Thursday, August 13, 2015

Driveway Sealing DIY

Along with sealing the fence the other major maintenance item on my to-do list this summer was to seal the driveway. This was really something I should have done late last summer but never got around to do it. This year I've been planning on doing it for months but it wasn't until this week where the combination of available time and a good forecast (no rain for 48 hours) finally came together to allow me to get it done.

Per the manual that came with the house the driveway needs to be sealed within 6-12 months of paving and resealed every 1-2 years thereafter to keep it from falling apart over time. Several manufacturers sell varying levels of sealants that are supposed to last from 2-8 years with similarly escalating prices. But between what the manual said and similar advice I read on a few places online about needing to do it every two years or so anyway I opted to go for the base level seal. That and I figured if I messed it up and ended up needing to redo it (or pay someone else) I wouldn't have to wait long or be out any more money than need be.

That being said this is the list of supplies I bought for this for my roughly 21x42 foot driveway:
-Five buckets of Latex-ite 2 Year Driveway Coating (In-store price was about $1.50 cheaper than online for whatever reason.) As I note later in the entry I initially only bought four and had to go get a fifth to complete the job. Buy more than you think you'll need and return the rest afterwards if you don't use it.
-Driveway Squeegee (Comes in two pieces - pole and squeegee. I'd get two poles. Mine broke in half.)
-Masonry Brush (For edging)
-Plastic Sheeting
-Painter's Tape
-Driveway Cleaner
-Oil Spot Primer - I bought this just in case but didn't end up needing it and will be able to return it. I had a few spots on the driveway from spraying tire cleaner on my car but they came clean with the power washer.

All together with tax I spent around $115 or so for all of it. I also spent roughly four and a half hours between prep work and application to complete it.

Before shot prior to sweeping and using the power washer.

For prep work I ran the weedwacker along the edges of the driveway then swept it thoroughly. From there using the power washer I borrowed from my in-laws I rinsed it off, sprayed the soap, and then did two passes to rinse it thoroughly. I left our cars in the street overnight so it would be completely dry by the morning. This morning I taped the plastic sheeting to the garage door and also put a piece across the sidewalk to keep them protected from splatters. I used several 2x4s I already had to hold them in place against the concrete lip of the garage and the sidewalk.

A few days ago I turned the buckets upside down so they could mix. Before starting this morning I used an extra five gallon bucket and alternatively mixed up half of two of the buckets of sealant just in case the color varied slightly in each. (From there I periodically mixed in additional sealant from the other buckets when it reached the halfway mark.) Every time I mixed them I gave them a good stir with a spare wooden stake that I had.

My wife took this picture of me this morning as I was mixing up more sealant after doing the edges. It also shows the plastic taped up against the garage door.

From there I used the brush to lay down an edge around the entire perimeter of the driveway. In retrospect it was really only necessary to do it along the edge that meets the garage, the street, and the sidewalk instead of the entire thing. After I did similar to how it shows in the instructional video, dumping the sealant on the driveway and spreading it with the squeegee. I didn't find it quite as easy to do as the video shows and it took a while to figure out the right amount of pressure to use. I also initially spread it a little thicker than I should have and didn't squeegee off enough of the excess in spots leading to visible lines. Because of that I actually ran out before I was finished and despite trying to use the brush to get enough out of the buckets to complete it was left with a small uncovered spot. I had to go back to Home Depot to get another bucket and after it sits upside down overnight I will go back out tomorrow and finish it along with applying a little extra in a few spots that look like they aren't covered enough. As I mentioned on the supply list above the squeegee pole also broke in half toward the end of the driveway making it a little more difficult to spread.

I wore an old pair of shorts, shoes, t-shirt, and a pair of rubber gloves this morning that had to be tossed when I was done. Expect to get dirty doing this. I did however clean off my skin far easier than I expected.

Overall I'm really pleased with how it turned out. It was cheaper than hiring a contractor and not terribly difficult to do. I am curious to see how long it lasts. If I can get two years out of it I'll be satisfied.

The mostly finished driveway. (Still needs the little bit at the end coated.)

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