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  1. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Northern Virginia

    Default Re: Repaving Asphalt Driveway vs. Just Filling Cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by barbarabar View Post
    Hi Brookworld, We, too, have driveway problems and are about 1 hr. north of you. The driveway was repaved at some point- a new layer of asphalt atop the original which makes a 1 1/2 in lip up from the garage to the driveway. The driveway has cracks and two spots where the asphalt is coming off in chunks- one where it meets the street (started when they repaved the street and did a terrible job connecting to our driveway.) and another where no chunks have come off but you can see chunks forming. The asphalt underneath seems cracked but intact. Finding a reputable contractor is one issue, but do you think we need to have the top layer taken off and redone? How did you reach your decision? Barbara
    Hi Barbara: I'm sorry to hear about the chunk problems; quite frankly, I didn't think "repaving" would be a solution unless the problem is diagnosed or addessed. In some sense, repaving is like adding wall paper over old paper and not dealing with the underlying problem.

    I can't say I'm anywhere an expert, but here are my thoughts.
    (1) Digging up and re-preparing the foundation and then pouring new asphalt would give you a new driveway -- I've done only 1 driveway, and it was $10,000 to do pavers (about 900 sqft, about $10-11 per sf), replacing concrete. This was the brand new driveway and should last 50 years in California.
    Our Canadian buddy (Nestor) in this posting spent $20,000 for 4,000 sf of asphalt parking ($5 per sqft), and it seems he knows enough to be sure all the rights things were done -- again, a new asphalt parking area that should last 50 years.
    Thus, you have a price range for ripping off the asphalt, re-preparing the foundation, and adding a new surface: asphalt, concrete or paver. For me, 2,000 sqft @ $10/sqft would be an poor investment.
    (2) For me, that leaves the choice of repairing the cracks and resealing. I intend to repair the cracks myself (about $75 forcold patch, crack filler and driveway washer). I've never done this aso it will be a new adventure in No. VA summer weather of humidity & sun. Resealing is $300, but they will be using a standard sealer.
    (3) I also receive a quote to just repave (adding 2 inches of alphalt) for $4,300 (2,000 sqft) -- it looked good until I realized I don't want a built-up driveway with another 2 inches on top. The quote including shaving off the sides (before adding a top layer) to prevent a buildup. Your driveway wasn't shaved in areas where a lip was formed
    (4) For you, the chunks would be disconcerning because it looks like something else is happening. I wonder whether the 2nd layer of asphalt was poorly done, and the chunks are forming (cure worse than the disease) because the the asphalt didn't attached properly, whatever.

    Basically, the whole issue is to stop water from getting into and under the asphalt that would undermine the asphalt. Your weather is like mine, and in the winter, the freezing & thawing of water in & under the aspahlt will cause it to crack. So, I would patch and fill the holes, and then seal it to keep out water. The sun will breakdown the sealer in several years (some synthetic sealers claim 7-8 years). The sealer will also make, I hope, the cracks blend in with the driveway. Any lumps and dips will show, but the color should be uniform. The internet says to use primer (a white liquid) to cover oils that didn't wash off to keep them from spotting the sealer. This can be done for $hundreds rather than $2,000 for repaving (assume $2sf), or $10,000 (assume $10 sf) for a rip-out & new surface.

    There may be something even more in the middle, like "shaving" off all the old asphalt and laying new. I've not asked about this or considered it

    If you decide to rip out, I would go for pavers -- in the DC area, there are additional issues like weed growing between pavers. They will probably need to be sealed and compacted every so often (some pavers may lift even if they are interlocking).
    Last edited by Brookworld; 07-19-2011 at 05:13 PM.

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