Finding the right driveway sealer for your concrete or asphalt driveway is getting more difficult. The reason is that there are so many different types of sealers on the market, it’s hard to know which one is right for your needs.
Fortunately, we’ve done the research and compiled a list of the 7 best driveway sealers for both concrete and asphalt driveways.
We’ll explain what to look for in a sealer, provide reviews of our top picks, and give you tips on how to properly apply the sealer to get the maximum protection.
So whether you’re looking for something that will protect against water damage, and icy conditions, or just something that will make your driveway look great again, this guide has you covered. And please read our FAQ at the bottom of the article.
Why do you need to protect your driveway with sealant?
Applying the best driveway sealer will protect your driveway from damage due to harsh weather, freeze-thaw damage, mildew, mold, algae, road salts, and other harmful substances. Over time, small cracks can form on your driveway from inclement weather or spills, and if not properly sealed, mold, mildew, oil spills, and other chemicals can get into those cracks.
This will lead to the disfiguration of your driveway and perhaps the development of even bigger cracks. If you use the best driveway sealer, you can fix these issues that result from weather changes or road spills and make your driveway look sleek and new again.
Because completely replacing a driveway is very expensive, we recommend that you go the cheaper route and just use the best driveway sealer instead.
Driveways mostly come in two different types: concrete and asphalt or blacktop. Certain sealers are only known as designed to work effectively on specific driveway types, so be sure you are picking the right sealer type.
Sealers can be either penetrating or coating/topical. Penetrating sealers seep through your driveway and fill in the gaps and cracks while coating/topical sealers rest on top of your driveway and form a protective layer.
Both sealer types have their pros and cons but for the most part, penetrating sealers do a better job sealing and protecting and last longer. The trade-off is that they are generally more expensive and harder to apply initially.
Types of Asphalt Driveway Sealers
below are the four main types of asphalt type sealers
- Plain Sealer
- Asphalt-Based Sealer
- Coal Tar Sealer
- Fill and Seal Products
Plain Sealer for driveways
A plain asphalt driveway sealer is the simplest sealant you can use. There’s nothing more basic than this sealer. It comes in a thick black liquid, mostly made with coal tar or sometimes asphalt cement.
The way to apply it is simple too. Take a paint roller and start rolling the sealer across your driveway. Note that these sealers don’t contain sand, which is an important part of another sealant. So if you are using one of these, you better apply it on surfaces that have very little damage. Also, note that the sealant is not made to fill patch holes and cracks.
We like asphalt-based sealers because they are highly durable. What you need to know is that they’re made with a blend of asphalt cement and a couple of other materials.
These sealants are popular for those who own asphalt driveways. This is because they offer a seamless materials blend. What we like about it is that the sealant has a very long-lasting lifetime. For instance, a single coat can last for about five to six years.
Coal Tar Sealer Covers
Coal tar asphalt for driveways is mainly used to cover and repair asphalt. Note that this has been the standard de-factor choice for both asphalt driveways and streets for decades.
What you need to know is that a coal tar sealer is made from sticky coal tar.
We like it for one single point: it lasts for up to five years on home driveways.
Now the problem with coal tar is they contain Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) which can be carcinogenic. So, you’ll find less and less of this type of sealant on the market. To be honest, we do not really advise using it if you can avoid it. Note, it’s been banned in some places.
Fill and Seal Products
Fill and seal are products that can be used for many things. They always include sand or sand-like ingredients (like glass in the last couple of years). This type of sealant is great to fill cracks and holes. A really good option for potholes.
7 Best Asphalt Driveway Sealers – Reviews For Concrete and Asphalt
- #1. Henry Company E-Z Stir Driveway Asphalt Sealer
- #2. Rust-Oleum Epoxy Blacktop Coating
- #3. DryWay Water-Repellent Concrete Sealer
- #4. Foundation Armor SX5000 Driveway Water Repellent (Top Pick)
- #5. Black Jack Driveway Filler And Sealer Urethane Blacktop
- #6. Gardner-Gibson 7545-GA Drive 5 Blacktop Driveway Filler/Sealer
- #7. Foundation Armor Penetrating Solvent Based Sealer 5-Gal.
#1. Henry Company E-Z Stir Driveway Asphalt Filler/Sealer – Best for cracked asphalt
If you have a driveway that is made of asphalt, we think the Henry Company sealer is the best asphalt driveway sealer for you.
What you get in this 5-gallon barrel is a black pigmented asphalt filler that fills in small cracks in the driveway up to 1/8 of an inch deep. This filler should be enough for up to 500 square feet of driveway space, which is enough to cover most single-family driveways.
Application of Henry Company is extremely easy: you simply need to mix the solution for about 5 minutes and using a brush or mop apply a thin layer over your driveway.
Then just let it dry for 4 hours or overnight. Make sure to pick a day that is not rainy when you apply this.
While the sealing power, filling capacity, and durability of the Henry Company sealer is not impressive. We did find that water beads up on the sealer after an application but after about six months, the sealer starts losing efficacy.
Where this sealer shines is its ease of application, which is something that is often overlooked. It does not give off any distasteful odors and is VOC-compliant and non-toxic.
Also, the sealer is not too thick or runny, so you get a nice even coating without any even spots. Overall, this is the best driveway sealer if you own an asphalt driveway that is not too damaged or cracked and wants a quick and easy sealing solution.
#2. Rust-Oleum Epoxy Blacktop Coating –
We think Rust-Oleum is the best asphalt driveway sealer if you want something that lasts a long time. Compared to the Henry Company Sealer, Rust-Oleum does a better job sealing and filling in cracks. The trick here is in the application, which is not as easy as Henry Company. Because Rust-Oleum’s product is only 2 gallons, compared to the whopping 5 gallons from Henry Company, you have much less margin of error.
This means you really have to apply a much thinner layer of coating over your asphalt. Because there is not many solutions to work with, we recommend you start your project by sealing your big cracks first with a driveway crack filler.
Then apply the coating layer on top with Rust-Oleum. Rust-Oleum is an acrylic-based formula that has a nice strong black finish. It covers around 800 square feet of area if you learn how to apply it without overusing it.
We like the color of the Rust-Oleum which is darker than Henry and match most asphalt better. Rust-Oleum has a 10-year warranty on its product because the company believes in the quality of its product as the best driveway sealer on the market.
In general, we found that it lasts longer than Henry Company’s asphalt product, fills in cracks better, and has a better shade of black. The only bad thing about it is that per gallon, it is quite expensive and if you don’t apply it properly, you could end up wasting a lot of money.
#3. DryWay Water Repellent Concrete Sealer – Best for repelling water
For those of you who have a concrete or brick driveway, the best concrete driveway sealer is DryWay Concrete Sealer if you want a solid performer endorsed by many lawn and driveway care professionals.
DryWay is a penetrating sealer, which basically means that this sealer acts as a filler as well. The sealer will penetrate deep into your driveway and fill in the pores and crevices inside.
Although it will also fill in gaps and cracks, it is better to use a separate crack filler for that. By sealing your driveway on the inside, you essentially prevent any substance from getting inside of your driveway.
This, in turn, blocks the growth of mildew, molds, algae, bacteria, and prevents the spreading of cracks and disfiguration. This 5-gallon container should cover around 500 square feet of driveway depending on what material you use for your driveway.
And it definitely passes the water bead test on the first application despite the fact that we only used a very thin layer. Water beading up on your driveway is a perfect indication that it is properly sealed.
In terms of durability, after polling many professionals in the field and long-term users, we determined that DryWay is the number one choice for a majority of people and generally lasts longer than your average driveway sealer at your local retail store.
#4. Foundation Armor SX5000 Driveway Water Repellent – Best overall
As I mentioned above, Foundation Armor SX5000 is the best concrete sealer for driveways. It is a premium product and it comes at a premium cost. Foundation Armor is a penetrating sealer that is silane-based. It works better than any product we have seen for concrete and brick driveways.
It repels water like none other, it protects your driveway for a longer timeframe, and it is great at filling in cracks.
UV rays and water damage through freeze-thaw cycles during the winter are the main reasons why driveways get cracked in the first place. Luckily, Foundation Armor was specifically made to counteract these issues.
It beads water very well and does a great job at filling in large cracks, which is something not many driveway sealers can do well. We generally find it more durable and effective than DryWay’s concrete and brick sealing product, which says a lot already. We really like the finish on this product as well, which gives your driveway a nice non-glossy natural-looking finish.
The only issue is that it is a bit pricier than all the other products, which in our minds is completely justified. If you are able to find this product at discount, we would buy it immediately. It is simply the best driveway sealer for concrete, brick, and paver driveways. Since concrete driveways are more expensive and tend to crack easier, you want the best protection possible.
#5. Black Jack Driveway Filler And Sealer Urethane Blacktop – Best fast drying
Black Jack Ultra-Max is the best driveway sealer for those who want a fast-drying formula. The base material is made of urethane, which is great for enhanced shelf life. T
he best part about this driveway sealer is that it is basically foot traffic ready in just one hour. While you have to wait many hours and maybe even days for some driveway sealers to dry, the Ultra-Max can be in presentation condition in just an hour.
This is a deal-breaker for some people, who can’t afford to wait around. Of course, this assumes that you have normal drying conditions, which means clear sunny skies and relatively hot outside. Unfortunately, for vehicles to go over it, you must give it at least one full day for it to cure.
The Black Jack Ultra-Max comes in a 4.75-gallon jug. This is enough to cover about 350 square feet of driveway. It has a nice matte finish and is meant to be used on driveways of all types. You can be used on parking lots, gas stations, jogging paths, and all residential driveways.
We like how the BlackJack Ultra-Max is extremely easy to apply as well. You should definitely let new asphalt driveways cure a good few months before applying any kind of sealer.
Also, you should thoroughly clean your driveway first and get rid of all oil stains. Finally, you should remove cracks and holes by filling them up. This ensures a nice clean and smooth surface to work on. Finally, you should apply a very thin coat, as thicker coatings tend to crack and flake.
The user reviews for the BlackJack Ultra-Max are generally very positive. Most people who have tried the product said that it was quite durable and easy to apply, but it requires you to set it upright.
Those who hated the Black Jack probably did not apply it right or mix the product well enough. Most of the negative comments relate to having a lot less coverage than advertised (your fault) and cracking and chipping (again most likely your fault).
#6. Gardner-Gibson Drive 5 Blacktop Driveway Filler/Sealer – Best black finish
If you want a fresh clean black finish for your driveway, the Gardner-Gibson Drive 5 is certainly a good option. It protects and seals any asphalt and blacktop surface as well as fills in small cracks.
Using the Gardner Drive 5 can certainly bring many more years of useful life to your driveway.
This is a high-performance driveway sealer that is environmentally friendly and mixes quite easily. With the drive 5, you don’t have to break your back trying to mix it.
In terms of performance statistics, the Gardner Drive 5 certainly lives up to its reputation. It has a 2-hour foot traffic cure time under normal hot conditions. However, a full cure takes 1 or 2 full days.
You should apply this driveway sealer at 65 – 90 degrees F. One jug of Gardner Drive 5 is 4.75 gallons and covers a good 350 square feet of driveway. And this includes two layers of thin coating. If you want this driveway sealer to work properly, you must make sure you take the necessary precautions before applying.
For the first coat, you need to thoroughly mix the Drive 5 and apply an even layer of coating. It is best to use a squeegee or brush to get that nice and even layer. Of course, you should clean up your driveway beforehand and fill in large cracks.
The Gardner Drive 5 will NOT fill in these cracks for you. However, it will easily take care of the smaller cracks. You should only apply the second coat after the first coat is fully dried.
All in all, this is a great driveway sealer that lasts longer than most competitors. There is little to no cracking after application, as long as you take the time to apply it right. The finish is nice and sleek and the material is not too toxic, unlike other sealers. We still recommend that you keep it out of the reach of children as it is a petroleum-based product.
#7. Foundation Armor Penetrating Solvent Based Sealer 5-Gal. DOT Approved – Best driveway sealer solvent based
The Foundation Armor Sealer is the best sealer for your concrete, brick, or paver project.
This 5-gallon sealer provides superior protection from water damage, UV radiation, and deicing salts without leaving an oily residue.
It penetrates deep into the surface to form a protective barrier that prevents water and other damaging elements from entering the concrete.
The solvent-based formula also helps reduce staining from dirt and oil while providing a long-lasting finish with exceptional adhesion.
For added convenience, this product is easy to apply using either a brush or sprayer. A gallon of this sealant covers up to 200 square feet and the finish is clear matte. The final good point is that this product lasts 7 to 10 years.
Frequently asked questions on the best driveway sealer
Is concrete and asphalt driveway sealing worth it?
Yes, it is definitely worth it. I have to say that seal coating is of high importance part of your driveway. And it is something that is too often overlooked. Maybe because of budget restrictions or simply because it is not taken into account as being key to preserving your driveway.
And I get it, every householder is right when asking this question: is seal coating your driveway worth it?
In simple words, sealing your pavement driveway helps in prolonging the life of your driveway. It should be part of your home maintenance. As such you need to budget for it. The fact is that if you seal-coat your driveway then the surface will last much longer. It is recommended to coat your driveway about every three to four years.
At the end of the day, any seal coating will reduce your cost over time (you won’t need to completely redo your driveway every few years). So coating is a good investment if you look into it from the financial side of things.
Is it better to spray or brush the driveway sealer?
Most of the people who own a parking lot will ask this question: Which is better to apply seal coating, brushing, or spraying?
All of these processes will provide a really good quality job. This is as long a the workmanship is good and the quantity of sealer on the pavement is enough.
For instance, if you brush the sealer, and you push too hard, you’ll end up taking away too much material. So, you’ll be leaving very little on the asphalt, and thus you’ll end up with a parking lot that is not of good quality.
Spraying is probably easier. You just need a pump sprayer for the driveway sealer. Again, there is a pitfall. If you move too quickly, you may end up not applying enough material to the ground. It’s like you’ve done nothing.
So, whether you choose spraying or brushing does not matter much. What matters is the workmanship and to apply the appropriate quantity of sealant. Too little or too much of it will lead to a poor job.
What is the difference between blacktop and asphalt?
The terms blacktop and asphalt are often used interchangeably when discussing roads, driveways, and other paved surfaces.
Asphalt and blacktop are both widely used to build roads, driveways, and parking lots. Both materials are made up of the same basic ingredients: stones, sand, or gravel bound together with a binder that is derived from crude oil. However, they each offer unique advantages and differ in terms of the way they are produced, installed, and maintained.
Asphalt is created using a costly hot-mix process in which the aggregate components are heated to high temperatures before being mixed with liquid asphalt cement.
Asphalt is thicker than blacktop so it can provide superior protection against the elements. It also requires less upkeep due to its durability; it may only need resurfacing every 10-15 years depending on traffic levels. Note that asphalt is a combination of aggregate, or small stones, combined with liquid asphalt cement which acts as a binding agent when it’s heated.
Also, note that asphalt has been used for decades to create durable roads and pathways. Because it can be poured over existing surfaces, asphalt is ideal for projects where time and cost are factors. It’s also easy to repair using new hot-mix asphalt patches in areas where damage has occurred.
Blacktop refers to cold mix asphalt concrete (AC). It is a derivative of asphalt. In essence, blacktop is an asphalt-based material that contains cheap stones for strength and flexibility.
However, the main difference is that asphalt (more expensive) is used for main roads and highways while blacktop is used for driveways (a cheaper solution).
Is oil or water-based driveway sealer better?
When it comes to driveway sealers, there is often a debate about whether oil or water-based asphalt surface sealers are better.
Generally speaking, an oil-based sealer offers deeper penetration than a water-based sealer and also provides better protection against wear and tear. Oil-based sealers also tend to last longer and can withstand extreme temperatures. However, they take days to dry and produce some fumes during application.
On the other hand, water-based sealers are easier to apply, dry faster and produce fewer fumes during application. They are also much more environmentally friendly than oil-based sealers. The time to dry a water sealer is short too.
Ultimately, the decision of which type of driveway sealer is best depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you prefer something that will last longer but requires more effort to apply, an oil-based driveway sealer may be your best choice. However, if you want something easier to use but won’t last as long, then a water-based driveway sealer might be the way to go.
What concrete sealer should I use?
When it comes to concrete sealers, choosing the right one can be difficult. The best results come from selecting a sealer based on the type of substrate and expected performance.
Generally, a coat of sealer should provide protection against moisture penetration and chemical attack. For concrete surfaces that are not regularly in contact with water, an asphalt-based sealer is an excellent choice. It provides a durable coating for driveways, patios, sidewalks, and other outdoor applications.
Acrylic-based concrete sealers also provide excellent protection for outdoor areas exposed to sunlight and weathering conditions.
They offer superior UV resistance which helps protect against fading or discoloring of colored or stamped concrete surfaces. Acrylics are also easy to apply because they do not require as many layers as other types of sealers do in order to achieve the desired level of protection.
When to Seal Your Driveway?
When it comes to deciding when to seal your driveway, the best time to do so is in the late spring or early summer.
This is because the weather is warm enough that you will be able to get a good bond between the sealer and the asphalt, but not too hot that it will dry out quickly.
In addition, this time of year is usually dry enough that there won’t be any heavy rains to wash away the sealant before it has had a chance to properly set.
It is also important to make sure that your driveway is clean before applying a sealant, as dirt and debris can prevent the product from properly adhering. Finally, make sure that you follow all instructions closely when sealing your driveway for the best results.