Should You Resurface Or Sealcoat Your Asphalt Driveway?

If your asphalt driveway is beginning to show signs of wear and tear, you may be wondering whether you should repair the holes and cracks that have begun to form or simply repave or resurface the entire driveway. There are now a number of patching and resurfacing options available from a paving company -- how can you choose? Read on to learn more about some of the differences between sealcoating, patching, and resurfacing your driveway to help you make your decision.

What are the differences between sealcoating, patching, and resurfacing?

  • Sealcoating

Sealcoating is the least extensive (and expensive) option available. This special protective material is sprayed on the surface of the asphalt and hardens, repelling water, oil, and debris. Sealcoating can extend the life of your driveway and can prevent some future damage, but it cannot repair current damage.

  • Patching

If your driveway has only a couple of cracks or holes, you may be able to patch these areas with a quick-hardening asphalt to restore them to their original condition. Patching, like sealcoating, can extend the life of your driveway, but as your driveway ages you may find yourself re-patching the same areas each spring.

  • Resurfacing

Resurfacing is the most expensive driveway repair option, but it is also the longest lasting. During the resurfacing process, a heavy roller will be used to press a thin layer of asphalt over your existing asphalt. Any holes or pits will be patched during this process and then covered with the top asphalt layer. This process essentially restores your driveway to like-new condition.

Should you repair damage before resurfacing your driveway?

Although patching an asphalt driveway is much cheaper than resurfacing, both involve some time, money, and effort -- so you may feel you're saving money toward your future resurfacing by avoiding an investment into patching now. However, this can backfire -- failure to fix small issues can quickly cause them to develop into big issues that can make your resurfacing project more expensive.

What can you do to minimize the number of resurfacings you need?

There are a few simple steps you can take to avoid having to resurface your driveway frequently. The most important is to avoid asphalt exposure to oils or corrosives -- if you have a vehicle that leaks oil or transmission fluid, you'll want to repair this problem or place a tarp or some other protective layer between your vehicle and the driveway.

Another important step is to sealcoat your driveway after resurfacing -- this will uniformly protect the new top layer and keep it in perfect condition for much longer.