Some of my neighbors seal coat their drive every couple years -- should we be...

Asked July 8, 2014, 2:07 PM EDT

Some of my neighbors seal coat their drive every couple years -- should we be doing that, too, or will it harm yards/plants? What are the pros and cons?

Hennepin County Minnesota driveways

1 Response

If you have an asphalt driveway, some experts recommend that you apply a sealer every three years. This will make your driveway look almost new again and will make it last longer. However, not all asphalt driveway sealers are the same. Knowing how to choose the right sealer is the first step in restoring your driveway.

Done properly there should be no harm to surrounding plants


  1. How to Choose an Asphalt Driveway Sealer

    • Decide whether you want an asphalt-based or coal-tar sealer. Coal-tar sealers are more popular, with manufacturers claiming they last longer and are more resistant to oil and gas spills. However, asphalt-based sealers have lower levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making them less irritating to use and safer for the environment.

    • Choose a product that is a filled sealer. Both asphalt-based and coal-tar sealers come in plain and filled sealer. Filled sealers contain more solids, such as asphalt and polymers, that will fill in cracks and holes in your driveway. Plain sealers will not.

    • Choose a sealer with a five- to six-year warranty. Sealers with this type of warranty tend to be a better grade.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't be a penny pincher when choosing an asphalt sealer. The higher-priced sealers are usually the best. There are some sealers on the market that come with a 10-year warranty. They are, of course, more expensive.

  • Do not apply an asphalt sealer to a new driveway. New driveways need to "cure"; in other words, the oils need to evaporate. As they do, the driveway will harden. If you apply a sealer to a new driveway, the oils will not be able to evaporate, resulting in the driveway that never properly hardens.

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