The Best Driveway Sealers

By Jordan Maxwell

February 9, 2021

We wouldn’t blame you much if you’re a homeowner and pay little attention to your driveway. After all, it’s on the outside of your home and you’re not spending a terrible amount of time staring at it on a daily basis. But driveways endure plenty of abuse, from kids playing on the surface to your cars routinely driving over it and even from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Over time, your driveway will inevitably run into issues if you don’t care for it.

Driveway sealer is especially important if you deal with ice or snow, as freeze and thaw cycles can damage the surface. It’ll also offer protection against various chemicals and stains that could potentially cause cracks or other damage to your driveway.

Before we go into our top picks, you need to know whether your driveway is made from concrete or asphalt, as there are different sealers for each type. Once you’ve determined whether you need an asphalt driveway sealer or concrete driveway sealer, review our recommendations and read on to learn more about the best driveway sealers.

1. Editor's Pick: Liquid Rubber Waterproof Sealant

ProsCons
  • Versatile, all-purpose sealant
  • Excellent freeze/thaw resistance
  • Contains no solvents, VOCs or harmful odors
  • Has a strong smell
  • For best results, you need optimal weather conditions and curing time anywhere from 24 to 48 hours

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Our top recommendation is actually an all-purpose, rubber waterproof sealant that just so happens to work on concrete surfaces. It’s billed as 'a nature-friendly coating that cures into a waterproof membrane’ that contains no solvents or volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Although we’re focusing mainly on your driveway, this sealant can also be used indoors since it’s safe for pets and plants and is non-flammable.

Designed to resist damage from water, UV, salt, thermal cycling and other harmful chemicals, this sealant can be applied with either a brush or roller. Once it’s cured, it’s highly flexible and the company boasts over 1,000-percent elongation. It is also UV Stable, so the sun won’t harm the sealer.

In case you’re wondering what else you can use Liquid Rubber on, the company says it’s suitable for flat roofs, metal roofs, sloped roofs, planter boxes, foundations, ponds, sheds, basements, metal, wood and more. It’ll protect and bond to virtually any surface, although primer may be necessary for certain applications. Most importantly however, it has excellent freeze and thaw resistance, which is particularly important for driveways in cold weather environments.

2. Runner-Up: Foundation Armor AR350 Concrete Sealer

ProsCons
  • Wet look restores dull driveways
  • Lasts two to five years when applied correctly
  • Strong scent that can linger for days

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This sealer is designed for concrete driveways and can be used on poured concrete, stamped concrete and concrete pavers. It comes from Foundation Armor and features a satin sheen/wet look finish. This is a solvent-based, acrylic sealer designed to seal, enhance and protect your driveway but will also work on other interior and exterior surfaces. It’s formulated to penetrate deep into the surface, creating a chemical bond to the pores of the concrete for a long-lasting and low gloss finish.

Manufactured in the U.S., this driveway sealer can be applied with either a roller or sprayer on unsealed surfaces and even surfaces that have been previously sealed. Once correctly applied, it’ll offer resistance to water, stains, chemicals and salt damage so your driveway stays protected for two to five years, depending on your weather conditions. This is great to use if your driveway currently looks dull, as the finish will bring out the color of faded concrete and pavers.

3. Best for Asphalt: Jetcoat Premium Driveway Sealer

ProsCons
  • Wet look restores dull driveways
  • Lasts two to five years when applied correctly
  • Strong scent that can linger for days

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For those who have an asphalt driveway, consider Jetcoat’s Premium Driveway Sealer. This long-lasting sealant is polymer-modified and emulsion-based to deliver up to five years of protection, which is backed by a warranty. For added filling, slip resistance and durability, Jetcoat has fortified this sealer with sand. Just remember, you should only use this on asphalt pavements and blacktop surfaces—keep it away from concrete or masonry surfaces.

Although this sealant comes ready to fill and seal any blacktop surface, you’ll want to make sure your driveway is ready to be properly sealed. After cleaning your driveway, you’ll want to fill in cracks and seal any oil spots before pouring the sealer and applying it from side to side. For this process, you can use either a rubber squeegee or a brush. The company recommends a second coat for extra strength and durability after the first coat has dried and is smooth to the touch.

4. Best on a Budget: Essential Values Concrete Sealer

ProsCons
  • Eco-friendly formula
  • Competitively priced
  • Control the finish with extra coats
  • Not as durable as other products
  • Doesn’t offer as much coverage as advertised

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An affordable option for concrete driveways, this product from Essential Values can also be used on your garage floors, walkways, sidewalks, pool decks and brick patios. It’s formulated to condition, seal and finish most non-resilient hard surfaces, helping them resist cracking and erosion while repelling water and keeping moisture out. It’ll also work to prevent spalling, degrading, pitting or cracking, while adding shine to the surface.

It’s manufactured from the highest quality of siloxane ingredients with an eco-friendly formula. Prior to applying, you’ll want to make sure the surface is dry, clean and free from grease, oil, wax, dirt and other sealers. The company recommends using a brush, pad applicator or a low pressure sprayer for thin and even coats. If you want a wet or high gloss finish, apply three coats to the surface with an hour between coats for drying.

5. Best for Large Projects: DryWay Water-Repellent Concrete Sealer

ProsCons
  • Large quantity at a competitive price
  • Estimated service life of up to 10 years
  • You may need more material than what the coverage claims

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Not every driveway is created equally and if you’ve got a larger project to deal with, check out DryWay’s concrete sealer. This advanced water-based emulsion consists of silanes and siloxane and is designed for concrete, brick, block, pavers and other porous masonry. It offers protection against water penetration, staining and deterioration often caused by salts and harmful freeze/thaw cycles. Unlike acrylic sealers, this formula won’t form a film after it has been applied. After you’re done sealing your concrete driveway, you can also the sealer on your concrete patios or pool deck, garage slab, retaining walls, parking areas or even your shop floor.

According to DryWay, this sealer features small molecules that work to penetrate deep below the surface, chemically reacting with the substrate and itself to create long-chain molecules. Think of it like filling the concrete pores of your driveway with silicone caulk. Once dry, it leaves behind a clear and flat finish that is resistant to UV rays, heat and oxidative degeneration. More impressive, the company says it’ll last up to 10 years, making it one of the most durable products on our list.

That, of course, depends on your environment and how much traffic your driveway endures on a daily basis. This product is non-toxic, nonflammable, ultra-low VOC and doesn’t contain chemical solvents.

6. Also Consider: Black Diamond Stoneworks Durable Water Repellent

ProsCons
  • Can last up to 10 years
  • Versatile sealer that works on a variety of hard surfaces
  • Price

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Our final recommendation comes from Black Diamond Stoneworks with its Durable Water Repellent. It’s a heavy duty, hard surface sealer that works to protect from the damaging effects of rain, chemicals, salt, ice and snow. This formula can safely be used on hard surfaces such as concrete, grout, stucco, brick, pavers and stone. The company recommends applying it with a brush, roller or low-pressure pump sprayer and does caution it may darken some surfaces.

Black Diamond Stoneworks has a few different sealants in its product lineup, so if you prefer a wet look to your surface’s finish, take a look at the brand’s other offerings. Although the Durable Water Repellent can last up to 10 years in some applications, the company recommends applying it again after five years for the best results.

Why Do I Need to Seal My Driveway?

Your driveway endures a lot of daily abuse, especially if you live in areas with snow and ice. Over time, these conditions can lead to deterioration, causing unsightly cracks and blemishes. Driveway sealers work to prevent that from happening, adding water repellency to the surface so your driveway isn’t absorbing all that rain and snow. This also applies to stains, oils and other substances that could damage your driveway.

As a result, driveway sealers work to prevent what could be costly damage to your driveway. Some finishes will also give your driveway a glossier appearance, if that’s your preference. Think of it as an invisible layer of protection between the environment and your driveway.

How Do I Choose the Right Driveway Sealer?

For starters, you need to know whether you have an asphalt driveway or a concrete driveway. Concrete driveways are much more popular, which is why you generally see more sealers for concrete. There are, however, products for asphalt driveways—so just make sure you’re purchasing the right product for your particular driveway.

Next, consider the amount of effort and material needed for your driveway. Most sealers can be applied with a brush, roller or low-pressure pump sprayer. You’ll want to ensure your preferred method of application is possible with a specific sealer.

Keep in mind that most sealers require multiple coats for best results. Some products take longer than others to cure, so make sure you are able to get the work in across a longer period of time, if that’s necessary.

Lastly, think about durability. Some sealers claim to work for up to 10 years, while others will be much less. Will you have the time (or desire) to re-apply the sealer after a couple of years? How often does it rain or snow in your area? If your driveway is constantly exposed to snow and ice, you may want a more durable product.

Driveway Sealers FAQ

You may think your driveway doesn’t need protection, but damage to it can be costly to repair. If your driveway often deals with rain, snow, ice, stains or chemicals, a proper driveway sealer is highly recommended. Here are some of the things you should ask yourself:

How often should I apply driveway sealer?

This is largely dependent on where you live, and the actual driveway sealer itself. Like many other products, some are better quality than others, which means some sealers will last longer than others. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for longevity, but expect to re-apply your driveway sealer every two to three years for optimal protection.

What do I need to do before applying driveway sealer?

Again, this is dependent on the product you’re using, but generally you’ll need a clean surface to work with and ideal weather conditions. Before you get started, check the weather forecast and make sure there isn’t any rain or snow on the horizon. You’ll also want to make sure your driveway can stay clear for an extended period of time so that the sealer can cure without being disturbed. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.

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