Sealcoat Vs Repaving Which Is the Perfect Option for Your Asphalt Driveway?

Got cracks, potholes, and other kinds of damage on your asphalt driveway? Although asphalt pavements are designed to be very durable, they will sustain damage in the long run. However, that is no reason to disregard their durability. Good paving installations last up to 25 years provided they are maintained properly. However, due to conditions and factors, this lifespan may vary as well.

So, what does your asphalt driveway need at the stage it is in its lifespan? While seal coating prevents damage and keeps the surface looking good and new, it is not exactly a damage repair measure. Also, many experts will advise proper cracks and potholes filling before seal coating to prolong the life of your pavement. So, make sure to read through to find out whether seal-coating or repaving is needed:

Understanding Sealcoating

Sealcoating is a preventative maintenance measure designed to protect and enhance the surface of your existing asphalt driveway. It involves applying a protective layer of sealant over the asphalt, forming a barrier against the elements, UV rays, and automotive fluids. It is inexpensive, quick, and very affective in many cases to prolong the life of the pavement. Here are the key benefits of seal coating:

  • Prevents Oxidation: Sealcoating provides a protective barrier that shields the asphalt from oxidation, which can cause the driveway to become brittle and lose its flexibility.
  • UV Protection: The sealant reflects UV rays, preventing them from penetrating the asphalt and causing premature aging and fading.
  • Waterproofing: Sealcoating acts as a waterproofing agent, preventing water penetration into the asphalt. This is crucial in preventing cracks and potholes caused by freeze-thaw cycles.
  • Enhances Appearance: A freshly seal-coated driveway looks new and well-maintained, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of your property.
  • Cost-Effective: Sealcoating is a more budget-friendly option compared to repaving, making it an attractive choice for homeowners looking to extend the life of their existing driveway.

When to Choose Sealcoating

  • Surface Cracks: If your driveway has minor surface cracks or shows signs of oxidation, seal coating can be an effective solution.
  • Faded Appearance: When the color of your asphalt has faded due to UV exposure, seal coating can restore and enhance its appearance.
  • Preventative Maintenance: As a preventative measure, seal coating is recommended every 2-3 years to prolong the life of your driveway.

Understanding Repaving

Repaving, also known as resurfacing or asphalt overlay, involves applying a new layer of asphalt over the existing surface. Unlike seal coating, repaving addresses more extensive issues by providing a fresh and structurally sound layer of asphalt. So, all of the surface is taken apart and relayed to complete the process. Also, most of the materials may be reused in the process. Here are the key benefits of repaving:

  • Addresses Structural Issues: Repaving is suitable for driveways with structural issues, such as deep cracks, potholes, or a compromised base layer.
  • Restores Structural Integrity: The new layer of asphalt restores the structural integrity of the driveway, addressing underlying problems and providing a smooth, even surface.
  • Extend Lifespan: Repaving can significantly extend the lifespan of your driveway, especially when the existing surface has reached the end of its functional life.
  • Improves Load-Bearing Capacity: Repaving reinforces the load-bearing capacity of the driveway, making it capable of handling heavier loads without deterioration.

When to Choose Repaving

  • Deep Cracks and Potholes: If your driveway has deep cracks or potholes that compromise its integrity, repaving is the recommended solution.
  • Signs of Structural Damage: If there are signs of extensive structural damage, such as uneven surfaces or depressions, repaving is necessary.
  • Aged Driveway: When the existing asphalt has aged beyond the point where seal coating can be effective, repaving becomes a more viable and lasting solution.

Factors to Consider When Deciding Between Sealcoating and Repaving

  • Extent of Damage: Assess the extent of damage to your driveway. Minor surface issues and preventive maintenance are suitable for seal coating, while more extensive damage may require repaving.
  • Budget: Consider your budget, as repaving is generally a more significant investment compared to seal coating. Evaluate your priorities and the long-term benefits of each option. Sealcoating will be cheaper and, in many cases, will restore the new look and feel.
  • Age of Driveway: The age of your driveway is a crucial factor. If your driveway is relatively new and shows minor signs of wear, seal coating may be sufficient. However, older driveways with extensive damage may require repaving.
  • Future Plans: Consider your long-term plans for your property. If you plan to sell soon, investing in the curb appeal of a repaved driveway might be a wise decision. For those with longer-term residency plans, the more cost-effective seal coating may be sufficient.
  • Consultation with Professionals: Seek the advice of asphalt paving professionals. They can assess the specific condition of your driveway, providing expert recommendations based on their evaluation.


In the seal coat vs. repave debate, the decision ultimately depends on the condition and needs of your driveway. Sealcoating is an effective preventative maintenance option suitable for minor surface issues and preserving the overall appearance of the driveway. On the other hand, repaving addresses more extensive structural problems, providing a renewed surface for the property. Also, repaving will need extensive work from a professional driveway paving company So, make sure to assess the damage to your driveway and its condition. Make the right decision based on the factors mentioned above. A good asphalt pavement should last more than two decades when maintained properly.