LESLIE: Sandra in North Dakota is having issues with the driveway. What can we do for you today?
Asphalt Driveway Lifespan
SANDRA: Yes, I was wondering if you can recommend something to put on our asphalt driveway to bring it back to life? It’s about 15 years old.
TOM: Is the driveway in good structural condition? Does it have a lot of cracks in it? Is it heaved? Is it broken apart? Is it just worn? What’s it look like?
SANDRA: It’s very dry-looking. Now, all these years we have used different asphalt sealers on it and used crack pour on the cracks. But the past two years it just looks very dried out; like no moisture left.
TOM: Right. Look, you know, 15 years is a pretty long time for an asphalt driveway because they’re not designed to last forever. And you can only put so many …
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) What’s the usual lifespan, Tom?
TOM: Well, I would say ten, really.
TOM: You can only put so many coats of sealer and crack filler on that before it just really starts to look nasty no matter what you do. So you might want to think – at some point here, Sandra – about removing that and replacing it or at least having it resurfaced. Now when you resurface it, you only have to put about another inch of material over it; so it may not be as expensive. As long as you have the height to do that – and by the height I mean, you know, you have to be careful where it abuts the garage or where it ends so that you don’t end up with some sort of a lip there. So I think adding an additional layer of asphalt might be appropriate at this time because, as you’ve seen, when you keep sealing it for 10, 15 years, sometimes it doesn’t work anymore.
SANDRA: Right. And I think that’s the point we’re at right now. The last two times …
TOM: (overlapping voices) Yep. Well, it’s the same thing with paint. You know, you can only put so many layers of paint on the wall before it starts to …
LESLIE: Before it all comes crumbling down.
TOM: Yeah, exactly. It’s not going to stand an infinite number. So that’s really where you’re at. In North Dakota, I’m sure you’re taking a lot of abuse from salt and all of that on the driveway as well, so I think it’s probably served you very well at 15 years, Sandra.
SANDRA: Well, thank you for your time and I appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.