Most homeowners hire an asphalt paving company to resurface their driveway when needed, but some homeowners might consider managing these repairs themselves, hoping to save money. Your asphalt driveway enhances your homes’ curb appeal so it’s important that it looks good and the driveway needs to withstand lots of wear and tear, so it’s also vital that the surface is as durable as it is attractive!
Hiring an asphalt paving company to resurface your driveway is a low-cost investment that yields long-term results. Getting the pros to manage asphalt paving and repairs guarantees that this work will be done properly and precisely, as the job requires special equipment and tools. Also, if you’re not experienced, trying to “DIY” these repairs could lead to a low-quality paving job that doesn’t last for very long.
What Does It Cost To Resurface An Asphalt Driveway?
To resurface a driveway, an asphalt repair contractor removes the top layer of the driveway and then replaces it with a new coat of asphalt. This work usually averages around $2.00 to $2.50 per square foot, or about $1,000 to $1,300 for a 500 square foot area. This price is actually very affordable when you consider that you only need repairs to a home’s driveway on an occasional basis, typically every few years at most.
Signs of Needed Asphalt Repairs
There are some telltale signs your asphalt needs repairs, including:
- Drainage issues. Standing water is a bad sign. Water can get trapped causing the foundation of the driveway to crack. Potholes can also form.
- Sinking or sloping. This means that water has gotten underneath the asphalt surface which can cause eventual foundation problems.
- Stains or fading. Asphalt is black when installed but, over the years, hot sun fades it to a light gray color. This fading means that the asphalt is getting weak. Weak asphalt is susceptible to potholes, cracks or crumbling.
- Crumbling around the edges. Crumbling asphalt edges crack and break off. This breakage is dangerous to walk on and looks bad as well!
- Potholes. Potholes are unsafe and can result in serious damage to vehicles. Lots of potholes in a parking lot indicate that the asphalt foundation is falling apart.
- Alligator cracks or spalling. These cracks look like an alligator’s scaly hide. Spalling can be widespread or concentrated in just one area and indicate that the foundation of the driveway is deteriorating.
If your driveway or parking lot is old, it might need resurfacing. Asphalt driveways take a beating over the years, as heavy traffic, winter freezing and the hot summer sun are tough on asphalt’s surface.
What to Look For In an Asphalt Paving Company
When you realize that you need to hire an asphalt paving company to resurface your driveway, how do you choose the right asphalt paving contractor? Consider some suggestions for finding a reputable and reliable paving contractor, and be sure to discuss any questions or concerns you have with him or her before signing on the dotted line:
- Experience. Ask to see the asphalt paving company’s accreditations, licenses or other certificates. Ask how many years they’ve been in business and if their work is guaranteed.
- Referrals or online reviews. Ask for referrals and follow up on them. Go online to the company’s website and read their reviews. If there are only a couple of reviews, don’t use the company. Find one that has lots of reviews from local customers so you know they’re experienced and have proven themselves to be able to do a great job.
- Equipment and crew. Some asphalt companies cut corners by using old equipment and trucks and by keeping a small crew. These cuts slow down the process of asphalt installation and repairs and can affect the quality and finished look of the asphalt. A professional asphalt paving company will have sufficient crews for tackling larger properties quickly and up-to-date equipment in good repair.
- Insurance. Always ask about a company’s insurance coverage. Some asphalt companies might skimp on insurance just to save money but, if a worker gets hurt, your homeowner’s insurance might be obligated to cover his or her costs. This expense might potentially raise your homeowner’s insurance premium, which is why it shouldn’t be your responsibility to provide insurance for an asphalt paving company!
- Specifications. Ask how many inches deep the asphalt should be and what they recommend. New asphalt should be at least 4 inches deep, if not even deeper for properties with heavy vehicles. Ask the type of base they recommend as well along with its composition.
The Benefits of Asphalt Versus Concrete
Some homeowners might prefer concrete driveways versus asphalt, simply because they assume concrete is a better material in some ways than blacktop. While both concrete and asphalt have their own pros and cons, note some benefits of asphalt compared to a concrete driveway.
Concrete lasts up to 30 years and often needs less overall maintenance than asphalt, and concrete can be stamped, stained, and panted for a variety of looks. However, concrete is far more expensive than asphalt to install and repair, while also showing stains more readily than blacktop.
Asphalt costs far less than asphalt to install and is easier to repair overall; a property owner can even fill in minor cracks and potholes on their own much easier than with concrete. The dark color of asphalt and its bumpy texture also make it stand out against your property and provide added traction in inclement weather.
What Is the Best Time of Year to Call an Asphalt Paving Company?
Paving is best done in mild temperatures, around 70 degrees. Spring and early summer are excellent times of year to to pave your driveway; iff it’s too cold outside, the paving crew can’t smooth out the asphalt quick enough so your driveway will have bumps or an uneven surface.
Paving companies also can’t pave when it’s raining as water damages the asphalt surface. Also, rain will cool the asphalt too quickly making it difficult for the crew to work with.
How Do I Keep Asphalt Driveway in Good Repair?
One simple way to preserve the life of your asphalt driveway is to keep it clean. Remove dirt, oil and debris with a broom and hose, as regularly as needed. Another way to keep your asphalt driveway in good repair is to seal it often. Sealant prevents fading and repels water. If water can’t penetrate the asphalt, there will be fewer cracks and potholes. Sealing also keeps the asphalt’s black color looking fresh, preventing the surface from fading.