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Repairing Your Aging Asphalt Driveway

by Tara Pena

Asphalt is a common material for driveways because it is durable and can stand up to weather and use, but over time it can start to crack or deteriorate if it is not well maintained. If you have a driveway that is starting to show its age, there is hope for it. 

Assessing the Damage

The first step in having your asphalt repaired is to have an asphalt contractor come and assess the situation. The contractor will look at the driveway and determine if it is something that they can fix or if the driveway needs replacing. In many situations, patching the asphalt works, but if the soil under the driveway is sinking or settling, the contractor may need to remove the asphalt and fix the ground under it to repave the driveway for you. 

Once the contractor determines the course of action to take, they will discuss the process and cost with you so you can decide if you want to have the work done or not. Patching the driveway if there is a problem under it, will cause the damage to reoccur, and the money you spent will be wasted. Discuss the possibility of further or reoccurring damage with the contractor before you make the final decision on the work.  

Patching and Sealing the Driveway

If the damage to the driveway is not severe, the paving contractor can patch the areas that need it and fill in the cracks in the driveway for you. They can also apply a thin new topcoat over the driveway to essentially resurface it and buy you a few more years. If you maintain the driveway well, it can be a good alternative to starting fresh, but it will only work if the ground under the driveway is stable and there is no surface damage to the asphalt. 

Repaving the Driveway

If the contractor determines that the driveway needs a complete reconstruction, the old asphalt will be stripped out and the ground under the driveway will be repaired and leveled before laying the new material. The asphalt contractor will lay new asphalt once the prep is complete. The entire project may take a few days to a week, so you will need to be sure that you can park on the street while the work is underway. Once the driveway is complete, it will be a couple of days before you can drive on it, and the contractor will let you know what they recommend.

If you think it's time to replace your driveway, contact a local contractor like New England Paving to get started.