After the snow has melted and the ice has thawed, you might notice that the asphalt pavement on your driveway or parking lot is looking a little worse for wear with extensive cracking or crumbling.

While it doesn’t look good, and could potentially affect the value of your property, it can be repaired. In fact, you have two options to consider: asphalt resurfacing or asphalt sealcoating.

While both methods are effective, you should know the difference before you decide on which one to use.

What Is Asphalt Resurfacing?

Asphalt resurfacing essentially is a completely brand-new surface laid over the existing pavement. This extra layer of asphalt is called an overlay.

Resurfacing is required when the damage to or overall wear of the existing pavement is too substantial for a minor fix.

Resurfacing can also be the best option when the cracks are too big to seal, when there are multiple or large potholes, or when large areas of the existing asphalt have sunken to the point that water is pooling in them.

The process of asphalt resurfacing involves first cleaning the old surface to remove any surface debris.

That’s followed by patching and filling any cracks or potholes and evening out any valleys or depressions that have occurred.

Once that process is complete,  the overlay is applied over the existing asphalt. This gives the area a fresh look, yet still uses the existing asphalt below it for a foundation.

When Should I Resurface?

A driveway that has been properly installed should last many years. In fact, if done properly the first time, a driveway might never need asphalt resurfacing at all.

However, most driveways may require resurfacing every 15 years.

If your driveway has multiple cracks, deep or multiple potholes, or dips and valleys in the surface, then it could be time to resurface the entire driveway.

One important note: if you see alligator cracks (multiple cracks that resemble alligator skin across your entire driveway or a large part of it), this may indicate a major issue below the surface. This issue could require more work than just resurfacing.

What Is Sealcoating?

Another alternative for making your driveway look great is called sealcoating (also called resealing).

Instead of resurfacing using a new overlay of asphalt, sealcoating, which comes in liquid form, is spread over existing asphalt in a very thin layer. It provides excellent protection and durability and results in a clean, black finish.

The key to sealcoating is the protection it provides. It can help protect your driveway against the harmful effects of the UV rays that could discolour your pavement. Sealcoating can also protect against moisture, which can lead to cracking and imperfections. Plus, it will guard against any corrosive chemical spills, such as gasoline or radiator fluid.

However, sealcoating isn’t a solution to big cracks and potholes. These will have to be filled and repaired first before the sealcoating process can begin.

When Should I Sealcoat?

Sealcoating would first be done after the initial asphalt pavement is laid down. This process is done only after the asphalt has had a chance to cure, which can take a few months.

After that, it’s recommended that you reseal every two to five years.

Driveway resealing is inexpensive and can add many years—up to 10 years—of life to your driveway or parking lot. It’s a worthwhile solution based on appearance and durability.

Asphalt Resurfacing or Sealcoating?

Choosing between resurfacing and sealcoating is a decision that is based on the current condition of your driveway.

If a surface has many cracks, potholes, or valleys, resurfacing might be the better solution.

However, if your driveway or parking lot has just a few cracks or imperfections, this might call for sealcoating.

In either case, whether your driveway needs to be resurfaced or seal-coated, you should contact a professional pavement and asphalt specialist to get a detailed evaluation of your needs.

Sure-Seal Pavement Maintenance Inc. is a renowned asphalt pavement installation, repair, and maintenance provider in Toronto and the GTA. Collectively, our crew has over 20 years of experience working in the asphalt industry and we stand by our work. Contact us today to learn more about our pavement services, including asphalt resurfacing and asphalt sealcoating.

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