Choosing the Best Sealer for Your Asphalt Driveway

When it comes to maintaining your asphalt driveway, choosing the right sealer is crucial in ensuring its longevity. With so many options available on the market, it can be overwhelming to determine which sealer is the best fit for your driveway's needs. In this article, we will guide you through the process of selecting the best sealer for your asphalt driveway, providing you with valuable tips and insights along the way. Whether you're a seasoned homeowner or a first-time driveway owner, this article is here to equip you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.

Understanding the Importance of Sealers

Before diving into the factors to consider when choosing a sealer, it's essential to understand why sealers are vital for your asphalt driveway. Sealers act as a protective barrier, shielding your driveway from the adverse effects of sunlight, harsh weather conditions, oil spills, and other damaging substances. By applying a high-quality sealer, you can prevent cracking, premature aging, fading, and the formation of potholes. Regular sealing not only enhances the appearance of your driveway but also extends its lifespan, saving you money in the long run.

Types of Asphalt Sealers

There are various types of sealers available, each offering different benefits and suited for specific conditions. The most common types include:

Coal Tar Sealers

Coal tar sealers have been widely used for many years and are known for their durability and resistance to chemicals. They provide excellent protection against oil and gas spills, making them a popular choice for driveways used by vehicles. However, it's important to note that coal tar sealers contain hazardous materials and may require extra precautions during application.

Asphalt Emulsion Sealers

Asphalt emulsion sealers are a water-based option that offers moderate protection for asphalt driveways. They are easier to apply than coal tar sealers and are environmentally friendly. However, they may not be as durable as their coal tar counterparts and may require more frequent reapplication.

Polymer-Modified Sealers

Polymer-modified sealers are a newer technology that combines the benefits of coal tar and asphalt emulsion sealers. These sealers typically contain polymers that enhance flexibility, adhesion, and resistance to elements. They provide superior protection against cracks, fading, and wear and are often considered the best option for long-lasting results.

Determining the Right Sealer for Your Driveway

Now that you have a good understanding of the different types of sealers available, it's time to consider the specific factors that will help you determine the best sealer for your asphalt driveway:

Climate and Weather Conditions

The climate in your area plays a significant role in choosing the right sealer. If you live in an area with extreme temperatures or frequent snowfall, a high-performance sealer like a polymer-modified sealer is recommended. It will provide enhanced protection against temperature changes and the damaging effects of ice melt chemicals.

Traffic and Usage

Consider the amount and type of traffic your driveway typically experiences. If you have heavy vehicles regularly using your driveway, such as delivery trucks or RVs, a more durable sealer like a coal tar or polymer-modified sealer would be advisable. For lighter traffic, an asphalt emulsion sealer may be sufficient.

Budget and Longevity

Your budget will also influence your choice of sealer. While coal tar sealers may be slightly more expensive, they tend to provide longer-lasting protection. Consider your long-term goals and weigh the trade-offs between upfront costs and the potential for longer intervals between resealing.

Application and Maintenance

Once you have chosen the best sealer for your asphalt driveway, proper application and regular maintenance are essential for optimum results.


Prior to sealing, thoroughly clean your driveway, removing any dirt, debris, or vegetation. Fill any cracks or potholes, and allow them to dry completely before applying the sealer.


Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application. Typically, a driveway sealer can be applied using a brush, roller, or sprayer. Ensure an even and consistent coverage, taking care not to apply too thinly or too thickly.


Regularly inspect your driveway for any signs of wear or damage. Promptly address any cracks or deterioration by filling them and resealing as necessary. Avoid using harsh chemicals or snow removal methods that may damage the sealer. Regularly sweeping or blowing away debris will also help prolong the sealer's lifespan.

Choosing the best sealer for your asphalt driveway may seem like a daunting task at first, but armed with the right knowledge, you can make an informed decision. Consider the type of sealer, your climate, traffic, budget, and desired longevity. With proper application and routine maintenance, your asphalt driveway will not only look great but also withstand the test of time, providing you with a smooth and durable surface for years to come.

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