The best way to determine when to seal a driveway is by looking for temperatures above 55 F.
Your driveway takes more than its share of tires, UV rays, and snow shovels throughout its lifetime. To help ensure it stays in prime condition, keeping it sealed is key. If you’re curious about when to seal a new driveway, or when to seal a driveway you’ve had for a while, we’ve got the know-how.
When Should You Seal a Driveway?
The most important thing to remember about when to seal a driveway is this: don’t seal it when it’s brand-new. Rather than preserving that “new driveway” look, sealing a freshly-poured driveway creates a barrier that prevents excess moisture from evaporating. This results in a softer surface that is prone to cracks and chipping. Whether you’re working with concrete or asphalt, both require a curing period before you apply a coat of sealant.
Another thing that sounds silly but is surprisingly easy to forget about: make sure your cars aren’t in the garage while you’re applying sealant. Unless you’re looking for an excuse to have a staycation, that is.
The Best Time of Year to Seal a Driveway
The best time of year to seal a driveway is spring through fall, or whenever temperatures are above 55 F. The warm environment helps the sealant bond with your driveway. Be sure to check the weather app on your phone—any rain within the first 24 hours post-sealing could wash away your efforts.
When Should You Seal a New Asphalt Driveway?
You’ve already fronted the cost to install an asphalt driveway, so you’re probably looking for the best way to protect that investment. A great way to do this is by resealing it. The cost to seal an asphalt driveway typically runs between $250 and $700 per 1,000 square feet. Again, don’t do this while your asphalt driveway is still brand-new, as you’ll be causing harm down the road.
So, how do you know when to seal a new asphalt driveway? A good rule of thumb is to wait at least three months, or even up to nine months. The sweet spot is at least a few months after the pour, but not so late that the weather becomes too cold.
When Should You Seal an Older Asphalt Driveway?
If your asphalt is more seasoned, it’s not too late to think about sealing it. Again, look for temperatures above 55 F with no rain in the immediate forecast. It’s also important to take care of any repairs beforehand, such as cracks, chips, and uneven surfaces. Be sure to give it a good hose-down to eliminate any dirt, leaves, Barbie shoes, nubs of sidewalk chalk, and whatever else found its way there.
When Should You Seal a Concrete Driveway?
Concrete has a shorter curing period than asphalt, so you should be able to apply sealer after about a month. Once again, look for temperatures above 55 F and make sure it won’t rain on your work.
If you’re working with an older concrete driveway, it’s still a great candidate for sealing. Just make sure you take care of repairs and clean it beforehand.
How Often Should You Seal a Driveway?
Realistically, every 2 to 3 years is a perfectly fine goal to shoot for when it comes to resealing your driveway. A local asphalt sealcoating contractor is your go-to source for a smooth, sturdy surface that will withstand the test of time.