When Should You Sealcoat or Repave Your Asphalt Driveway

When Should You Sealcoat or Repave Your Asphalt Driveway

With any asphalt paving there will come a time when it is either necessary to sealcoat to further protect your investment, or completely repave the driveway if it is beyond repair. If a driveway is fairly new it will most likely only need a new sealcoat, however, if the driveway is older and showing clear signs of heavy wear, repaving will most likely be the best option. There are a few surefire ways to know when each is necessary.

When to Sealcoat or Repave

Sealcoating vs. repaving depends on the deterioration of the asphalt paving. It is necessary to look for certain tale-tale signs of when it is necessary for each. These are the most common signs that it is either time to sealcoat or repave:

  • Sealcoating is necessary every 2-4 years depending on when the tar emulsion wears off and slight cracks begin to develop. If you wait too long full cracks will appear and the asphalt will begin to deteriorate and then new asphalt will need to be considered.Sealcoating your driveway can help year-round, check out more information at http://www.klewtv.com/news/local/Angies-List-How-sealcoating-driveway-can-help-year-round-264924301.html
  • If the pavement is rutted or broken then it is time to consider new asphalt. This type of damage is referred to as “alligatoring” and indicates that the pavement has reached the point that the cracks can’t be filled and all new asphalt is needed. There may also be alligatoring from a driveway that has been sealed over the years. If a driveway has been sealed a lot throughout the years the alligatoring will have a cracked glazing like that of pottery and does not crack the pavement.

When Should You Sealcoat or Repave Your Asphalt Driveway

What Type of Sealcoat is Best

When selecting a sealcoat for your asphalt paving it is suggested to buy a coal tar emulsion or asphalt emulsion-based sealer. If possible purchase as a gel sealer, they are easier to work with although you will not get as much coverage when compared with sealers that are applied with a brush or roller. To apply the gel sealer a squeegee is suggested as the best tool. the gel-based emulsion will last for about 2 years before needing reapplication.Read more information on drive way sealers by clicking here

It is arguable whether coal tar or asphalt emulsion is better but coal tar tends to offer less wear and better longevity. The other side of the argument is that asphalt emulsion is the only option that will fully bond the top coat with the underlying driveway and will protect the original asphalt best. In the end both will work well so it isn’t that much of worry.


While it is possible to repave yourself it is highly suggested that an asphalt contractor is contacted. Asphalt contractors can easily be found online or through friends and neighbors that have had paving work done.

A well maintained driveway will last upwards of 20 years with the proper care. Most driveways will only need a new sealcoat every 2-4 years, but when there are large cracks reaching 3/4 of the way across the pavement, it is time to consider a full repave.



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