So, you just had a new asphalt driveway poured on your property and you were told that the asphalt needs to cure for awhile before it can be sealed. Now, you've been left with the decision to either hire the asphalt company to come back out and seal it or save some money by doing the work yourself. You're leaning towards doing the sealing yourself. Before you tackle such a task, however, there are some all-too-common mistakes that you'll want to avoid.

Not Wearing the Right Gear

First of all, understand that asphalt sealers contain chemicals that can be harsh on the skin, so you'll want to reduce your skin's exposure to the chemicals as much as possible by wearing protective gear; this should include long sleeves, boots, and even gloves. Fumes from asphalt sealant can also be harmful to your body, so be sure to wait to open the sealer until you're outside. For added protection, you may also choose to wear a ventilation mask.

Failure to Prepare the Asphalt

You might think that because your driveway is still relatively new that it won't need cleaning, but taking the time to at least hose it down and scrub it with a deck brush can make all the difference. Specifically, you'll need to make sure to remove any oil slicks, gasoline stains, or other debris from the asphalt itself that may have accumulated in the days or weeks since your asphalt was originally poured. The last thing you want is to seal those stains into your asphalt, which will make them near impossible to remove later on. For getting rid of deeper stains, consider renting a power washer and be sure to let the asphalt dry completely before applying sealer.

Working in Too Large an Area

Finally, when it comes time to apply the sealant, it's generally best to start off in one corner of your driveway and work in small sections at a time. If you work in too large of a section, you run the risk of uneven application, which may be noticeable and leave your asphalt looking splotchy or streaky. This is especially true on very sunny days when the sealer will dry very quickly. For the best results, work in small areas at a time and apply the sealer on a day when it's overcast. 

If you aren't up for the DIY approach, get in touch with a paving contractor with a company like Armour Pavement Inc to do the work for you.