When it is time to repair your asphalt driveway, you will need to determine whether you should apply a layer of asphalt on top of the driveway, referred to as resurfacing or if you should tear the asphalt out and start again.
Consider The Age
Asphalt driveways are generally meant to last for 20 years. Therefore, if your asphalt is older, it may make more sense to have the driveway replaced. New issues will begin to arise as soon as you patch old issues and the cost of maintaining the driveway will eventually exceed the cost of having it completely replaced.
If you care about the look of your driveway, you might consider it to be worthwhile to have your driveway replaced. This may not bring you a good return on your investment unless your driveway is in a very bad condition. However, having a very cracked driveway can reduce the aesthetic appeal of your property.
Look At The Extent Of The Damage
The quality of a driveway resurfacing will only be as good as the work that is put into having the driveway resurfaced. For instance, if the driveway has cracks, soft spots and holes, these will need to be repaired in order for the driveway repairs to produce good results. Anything that is not repaired will be reflected in the new layer. However, if the structure of your driveway is sound, it would make sense to have your driveway resurfaced rather than having it replaced. Resurfacing is less expensive than replacing, so if it will achieve the same results as replacing, it makes more sense. However, if the foundation is unstable, it would make more sense to opt for a replacement.
For minor damage, the least expensive approach is to simply patch your driveway. However, this only makes sense if there are only a few area that need to be patched. If more than 25% of the driveway is damaged, a resurfacing or replacement would make much more sense.
While it is generally a good idea to have your driveway replaced after 20 years, it is difficult to really know how long your driveway will last because this is affected by the freeze-thaw cycle, weather patterns, whether you used a heavy truck over your driveway and the condition of the subgrade before you chose to resurface the driveway. However, if paved by a skilled asphalt paving contractor and cared for, your driveway can last a long time.