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October 30, 2019
Two words describe asphalt: cheap and durable. When properly maintained and cared for, it can look pretty nice too. Aside from simple pothole fixes and crack filling, there are different levels of resurfacing maintenance to consider if the pavement has started showing its age. Once the asphalt starts to go, there are three options for treatment: sealcoating, resurfacing, and repaving. Each solution is a step up in terms of repair and cost. Any option you choose will require several blacktop repair products. If you do this task yourself, there’s going to be a lot of overhead in tools, so consider hiring a professional to do the work. They will know which option is better in terms of asphalt resurfacing vs. replacement.
Sealcoating is a liquid mixture that protects asphalt from damage and weather. Once the thin layer hardens over the asphalt, it gives the pavement a deep, dark finish that looks amazing and is a durable layer of protection. A strong sealcoat layer is the asphalt’s first line of defense against UV light, corrosive chemicals, moisture, and oil leaks. Applying a new layer every year or two helps the asphalt stay in good condition. The frequency that sealcoating needs applying depends on how much wear and tear the pavement gets. Don’t forget—sealcoating doesn’t fill holes. Finish any repairs before putting sealer on the driveway.
This is pretty much what it sounds like. A new layer of asphalt, called an overlay, is laid over top of the existing one. This process is an emergency money-saving tactic to employ when the asphalt shows serious signs of failure. There are other options, however, before resurfacing the whole patch. Sections can be replaced or patched, and holes can be filled; but that will simply be sticking your finger in the dam. If there are large valleys that gather water or large sections of spiderweb cracking, resurfacing is probably inevitable. Before applying the overlay, there is some necessary preparation. Holes and cracks need filling, any high or low points need grinding and leveling off, and any drainage features need adjusting. After all the repairs, it’s time to lay the fresh new layer—and the driveway looks brand new.
Repaving is the last resort. If the other two methods won’t fix the problem, wipe it out and start over fresh. The old pavement will be torn out completely, down to the dirt. Then it will be hauled away, ground up, recycled, and used on another project. The sub grade is then leveled and compacted to make sure it is still solid and to prevent any sinking or settling. New asphalt will be layered in, and a brand-new driveway will be in place. With proper care and maintenance, it should last for years.
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