When was the last time you had your driveway or parking lot inspected by an asphalt paving contractor? If several years have gone by without any maintenance or repair services, you may notice asphalt cracks and potholes. Knowing the differences between asphalt resurfacing and replacement can save you money and prolong the life of your paved surface.

In this blog post, we will go over the differences between asphalt pavement resurfacing and replacement so you can make an informed decision. Given proper asphalt maintenance and repairs, there’s no reason why your asphalt parking lot or driveway can’t last up to 20 years.

Asphalt Resurfacing

Resurfacing is when a contractor removes the top layer of asphalt and replaces it with a fresh layer. If the foundation of asphalt pavement isn’t damaged, you will be able to put off replacing your parking lot or driveway for another 8 to 15 years through resurfacing. It’s important you hire a reputable asphalt resurfacing contractor for the job. Otherwise, the effects of asphalt resurfacing won’t last.

You will need to repair asphalt potholes, cracks, and divots before resurfacing. This is because the new surface will only be as strong as the asphalt beneath it. In other words, if there is damage in asphalt layers underneath the surface, it won’t take long for this damage to reach the surface.

Resurfacing is possible, as long as the following is true:

  • Less than 25% to 30% of asphalt pavement needs repairs
  • Foundation is structurally sound
  • Asphalt pavement is less than 20 years old
  • Cracks are smaller than a quarter inch wide
  • Cracks are shallow (not several inches deep)

If your asphalt pavement needs replacement, resurfacing will not be enough. It won’t take long for structural damage to show up on the new surface through cracks and potholes. While it may seem less expensive in the short-term to pay for resurfacing, the constant repairs will cost you more in the long-run. An asphalt replacement contractor will be able to recognize the signs asphalt needs replacement.

Asphalt Replacement

An asphalt contractor will highly recommend replacement if your asphalt driveway or parking lot is beyond repair. While resurfacing may be less expensive in the short-term, eventually there will reach a point where the cost of repairs exceeds the cost of new asphalt installation. Since asphalt pavements typically last 20 years, you’ll want to consider replacement once it reaches the end of its life expectancy.

Replacement may be necessary if you notice the following warning signs:

  • More than 25% to 30% of asphalt pavement needs repairs
  • Foundation is unstable
  • Asphalt pavement is more than 20 years old
  • Cracks are over a quarter inch wide
  • Cracks are a few inches deep

The Michigan asphalt contractors at Allied Construction are proud to provide asphalt paving services to Clarkston, Brighton, Howell, Milford, Lapeer, and all of southeastern Michigan. If you are interested in our parking lot resurfacing or new asphalt installation services, call one of our locations for your free estimate.