How Long Does Driveway Sealer Last? Tips for Maintaining Your Driveway’s Protection

As a homeowner, you know how important it is to keep your property looking its best. Your driveway is one of the first things people see when they arrive, so making sure it’s in good condition is crucial. One thing you may have heard of is driveway sealer – a coating applied to asphalt or concrete to protect it from weather damage. But how long does driveway sealer last?

It’s a critical question to ask, as the longevity of your driveway sealer directly affects how often you will need to refinish it. If you’ve ever attempted to seal your driveway before, you know it can be a time-consuming and expensive task. And if you have to do it too often, it quickly becomes frustrating. That’s why understanding the lifespan of driveway sealer is so important.

In this article, we’ll delve into the topic of driveway sealer lifespan – how long it lasts, what factors can affect its lifespan, and how to tell when it’s time to apply a new coat. Whether you’re a new homeowner or have had your property for years, this information will be invaluable in helping you maintain your driveway’s appearance and functionality. So let’s dive in and find out how long you can expect your driveway sealer to last!

Factors affecting the lifespan of driveway sealer

Driveway sealers offer an excellent way of protecting your driveway from harsh weather and heavy traffic. However, the lifespan of your driveway sealer will depend on several factors that can either extend or shorten its duration. This section highlights some of the factors that affect the lifespan of driveway sealer.

  • Quality of the sealer: The quality of the sealer largely determines how long it will last. High-quality sealers generally last longer than lower quality sealers. Opting for a cheap sealer might save you some money in the short term, but it can cost you more in the long run through frequent reapplication.
  • Application technique: The technique used to apply the sealer can also affect its lifespan. Proper application technique ensures that the sealer adheres to the surface uniformly. Similarly, poor application can result in uneven coverage, leading to premature wear and tear of the sealer.
  • Weather conditions: Weather is an essential factor that affects the longevity of the driveway sealer. Extremely hot or cold temperatures can cause the sealer to crack or peel, thereby reducing its lifespan. It is advisable to seal your driveway during warmer temperatures when the sealer can dry correctly.

Aside from the above factors, several other factors can influence the lifespan of the driveway sealer, including the amount of traffic your driveway receives, the type of surface the sealer is applied to, and how well you maintain your driveway. By considering these factors, you can help prolong the life of your driveway sealer.

How often should you reseal your driveway?

Driveway sealing is an essential part of maintaining your asphalt or concrete driveway. It helps to protect your driveway from weather elements such as rain, snow, and UV rays that can cause damage over time.

One of the questions homeowners often ask is how often they should reseal their driveway. The answer depends on factors such as the climate, the wear and tear on your driveway, and the type of sealer you use. Here are some tips to help you determine how often you should reseal your driveway.

Factors that determine frequency of resealing driveway

  • The climate: Areas with extreme weather conditions such as hot summers, cold winters, or frequent rainfall may need more frequent sealing.
  • The wear and tear on your driveway: If you have heavy vehicles driving on your driveway, or if you frequently park your car on it, you may need to reseal more often.
  • The type of sealer you use: Depending on the quality of the sealer, you may need to reapply it more frequently.

How often to reseal your driveway based on asphalt and concrete

When it comes to resealing, there are some general guidelines that you can follow. For asphalt driveways, it is recommended to reseal every 3-5 years. If you have a concrete driveway, you can wait a bit longer and reseal every 5-7 years. However, keep in mind that these are just recommendations and the frequency will depend on the factors we mentioned earlier.

The importance of getting a professional opinion

While these guidelines may provide some direction, the best course of action is to consult with a professional. They will evaluate your particular situation and recommend a personalized plan. They can also make recommendations on the best sealer to use for your driveway and provide tips on how to maintain it between sealings.

Factors Frequency of Resealing
Asphalt driveway 3-5 years
Concrete driveway 5-7 years

In summary, how often you should reseal your driveway depends on various factors. Climate, wear and tear, and the type of sealer you use all play a role in determining the frequency. Following the recommendations above will provide you with a guideline, but it’s essential to consult with a professional opinion to develop a personalized plan.

Different Types of Driveway Sealers

Driveway sealers come in different types, suited for various pavement materials and application methods. Choosing the right type of sealer can make a difference in your driveway’s protection and longevity. Here are the common types of driveway sealers:

  • Coal Tar Sealer: A coal-tar-based sealer that provides excellent protection against oil, gasoline, and UV damage. This sealer creates a smooth, jet-black finish and lasts longer (up to 3-5 years) than other sealers. However, it contains harmful chemicals and produces toxic fumes, making it unsuitable for residential and environmentally-sensitive areas.
  • Asphalt-based Sealer: A petroleum-based sealer that gives off a darker, matte finish. This sealer has good resistance to water, oil, and UV rays. It dries faster than coal tar and is more environmental-friendly, although it may not last as long as coal tar sealer, typically lasting up to 2-3 years.
  • Acrylic Sealer: A water-based sealer that dries faster and provides a clear, glossy finish. This sealer resists water and enhances the pavement’s color while protecting it from oxidization and minor abrasion. Acrylic sealer lasts up to 2-3 years, depending on the traffic and weather conditions.
  • Epoxy Sealer: A two-part sealer that forms a hard, durable surface when applied. This sealer can resist heavy traffic, chemicals, and abrasions. Epoxy sealer also enhances the pavement’s color and texture, but it’s more expensive and challenging to apply, requiring a thorough surface preparation and professional-grade spraying equipment. It can last up to 3-4 years, depending on the application quality.


Choosing the best driveway sealer involves considering the pavement type, weather conditions, and environmental concerns. While coal tar and asphalt-based sealers offer long-lasting protection, acrylic and epoxy sealers provide aesthetic and functional advantages for mild to moderate traffic areas. Consult with a professional contractor or pavement expert to find the most suitable sealer for your driveway.

Signs that indicate your driveway needs resealing

One of the most effective ways to protect your driveway from the damaging effects of weather and wear and tear is by applying a driveway sealer. It not only enhances the appearance of your driveway, but also prolongs its lifespan. However, even with regular sealing, driveways can still deteriorate over time. Here are some signs that indicate you need to reseal your driveway:

  • Cracks: If you notice large cracks that are over a quarter-inch wide, it’s time to reseal your driveway. Over time, water can get into these cracks and cause them to widen, resulting in larger damages.
  • Fading: If your driveway’s color has faded, it’s a clear indication that the sealer has worn off. A new coat of sealer can restore the color and extend the lifespan of your driveway.
  • Puddles: If after a rainfall, you notice standing water on your driveway, it could be because of sealant failure. Resealing your driveway will help fix this issue and prevent future water damage.

It’s critical to recognize these signs early on to avoid further damages and potentially costly repairs. To learn more about how long your driveway sealer will last and to find out how often to reseal your driveway, stay tuned for our next article.

Best time of the year to seal your driveway

Wondering when is the best time of the year to seal your driveway? The answer is not as straightforward as you might think. There are several factors to consider, including the type of climate you live in and the condition of your driveway. Here are some guidelines to help you decide:

  • Fall is generally considered the best time to seal your driveway. This is because the weather is cool and dry, which makes it easier for the sealer to set and dry properly.
  • Spring is also a good time to seal your driveway, but you need to make sure that the weather is warm enough to allow the sealer to dry. If the temperatures are too low, the sealer may not set properly and you could end up with a patchy driveway.
  • Avoid sealing your driveway in the winter, as low temperatures and icy conditions can make it difficult for the sealer to dry and set properly. If you do need to seal your driveway in the winter, make sure to use a sealer that is specifically designed for use in cold weather conditions.

Before you seal your driveway, make sure that it is clean and in good condition. Any cracks or holes should be repaired before sealing, as the sealer will not fill these areas. Additionally, if your driveway has already been sealed in the past, you should wait at least two years before re-sealing. This will give the old sealer time to wear off and allow the new sealer to bond properly.

Overall, the best time to seal your driveway is in the fall or spring, when the weather is mild and dry. By following these guidelines and properly preparing your driveway, you can extend the life of your driveway and keep it looking great for years to come.

DIY vs Professional Driveway Sealing

Driveway sealing is an essential task in maintaining your home’s exterior. It can prevent cracks and protect from weather damage. There are two ways to get it done – Do It Yourself (DIY) or hire a professional. In this section, we will compare the two options in terms of longevity and effectiveness.

  • DIY: If you are on a budget, you can always seal your driveway yourself. DIY sealers typically last around 1-3 years, depending on the quality of the sealer and the climate of your area. The success of DIY sealing depends on how thorough the process is. You need to ensure a clean, dry surface and evenly distribute the sealer.
  • Professional: Hiring a professional to seal your driveway can be more expensive, but it pays off in the long run. Professional-grade sealers can last up to 5 years or more, and they are applied with industrial equipment that ensures a smooth and even coat. Furthermore, professionals have more knowledge and experience in identifying underlying problems such as cracks and fixing them before sealing.

It is essential to note that the length of time a driveway sealer lasts depends on several factors, such as traffic, weather, and maintenance. However, professional driveway sealing typically lasts more than DIY seals.

Benefits of Sealing Your Driveway

Sealing your driveway has many benefits that go beyond just improving your curbside appeal. In fact, regular sealing can help extend the lifespan of your driveway, improve its durability, and enhance its resistance to elemental damage.

Improved Durability

  • Sealing your driveway can help prevent cracking and potholes from forming by filling in small cracks and gaps in the surface.
  • The sealant acts as a protective barrier, repelling water and preventing it from seeping into the surface and causing damage.
  • When exposed to harsh weather conditions, such as heavy rain, snow, or freeze-thaw cycles, a sealed driveway is less likely to develop surface damage or erosion.

Extended Lifespan

If applied correctly and maintained regularly, driveway sealer can extend the lifespan of your pavement by several years. While the lifespan of your sealer will depend on a variety of factors such as the climate, the type of sealant, and the condition of your pavement, most sealants will last between 3-5 years. This is often longer than the lifespan of unsealed driveways.

Resistance to Elemental Damage

Unsealed driveways are particularly vulnerable to elemental damage. Here are some ways a sealed driveway can resist it.

Elemental Damage Protection from Sealing Your Driveway
UV Rays Sealant helps prevent fading, discoloration, and cracking from prolonged exposure to sunlight.
Rain A sealed driveway repels water and prevents water from seeping into the pavement, causing structural damage.
Snow and Ice Sealed pavements are often less porous, making it harder for snow and ice to penetrate and cause damage to the surface.
Chemical Spills Sealant acts as a barrier between your driveway and most chemicals, including oil, gasoline, and harsh cleaners, preventing them from penetrating the pavement and causing damage.

Regular sealing can also prevent weeds and other plants from taking root in the cracks and gaps of your driveway, further enhancing its longevity and durability.

Preparation steps before sealing your driveway

Sealing your driveway can protect it from damage caused by harsh weather and regular vehicle use. Proper preparation is essential to ensure that the sealant can penetrate the surface and last as long as possible. Here are eight steps you should take before sealing your driveway:

  • Clean the surface: Remove all dirt, debris, and stains from the surface. A pressure washer can be a great tool for this, but a stiff-bristled broom and detergent works as well.
  • Fill cracks: Use a patching compound to fill any cracks in the surface. Allow it to dry completely before proceeding.
  • Repair potholes: If your driveway has potholes, fill them with cold patch asphalt. Be sure to pack it tightly and level the surface.
  • Trim vegetation: Cut back any overhanging branches, and remove weeds and grass growing in or near the driveway.
  • Apply weed killer: Spray a weed killer along the edges of the driveway and any areas where vegetation was growing.
  • Let it dry: Allow the surface to dry completely before applying the sealant. This can take several days, depending on the weather and humidity.
  • Remove oil stains: If there are any oil stains on the surface, use a degreaser to remove them. Rinse the area thoroughly and let it dry.
  • Tape off edges: Apply painter’s tape to the edges of the driveway to prevent sealer from getting on adjacent surfaces.

Choosing the right sealer

Once your driveway is properly prepared, it’s time to select a sealant. There are many options available, including acrylic, asphalt, and coal tar sealers. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Asphalt sealer is the most common and tends to be the cheapest, but it doesn’t last as long as other types. Coal tar sealer is more durable but has a higher environmental impact. Acrylic sealers are more expensive but offer better protection against damage from UV rays and chemicals. Consider factors such as your climate, the age of your driveway, and the type of traffic it receives when selecting a sealer.

Applying the sealant

Before applying the sealer, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Here are some general tips:

  • Apply the sealer on a dry day with no rain in the forecast for at least 24 hours.
  • Stir the sealer thoroughly before use, and pour it into a roller tray.
  • Use a squeegee or roller to apply the sealer in thin, even coats. Avoid applying too much at once, as this can lead to puddles and uneven coverage.
  • Let the first coat dry completely before applying a second coat.
  • Avoid walking or driving on the sealed surface for at least 24 hours.

By following these preparation steps and applying the right sealer correctly, you can extend the life of your driveway and help keep it looking like new.

Common mistakes to avoid during driveway sealing

Sealing your driveway is an important task that helps to protect it from wear and tear caused by the elements. However, there are some common mistakes that homeowners make when sealing their driveways. These mistakes can reduce the effectiveness of the sealer and even cause damage to the driveway surface. Here are nine mistakes to avoid when sealing your driveway:

  • Not thoroughly cleaning the driveway before sealing
  • Applying the sealer too thickly
  • Applying the sealer too thinly
  • Applying the sealer in extreme temperatures
  • Not allowing enough time for the sealer to dry before using the driveway
  • Walking or driving on the driveway before the sealer is fully dry
  • Mixing different types of sealers or applying a sealer over a different type of driveway surface
  • Using a low-quality sealer
  • Using a sealer that is past its expiration date

Thoroughly cleaning the driveway before sealing

Before you apply any sealer to your driveway, it is important to clean it thoroughly. This means removing any dirt, oil, and other debris that may be on the surface of the driveway. Use a pressure washer or a strong hose with a nozzle to clean the driveway. Scrub any stubborn stains with a scrub brush and a cleaning solution. Allow the driveway to dry completely before applying any sealer.

Using the right sealer

Choosing the right sealer is important to ensure that it provides the maximum protection for your driveway. Look for a sealer that is specifically designed for your type of driveway, whether it is asphalt or concrete. Don’t use a sealer that is designed for a different type of driveway surface, as it may not adhere properly and can cause damage to the surface.

Applying the sealer correctly

Application Method How to Apply
Spray Hold the nozzle a few inches above the driveway and spray in a consistent pattern, overlapping each pass slightly
Squeegee Pour the sealer onto the driveway and use a squeegee to spread it out evenly, working in one direction
Roller Pour the sealer onto the driveway and use a roller to spread it out evenly, working in one direction

There are different methods for applying driveway sealer, including spraying, using a squeegee, or using a roller. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best application method. Regardless of the method you use, be sure to apply the sealer evenly and avoid leaving any puddles. Work in sections and apply the sealer in a consistent pattern. Wait for the sealer to dry completely before applying a second coat, if necessary.

Avoiding these common mistakes when sealing your driveway can help to ensure that it provides the maximum protection and lasts for as long as possible. Take the time to properly clean and prepare the driveway surface, choose the right sealer, and apply it correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Your driveway will thank you for it!

Environmental Impact of Driveway Sealer

Driveway sealers are chemical coatings applied to driveways to protect them from weather and wear and tear. While they are effective at extending the life of a driveway, they may have a negative impact on the environment. Here are some environmental concerns associated with driveway sealer:

  • Water pollution: Sealers contain chemicals that can leach into groundwater and nearby bodies of water, contaminating them. This can harm aquatic organisms and affect the quality of drinking water.
  • Air pollution: Some types of driveway sealer emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can contribute to air pollution and cause respiratory problems for people and animals.
  • Disposal: When driveway sealers reach the end of their useful life, they must be disposed of properly. Some sealers can be hazardous waste, and improper disposal can result in contamination of landfills and other disposal sites.

One way to minimize the environmental impact of driveway sealers is to choose a product that is eco-friendly and contains fewer harmful chemicals. Some sealers are water-based and contain little to no VOCs, making them a better choice for the environment. Additionally, it’s important to follow proper disposal procedures and avoid applying sealers near bodies of water.

Environmental Concern Possible Impact
Water pollution Contaminated groundwater and surface water
Air pollution Inhalation of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
Disposal Potential contamination of landfills and other disposal sites

In conclusion, while driveway sealers can help extend the life of a driveway, they can also have a negative impact on the environment. To minimize this impact, it’s important to choose an eco-friendly product, follow safe disposal procedures, and avoid applying sealers near bodies of water.

FAQs About How Long Does Driveway Sealer Last

1. How often should I seal my driveway?

The general recommendation is to seal your driveway every 2-3 years, depending on the climate and usage.

2. How long does driveway sealer last on average?

Driveway sealers can last anywhere from 1 to 5 years, depending on the type of sealer, climate, and frequency of use.

3. How do I know when to reseal my driveway?

If you notice the color of the sealer fading or the surface of your driveway becoming more porous, it’s time to reseal your driveway.

4. Can I seal my driveway multiple times?

Yes, you can seal your driveway multiple times, but it’s important to wait for the previous coat to completely dry before applying another layer.

5. Do certain types of driveway sealers last longer than others?

Yes, some types of sealers such as acrylic or epoxy can last longer than traditional asphalt or coal tar sealers.

6. How does climate affect the lifespan of a driveway sealer?

Extreme temperatures and weather patterns can cause the sealer to crack or degrade faster, shortening its lifespan.

7. Can I DIY seal my driveway to make it last longer?

Yes, DIY driveway sealing can be an effective way to extend your driveway’s lifespan, but it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the right equipment.

Closing Thoughts

We hope these FAQs have helped answer your questions on how to make your driveway sealer last longer. Remember, regular maintenance and frequent sealing can help extend the life of your driveway. Thanks for reading and please visit us again for more helpful tips!