While they have a fresh, black appearance and beautiful curb appeal, asphalt driveways also require proper maintenance. Many homeowners may notice their driveway doesn’t look as new as it once did, but they don’t know if sealcoating or driveway resurfacing is the answer.
Are you asking yourself, “When should I sealcoat or repave my asphalt driveway?” Explore this guide to learn how often you should seal an asphalt driveway, what it costs to replace an asphalt driveway, when to use driveway resurfacing, and more.
What Is Sealcoating?
Sealcoating involves applying a liquid sealant over your existing asphalt pavement to seal the surface and fill cracks. The process protects the sublayers and foundation from the elements and delays driveway replacement.
Sealcoating an Asphalt Driveway
By providing this extra layer on top of a driveway, you can preserve its condition for many years. You can double the lifespan of the pavement and save a significant amount of money.
Learning more about sealcoating an asphalt driveway helps ensure you are properly applying it and at the right time. That way, you can be on your way to beautifying your pavement.
Sealcoating Your Driveway: How Often Should You Do It?
Apply sealant every three to five years. If you’ve recently installed a new driveway, wait at least 90 days to a year to ensure the sealant doesn’t damage the asphalt. Sealcoating a new driveway too early may trap oils within the asphalt, resulting in a driveway that is too soft or flexible.
Sealcoat your asphalt driveway when the temperature is 50–90 °F. Only apply a sealant when you have two consecutive days without rain. Dry conditions ensure proper adhesion to the existing asphalt.
How Much Does It Cost to Sealcoat Asphalt Driveways?
The average cost for a contractor to sealcoat your asphalt driveway is $0.17 to $0.24 per square foot. Driveways measuring 480 square feet cost $80 to $115 to sealcoat. Larger driveways cost $170 to $240 to sealcoat. Cost ranges may vary by contractor and region.
What Is Resurfacing?
Driveway resurfacing is when you replace the top layer of asphalt with a fresh layer. Resurfacing an asphalt driveway typically involves adding around 1”–2” of asphalt to help correct any structural damage.
Resurfacing Your Asphalt Driveway
Sometimes sealcoating isn’t the answer. Shallow cracks and constant patching may signal it’s time to resurface your driveway. Driveway resurfacing is when you replace the top layer of asphalt with a fresh layer. Driveway resurfacing helps extend the life of your driveway for another eight to 15 years.
Resurfacing Your Driveway: When Should You Do It?
Knowing when to resurface your asphalt driveway depends on a few factors. Resurface your asphalt driveway if:
- The foundation is still sound
- The asphalt is less than 20 years old
- Cracks are smaller than a quarter-inch wide
- Cracks are less than two inches deep
- Less than 30% of the asphalt needs repairs
Keep in mind that repairs are temporary. Eventually, water seeps between the old and new material. When this happens, cracks form again. If you’re patching and repairing often and the foundation is still structurally sound, it’s time to resurface your driveway.
What Does It Cost to Resurface Asphalt Driveways?
The cost to resurface an asphalt driveway is a fraction of the price it costs to install a new driveway. Driveway resurfacing costs approximately $2.25 per square foot. Patterns and colors cost more – around $4 to $8 per square foot.
The total cost to resurface asphalt driveways depends on a variety of factors that include the size, conditions of your current surface, the resurfacing material and the finish or colors you decide on. When you compare the cost of resurfacing an asphalt driveway vs. having to invest in a new driveway, you’ll recognize that resurfacing an asphalt driveway is the ideal option. It’s less expensive and doesn’t involve as much labor.
Repaving Your Asphalt Driveway
Even if you’ve dutifully maintained your driveway and performed all necessary repairs, the materials break down over time. It becomes impossible to patch crumbling asphalt. You may begin to think your constant repairs aren’t worth the trouble. Installing a new driveway provides a smooth, safe surface you’ll appreciate each day.
When Should You Repave Your Driveway?
Asphalt driveways 25 years or older typically require repaving. Is it time to replace your driveway? Examine the pavement. If more than 30% needs repairs and if large cracks (greater than a quarter-inch wide and two inches deep) split the asphalt, consider repaving. An unsteady foundation is also a sign that you should start planning for a new driveway.
The Cost to Replace Asphalt Driveways
Generally, asphalt driveways cost $2 to $5 per square foot to install. This may vary depending on your region or contractor. The cost for asphalt driveway installation is about half the price of concrete, which makes it a cost-effective option for homeowners who want to make the most of their budget.
Need a reliable sealant? Visit our online shop to order INTEGRA-SEAL® Modified Asphalt Sealer. Remember to repair small cracks before sealcoating.
Take a Look at These FAQs Before You Sealcoat or Resurface Your Driveway
What is the typical process of sealcoating an asphalt driveway?
- Cleaning –Thoroughly clean the surface to remove any debris or dirt.
- Repairing – You’ll need to repair any potholes, cracks, or other damaged areas on the surface.
- Prepping – If necessary, the surface can be primed to help with adhesion.
- Applying sealant – With specialized equipment, the sealant is then applied, ensuring an even coat.
- Drying and curing – The sealant needs time to dry and cure, usually for at least 24-48 hours.
Is resurfacing an asphalt driveway worth it?
Yes, it definitely is! Regardless of if you choose to sealcoat or resurface your driveway, you’ll be able to improve the appearance of your surface while also protecting it. By investing either option, you’ll be extending the life of your pavement.
When is the best time for sealcoating or resurfacing?
While you can resurface or sealcoat during winter, ideally, you’ll want to do the work during spring and fall seasons. Summer is also viable, as there isn’t risk for freezing temperatures and as much precipitation!
How long before traffic is allowed on a newly resurfaced pavement?
We recommend that you wait 24-48 hours before opening the pavement or driveway to traffic.
Should I seal or resurface my driveway?
Typically you’ll want to get your driveway resealed every 3-5 years. As for resurfacing, you’ll want to do that every 15-20 years or so. With that being said, sealcoating is a perfect preventative measure.
When you have cracks or potholes in your asphalt, that’s when you want to look into resurfacing an asphalt driveway. If you’re still unsure, be sure to contact our team as we’d be more than happy to help!