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Sealing a driveway: DIY vs professional

When sealing a driveway does DIY or professional work best? We examine if it’s cheaper to seal your own driveway, benefits of using a tradesperson and more.

When sealing a driveway what’s the best option? Should you do the job yourself or hire a professional? Over time, driveways will crack, feel bumpy, lose their natural colour, and look poor quality. Sealing a driveway can fix these issues but only if it’s done well, meaning whoever does the job needs to know what they’re doing.

With this in mind, let’s look at DIY vs professional options for sealing a driveway to determine if you should seal your own driveway or leave it to an expert.

DIY vs professional driveway sealing: Which is best?

A high-quality sealer that’s applied well can keep a driveway looking brand new and clean, protect against UV damage and undo any damage caused by vehicles. If it’s done right it can last up to 30 years with annual maintenance.

When it comes to comparing if you should do it yourself vs hiring a professional, it ultimately comes down to how comfortable you are that you’ll do the job right and if it’s cheaper to seal your own driveway. This will depend on your DIY skills, the cost of materials, any extra work needed and more.

Let’s examine these factors in a little more detail.

professional sealing drivewayShould I seal my own driveway?

To the uninitiated, sealing a driveway sounds easy. Prepare the area, pour on the sealer, smooth it out and leave it to dry. But, if you’ve ever tried to ice a cake, you’ll know that what seems easy is often very complex, especially if you want things to look professional. The sealer is not a magic fix for every problem and won’t automatically fill all cracks or cover over any weeds.

When considering if you should seal your own driveway, it’s important to consider all the prep work that’s needed. Cleaning the area, killing and removing weeds, and prefilling cracks are all essential stages. Any missed dirt, leaves, or weeds can ruin the finish, cause cracks or mean that the sealant won’t stick.

Other things to remember include getting products that are long-lasting, ensuring the sealant mixture is properly prepared and stirred, as well as making sure the weather is dry all day and night. There’s a lot to think about, so make sure you understand the scope of the job before getting started.

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sealing a drivewayWhat are the benefits of hiring a professional?

If you have beginner level DIY skills, it’s recommended you hire a professional for this work. A poor quality job is likely to lead to repairs in the future and corrective actions during installation, all of which can mean extra costs and hassle.

Preparation will be a key focus for any specialist. They can pre-treat any existing stains and ensure a clean driveway, ready for application. They’ll even cover your garage and front doors to ensure no residue gets on the surfaces.

They’ll use good quality products, and in some cases, have access to more long-lasting products than can be purchased from DIY stores. When it comes to comparing DIY vs professional driveway sealing this is a big plus. You’ll get better UV protection and won’t need to replace the driveway for a long time. Some products even come with guarantees.

You’re also more likely to get a good quality finish that looks great for the long term by using a professional. This can add more value to your home, impress visitors, and give it a better kerb appeal.

Sealing a driveway is a very time-consuming process. It takes time to apply the sealant, wait for it to dry and then reapply it. In total, the process can take a couple of days depending on the size of the driveway. A professional can free up this time for you to do other things.

To find a professional you can use our free search feature, either via our homepage or by filling in the form on this page. We’ll help you find trusted professionals in your local area, quickly and easily.

Is it cheaper to seal your own driveway?

One last thing to consider when deciding between DIY vs professional options for sealing a driveway is the cost. Is it cheaper to seal your own driveway? Well, the answer is, it depends.

sealing own driveway

Whilst you’ll save money on labour, you’ll need to purchase tools that you may rarely use again. There’s the driveway sealer, crack filler, driveway cleaner, power washer, poly sheeting, broom, mixing paddle, dashing brush, the list goes on and on. If you’re only going to use these once, then it will cost more to do the job yourself.

It can also work out more in the long run if you have to do lots of repairs as a result of a poor quality job. This will require additional sealcoating products and corrective action. If you start the job and can’t do it, then this will be the most expensive option.

If you buy all the tools and materials and then need to hire a professional to fix any issues, then you’ll be looking at spending much more than if you’d just used a professional.

How much does professional driveway sealing cost?

Thankfully, professional driveway sealing doesn’t cost that much, especially compared to the cost of buying all the materials yourself. In our cost guide on sealing driveways we researched the market and found costs of around £200 -£400 to hire a professional. The guide has lots of other tips on types of sealants, material costs and lots more too.

If you’re going to apply the sealant yourself, you could consider paying someone to clean the driveway. The cost to clean a driveway is £8.50 – £12.50 per square metre, so this is one way to ensure the area is properly prepared before you get started.

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