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Whether you’re going to do it yourself or pay a professional, there a few things you should know before sealcoating your driveway. On the surface, putting down a layer of sealer on asphalt is a simple process, and it can be. There are some guidelines that should be followed, however, to make sure the sealer works, and you don’t waste a lot of time and money.

Don’t spray the driveway too late

The dirt and grime needs to be cleaned off the driveway before you seal it, but don’t wait too long and end up doing it the night before. Washing your driveway off with the garden hose too close to the time of sealing may seem like a good idea, but it’s not. The asphalt needs to be completely dry before it can be sealed. Water and humidity can keep the sealer from properly adhering to the asphalt.

Thicker is not better

When it comes to the sealer, a thicker coat is not better. When the coat is too thick, the sealer won’t cure evenly, and this can lead to premature surface cracks. If your coat is too thick, you will also have to reseal much sooner than if a thinner coat is used.

Keep an eye on the weather

No one likes to work in the rain; asphalt sealer is no different. The best time to apply it is when the temperature is around 70 degrees and will climb throughout the day. Clear skies and sunshine will help the sealer dry and cure faster, so make sure there isn’t rain in the forecast for a couple days before you start.

Stay off the driveway

Be prepared to stay off your newly sealed driveway once the work is done. The general rule is to keep your car off for at least 24 hours. Low humidity and lots of sun light will speed up the process, but don’t get antsy and ruin the work by parking on it too soon.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.