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Driveway Issues
( See below for all issues of timing between applications of products ).

Driveways are an area of extreme abuse from rubber tires, leaking automotive fluids, etc. The ultimate goal is to achieve the desired beauty without creating a surface that requires a high level of upkeep. The two steps are cleaning, then sealing.


As with cleaning any surface, you choose the cleaner according to the type of staining materials being removed. These are all addressed in our Problem Solving


The choice of a sealer for a driveway is exactly the same as for any other surface.

You first review Surface Typesfor the type of surfacing used for your driveway. Depending on the surfacing, you will usually see pictures of the sealers on that surfacing. You can also review the Surface Type for additional information to aid decision making.

The other things to consider in deciding on the sealer for a driveway are:

  • The lower the gloss, the less it will show abrasion. Look for a sealer that is no gloss ( Same Day Sealer) or one that can be built to the gloss level you want with additional applications (SBS Sealer, Porous Stone Sealer, Mexiglaze Sealer).
  • The higher the gloss, the less texture there is to trap dirt. Therefore, the easier to keep clean.
  • A higher gloss level can be slippery when wet.
  • The Surface Type will discuss other issues that you may not be aware of yet. ( Stopping efflorescence, strengthening soft surfacing, enhancing natural colors )
  • The sealer can function as a "sacrificial surface". That is, it is not a problem to replace a section of sealer if it is damaged. The issue is to protect the surface material.
  • Whatever unsealed surfacing material is used on your driveway - it is absorbent and will, therefore, stain unless sealed.

Timing between product applications - ( applys to all interior and exterior projects ): Sometimes weather or other circumstances do not allow the ability to strictly follow the timing recommended on the labels. Your common sense will tell you what you need to do to meet timing deadlines with the lowest risk possible. If you are proven wrong, it is not a disaster - just annoying to have to do something over again.

Here is a typical example encountered all the time. Cleaning and sealing a driveway with a weather forecast of rain in a couple of days - and the job must be done now. Caution! We are not recommending taking any shortcuts, but only trying to give you a picture of potential options if you are pressed for time.

  • Cleaning has been done and all looks good, but not dried out yet. Wait until dry because you cannot properly evaluate the final appearance while it is still wet and darker than when it is dry. If rain hits and makes another cleaning problem, it is easier to do the cleaning again than to redo a sealer.
  • Aldon "Efflorescene Treatment" has been used and label says wait 7 days before sealing. The 7 days is to allow time to:
    • Have no remaining residue on the surface that would interfere with a sealer penetration and/or bonding. A water based sealer will need more time allowed than a petroleum solvent based sealer because "Efflorescence Treatment" is a petroleum solvent based product and therefore more forgiving to a petroleum solvent based sealer.
    • Allow time for the surface color to come back to natural so anything missed can be seen.
Depending on conditions, this might be accomplished long before 7 days. It could even be 1 day with warm dry weather. Observe and decide what is happening on your project and you might be able to seal much sooner than 7 days.

Sometimes cleaning is a trial and error process. The cause of the problem might be different than thought, or have multiple causes and results that must be handled in steps. In rare cases, it cannot be cleaned. Proceed as though it is an experiment whose results must be evaluated.

Any Aldon cleaner has more than one purpose. It is not limited to only this cleaning project.