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Seal It Right: Common Mistakes To Avoid In Driveway Sealing

Your driveway is more than just a path to your house; it is vital to your property’s curb appeal and overall functionality. Since this is one of the first things guests see when visiting your home, keeping it as aesthetically pleasing as possible is essential. 

There are many ways to protect and enhance its longevity, including driveway sealing. While the sealing process may seem straightforward, certain things people do can compromise the sealant’s effectiveness.

If you have an upcoming driveway-sealing project, avoiding the mistakes outlined in this guide is crucial.

Understanding driveway sealing

Before exploring the common mistakes, it’s essential to understand what this process entails. Driveway sealing is the application of a protective coating to your path’s surface. The seal acts as a barrier against harsh weather conditions, water, UV rays, and friction from traffic—all of which could lead to cracks, potholes, brittleness, and premature deterioration.

It’s important to note that driveway sealants come in two main categories: penetrating and surface sealers. Penetrating sealers are absorbed into the material to protect it from within, while surface sealers create a surface-level protective layer.

Here are some things you shouldn’t do before, during, and after a driveway sealing project.

  • Choosing the wrong sealant

Finding a suitable driveway sealant is paramount to the durability and effectiveness of the coating. But what should you consider in your decision-making process? 

  • Driveway material: Driveways are constructed from different materials. Therefore, they may require specific types of sealants for better results. Before purchasing a sealant, identify your driveway material and choose a product designed to work optimally with it.

Read product labels, consult with professionals, or seek advice from your local hardware store to make an informed choice. Since sealants vary in composition, it’s crucial to choose one compatible with the ground material. For instance, for a concrete path, you should opt for a driveway concrete sealing.

  • Climate: Ensure the sealant you choose is well-suited to the local climate. Some sealants are formulated to withstand temperature fluctuations, UV rays, and heavy rainfall, providing enhanced protection in challenging environments.
  • Water-based vs. solvent-based sealants: Water-based sealants are eco-friendly, are easy to clean up, and emit fewer fumes during application. Solvent-based sealants, while more effective, may release more volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and require proper ventilation during application. Consider the environmental impact, drying time, and application requirements when deciding between water-based and solvent-based sealants.

If you find it challenging to determine the most suitable sealant for your driveway, consider consulting with professionals in the field. Local contractors, paving specialists, or even employees at your local hardware store can offer valuable insights and recommendations based on their experience and knowledge of the local climate and driveway materials.

  • Neglecting proper cleaning

Cleaning may seem like an intuitive step, but it’s often overlooked. Neglecting this crucial phase can affect the results of the entire sealing process, diminishing the expected benefits of driveway sealing

For one, cleaning helps the sealant adhere seamlessly. Dirt, debris, and stains obstruct the sealant from forming a solid bond with the driveway material. This poor adhesion can leave vulnerable spots on the driveway, forcing you to do repairs earlier than anticipated. 

  • Rushing the drying process

After applying a suitable sealant, you must leave it to dry properly before using the driveway. Most of these products take about 48 hours to dry. While you can walk on the surface after one day, waiting for two days is recommended before parking vehicles on the driveway again.

Patience is crucial; rushing the drying process can set you back several steps, not to mention the time and money invested. It can lead to uneven application, smudging, and compromised barrier elements in some areas.

  • Applying too much sealant

There is such a thing as too much sealant. While this product is one of the best protective measures you could add to your driveway, applying excessive amounts doesn’t necessarily mean an extra layer of protection. On the contrary, it can lead to a range of issues.

It can result in an uneven surface, which might negatively affect your driveway’s design and general home aesthetics. As mentioned, this is the first area visitors see in most houses, and you’d want yours to be as welcoming as possible. 

Too much sealer can also extend the drying time, forcing you to wait for more days than necessary. Sometimes, it can form a sticky residue that attracts dirt and debris, making cleaning stressful. To avoid this mistake, following the manufacturer’s guidelines for the recommended coverage rate is essential.


One of the best ways to maintain your driveway’s structural integrity is through sealing. However, before you start, you must be aware of and avoid the mistakes mentioned above. If you’re unsure how to go about the process, it’s always a good idea to consult a professional.


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About the Author

Kaya Wittenburg

Blog Author and CEO

Kaya Wittenburg is the Founder and CEO of Sky Five Properties. Since the age of 10, real estate has been deeply ingrained into his thoughts. With world-class negotiation and deal-making skills, he brings a highly impactful presence into every transaction that he touches.

He is here to help you use real estate as a vehicle to develop your own personal empire and feel deeply satisfied along the way. If you have an interest in buying, selling or renting property in South Florida, contact Kaya today.

Feel free to call me at: (305) 357-0635
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