From ultraviolet rays to freezing rain, the elements can take a toll on your driveway. Fortunately, resealing your driveway can add a layer of protection that prevents the need for costly future repairs. In fact, professionally sealing your driveway can extend its lifespan up to 30 years while also enhancing your home’s curb appeal.
How often you need to reseal your driveway depends on factors such as pavement material, local weather conditions, exposure to the elements and the amount of vehicle traffic your driveway receives.
What is resealing?
Resealing — also known as sealing or seal coating — is the process of applying a durable coating on top of pavement to prevent deterioration from weather, gas, oil spills and other fluids.
A professional sealcoat will repel water, one of the most detrimental agents when it comes to damaging both asphalt and concrete. Sealing your driveway can also help keep sunlight and oxygen from permeating the pavement and causing corrosion. Sealcoating stops small cracks from growing into big ones and can repel oil spills and grease to make your driveway easier to clean. Resealing the pavement is a straightforward, cost-effective way to double or even triple the life expectancy of your driveway.
How often should you reseal?
The months between April and October are typically the best time of the year to reseal a driveway, but the best time to tackle your project will depend on your region’s climate. During the sealcoating process, the outside temperature must be 50 degrees or warmer with no freezing nights. In most areas, it’s best to avoid resealing projects in shaded areas after early October.
As a general rule of thumb, you should seal your driveway every one to three years. Here’s a look at expert recommendations based on pavement type:
Concrete: More durable than asphalt varieties, concrete driveways tend to last longer between sealing. With a concrete driveway, you can typically seal directly after installation and continue to reseal just once every five years — even in regions with colder winters.
When deciding whether it’s time to layer on a new sealcoat, check your concrete driveway for cracks. If the surface is looking porous or worn, reach out to a driveway pro to determine whether your driveway is in need of resealing or other maintenance.
Asphalt: When compared to concrete, asphalt is generally more susceptible to damage from weather, water and traffic. Unlike concrete, asphalt needs to “cure,” meaning that you should never reseal a newly paved asphalt driveway until at least 90 days after installation. The process of curing enables oils to escape and prepares the pavement for the sealer. Once cured, a sealcoat should be applied promptly to protect asphalt from sunlight, extreme temperatures and other preliminary threats. After the initial seal, asphalt should be resealed once every three to five years. If you live in a climate with freezing winters and hot summers, consider resealing your driveway once every two to three years.
How much does it cost to reseal a driveway?
The cost to reseal your driveway will depend on your region, weather conditions and driveway size. According to HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide, the average cost to seal a driveway in the eastern part of the country is $.10 to $.16 per square foot. This means the cost of resealing a 1,000-square-foot concrete driveway may range from $100 to $160. Alternatively, in the upper Midwest, it’s common for contractors to price jobs per 1,000 square feet. Average costs there range from $85 to $100 per 1,000 square feet, with a minimum charge of $100.
No matter where you live, resealing a driveway will cost less than an entire repair overhaul, which could set you back $794 to $2,348.