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Patch, Resurface, Or Relace: A Guide To Driveway Repair

Asphalt driveways are incredibly durable and generally have a long lifetime, but they still need a little tender loving care over the years. This guide will address a few common driveway repair concerns and solutions, as well as explain when patching, resurfacing, or replacement is necessary.

Common Concerns

Driveways go through a lot of wear and tear over the years, from vehicles and backyard basketball to winter weather and damaging UV rays. It's no surprise that they need to be updated from time to time. Cracks are usually the first damage to appear on a driveway due to the natural expansion and contraction of the surrounding soil. 

As weather and traffic wear away the top layer of the driveway, more noticeable damage can occur, such as dips or divots, potholes, gouges, uneven areas, and oil spots. While these types of damage are common, they can cause irreparable damage if left untreated, such as pooling water, thin areas, a failing foundation or sub-base, or excessive dirt and debris.

Driveway Maintenance Must-Knows

Asphalt driveways are generally considered low maintenance, but there are still a few key things to keep in mind. First, cracks will happen and repairs will be necessary. It is recommended to have a driveway inspected every three to five years. Patching can be a cheap option to maintain functionality; however, resurfacing will improve the overall aesthetic and provide more durable repairs. Finally, the average lifespan of an asphalt driveway is 10 to 15 years, but it can last up to 28 years depending on usage and maintenance quality.

Cost Considerations

Driveway length, required materials, service fees, and the extent of the damage are just some of the many factors that contribute to the cost of driveway repair.  Simple patch jobs, which can be done with DIY kits or with the assistance of a professional, are generally the cheapest option. Resurfacing is a bit more involved and can cost anywhere from $1 to $10 per square foot. Finally, replacement is the most expensive option because it usually involves demolishing the old driveway, which can bring the total to anywhere from $6 to $20 per square foot. 


So how do you know if you need to invest in patching, resurfacing, or replacement? As a general rule, minor cracks can be solved with patching, on the other hand, divots, potholes, or uneven surfacing can benefit more from resurfacing. Replacement is usually reserved for cases where there is irreparable damage to the driveway, such as foundation damage, or if the driveway is over 15 years old. 

For more information about resurfacing, patching, or replacement projects, reach out to local contractors.