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Sealcoating vs. Resurfacing vs. Repaving: Which is right for you?

by | Feb 12, 2019

Asphalt is cheap, durable, and when properly kept up looks extremely attractive as well. But besides simple pothole fixes or crack filling applications, there are several levels of resurfacing maintenance you may need to consider if your pavement has started showing its age or if it’s been neglected for an extended period of time.

These surface treatments include sealcoating, resurfacing, and repaving, and each solution is tailored for different circumstances.

Sealcoating
Sealcoating comes as a liquid mixture that is spread and hardens in a thin layer over your asphalt, giving your pavement a rich black finish (which looks amazing) and a layer of durable protection. In fact, a healthy sealcoating layer is your pavement’s first line of defense against corrosive chemicals, moisture, and UV light; And keeping your sealcoating fresh has a direct impact on how long and in what condition your asphalt remains.

The first sealcoating layer is usually applied early on after the pavement is first set down, within the first several months but after it has fully cured. After this, new layers of sealcoating are advised every 1.5 – 3 years. The frequency depends on the wear and tear your pavement is experiencing, and we can let you know what schedule will be best for your situation.

But keep in mind that sealcoating doesn’t fill potholes or large cracks, so any damage in your paving layer should be repaired BEFORE your next sealcoating appointment.

Resurfacing
Resurfacing is exactly what it sounds like, adding a completely new asphalt surface (sometimes called an overlay) OVER the existing asphalt pavement. But unlike sealcoating, which is essentially a preventative and protective treatment, resurfacing is more of an emergency cost-saving measure used when asphalt shows serious signs of failure.

There are other options, of course. Sections of the pavement can be patched or replaced, and cracks or potholes can be repaired. But if your asphalt has significant valleys that fill with standing water when it rains, or large sections of spreading, interconnected cracks that are crumbling away, a general resurfacing might be the best long-term solution.

A number of steps are involved in the process to ensure a successful final result. The old pavement is cleaned, patched, and repaired, high or low areas are ground down or filled up, and drainage features are adjusted. Then a brand new asphalt layer (along with several other applications to help with durability and adhesion) is put down over top of the old pavement. The result is a brand new pavement surface that uses the old pavement and foundation for stability and strength.

Repaving
If the pavement isn’t in good enough shape to support an overlay, repaving is the only option. The old pavement is torn out and shipped away to be ground up and recycled. The foundations are rebuilt and re-graded. Brand new asphalt is moved in and paved.

Repaving is the most expensive and time consuming option of the three, and generally should be avoided whenever the old asphalt is in good enough condition to be salvaged. But, if the damage is too extensive or severe, starting fresh can be the best option, and will give you a brand new, durable, and good-looking lot ready for decades of hard use.

Let Us Help You!
Stripe-A-Lot, your family-owned West Michigan asphalt paving contractor, has been serving customers just like you since 1986. We’re here to answer your questions, giving you the info and expertise you need with services including residential and commercial sealcoating, new asphalt paving, parking lot striping, patching and crack repair, drainage repair, and much more. If you’d like to learn more or receive a personalized estimate, just give us a call at 616-772-2559!

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