Sealcoating your driveway may be one of the biggest projects you take on this year. Because of this, you need to turn off your irrigation systems, clean up your property, and keep everything off of the driveway before and after your contractors coat it. If you don't do these three things, your contractors will need to postpone the project or redo your driveway altogether. If you're ready to get started, here's what you do.
Turn Off Your Water Irrigation Systems
Before your project begins, your paving contractors may ask you to turn off any water irrigation systems you have installed on the property. The system must remain off for two days or 48 hours, depending on the length of your driveway. But two days is usually the maximum time needed for the sealcoat to dry thoroughly.
If you don't follow the recommendation above and use your irrigation system, the water can run over the wet sealer and damage it. In most cases, bubbling, peeling and other defects can form in the surface of the driveway. Water can also remove sections of the wet sealcoat as it washes over the driveway.
If you have expensive flowers, vegetables, shrubs, and other valuable plants to protect during the 48 hour time period, follow the three easy tips below to keep them watered and healthy:
- Fill up to 10 glass soda bottles with water — glass is strong enough to stand upright in the plants' soil
- Turn the bottles upside down, then place or insert them into the soil around the plants
- Support the upside down bottles by placing soil or rocks around them
The water should slowly leak out of the bottles without oversaturating the soil around the plants and running off toward the driveway. You can also place wet blankets on the ground beneath your bushes, shrubs and trees to help minimize drying in the soil and roots.
Clean Up Your Property
Once you secure your plants and turn off the irrigation systems, it's time to clean up your property. Although this seems like an unnecessary chore, it isn't. If tree leaves, paper, sticks, and other objects stick to your sealcoated driveway, they can ruin it.
The things mentioned above can also dry into the coating and leave large imperfections throughout the driveway. Your contractors will need to remove the damaged areas and place new sealcoating down, which messes up your 48-hour project time.
You should try to pick up, rake up and remove as much debris as you can a day or so before your project. Keep in mind that rain and other weather changes can disrupt your cleaning. It's very good idea to check the weather forecast for the week. It'll give you time to do the job without any delays.
Keep Vehicles, Pets and People Off of the Sealed Driveway
The final thing you need to do is warn friends, family and visitors about your upcoming driveway project to keep from ruining it. Tire tracks, motor oil and other problems can mess up your driveway when it's drying. Even footprints, dirt and mud can disrupt the drying time.
If these issues do occur, your contractors will fix them by adding a new coat of sealer to the driveway. You may want to email or call anyone you expect to stop by your home a few days before your project.
You should understand that every time your contractors repair your sealcoating, it costs you money. You can avoid the additional expenses by taking the right precautionary steps mentioned throughout this guide. If you have questions about preparing your property for the seal coating, contact your driveway contractors for more information.