How Much Does Driveway Sealing Cost?
Extend the life of your driveway by applying a sealant. Driveway sealing costs range from $250 to $768, with many homeowners spending around $486.
- Typical Range: $250 to $768
- National Average: $486
Driveway sealcoating can prolong the life of a driveway and protect it from sun damage, rain, snow, and oil spills. Having a well-sealed driveway can also enhance the curb appeal while protecting the integrity of the surface material. According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, driveway sealing costs can range from $250 to $768, with the national average at $486. Asphalt sealcoating products typically range from $0.06 to $0.38 per square foot. With this price range, it can cost between $40 and $165 to cover up to 500 square feet of driveway surface with 5 gallons of product.
Driveway sealing coverage can vary due to the thickness of the sealant. Thicker products cover less area but provide a more concentrated layer of protection than a thinner option. Labor prices average $1.15 per square foot, but keep in mind that labor costs fluctuate according to geographic location. Homeowners should expect to pay between $1.21 and $1.53 per square foot for both materials and labor. Here, we’ll review factors and considerations that can impact driveway sealing cost, such as square footage, type of sealant, and repair costs. We’ll also look at how to save money on sealing driveway surfaces and list important questions to ask a driveway sealing professional.
Factors in Calculating Driveway Sealing Cost
Several factors can influence driveway sealing costs. Prices can differ from the national average due to driveway square footage, driveway material, driveway condition and accessibility, the type of sealant and number of coats, labor cost, and geographic location.
Driveway Square Footage
Sealing a driveway is typically more cost-effective than installing a new one. The overall price for the project depends on the square footage of the driveway, the cost of the sealant, and the condition of the driveway. Some sealants cost more than others, but they average between $0.06 and $0.38 per square foot. A 500-square-foot driveway typically requires 5 gallons of sealant, which can run between $40 and $165. Keep in mind that the price will double if two coats of sealant are used. The total price of the project averages between $1.21 and $1.53 per square foot, including materials and labor. Some contractors have a minimum fee for driveway sealing, so homeowners with smaller driveways may pay more than this to meet the minimum charge.
Driveway and Sealant Material
The cost to seal asphalt driveway surfaces can vary depending on what type of sealant is used. A sealant in the lower price range can cost $0.06 per square foot, and a more eco-friendly sealant costs more at $0.38 per square foot to seal coat asphalt. Concrete driveways should cure for at least 30 days before a seal is applied. Some homeowners choose to seal older concrete surfaces to prevent water from entering small cracks and making them bigger. Concrete sealants can be solvent or water-based acrylics. Sealing a concrete driveway with an acrylic spray-on cure and seal averages $0.53 per square foot.
Driveway Condition and Accessibility
If a driveway has been neglected and hasn’t been sealed in some time, it may have cracks, small holes, or pitted areas. A thicker and more durable sealant is usually needed to seal these areas. If the asphalt is damaged, it may need an overlay coating, and if the damage is extensive, a fill-and-seal option is the way to go. Crumbling asphalt that has reached the end of its life will need to be replaced.
Flat driveway surfaces are easier to seal than areas that are steeply sloped since the sealant may run down the surface. The accessibility of the area can also impact labor costs. If the driveway or parking area is in a hard-to-reach spot, it will take longer to complete the job and will likely result in higher labor costs.
Type of Sealant
The type of sealant used to seal a driveway affects the overall price of the project. Homeowners who live in areas that experience extreme cold or heat should opt for a UV- and weather-resistant sealant for year-round protection. There are several types of sealants, and each has its own characteristics. The most common type of sealant is asphalt sealer, but other commonly used types are coal tar, epoxy, acrylic, blended, and oil-based. Typically, the more synthetic the sealcoating, the more expensive it will be. These can range in price from $0.08 to $0.50 per square foot.
Number of Coats
Residential driveways typically only need one coat of sealant. If the area sees a lot of traffic or is home to heavier vehicles, two coats are usually recommended. Parking lot sealcoating usually requires two or three coats of product for enhanced durability. Additional coats of sealant will result in the homeowner paying more for materials.
Labor costs will vary from project to project, depending on the condition of the driveway. If the area needs to be cleaned or repaired, the cost to seal driveway cracks can raise the overall price. On average, the cost of labor runs approximately $1.15 per square foot. Labor costs typically make up between 50 and 70 percent of the total cost for the project. If the driveway needs extensive preparation before the sealant is applied, expect to pay more in labor costs.
The price of labor and materials can also vary due to geographic location. Labor prices are typically higher in densely populated urban areas and are less expensive in more rural areas.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When budgeting for driveway sealing cost, it’s helpful to be aware of any additional price factors and considerations. These can include minimum service fees, cleaning, repairs, sealing additional areas, and supplemental enhancements.
Minimum Service Fee
Many companies and contractors have a minimum service fee that they apply to driveway sealing jobs. This fee can cover gas expenses, insurance, vehicle costs, equipment, materials, wages, licensing, and more. Even if homeowners have a short driveway or a small parking space that needs to be sealed, they may be charged the minimum fee, even though the price per square foot would be less. If there are additional areas that need to be sealed, such as walkways or a patio, getting those areas sealed at the same time would be more cost-effective.
Before a driveway surface can be sealed, it needs to be clean of debris, oil, and dirt. Depending on how dirty it is, it may need a professional power washing to prepare it for sealant. The average price to have a professional power wash a driveway is $300.
If there are holes, cracks, or chips in the driveway, they’ll need to be repaired before sealant can be applied. Repairing a driveway can cost between $2 and $4 per square foot. It’s recommended that a professional take care of the repairs to extend the life of the driveway surface. If the driveway is very badly damaged, the cost of repairs could be substantial. Driveway repair costs can range from $300 to as much as $5,500, with the national average at $2,325.
Sealing Additional Areas
If there are other areas that need a sealant, it’s best to schedule those to be sealed at the same time as the driveway. Many contractors have a minimum service fee to seal a driveway, and some homeowners with a smaller driveway will end up paying the minimum fee instead of a price based on the total square footage. To make the sealing cost more economical, include the sealing of a patio or walkways at the same time.
Some homeowners like to change up the look of their driveway with additional features, such as having a design stamped into the surface or dyeing it a different color. Asphalt dye pigments can cost an additional $0.25 to $0.50 per square foot.
Types of Driveway Sealant
The type of sealant used affects driveway sealing cost. The coverage each type of sealant provides depends on the texture and condition of the driveway surface. There are several types of sealant, each with its own characteristics and benefits.
Asphalt Polymer Emulsion
Asphalt polymer emulsion costs between $0.08 and $0.10 per square foot. It’s a popular sealant that can last up to 4 years or more under the right conditions. It’s considered more eco-friendly than fast-drying or coal tar sealers, but it is prone to gas and oil stains. It needs to be applied during the summer months for optimal temperatures.
Oil-based sealers are not as common as other types, and they don’t last as long. They’re difficult to work with, but they do a good job of filling small cracks. This sealant costs between $0.15 and $0.20 per square foot.
Coal Tar Emulsion
Typically the least expensive of the driveway sealers, coal tar emulsion sealant costs about $0.06 per square foot. Its popularity is due to its longevity and stain resistance. This sealant is carcinogenic, and it may pollute the surrounding soil and contaminate the groundwater. Coal tar emulsion is banned in many areas due to the environmental impact of the product.
Priced at $0.20 to $0.25 per square foot, this nontoxic driveway sealant is a blend of synthetic acrylic and polymers. It’s stain resistant, fills deep cracks and moderately sized holes, is UV resistant, and can last from 5 to 10 years. While it’s one of the most expensive types of driveway sealant, many homeowners agree that the price is worth the benefits.
Latex polymer sealant costs about $0.11 per square foot. This sealant boasts twice the durability of coal tar emulsion with stronger adhesion. This petroleum-based product works well for high-traffic areas and parking lots. Latex polymer needs to be applied in temperatures above 55 degrees and it also contains chemicals that are known to cause cancer.
Fast-drying sealers cost about $0.10 per square foot. These don’t last as long as other sealants and need to be replaced about every 2 to 3 years. After application, a driveway can be used for foot traffic in an hour and for vehicle use in just 24 hours. Fast-drying sealant needs specific conditions for correct application: humidity levels under 35 percent, temperatures above 75 degrees, dry, and sunny. This product is known to contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are harmful to the environment.
Eco-friendly driveway sealers are another expensive option. Priced at $0.25 to $0.38 per square foot, this type of sealant typically lasts around 5 years. Since many areas have banned the use of sealants like coal tar emulsion that contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), more eco-friendly options have been made available. Some of these soy-based sealants have low odor, excellent adhesion, and offer UV and chemical resistance.
Fill-and-seal is a thick sealant that can fill bigger holes and cracks. It contains additional material, such as gravel, crushed stone, or sand, and is similar to asphalt. This patching technique runs between $0.35 and $0.50 per square foot and requires a sealant coat on top which can add to the price.
Epoxy coating works on any concrete surface, including garage floors, driveways, patios, and walkways. With the right additives, it can resist UV rays and be nonslip. This sealant runs between $0.10 and $0.20 per square foot.
Why Seal a Driveway?
Sealing a driveway helps extend the life of the surface and protect it from snow, ice, rain, and UV rays. Homeowners who live in areas with significant freeze/thaw cycles may experience driveways that heave and crack, which can result in potholes. Sealing a driveway can prevent weather-related issues and keep it looking better for longer.
Protection Against Weather
Driveway sealant helps protect against the weather and the issues it can cause. Freeze/thaw cycles can create cracks and potholes. When the surface is properly sealed, it can extend the life of the driveway. Homeowners who live in a hot climate with scorching UV rays will also benefit from protection against fading and weakening of the surface. How often a driveway should be sealed also depends on the climate. Those who live in temperate climates can get by with sealing a driveway every 3 years, and those who experience extreme heat or cold should plan to reseal their driveway every other year.
Protection Against Car Fluids
Driveway sealer helps protect the surface from oil and gas stains that can break down the integrity of the material. This results in less cracking and a longer driveway life.
Extending the Driveway’s Lifespan
Sealing a driveway can help extend its lifespan and mitigate problems brought on by weather, UV rays, and oil and gas spills.
Driving on a driveway with potholes and cracks can damage a car’s tires. This extra wear and tear can result in car repair and tire replacement costs. When a pothole is not repaired, it will continue to get worse from the constant pressure and moisture absorption.
Cost of Sealing Vs. Repair
The cost of sealing a driveway is significantly lower than paying for repairs. The average range for driveway repair is $1,000 to $3,700. By sealing a driveway regularly and keeping it in good condition, homeowners can avoid costly repairs.
Improved Curb Appeal
Regular sealing can keep a driveway in tiptop shape. A neat and tidy driveway improves a home’s curb appeal and helps maintain the home’s value.
Driveway Sealing: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
While it may sound tempting to save money by tackling a driveway sealing project on your own, it’s generally recommended to let a professional handle the job. There are a few factors homeowners may overlook when preparing to seal a driveway that include eye and skin protection, being able to provide a thorough cleaning of the driveway surface, making repairs, and knowing the proper sealant installation techniques. Hiring a professional can ensure that the preparation, repairs, and sealing application is done correctly. Pros also have commercial-grade equipment and access to types of sealant that aren’t generally available to the public.
How to Save Money on Driveway Sealing Costs
Staying within a budget for driveway sealing costs can be challenging, and the additional fees associated with the project can quickly add up. One way to save on driveway sealing cost is to choose the cheapest sealant, but there are other ways to save without compromising what you want. Here are a few money-saving tips to save on driveway sealing costs.
- Get multiple estimates. Get at least three estimates from reputable companies in your area to find the one that fits your budget and requirements.
- Perform regular maintenance. Keeping a close eye on the state of the driveway and filling cracks when they’re small can prevent them from turning into large potholes. Cleaning with a pressure washer can eliminate dirt, grime, and debris from building up on the surface.
- Stick to your budget. Choose a sealant that fits your budget, though be mindful that cheaper sealants may be hazardous to the environment and to your health.
- Ask questions. Ask a professional what kind of sealant will work the best for the climate. Buying the cheapest option may result in spending more money down the road if it deteriorates quickly.
- Shop around. Inquire about discounts and available coupons when getting estimates from your chosen companies.
Questions to Ask About Driveway Sealing Costs
Driveway sealing projects are generally straightforward, but knowing what questions to ask can minimize miscommunication and save money. Here are some questions to ask a driveway sealing professional.
- What do I need to do before you apply the sealcoat?
- How long have you been in business?
- Are you licensed and insured?
- How much experience do you have in applying driveway sealcoating?
- Do you have references?
- Do you provide free estimates?
- Will you repair the surface, or do I need to hire someone else?
- What is the best sealant for this climate?
- Do you thin out your sealant?
- How long will the sealant last?
- Will you supply an itemized bid?
- What do I need to do after the sealant is applied?
- How long before I can walk or drive on the surface?
Deciding on the best type of driveway sealant while staying within your budget can be a daunting process. Here are some frequently asked questions about driveway sealant costs to help guide you in your decisions.
Q. When is the best time to seal a driveway?
It’s important to note that new driveways shouldn’t be sealed before they are at least 6 months old because the sealant will not properly bond to the surface. The best time to seal a driveway is between spring and fall, when the temperature is above 55 degrees and there is no rain in the forecast for 24 hours after the sealant is applied.
Q. How long does it take to seal your driveway?
Sealing a driveway shouldn’t take more than a few hours for a professional to apply the sealant.
Q. Is it better to spray or brush driveway sealer?
Many driveway sealants are applied using a sprayer, roller, or broom and smoothed with a squeegee. Some types of sealant need to be sprayed on and others can be applied according to the preference of the professional. Sprayers typically work better on a smooth surface.
Q. Does driveway size affect sealing costs?
The size of the driveway affects sealing costs. Typically, the bigger the driveway, the more expensive the cost per square foot will be. Some contractors may have a minimum service fee that they will charge for a short driveway or small parking space. This can result in homeowners paying more for a smaller space compared to price per square foot.
Q. Do driveways need two coats of sealer?
Many residential driveways can get away with one coat of sealant. If the driveway gets a lot of traffic or if heavy vehicles are parked on the surface, a professional may recommend two coats.
Q. Can I use a brush to apply driveway sealer?
Yes, a brush can be used to apply driveway sealer. It’s important to note, however, that if the brush is pushed too hard, it may remove too much sealant from the surface.
Q. How do I prepare my driveway for sealing?
Preparing a driveway for sealant involves cleaning the surface of dirt, debris, and grime. Removing oil and gas stains and trimming grass from the edges of the driveway will help the sealant adhere to the surface.
Q. Can I pressure wash my sealed driveway?
Yes, sealed driveways can be pressure washed. Staying away from cracks and holes with the pressure washer can prevent them from getting bigger. Be sure to use asphalt degreaser to pretreat any oil stains, and don’t linger on one spot for too long to stave off any damage to the surface.