Need-to-Knows and What-to-Dos: Dealing with Your Weathered Asphalt Driveway


DrivewayWeathered asphalt driveways are common. The driveway is exposed to a number of different factors that contribute to weathering and damaging. As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to maintain your property, from the driveway all the way up to the little nooks and crannies inside your home. This task entails understanding the importance of property maintenance and a commitment to taking care of your investments.

Know, however, that it is not easy. You have to learn when to seal coat it or when to have it repaved. You have to know when the right time is and how to best go about the repair and maintenance of a driveway. Experts have the knowledge about these matters, which is why it is always a good idea to consult with them. It’s even smarter to let them do all the sealcoating services and heavy labor.

Before you go into any labor, however, here’s all you need to know about your weathered driveway:

Getting to Know the Cracks

It’s time to start thinking about new asphalt if your driveway has areas where the pavement is rutted or severely broken. Experts call this “alligatoring” or alligator cracks, since the surface mimics the skin of the reptile. When you notice this kind of pattern in your asphalt driveway, or basically when you can’t crack fill it any more, it’s time for a new one.

Alligatoring can happen even with new driveways, probably due to a nuance in the sealing process or to extreme weather conditions. Most of the time, however, the alligatoring effect occurs when a driveway has been sealed and resealed repeatedly over the years. Alligatoring from over sealing looks like cracked glazing on pottery and doesn’t actually crack the pavement underneath.

First Course of ActionSealcoated Driveway

If your driveway has the alligatoring effect where the sealcoat has that cracked glazed potter look, an application of a sealcoat will make it look black and new again, but the effect will still be noticeable once the sealcoat has been completed. This remedy has no effect on the structural integrity of the driveway and is merely cosmetic in nature.

If driveway aesthetic is your main concern, maybe you should consider a new one instead. Besides, to crack fill over a patch of alligator cracks would basically turn the area into a continuous sheet of crack filling rubber. During warmer months, the vehicle’s tires could literally pull the pavement out of the driveway.

The Proper Corrective Action

The experts’ recommendation is based on the cracks or the severity of the damage. But more importantly, it is based on what the homeowner needs. If you simply need a resealing and the cracks aren’t that alarming, then an application of sealcoat will work. But if the cracks are too deep and your priority is cosmetics, a new driveway is in order.

Call for an estimate immediately and speak with a reputable established contractor in your area. They could offer professional advice on the best and most cost-effective course of action. It could only require crack filling at the moment or you might need a new one to save on future crack filling and sealing services.