If your asphalt driveway is faded and crumbling in places, you might be able to hire a contractor to repair and resurface it, rather than replace it. Resurfacing a driveway costs less than tearing out the old one and installing a new driveway, and the final results make the surface of your drive look like new. Here is an overview of how the resurfacing process works.
Repairs Must Be Done First
Resurfacing doesn't repair cracks. If you don't have cracks and crumbles repaired first, they will just show through the new layer of asphalt. Simple cracks are easy to repair by filling in the cracks and leveling out the top. Alligator cracks, crumbling, and potholes require a little more work. The broken pieces of asphalt have to be removed and the sub-base needs to be built back up in that area if necessary. Care must be taken to maintain the proper slope of the driveway when repairs are done so water will drain off when it rains and not form puddles.
Driveway Is Thoroughly Cleaned
Once all the repairs are finished, the contractor needs to clean off the driveway to get rid of dirt and oil. This could involve using a pressure washer and a steel brush. A steel brush makes the surface of your driveway rough, so the new coat adheres better. If the contractor doesn't use a steel brush, a sticky tack coat may be applied instead to prepare the surface for the new layer of asphalt. The contractor may use chemical cleaners to remove oil stains and tree sap.
New Layer Of Asphalt Is Applied
After your driveway is properly prepped, the contractor can install the new layer of asphalt. It is applied directly over your old driveway, leveled off, and allowed to dry. It will take a few weeks for your driveway to cure completely, but you'll probably be able to park on it within a couple of days. The length of time required for asphalt to dry depends on local weather conditions and temperatures, so your contractor will let you know when your driveway will be ready for cars. When it's first applied, the asphalt is soft, so you should avoid walking on your driveway until it dries, especially in shoes with pointed heels.
Although it sounds like a long and complicated process, an asphalt paving contractor can probably complete your driveway in a single day. It depends on the amount of repair work that is necessary. Keep in mind, if your driveway is badly damaged, it may not be possible to resurface it. That happens sometimes if water has caused damage to the sub-base. Your driveway must be structurally sound for resurfacing to be an option.
For a professional opinion, go to companies like Lakeridge Paving Company, that can help you decide what your driveway needs.