influence the Cost to Seal a Driveway?
Many factors determine how much you'll pay to seal your driveway. Consider the size of your driveway, the type of sealant, whether you have other areas that also need sprucing up and resealing, how durable you need the surfaces to be, and whether you want any special enhancements.
Size of the Driveway
Given that most contractors charge by the square foot, it's unsurprising that the size of your driveway impacts the cost of having it sealed. Remember, you'll pay between $1.21 and $1.53 per square foot for materials and labor. If your driveway is only a few hundred feet, you may pay more than this, as many contractors have a minimum fee for projects like this. If you’re looking for more parking space, the cost to pave a parking lot is about $75,000 on average, depending on how large it is.
Type of Sealant
The type of sealant you choose determines how much you pay per square foot. Most sealants come in 5-gallon or 55-gallon units and, on average, you'll get up to 500 square feet of coverage per 5 gallons. However, the amount of coverage you get depends on how gooey the sealer is. Very thick sealants will provide less coverage per 5 gallons but are likely to have a better, more durable finish.
Sealing Other Areas
Many contractors have a minimum fee for resealing jobs, so if your driveway is pretty small, having other areas, like concrete pathways or patios, resealed at the same time could give you the best value for your money.
One Coat or Two
If your driveway gets a lot of regular traffic or holds heavier vehicles, you should consider asking your contractor for a second coat. An additional coat will increase the cost of sealing the driveway, but it shouldn't double it, as much of the time-consuming work, like cleaning and prepping the surface, was already done for the first coat.
Extent of the Damage
If you've been putting off resealing your driveway for the past few years, there's a good chance it's got a fair bit of damage like spiderweb cracks, pitting, crazed cracks, or small holes. It's okay; life happens. But it does mean that you'll likely need a thicker, more durable sealant like latex acrylic that can fix those issues for you.
If you've got damaged but not end-of-life asphalt, you may get away with a topcoat that will extend the life of your driveway by at least a decade. If you've got damaged but not end-of-life asphalt, the cost of an overlay is considerably less than having a brand new driveway installed.
However, if you've got more extensive damage, you'll need fill-and-seal, which is the most costly option for resealing. If the asphalt is crumbling, there are big holes, and the asphalt is reaching the end of its life, you may want to think about the cost of installing a new asphalt driveway.
If you want to add curb appeal to your home, you can ask your contractor to give your driveway a makeover while they're resealing it. Consider having a design stamped into the sealcoat, getting it dyed a fun new color, or maybe having some pavers added to the perimeter for a touch of elegance. Just remember that the cost of a custom driveway finish is more than a standard sealcoat application.
How often should I seal asphalt?
It depends on your climate, how much use your driveway gets, and the type of seal it currently has. If you only park your kid taxi and a utility vehicle in the driveway and use a good quality sealant, you may only need to get it sealed every five to 10 years. However, if you park up your semi regularly, you'll probably need to get a double coat every 2 to 3 years.
How can I maintain my driveway between seals?
The best way to maintain a concrete or asphalt driveway is to clean it thoroughly twice a year. A stiff broom and a pressure washer are the best tools to clean away the inevitable buildup of dirt and debris that accumulates.
Why do I need to seal my driveway?
Sealing your driveway gives it the longest possible lifespan. You’ll reduce your driveway’s risk of cracking, breaking down from exposure to UV light, discoloring, and staining from road chemicals. The sealcoat is a protective layer that limits damage to the asphalt beneath. It also makes cleaning the driveway much easier.
How long should I wait to seal a new asphalt driveway?
Asphalt takes up to six months to fully cure, so ideally, don't seal it until after this time. Just take extra care with spills and oil leaks before it's sealed to avoid unsightly stains.
The cost to seal an asphalt driveway typically runs between $250 and $700 per 1,000 square feet.
When's the best time to seal a driveway?
The best time to seal your driveway is between spring and fall. It has to be warm enough for the sealant to bond properly with the driveway surface.