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Compare Costs of Driveway Repaving vs Resurfacing

An Expert Comparison of Repaving vs Resurfacing Driveways

Asphalt doesn’t last forever. Over time, your driveway will start to crack and corrode. Even with regular sealing, the smooth surface will eventually wear down due to damage from UV rays, salt, oil, gas and harsh weather.

When the cracks become unsightly and unsafe, there are two basic options: resurface or repave. Here, we’ll explore the differences between the two.

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About Resurfacing

Resurfacing is a faster and simpler process than repaving. Essentially, you’re just putting a new asphalt driveway over the old one.

The first step in resurfacing is filling any existing cracks to create an even base. Then, a new layer of asphalt is applied, ranging in thickness from 1 1/2 inches to 3 inches. Finally, a heavy rolling machine is used to smooth and flatten the new layer.

Don’t confuse resurfacing with resealing, which is applying a protective coating to your asphalt. Resealing is a preventative measure designed to extend the life of your asphalt by protecting it from the elements. It is not a solution when your driveway needs repairing.

As a general rule, resurfacing is a good way to go if about 25 percent of your driveway is cracked. Less than that and you can probably wait a while. If the damage is significantly worse, it’s time to think about repaving.

About Repaving

Repaving is much more involved. It requires removing the old asphalt and starting fresh.

With repaving, a professional will come in and dig up all of your existing asphalt. Then, the soil below is filled, leveled and graded to ensure an even base. A layer of new gravel is placed above the soil and then compacted. Finally, the new asphalt is laid.

As a general rule, if half to three-quarters of the driveway is cracked, the damage is too severe to opt for resurfacing. Often, the root of the problem lies with uneven soil or gravel, which is not addressed with resurfacing.

Average Driveway Installation Prices

Cost of Resurfacing

Resurfacing usually costs anywhere from $1 to $2 per square foot. The price varies based on factors such as your geographic location, local competition, the season and the condition of your driveway. So the cost to resurface a 3,000 square foot driveway would be anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000.

Cost of Repaving

Repaving is more expensive than resurfacing because the job requires significantly more time, materials and labor. The cost is usually at least one-third more than resurfacing, and sometimes double the cost. Budget anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.

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