Countless homes across America today feature an asphalt driveway. Homeowners love this material as it is easy and inexpensive to repair. However, a person must know when to repair the driveway and when it makes more sense to replace the surface. Many factors need consideration when making this determination.
Richfield Blacktop recommends homeowners take the age of the driveway and the needed repairs into account. Furthermore, the homeowner must know the goals for the driveway. With this information, it becomes easier to decide if the surface should be patched, resurfaced, or replaced.
Homeowners looking for a quick and inexpensive fix typically choose to patch the driveway. This method works to fix holes, divots, and small cracks. In fact, a liquid fillers work to repair any crack that is less than 1/4″ wide.
When the problem is a larger crack or hole, the homeowner must recognize there is likely damage under the surface. However, this does not mean all is lost. If the asphalt hasn’t totally failed, surface patching will suffice. The driveway contractor mills the top layer and cleans the hole. They follow up by pouring, compacting, and leveling new asphalt.
Dig-out patching serves as the best option when the damage is severe. The contractor removes the section of failed asphalt and installs a new surface. While this repair lasts for quite a while, a contractor must tackle the job because it is complex.
While patching addresses many problems, homeowners need to understand it isn’t always practical or cost effective. Although patching restores the structural strength of the driveway, the repairs remain apparent. Homeowners concerned about the curb appeal of their property need to consider resurfacing instead.
When a contractor resurfaces a driveway, they completely remove and replace the top asphalt layer. Before the contractor pours the final top layer, they carry out the necessary repairs. This ensures the driveway is structurally sound and visually appealing. Furthermore, it costs significantly less than completely replacing the driveway.
Contractors cannot always fix a driveway with patching or resurfacing. The damage may extend to the base, and replacing the driveway is the only option. Older driveways also need to be replaced periodically.
Most contractors recommend replacing an asphalt driveway when it is 20 years old or older. Otherwise, repairs often become necessary within a short period. While the cost of replacing the driveway comes in higher than the cost of patching or resurfacing, the new driveway should last 20 years or more if properly cared for.
Homeowners must know when driveway repairs are best completed. Plan any asphalt work for the warmer months. The ambient air and ground surface temperatures affect the hot asphalt, and the material must remain hot enough for the contractor to work with it. The asphalt then must slowly cool and cure.
Cold weather makes this impossible. Fortunately, contractors can make temporary repairs even when the weather is cold to prevent additional damage from occurring. If a problem arises with the driveway, call for a repair right away. Doing so helps to keep costs down.
Once the work is complete, speak with the contractor to learn how to care for the driveway properly. The asphalt surface serves as an investment in the property and must be cared for as such. With the right maintenance, it should last for years to come while adding to the appeal of the property, which is what every homeowner wants.
- About the Author
Alex Grigoryan is a Professional Home Improvement and Lifestyle Writer. He has been in the industry for over 6 years and has been writing for Chique Home Living since 2019. His work has been featured in prestigious blogs such as Spruce Home, Better Homes & Garden, and more.