It’s pretty expensive to totally replace an asphalt driveway, so many people would prefer to repair their driveway when possible. Before repeatedly spending small amounts of money on Asphalt Crack Repair, it’s important to know the signs of when it’s time to give in and replace the driveway. At some point, repairs are no longer cost effective.
A typical asphalt driveway lasts for about 20 to 25 years if it’s properly cared for. If your driveway is getting to be this old, it’s likely that it’s no longer worth trying to patch it. By this time, it’s usually a lost cause with new cracks constantly appearing. It would be more cost-effective to simply resurface or replace the driveway.
Extent of the Damage
In general, Asphalt Crack Repair is most suitable with small cracks or divots that are less than one-fourth inch wide. Wider cracks or very deep cracks often indicate underlying problems in the driveway, so repairs aren’t likely to last for a very long time. At that point, it may be better to think about resurfacing or replacing the driveway, depending on the number of areas that need repair and the age of the driveway.
The Problem With Patching
The reason that patching an asphalt driveway isn’t usually a long-term fix is that water tends to get into the area between the patching material and the older driveway material and start to reopen the crack. Then, with the next freeze-thaw cycle, the crack will be opened even further and need to be repaired again.
Resurfacing Versus Replacing
Should crack repair not be a viable solution for the damage to the driveway, it’s time to decide between resurfacing and replacing the driveway. In resurfacing, the top layer of the driveway is removed and replaced rather than the entire driveway. This can be a good option if there isn’t any deeper structural issues with the driveway. It tends to cost approximately $2.25 for each square foot of driveway compared to around $4 to $8 for driveway replacement. This can be a considerable savings when replacement is suitable.