How to Apply a Driveway Sealer

To keep your driveway looking clean and fresh throughout summer and winter months, simply apply a good driveway sealer during warm, dry weather. A good sealer will not only keep rubber skid marks from your driveway, but if someone with a leaky oil pan gasket should park in your driveway, it will be much easier for you to remove the oil that would otherwise penetrate into the pores and be difficult to remove. Here are a few steps you can use to seal your driveway.

Things you'll need:

  • Weed killer
  • Crack filler
  • Tape measure
  • Sealer
  • Stiff brush
  • Degreasing solution
  • Garden hose
  • Sealer applicator

Step 1 – Remove Weeds

Before you purchase your sealer, you'll need to prepare your driveway by removing all weeds growing up in its cracks or expansion joints. After applying a weed killer give yourself a couple of weeks for the weeds to completely die. Then, remove the dead weeds, including any roots or stems that may remain in driveway cracks. Before applying your sealer be sure all weed remnants are cleaned from the driveway surface.

Step 2 – Fill Driveway Cracks

To fill cracks in your driveway before applying your sealer, examine the cracks for size and for dirt and debris. For smaller cracks that are less then ½ inch wide, plan to use an elastomeric crack filler, or any good spreadable filler. If the cracks are deeper, fill them with sand, leaving a ½ inch of space into which you'll pack your filler. For larger cracks, clean them out and fill them with a cold patch compound, then tamp down the compound. If these cracks are less then 4 inches wide, you can use the end of a 2X4 board to tamp them. For wider cracks, you may have to rent a commercial tamper.

Step 3 – Remove Grease and Oil Spots

You can use one of two methods to degrease your driveway surface. One way is to use a pressure washer and a grease cleaner. Or, if you don't have a pressure washer, you can manually scrub the driveway surface with a stiff brush and a degreaser solution. When you've removed grease and oil stains, use a garden hose and rinse off any degreaser and debris left on the driveway. Allow the surface to dry thoroughly before applying your sealer. Check weather reports so you will know you'll have at least 48 hours of warm rain-free time after you apply your sealer.

Step 4 – Apply Your Sealer

Pour a line of sealer on the driveway surface, laterally. Then, use the squeegee edge of your applicator to spread the sealer. As you spread the fluid, use the brush side of the applicator to scrub the sealer into the surface pores. Then, pull any excess sealer forward, again using the squeegee. At the sealer edge where you finish applying it, make a smooth transition between wet sealer and dry surface by pulling the sealer forward to a feathered edge.

Step 5 – Finish

When you have finished applying sealer to the entire driveway, block off the driveway entrance by stretching a rope across it, or line up some empty buckets along the driveway's front edge.