How to Choose the Best Driveway Sealer

Posted by Judson Burdon on January 22
Posted in Asphalt Maintenance, Sealcoating

You’ve had your driveway for a few years, and you don’t like how it’s aged. Fortunately, using a driveway sealer is the best option to restore the finish on your property. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of conflicting advice on the best driveway sealer for the cost.

Why Seal Your Driveway

Most people who seal their own driveway are looking for that shiny, freshly poured asphalt appearance. However, sealing also helps protect your driveway and prevent future damage. All sealers offer UV, water, and oil resistance so that your driveway stays pristine.

That’s why you should do it every two to three years. Without this reapplication, your driveway is unprotected. Additionally, you’ll see the deterioration accelerate, and you will need to replace your driveway sooner.

How to Seal a Driveway

Part of the appeal of DIY is reducing the cost of labor for the driveway sealer. You can apply the sealers mentioned in this article without special machinery. All you need is a squeegee or sealant brush. You can also use a spray system for an easier and faster job.

Additionally, it’s best if you pick a clear day to seal your driveway. All sealers need cure time, and the longer they can stay dry and un-stepped on, the better your result will be.

Understanding the Cost of Driveway Sealer

The cost of a driveway sealer is much more than what’s on the label. The products available at many home stores do not hold up as well as professional materials. That raises the cost of the driveway sealer since you must redo it more often.

Additionally, recent research has also suggested an environmental cost for the driveway sealer. Many of these warnings are based on the compounds found in the sealer and an abundance of caution regarding where the runoff goes.


The best option in many areas is an oil-based driveway sealer. The product is primarily the same asphalt as your driveway. This makeup means it adheres better and more of the revitalizing oils enter your original pavement.

Asphalt, oil, and a few other additives make up an oil-based driveway sealer. It does protect against the weather well and produces a lower odor than traditional products.


Acrylic driveway sealer is the best option in many ways, but it is also the most expensive. Acrylic is primarily created from synthetic chemicals. Of all the driveway sealers, it has the lowest odor and lasts the longest.

This sealer is the best driveway sealer because of the engineering. That means the labs selected ingredients for water, oil, and UV protection. However, the expense still put most people off using it.

Coal Tar

Coal tar is the original driveway sealer, and humans have used it exclusively for centuries. These driveway sealers are considered the best option because of the water, oil, and UV protection they offer at a reasonable price.

The problem with coal tar is the environmental effects. It puts off VOCs and PAHs, which account for the odor and health concerns when it’s applied. Some places actually ban the use of coal tar, so check your local regulations before ordering.

However, coal tar remains the most popular sealer because of its unmatched durability and protection.


How to Ruin Your Asphalt Maintenance Job

Sign up for the free guide "5 Ways to Ruin Your Asphalt Maintenance Job"

Judson Burdon created his own asphalt maintenance business out of Montreal, Quebec over 20 years ago. He is now President of Action Seal, where he helps contractors and property owners throughout Canada with their asphalt maintenance equipment and supply needs.

Leave a Comment

Action Seal Video Center
Homeowners Guide to Asphalt Maintenance
Start Your Own Sealcoating Business

Subscribe for tips & tricks to improve your asphalt maintenance game.