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Asphalt Driveway Repair

Updated on October 13, 2012

Asphalt Driveway Needs Repair

Our asphalt driveway with a crack
Our asphalt driveway with a crack | Source

We love our new house, but we do not love its asphalt (blacktop) driveway. It has a giant crack down the middle and multiple cracks throughout. Moving in at the beginning of October in Ohio, time of year and temperature comes into play when determining how to repair seal or repair our asphalt driveway.

We called four companies to come out to our house and provide free estimates. We needed to understand the state of our driveway and what repairs options exist for our asphalt driveway.

How Did You Replace Your Asphalt Driveway?

We chose to...

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Asphalt Driveway Facts

The professionals educated us on our asphalt driveway.

  • Asphalt driveways are less expensive to install compared to concrete, but have more ongoing maintenance.
  • Asphalt driveways should only be sealed every other year.
  • Only double coat an asphalt driveway immediately after it is installed. It should be double sealed no other time.
  • Over sealing a driveway is equivalent to over painting the wood on a deck. Too much sealant (or paint) can result in peeling.
  • Cracks in asphalt driveways should be addressed using a rubberized patch solution to prevent damage to the foundation.
  • If the crack in the driveway extends into the gravel foundation, water can cause additional foundation damage resulting in further cracking.
  • When the foundation is damaged, the only long term solution is to replace the driveway completely.

Sealed Asphalt Cracks

The deep crack in the asphalt driveway to the foundation is now sealed, but not repaired
The deep crack in the asphalt driveway to the foundation is now sealed, but not repaired | Source

Seal Driveway in Fall, Repair Estimate in Spring

Once the facts were laid out, we wanted to know how they applied to us.

How should we proceed to repair our driveway?

Based on the time of year and the fact that we have had near freezing temperatures at night, our only current option is to single seal the driveway to prevent further damage. It was suggested that we get our estimates on a full driveway replacement in the March/April.

Asphalt companies in Ohio stop making asphalt in the fall. March/April is the best time to receive a new estimate because jobs are not lined up yet and asphalt companies have not started making the asphalt. Prices have not been set for the new year and this will most likely result in a lower overall cost.

A spring estimate can keep you ahead of the supply and demand curve in the asphalt business.

Repave the Asphalt Driveway?

We received some initial estimates for a full driveway replacement. Ouch! I was curious why we can’t just repave (as known as capping) the driveway.

I was reminded of the foundation or structural damage to the driveway. I was assured that we could repave the driveway for half the cost of a full replacement, but it would only last two to three years.

Repaving our driveway was only a temporary solution.

Concrete Versus Asphalt Estimate for Driveway Replacement

Cost Description
Amount in dollars
Concrete replacement
2 inch asphalt replacement
3 inch asphalt replacement
Based on a driveway 2100 square feet

Permanent Driveway Replacement

In the spring, I will receive estimates for a full driveway replacement for concrete and asphalt driveways. I want to understand the bottom line cost. We will need to evaluate if the higher initial cost of concrete installation can be justified due to the lack of ongoing maintenance of the asphalt.

Driveway preference also comes into play. Which type of driveway do we prefer: concrete or asphalt? We are the only driveway on our block that is not concrete. Will that influence our decision?

In the meantime, we had our driveway sealed and I will admit, it looks blacker, but the giant crack is still there. I cringe at the thought of the cost, but I look forward to the estimates in the spring so that we can permanently solve our driveway dilemma.

Have you needed to repair or replace your driveway?

What did you learn?

What advice can you provide?

Thanks in advance for your advice and tips!


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