Sealing a Driveway: The Costs and Benefits

Estimated reading time 6 minutes

Whether your driveway is a recent installation or has been in place for a while, sealing it can help extend its life. It isn’t quite as straightforward as simply coating a driveway and assuming the job is done. You need to factor in the weather, the type of driveway and the materials available to you. Time it wrong and you could be sealing your drive much more frequently than needed, spending way more money than necessary or sealing it inefficiently and causing more damage to the drive than good.

In this edition of our blog, we look at why sealing your driveway is beneficial but also how much it may cost you.

What is driveway sealing?

Sealing a driveway is the process of adding a special chemical over the porous driveway surface to protect it from the elements and wear and tear. This additional layer of protection helps your driveway maintain its colour and extend its lifespan. Without sealing a driveway, you could see it fall into disrepair quite quickly, especially if you are in areas of high rainfall or extreme heat. That being said, sealing a driveway only needs to take place every two to five years depending on the surface type and what level of exposure and use the driveway has. If your driveway has recently been installed, you may not need to seal it right away, but many would say it could be better to get it done as soon as possible so you don’t forget before it’s too late.

What driveways need to be sealed?

You can seal most types of driveways. Sealants are available for the following driveways:

What are the benefits of sealing a driveway?

Sealing your driveway can be a great way to help enhance its quality. Whilst many driveways may possess certain durability benefits and others may offer better drainage, sealing helps deliver additional benefits that your chosen driveway type may not have demonstrated initially.

If you choose to seal your driveway, you could see benefits such as:

  • Protection from staining and spills
  • Reduction in the number of weeds that can grow
  • Reduction in colour fading
  • Protecting the drive from damage
  • Preventing the spread of black spot

How much does it cost to seal a driveway?

It of course depends on the size of the driveway you wish to seal and the type of driveway you have. Different driveways will require different sealant products, so it pays to find out which type of sealant is necessary for yours. The average cost for sealing a driveway is around £200-£400. This is to apply one coat of sealant for your driveway, but this should last a few years before you need to reapply it. In some cases, certain products may need to be applied with two coats for maximum results.

What kind of driveway sealers can I use?

There are normally three types of driveway sealer you can choose from. Each offers different advantages and disadvantages. The water-based sealers are slow-drying sealers and perhaps the cheaper alternative of those available. More environmentally friendly, they do enhance your green credentials, but they don’t offer the same level of surface penetration as solvent sealers that are available.

Another option is the polyurethane sealer. These are a great option for sealing block paving driveways and can last a fairly long time. Priced higher than other types, you may find that the initial expense is high but over time, you save money due to the fewer times you’ll need to apply it.

Finally, acrylic sealers offer great coverage for concrete drives as well as other surface types.

How soon can you seal a driveway?

Ideally, you should wait at least 12 weeks before you apply a sealant to a newly installed driveway. This is because as your driveway surface settles, soluble salts and other debris rise to the surface through the pores of the driveway material. You should then leave your driveway for 2-3 days once sealed to allow the sealant to dry before driving on it.

How long does it take to seal a driveway?

Sealing a driveway isn’t a slow process but it isn’t particularly fast either. You’ll need to clean the driveway before applying anything and this can take a few hours. You’ll want to make sure there is no debris, staining, weeds or anything else you don’t want to see trapped under the sealant once applied.

Once you have applied a weed killer, leave it to dry over a 2–3-day period. This will kill off any weeds properly. You can then fill any gaps within the driveway surface with sand and then apply your sealant. All in all, you can spread the task over 3-4 days.

When should you seal your driveway?

You don’t want to seal your driveway when it is too hot, nor do you want to seal it in the winter. In the summer, the sealant will dry out very fast, in the winter the sealant will trap moisture underneath it which could lead to your driveway experiencing problems. Ideally, aim for a cooler summer evening where the temperature is not too hot, and you have plenty of time for it to dry.

Cleaning and maintaining a sealed driveway

With a sealant over your driveway, maintenance suddenly becomes much easier. There is less opportunity for weeds to grow, less chance for black spots on your driveway, less chance of damage and thankfully, an easier way to clean oil off a driveway as it wouldn’t have soaked into the surface.

Sealing a driveway is essential if you want to extend the life of your driveway. Should yours already be in a state of disrepair, contact the team at Tidey & Webb. With over 40 years of surfacing experience, we can ensure you benefit from a professionally laid new driveway that is built to last. Contact our team today to find out more about our residential surfacing solutions for Sussex, Surrey and Kent.

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