Are you thinking about sealing your driveway? An old tired driveway can ruin the appearance of any home but cleaning and sealing the surface is a quick and affordable way to rejuvenate it.
This page covers the options available for block paving, the process involved and how much it typically costs. We’ll also discuss options for other types of surfaces.
Here are the key benefits of cleaning and sealing block driveways:
- cleaning will lift the original colour to the surface
- sealing will protect the blocks from oil spills and pollution
- the surface will look brand new and will clean easily
- prevents weed growth by sealing gaps between joints
- prevents insect infestation between the blocks (ants)
- reduces overall maintenance
Step by Step Instructions
Here you can see the step by step instructions on how to professionally clean and seal a driveway.
While different companies may use different methods or materials, most will include the following steps:
- power clean the blocks
- remove oil stains with specialist cleaning fluid
- apply a weedkiller and moss/mould treatment to the surface (optional but recommended)
- allow to fully dry
- brush in kiln dried sand to joints and brush/blow off any sand on the surface
- apply two coats of sealant
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How Long Does it Take?
It’s absolutely essential that the driveway is allowed to fully dry before any sealer is applied.
So, during the spring or Autumn, you may need to wait a few days between jet washing and applying the sealant.
In the summer, during warm sunny days, the blocks should dry out much quicker.
We do not recommend the application of driveway sealants during the winter, even on dry days the ground can remain damp and any moisture still present can prevent the sealant from adhering correctly.
For an average sized driveway expect the jet washing and application of weed killer/fungicides to take a few hours, certainly no more than a morning’s work.
Brushing in kiln dried sand will be done once the driveway is dry and takes about an hour.
The first coat of sealant takes about two hours and after it’s dried a second coat is applied, this usually takes less time, so expect it to take around an hour.
Is This a Popular Treatment?
Block sealants are often used on areas with high levels of foot traffic, places such as town footpaths and walkways that are frequently cleaned can benefit from a sealer being applied to the surface.
The benefits for domestic driveways with light traffic is debatable and for a newly installed driveway, the key benefits are moss, weed and oil spill prevention.
If however, the driveway is old, is looking tired and it’s time for a thorough clean, the logical next step would be to apply a sealer.
Most homeowners don’t bother sealing a new driveway but do so a few years down the line. There are also some technical reasons why you shouldn’t seal a brand new driveway:
Efflorescence is a process whereby salts gradually make their way to the surface of certain types of materials.
New blocks and paving slabs often experience this and it’s essential that the salt is allowed to fully migrate out of the material before any sealants are applied.
This process can take weeks and sometimes many months.
Is a Weedkiller/Moss Treatment Really Necessary?
No, it’s optional but depends on the condition of the driveway prior to jet washing.
If some areas are prone to moss growth, perhaps due to lack of sunlight, then applying a moss killing fungicide is recommended as it will soak into the blocks and the sand between the joints. The same applies to weed killing chemicals, should there be any plant life growing.
Obviously, a thorough jet wash will remove any moss, mould and plant life above ground, but to prevent anything between the joints from growing through, a weedkiller/moss treatment should be applied.
These chemicals are very cheap to buy, especially if purchased in bulk as most professionals do. Expect the chemicals needed to cover standard driveway to cost no more than £20. They are much cheaper than the sealants used.
What of Type Sealant is Best?
We prefer Resiblock as their products are of excellent quality they have two versions that cover most types of blocks:
Resiblock Matt Finish (see reviews on Amazon)- this has a reduced shine so protects the driveway without significantly altering its appearance.
Resiblock Superior (see reviews on Amazon)- this product leaves the driveway with a permanently “wet” looking surface, the product has a distinctive bright sheen.
There are cheaper alternatives on the market, but our experience tells that many of these fail early and need to be reapplied much sooner.
Resiblock is the industry leader although you’ll pay a premium for it.
Cost to Seal a Driveway With Resiblock
The price guide displayed below assumes the driveway is around 35 square metres, that’s enough for two cars:
|Oil stain remover||£5.00|
|Kiln dried sand||£10.00|
|VAT (on profits and labour)||£60.00|
How to Save Money
Below are three ways you can save money and reduce your costs:
- As you can see from our guide price above, the cost of Resiblock isn’t cheap so if you’re on a tight budget you could choose an alternative product at the lower or mid price range. This product is considerably more affordable.
- Also, we have included VAT and the profit margins a medium-sized company would be looking to make. Obviously, if you instructed a smaller business, perhaps a “one man” type trader to do the work, then you’ll pay less. Many of these businesses are trading below the VAT registration threshold and plenty of traders only charge enough to cover wages and overheads.
- Do the work yourself – it’s not that difficult and there are plenty of help guides on the web and Youtube.
Get a Driveway Sealing Quote
Hit the link below to compare prices for driveway sealing.