How Much Does it Cost to Seal an Asphalt Driveway?

Leave a Comment - 71

Comments

Jean

Subject: cracks after sealing

I just had my driveway seal coated by a company. A week later it has lots of small cracks, which it didn't have before, and it is not nice and black as it was three years ago when I seal coated it myself. The driveway is only about five or six years old. Why have these small cracks suddenly appeared throughout the whole driveway?

Dennis

Subject: The cracks appeared do too

The cracks appeared do too the product that was used and the application conditions not being optimal. A majority of the products available, professionally and through local home improvement stores, will leave your driveway a really nice, flat black color. However, the product used on your driveway tends to leave a dull black or almost grey color when it dries. It's becoming more popular due to it's cost, still a good, professional grade product but to me lacks the curb appeal of the flat black finish. That same product has a greater tendency to get the cracking that you see because of the synthetic ingredients in the oil. Most likely it was applied on a day when the asphalt was at a high temperature, this causes the oil to dry quickly from the bottom leaving the small cracks at the surface due to shrinkage caused by overheating. Also the oil could have been applied in too thick of a coat. The cracking could be avoided by cooling the asphalt with a light mist of water at the right time, however a lot of home owners see this as "diluting" the oil and puts the professionals in the position of being accused of "short changing" the home owner. The cracks are superficial and do not hinder the effectiveness of the oil protecting your asphalt, however, it is unattractive to look at and unfortunately will require a few seal coats to cover up.

RiverCityWrap

Subject: The Facts

After briefly scanning through the post's I'd like to clear up some misconceptions. A driveway like any surface outdoors will receive constant UV and water exposure. Like your car, your house, your deck, a beautiful driveway must be protected to keep it that way. So is it for looks? Yes, but who wants a cracked up faded driveway? I don't know anyone. Therefore asking if it is necessary is a personal decision. Product selection is what truly matters. Many companies have thrown around terms such as water-based or oil-based for years. This has created a false image in the industry. Some companies pushing one or the other pushing the benefits of each. All products are designed to do the same things. Prevent solvents such as oil and gas from deteriorating the surface, and Slow UV deterioration. Water is another problem that many driveways have. I have seen many driveways that have moisture coming through and deteriorating new asphalt. This was corrected in many cases with thorough drying and coating. The key is product choice. All products are essentially oilbased, except coal tar which is based from coal. Asphalt emulsions and oilbased coatings leave the same main ingredient on the surface, asphalt. (Gilsonite and other additives excluded in this example) Asphalt emulsions do have flaws but all emulsions can be modified with polymers to give them more flexibility and durability. "Oilbase" sealcoat is solvent thinned, wears fast, and can not be modified to improve any of its flaws. I will not go in to Coal Tar due to the banning of the substance in many states throughout the US. By far the best product is made from 100% polymer. The only flaw it has is its initial cost, but in the long run it pays for itself. It lasts longer, lowers surface temperature (asphalt never gets soft in heat), UV resistant, and Chemical and solvent resistant. Finding a contractor in your area may be a chore but there are some products available online. If you apply it yourself make sure your driveway has never been sealed. If you don't know then don't take the chance. Sooner or later all legitimate asphalt contractors will offer it, the benefits are too great. Any educated professional can confirm any of these claims.

Alan

Subject: The asphalt contractor who

The asphalt contractor who completely repaved my driveway said not to bother with a driveway sealant. And he would have stood to make more money if he had said 'yes'. That was ten years ago, and I've never regreted to doing the sealant.

RiverCityWrap

Subject: Contractor Claims

I have came across a few contractors that offer this information to some clients and not others. Its usually used as a sales tactic. Offering up information such as this makes a client feel safe and will usually end up in a higher sale price. I have ran across some contractors that tell customers this and may not seal driveways but when parking lots call for a seal there tone changes. The simple fact is UV causes damage and water is corrosive, Not to mention some corrosive liquid will leak from someones car onto your driveway at some point. No one can deny that. Picking the right product is the key to longevity,maximum UV protection, and solvent resistance.

Brad

Subject: It's very important to seal asphalt and concrete

Old school pavers don't want you to seal because it will last longer, they wont be able to re pave for 25 years . Its proven in many studies that sealed lasts longer than unsealed asphalt surfaces. Also lots of studies out there to not use a coal tar based sealant, coal tar sealants are toxic and cause cancer, kill our fish , damage the environment, banned in quite a few states now. Some areas have fines attached if caught using the toxic material. Be sure to use a safe seal brand Asphalt emulsion, even say you have an increased cancer risk if your neighbors seal with toxic coal tar , so educate them as well, kids are at a greater risk. Coal tar free America is a great non bias place to start research. We use a Safe Seal made in Grand Rapids, MI , blacker, doesn't cost more, no odor, no burning of the skin. Good luck and be sure to seal with a commercial grade asphalt driveway or parking lot safe sealant every two -3 years to keep the expensive replacement away

Scott

Subject: Sealing

Just had mine done. Professional operation with all the tools, blew out the cracks and cleaned them, before filling them, then sealed the whole driveway. This was cheaper than I could do it and a much better job.

If you live in Maine (or other cold climates), you really need to do this to keep moisture out. It will expand and do more damage.

Jake

Subject: It depends on your driveway

I agree that sealing properly installed asphalt that is in good condition is more of a cosmetic effect, however my driveway is over 25 years old and probably was not installed like the roads of today. I have no choice but to patch it, fill the cracks, and seal it. The patching and crack filling is the most important, but the quality sealants fills the very small cracks and protect them from getting worse. Also it seals over and protects the crack filler and patch. With the weather here in PA ad the condition of my driveway I have to seal every other year to hold it together. I should probably look at replacing it, but it would be expensive as I have about 5,000 sq.ft.

Harry

Subject: For driveways just beginning to deterioate

If your old driveway is just beginning to go and has a few worrisome flaws, I suggest laying out the money to get a "cap" of macadam rolled over your existing driveway instead of just a seal coat. I found a paving company that rolled on about an inch of blacktop with a steamroller . It looks great and has ended my problems. Of course I also seal coat about once a year..I'm convinced this can significantly extend the life of my driveway. It was $1600.for about 45 feet.. Money well spent.

Bob

Subject: Fees

Don't for a moment think you can hire someone for a 1000 sq. ft. For a $100.00. It is quite a job. Much more than that

Derek

Subject: Hiring to seal

I own and operate a blacktop sealing company. If you called me or any contractor in my area to come do a job of 1000 sq. ft for $100.00 it would get done. This is not a thing that i am saying we could do it but not make any money this is something where we would actually make money at.

james

Subject: sealcoating

reading all the comments, and having experience in a little of everything imaginable ,my conclusion is.. seal with hot seal if possible, I could do this with a kettle against my turbo heater ,after pressure washing on a sunny day, then take a collection of used oil the blacker the better, and its free! .mop squeegee this on heavy wet.spread a thin coating of fine sand on top to get stomped in. presto its all compatible, costs very little ,just some common work. and hope its a dry few days to let this mess soak in and bind to the once dried out asphalt to recondition the penetration depth .of about 1 inch in several days. assuming road grade med.stone 4 inch asphalt. the duel coated jobs are more delicate and would need a test patch before I would proceed with this procedure . OMG the neighbor just fainted on the grass!

Steve

Subject: Infrared driveway repair

I had 3 sections of my $15,000 driveway (installed 11/02) répaired 2 yểars ago. About 150 sq'. Roots had caused cracking. I severed the roots and had the cracks repaired. It has held up well and saved that portion of the driveway.

Brad

Subject: Steer clear of Coal tar research says

Coal tar actually cracks your drive as it is harder than the asphalt it self causing the surface checking we call alligatoring term
Asphalt safe seal type products , are better for asphalt sealing , better for the environment , reduces risk of cancer.
Coal tar free America gathers info on the health concerns and bans of toxic coal tar if you research more.

Bob

Subject: Lousy article

Where is the proof that this does anything more than make the homeowner feel good about "protecting" the driveway? Far more important to have the driveway installed properly and, when it comes time, perhaps installing a topcoat with fabric underlayment. Now THAT will extend the life of pavement. Sealcoating? show me the research.

Gorgonzola

Subject: Sealer

If u did a survey, you would probably find that 2 out of 3 sealing companies are owned or run by criminals--scam artists. The field is booming.

Tom Taylor

Subject: Sealing Driveways

Some of the information offered is very good and is offered in an excellent way.
Some of the information offered is offered in such a way that it would feel good to reach out and touch the idiot offering it. They believe that they are several steps more intelligent than everybody else and talk down. They honestly believe that they are here to teach science when all people are looking for is information on their driveway.
To those that offer information in an informational way, thank you. To the others, get over yourself. You're not that important at all.

joe

Subject: seal coat

sealcoating a driveway is mostly for cosmetics. you are basically painting your drieway with a big brush. the difference between painting your house is you do not drive on your house afterwards or bring salt or dirt on your tires on your house.it will help if you have a leak on your car that it will first ruin the sealer before it ruins your driveway.

Paul Zacher

Subject: Drive Way Seal

My own experience follows. After the second year passed from installation of my asphalt driveway, I purchased 10 year sealer filler. My best friend and I did the job ourselves. The driveway is roughly 300' x 13'. It was a tough job for a couple of old guys but we got it done. We used rubber bladed sqeegies to apply the material and it filled in any tiny cracks beautifully. The end result was a very smooth driveway that has held up for 6 years and even now shows very few hairline cracks. The color of course has faded in the sun and through tire marks but the driveway is still great. Understand that when I built my home my excavator used 4"-6" rock on the initial base which concrete trucks and other materials delivery vehicles drove over and embedded into the ground before base rock was applied and 4 inches of asphalt. There are no low spots or depressions in the driveway. I am thinking of sealing it again for "looks" only but I may pass on that because the driveway really is in excellent shape. If I had it to do over, I would use the same stuff I used 6 years ago because there was a marked difference in the smoothness of the driveway and I believe it has helped to make the driveway both serviceable and attractive over these years.

Randy

Subject: sealing

I am in the process of filling cracks in my 32 year old drive. The cracks (a Bunch) started showing up last year and I did nothing- but have noticed that they are getting bigger- so I am starting to "repair". It has been "sealed" 2 times over the years and it did nothing but make my wife happy because it looked good for a while. Sealing is just for looks- trust me- I am not a professional but I know the facts of my drive.

Jim

Subject: I live in the Northwest and I

I live in the Northwest and I have been in my home 16 years. I have left the driveway and walkways unsealed and then power washed and sealed with a Behr product. Use a hand held sprayer and a brush to spread out any puddles. Have tried Thompsons and a couple of others and they don't last. It DOES make a difference with the amount of mold and moss. Seal it now about every 3 years with minimal problems. Highly recommend it. If you live in the Northwest you know what I mean with the moss build up. I have concrete drive and walkways.

MIke Greco

Subject: Asphalt and sealer

First off there are different grades of Asphalt, fine, medium and course know what, when, and where to use the right course, and there are different sealers and sealer binders. I own a big commercial lot with heavy vehicles that park in it. The right way to do this is as follows. Wait at least three to six months for gases to escape from the asphalt. I choose the ten year sealer binder urethane based mix. The urethane based mix stands up much better than the water based mix. Understand the purpose is not just aesthetics, it is to hold your asphalt together by preventing fluids and ice build up below the surface which will greatly accelerate the decay of asphalt.

Preparation is 90 % of the job so turn the 5 gallon pail upside down for a day or so and also mix well , don't cheap out now, get the large mixer attachment for your 1/2 drill this is so key, if you do not mix it this way you are wasting your time and money by doing it wrong . Keep the cover near to put the mixer head on so it don't drip on your floor and mix in an area that will get covered or lay out cardboard you will get spatter. Mix on a low speed at the bottom bringing it up and down side to side for a least a minute or until you have a nice even consistency with the material your using.

Spraying , squeegee, yet no one mentions a roller with a heavy nap which is my preferred method. Commercial sprayers use a thinned out mix , I do not care for that my self, A Squeegee uses mush more material and finishes extra flat which does make it more slippery when wet or Ice forms, you also have to feather edges so you do not get streaks the way a tapper would..
A heavy nap roller with a long stick coats well and gives you more coverage. Temperature for application, yes it really matters, when it is really hot it does not spread as well and dries faster than you can spread it, to cold and it does not adhere well, so do it during favorable conditions.

Wear old boots, clothes, and gloves no matter how neat you are you get splatter.
Put some time into getting the surface clean and dry before any application, also use the crack filler trying to fill the cracks with the sealer will not work well because it will not fill and crack itself, it would be the same as painting sheet rock with out compound in the seams. A good sweeping or hand held leaf blower followed by a hosing, make sure all is dry before application. It is worth the time and money, when done right.

gzuckier

Subject: roller

Roller is definitely better for smooth surface, but doesn't cope well when the surface is pitted and rough (my experience, anyway).

Jo behr

Subject: DIY DRIVEWAY SEALER

Completed my 1600sf asphalt drive a couple of days ago. Bought my BLACK JACK 7 yr warranty on sale. Timing is important (Labor Day Sales & weather temp.). Hired my G-son to help (great experience). Materials and labor amounted to $0.15/SF. LOOKS GREAT!

David Douglas

Subject: a better way to keep your driveway nice

Am owner of a house on an asphalt driveway, Spent $600 to "seal and protect driveway" 2 years ago. Do not observe any lasting benefits from job. spent time removing overspray from side of house.

Will remove asphalt driveway and replace with cobblestones as budget allows.

Driveway Dan

Subject: Most contractors that do it

Most contractors that do it are a huge rip off, they use stuff thinned out to be useless.
Even the high end do it yourself stuff is of limited value, the top of the line stuff with the 10 year warranty (good luck with that) starts to wear out the first year.

It is worthwhile for a new driveway after it cures a bit because it is still kind of porous. But after a few years it does little good.

Richard Boughton

Subject: How to seal

First off i've paved driveways 33 years. I would recommend sealing your driveway but the right way. Over time the driveways fade. I bought a waterbase sealrig and i seal driveways. I buy the sealer from the factory and supposed to add 20 percent water. I dont cut it that much. The more water the sealer turns grayish blue. And too much water will have a white tint. It should dry black. Don't get scammed. And don't seal the driveway too much. Yes it is like painting. A think coat should last 3 years. Let it fade off before doing it again. If you hire someone look at some jobs they did. Talk to the homeowners.

Lou

Subject: Driveway sealers

Got a guy that comes every other year, uses the good, thick stuff right out of the 5-gallon can for $200 bucks, uses about 5 cans total. Brushes it on, hard physical slow work for him, but gets the job done every time.

Ken K

Subject: Sealing

Lets first get the Roadway debate out of the way. Road beds and the level of road surface material vs a driveway are not only different the materials and chemical composition is also different. 6 to 8 inches of asphalt on top of 12 to 18 inches of reinforced concreet on at leas 12 inches of road bed materias is not the same as 8 inches (If you are lucky) of Driveway top to bottom. Sealing vs repaving your driveway is the least expensive route. Yes it does not last as long and yes if there are subsurface flaws sealing can create additional problems. it is hard work and not meant for even most do it yourselfers. of course this is my opinion and experience.

Mork

Subject: Sealing

I just completed the construction of my asphalt driveway and ask the installer when I should seal the drive. He advised that this was a waste of money but if I wanted sealed he would be more than happy to do so.

Rik

Subject: Sealing

Of course the installer advised that. That way he wins either way. If you don't seal, he will be repairing/replacing the driveway that much sooner and gets your money. And if you do decide to have it sealed, he'll do it for you, so he gets money for that too. And that thin sprayable mixture won't have much in the way of solids so it won't last long and he'll be back reairing/replacing your driveway soon enough. What a racket.

Seal it yourself with good quality sealant. Otherwise, keep your installer's phone number handy....

Herb

Subject: Sealing, if done right, can make all the difference

I live in Minnesota where the temperatures can range from nearly 100 deg F in the summer to 35 below in the winter. Depending on the weather patterns, there can be numerous freeze/thaw cycles each winter and that freezing and thawing can tear an improperly sealed driveway apart. The water simply gets into the pavement and between cracks and then expands when it freezes. That expansion can cause surface damage, large cracks and pavement breakage. Sealing the cracks and the pavement properly is absolutely essential to prevent the damage from occurring. While a poor sealant job has no affect and only looks good, a good sealant job can add years to your driveway in severe climates such as Minnesota.

As an example: I didn't seal my driveway a year ago and it sustained significant damage last winter as a result. The damage included a half inch wide crack running across the entire width of the driveway, numerous cracks and broken pavement on the edges and approximately 35% surface damage. I repaired it myself for a cost of about $300 and it should be OK going forward. Had I not done the repairs and sealing this year, the entire driveway would almost certainly have had to be replaced within two or three years. So, this year it was pay $300 now and some work or pay $5000 for a new driveway in a couple of years. What makes more sense? (Hint: Sealing it last year for about $100.)

joel

Subject: driveway crack and sealing .

Ask yourself than question , is everyone sealing their driveway in Minnesota? compare it with the non sealed in the same area .
My question and point is it is cracking because it was not laydown properly to begin with , drainage compacted sand and crush granite and 6 to 12 inches of asphalt , freeway last for decades in Europe this way , they see traffic you will never have on your driveway .
It's cracking because the soil is settling .
Sealing it is a band aid on a broken dam , but if does make you feel good .....

kb0oya

Subject: For the most part your

For the most part your comment reflects your feelings based on the facts that you "believe" it's worth the money. But if you look at your own comment--it's not the "surface" of your driveway you're treating---it's cracks. If one thinks about it--and I've been in construction for over 45 years doing this kind of work-----what on the "surface" of a tar and gravel and road needs protecting? The tar in the LaBrea Tar Pits has held up pretty good for several million years---unsealed--and rocks (the other component of asphalt) hold up longer than that unsealed. So what are you "protecting"??

The biggest problem with an asphalt roadbed is settling of the underlying road base under it. When it does----and it's hot--and one drives over it--the asphalt bends to the weight on it---setting into the dropped away areas of roadbed due to settling of it---and cracks form. They might be large---or hairline--but cracks form. When that happens water seeps in and during cold weather it freezes--and expands--cracking the asphalt. So what needs to be "fixed"? The cracks--which you CANNOT avoid--or the surface with is fine? Obviously the answer is the cracks. Point-----as cracks appear use a hot crack filler from a professional asphalt company to fill them. A hot melt bridges the cracks and adheres into both sides of it by melting the existing tar and forming a bridge over the crack--and down into it. Cold crack fillers you get at hardware stores rarely last for longer than a year. Hot melt three times as long. This will cause a "spiderweb look" on the driveway which some find objectionable. If that is an objection of yours---THEN seal the driveway with sealer. Driveway sealer has only ONE purpose---beautification. It hides the "spiderwebs" and makes it all black and slick looking again. But as far as actual protection of your investment----it's practically zero----except in your mind and of course in the salesman's pitch that sold you the sealer.

dan nolan

Subject: sealing my driveway

I did it once. Never again. A waste of money. Most driveways get car motion several times a day at best. And, at very low speeds. Plus, the slick surface makes for slippery driving in the winter. I have better things to do with my hard-earned cash.

Vernbud

Subject: Waste of $

The only real value of sealing your driveway, as others here have said, is to make it look nice. A properly constructed asphalt driveway should last at least 20-30 years without needing to be sealed. I live in New England. My driveway is 16 years old and has never been sealed. Other than the color, it looks exactly like it did the day it was built. Most sealers are just like a thin coat of paint and wear off in a year or two. If you have cracks in your driveway, you need to seal them properly, but there is no need to seal the entire surface. The roadway analogy is valid. Roads aren't sealed because the sealer would wear away in a matter of weeks, and will not protect against water infiltration. Potholes occur because of a combination of the high level of traffic, and improperly constructed base layers. Cracks in roads are repaired with crack sealer as needed. The entire road is not sealed because sealing the road to protect it, like sealing your driveway, just doesn't work. The article is misleading and wrong.

Ed

Subject: bLACKTOP SEALING

MANY OF THE SO-CALLED PROFESSIONAL SEALING CONTRACTORS, ARE NOW SIMPLY SPRAYING ON A VERY THIN COATING OF SEALER. JUST ENOUGH TO MAKE IT BLACK. TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY. MIGHT AS WELL SPRAY PAINT IT BLACK. A squeegee IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET THE SEALER DOWN INTO THE SMALL CRACKS AND CREVICES.

Joe

Subject: Your post is somewhat correct

Your post is somewhat correct. Depending on the aggregate size, and competence of the person applying, spraying is much more beneficial. The application may need to be hit from 2 directions to insure complete coverage when spraying but will not leave any brush strokes. If store bought sealer is place by hand, on a improperly prepared driveway, and not PROPERLY diluted (not over diluted or under diluted with water, mixed properly with sand, and any desired additive) it will chip, not adhere, and cause more problems, whether it is tracking issues or pealing issues. Coal tar is not jet black when applied without an additive, but rather midnight blue.

Some sealers will use black paint to hide blemishes.

When sealer is sprayed, the edging needs to be done by hand, or brushed on. This is where I agree with you. You get more sealer in these areas faster. Not a good thing. You can over seal.

To address cracks with rubberized hot tar is a must. There are some issues though. The area must be properly prepped, free of debris, and dry. If it is a working crack, horizontal/longitudinal, or alligatored area, there is a base problem. Crack filling or crack sealing is not going to help, although it may slow the expansion. Asphalt sealing will not solve any cracking issues.

Jason

Subject: Sealing driveway

If it were that effective, municipalities would be doing it regularly to maintain their roads....they don't :)

Stan Mollusk

Subject: Sealing roadways

Actually, here in Indiana they do seal the roads. Including Federal and State roads.

They first clean the roads of dirt. Then they drill and fill out the larger cracks with a tar like compound. Then they spray the road with a lighter sealant and finally, coat the road with a light sand or gravel. This does prolong the life of the road.

Adam

Subject: Sealcoating

Actually private subdivisions DO. Sealcoat the roads and driveways .

Dennis

Subject: Drivewway Seal Coating? BALONEY

It's just a Feel good and Look Pretty Temprary Process..
Wasting your $ otherwise..
Water and OIL

Your Asphalt is a Oil Based Product
Why do you put Water On it? That's what that Driveway Sealer is , isn't it?
Wonder why it wears off so Fast?

RiverCityWrap

Subject: Actually

There are many types of driveway sealants on the market. Calling something "water based" is a very narrow term and is actually incorrect. Water Borne is the actual term for any "water based" emulsion. Water Borne emulsions release the water through evaporation, therefore leaving the material that was emulsified behind. This is most often Asphalt or Coal tar, which will actually last longer than any "oil-based" coating. Coal Tar coatings are Coal based, because the main ingredient is leftover tar from processing coal. Any product with the main ingredient being asphalt can actually be called oil based, even if it contains water. Asphalt comes from refining oil. We use a 100% synthetic polymer coating. Polymers can be made from oil as well as organic compounds so they could be called "oilbased" or "organic based" . Polymer coatings are what protect the car you drive from deteriorating under constant UV and water exposure. The same principle for asphalt protection is applied here. Coatings for anything, your car, your house, your deck. your skin and yes your driveway have only one purpose. Slow oxidation and degradation. To claim no coating is necessary is to say the suns UV rays do not cause damage.

Jim

Subject: Coal Tar Sealants and their environmental impact

PLEASE check this out before you sealcoat: It's about coal tar and toxic PAH's
From the UNH study published last March.
http://www.unh.edu/news/cj_nr/2012/mar/bp14sealcoat.cfm
And of particular concern if you have kids, this excerpt:
"Studies at the Columbia Center for Children’s Health have found that PAHs in homes can contribute to delays in cognitive development, asthma and other respiratory symptoms, obesity and metabolic disorders, or changes at the molecular level that could increase children’s cancer risk."

gzuckier

Subject: tar bad

Definitely; the consumer stuff seems to not include that any more, it's more of a thick black acrylic or latex paint.

Chris

Subject: Sealcoating

Aside from the fact that a nice jet black driveway looks good, I find in the winter it absorbs more heat from the limited sun which helps with melting the snow and ice.
As for how you do it, one thing to also keep in mind is if you use a professional they will typically have a tank of sealant. If you do it yourself you have all those buckets to dispose of which could end up in a land fill. Using a professional would seem to be the more eco-friendly choice.

LynneWebb

Subject: Driveway Sealer

I've done it myself and it's a back breaker if you have a little age on you. My sealer guy works hard at it but it just doesn't last. He has a truck and what appears to be all the appropriate equipment and I don't drive on it for at least 24 hours (longer if I plan my activities correctly) but it starts coming up before the summer is over.

Jack Dosonice

Subject: Seal Coating your direway.

I get mine done professionally every year for $50. The guy does every driveway on our street and gives us a decent price. Cheaper and better than doing it myself.

michael

Subject: sealing

You'll notice however, that roads which are traveled on extremely more than your driveway and receive far more salt/snow damage in the winter - don't get sealed.

Alan

Subject: sealing driveways

Absolutley right, Having spent 37 years as a civil engineer in the highway construction business in my opinion the only thing that coating your driveway does for you is make it black.

Ed

Subject: Sealer

The rollers that the Highway Dept use, weigh about 20 times more than those used for driveways. You can drive on a highway almost immediately after rolling. Plus, the blacktop is compressed much tighter than your driveway.

Rob

Subject: Sealing

True, roads don't get sealed. But they do get cracked and potholed and are replaced much more often than the so far 20 years my driveway has lasted.

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I am facing just such a project and have received a number of bids (all from Angie's List reviewed contractors). The lowest bid was a bit over $5/sq ft and the highest was about $9/sq/ft for my 630 sq ft driveway in Rockford, IL. 
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Generally about $1-3/SF (note - measured by SF, not SY) - $1 range is for a 1 to 1/2-2 inch overlay, $2.50-3.00 range normal for two 2" layers for a new driveway or a rebuild (remove and replace) you really want to last.

Most people pay around $2/SF for a 2-3" thickness.

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If the state requires a contractor's license, then he needs to have a license in each state he intends to work in - plus state/local business licenses as applicable.

 

This does not mean there are not a lot of contractors who cross state lines without proper licensing - the penalties in may cases are not real severe and are just a fine, not criminal, so many take the chance.

 

As you say - argh  - many contractors are not really businessmen and have zero legal education, so many people get burned.