Part of restoring the structural and functional integrity of asphalt driveways is to install new asphalt over an old driveway of the same type, commonly known as asphalt resurfacing. As is the case in most driveway repairs, knowing the right time to resurface an existing asphalt driveway is a key determinant of how long the finished driveway will last and how good the finished driveway will look.

That aside, what are some causes of asphalt failure that may necessitate driveway resurfacing?

Initial installation blunders

If the initial installer did a shoddy job installing the existing asphalt driveway, chances are high you will need resurfacing before due time. If the old pavement is not thick enough to support the loads that travel on it, for example, the asphalt surface will become weakened and subsequently get eroded away rapidly as time passes by.  

Extreme weather conditions

Unfavorable weather conditions that include heavy snow, rain, and extreme temperatures as well can force you to eventually resurface your asphalt driveway over time. Water or snow may not flow away from the surface of your driveway immediately, and they may find their way into cracks that are just beginning to form. This will mount up pressure inside the cracks, making them widen and spread even more.

Lack of proper preventive maintenance

An asphalt driveway will not just require an overlay out of the blue. Over time, as it is exposed to lots of loads, it will begin to gradually show signs of wear and tear due to normal traffic. For instance, fatigue or alligator cracks will begin to emerge when the current asphalt driveway is repeatedly exposed to excessive bending, e.g. from vehicular traffic. Sealing cracks arising from continued usage of your driveway can slacken the pace at which the cracks widen over time. Hence, failure to seal-coat cracks in good time can cause erosion of much of the asphalt surface up to a point where new asphalt is needed.

Before deciding to resurface your old driveway, you should first ponder over possible reasons why the current driveway is deteriorating since simply installing new asphalt over a failing asphalt driveway won’t make existing problems to go away. The time to rectify any preexisting problems is before resurfacing the old asphalt driveway. Here are a few pointers you should look out for: Is the sub-grade below the asphalt not providing it with adequate support?  And, are the edges of the present driveway firmly tamped?