3 Easy Tips for Sealing Driveway Yourself
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Tips for Sealing Driveway? Curb appeal is a HUGE thing to a home buyer — you need to have everything visibly appealing to help make that killer first impression! I have done a great job with the flower beds, there is always something blooming in my yard – all spring, summer, and fall. When they did the street work a few years ago, we had the front walk replaced. Hubby put nice black railings in by the stairs. The dying 80-year-old pine trees had been removed and their stumps drilled out so we could create a grassy front lawn. Now it is time to address the driveway!
This is the year of me getting it done or paying someone to do it for me! This was a project I was going to do myself as I got a few estimates. Just. Ouch. They wanted over $2,500 to do the job for me, one company came in just short of $4,000. A New driveway would run almost $10,000 and we were getting pretty close to needing that. I didn’t want to tackle that kind of a job myself, LOL.
Getting a house ready to sell is no small feat. You have to consider what is cost-effective for a project and what isn’t. Spending $4,000 on the driveway wasn’t going to net a huger return in the sale of the house so it simply wasn’t going to happen.
Mom taught me how to repair concrete cracks and I touched up the foundation of the garage. (Looks pretty darned good, if I say so myself!) I also have windows to repair and reglaze and a bathroom project to finish – along with getting my dishwasher installed (I earned it almost 10 years ago from Tupperware and it’s been sitting in my garage on a pallet) Now it is time to tackle the blacktop driveway that has sorely been neglected in our 15 plus years living here.
3 Easy Tips for Sealing Driveway Yourself
Let’s talk about a few basic frequently asked questions:
How much does it cost to seal a driveway?
This is what you have to find out – get a few different estimates so you can feel better about all of the money you are going to save. If you watch the sales at your local home supply store, you can get your basic supplies at sale pricing. Regardless, my few buckets of sealer, few tubes of crack filler, rubber gloves, and spreader came to just over $100. That is a lot less than $4,000. I figure I saved about $3,900 over the two days – netting myself a hefty paycheck of savings.
Is driveway sealing worth it?
When should you seal your driveway?
Can I seal my driveway myself?
Is it too late to seal my driveway?
How do I prep my driveway for sealing?
Let’s get to it! See all those weeds? They need to come out.
That is tip one: Dig all the crud out of the cracks!
I used my dear hubby’s screwdriver for that. (Yes, I am a little hostile right now…) This is easier to do if you pour boiling water on the plants or simply salt them a few days in advance…it will take less muscle to yank them out. Then you get out the leaf blower and remove all dried grass clippings, piles of crud you dug out of the cracks, ants, and more!
***DO NOT USE a hose to do this step! The water won’t get off everything that you need to be removed AND it wets down the area – when it needs to be dry for you! BORROW a leaf blower from anyone that you can if you don’t have one yourself, it goes much easier!
Tip Two – get ready for the crack filler!
I got through one bottle of crack filler before my hands were cramping and my back was aching. The other bottle had to wait until the next morning when it was a little cooler and I was recovered. I had time to let it all set and “cure” that day.
It took me two days and two bottles of crack filler but I got it done! I could feel the hamstrings and quadriceps in my legs having their little muscle spasms. I can also feel arthritis in my right arm throbbing…but the satisfaction of knowing that I did it myself overcomes that all! Who needed to go for my normal 4-mile walk or hit up my gym for a quick workout?
Here are a few thoughts:
–Attending yoga classes for a few years before you try this might help keep you from getting muscle cramps as you are doing a form of the downward-facing dog during most of this application.
–Wearing a head/sweatband helps keep the sweat out of your eyes and that said sweat from dripping on your blacktop canvas (remember, water is your enemy on this project!)
–Having a 4 year old, ready with a nice cold glass of water is the ultimate necessity for proper recovery from your efforts!
Tip number three: Get out your brush/applicators, and buckets of sealer.
First I used the leaf blower to clean off the surface again. Then comes the sealant. The three buckets had been living in my garage and were occasionally treated to a flip upside down to keep the “gel” from settling as I bought them a few months prior, on sale. I do think that the hardest part was getting the lid off…once that is done, you start at the highest part of the driveway, pour a few “pools” of it, and start spreading. Forward and back strokes to get all the nooks and crannies. Then use the squeegee side of the brush to smooth it out.
You just keep working your way down the driveway! It IS hard on the arms and lower back, especially if you spent the day before ripping out and hauling wet carpet to a curb as I did, but it’s rewarding to see the end result. This step was the fastest of the 3 – it just involved lifting the buckets a lot.
If you get to the sidewalk and “slop” a little on the concrete – no worries, it won’t stay on there long before it wears off.
Just remember, you can tackle ANY home improvement DIY job! Just research it, break it down into manageable parts, and dig in – the reward of savings and feeling of accomplishment are just AWESOME! I am 40+ with a lot of arthritis, FibroMyalgia, TMJ and more — if I can do this YOU can!
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