There is no denying that, when it comes to taking care of your driveway, sealcoating is one of the most powerful tools in any homeowner’s kit. But there does come a time in the life of every paved surface when sealcoating is no longer enough, and the only thing that will do is to repave.
Knowing exactly when sealcoating is enough, and when you need asphalt paving in Saratoga Springs, NY can sometimes be difficult. Because of this, we decided to put together a simple, handy guide to help homeowners make the right decision about their driveways.
Signs that sealcoating is enough
- Your driveway is relatively young: If your driveway is relatively young, the odds are good that it does not need repaving. Patching up any cracks and sealcoating the surface should be enough to extend the usefulness of your driveway. If your driveway is trafficked more often than average, for whatever reason, it’s possible that even a relatively newer driveway could need repaving. But as a general rule of thumb, if your driveway is younger than 5 or 10 years old, and you’ve put effort into maintaining it in the past, it should be all right to sealcoat rather than repave, even with some surface cracks.
- Cracks are small and do not affect the “smoothness” of the surface: By and large, surface cracks are unavoidable on a paved surface. Even with excellent drainage, heavy rain is likely to swell the ground beneath your driveway and cause it to crack some. Similarly, if you live somewhere like Saratoga Springs, NY, where the variance in temperatures from winter to summer can be extreme, some cracking is inevitable. It’s when cracks spread and cause the pavement to begin to break away that you need to worry. We’ll explain this more a little later.
Signs that asphalt repaving is necessary
- Cracks in the driveway are creating ragged, rugged or broken sections of pavement: We call this “alligatoring” because the cracks and rutting makes the pavement look like the skin of an alligator. Cracks themselves can be patched in an asphalt driveway with crack-filling rubber. But when cracks expand, and sections begin to alligator, patching is really no longer an option. To patch an alligatored section, you’d need to spread crack-filling rubber over a large section of your driveway. In the heat of summer, this section of your driveway heats up and becomes quite adhesive, and can even cause the tires of any vehicle parked there to stick to the driveway. Then, when the car is moved, chunks of asphalt are pulled from the surface of the driveway. Patching in this situation can cause more problems than it fixes.
- Cracks big enough to fit a butter knife into: Even if you haven’t yet seen alligatoring on your driveway surface, if large systems of cracks are showing up on your driveway surface, especially cracks wide enough to fit the blade of a butter knife, odds are it is on its way out, and anything you do to maintain it, rather than replace it, is contributing to a losing battle.
Even with this guide, it may be difficult for you to decide on your own if you need asphalt paving in Saratoga Springs, NY. With that in mind, we’d like to invite you to give us a call here at Asphalt Industries. We can take a look at your driveway and give you a free quote for asphalt paving or sealcoating services, whichever you need. We’ve been serving the Saratoga Springs area since 2001, and have extensive expertise in asphalt paving and driveway maintenance, so please don’t hesitate to ask for help.