The relentless force of nature and gradual wear-and-tear can wreak havoc on your driveway’s asphalt. Despite its durability, asphalt is susceptible to aging and deterioration, which appear in the form of cracks, unevenness, and drainage problems. If your driveway has lost its original luster, it’s time to resurface the asphalt and protect it with a brand-new, shiny layer of sealant. Need help? Follow these tips on how to resurface your asphalt driveway.

Resurfacing vs. Sealcoating

When you resurface your driveway, you’re adding a second layer of asphalt to the existing pavement. This corrects any structural damage that’s emerged, like alligator cracks or potholes. If your driveway is full of cracks and potholes, has damage puddles, pooling water, is uneven, or upwards of twenty years old, it could benefit from resurfacing. Sealcoating acts as a protective barrier, restoring the asphalt’s rich color and shielding it from the snow, rain, and sun. It fills minor imperfections, but won’t repair or restructure your driveway. It’s a fantastic follow-up to resurfacing—it protects the fresh layer of asphalt, preventing the formation of cracks and other imperfections.

Step-by-Step

So, how do you resurface your driveway? Here’s a simple, step-by-step guide. You can resurface your driveway yourself, or hire a professional if you’re worried about the quality and longevity of your DIY results.

What You’ll Need

Stock up on these supplies before you get started:

  • Utility Broom
  • Coater Brush
  • Leaf Blower
  • Garden Hose or Pressure Washer
  • Putty Knife
  • Mixing Tool
  • Crack Filler
  • Degreaser
  • Paint Brush
  • Tamper
  • Pothole Patcher
  • Resurfacer

Clean Your Driveway

One tip on how to resurface your asphalt driveway is to scrub it clean it before you begin. Remove any dirt, debris, algae, and weeds with your hands, a utility broom, or a leaf blower. Once your driveway is free of debris, scrub off the remaining dirt with your cleaning solution of choice and some water. Let the soapy substance set, and then rinse it off with water from a pressure washer or garden hose. The driveway needs to dry before you start making your repairs. Depending on the temperature and weather conditions, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day.

Fill the Cracks

With a nice, clean driveway to work with, it’s time to start filling all the unsightly cracks and potholes. You can fill shallow, narrow cracks with a crack filler and smooth it out with a putty knife. Potholes require the use of a specialized patching material. Like crack filler, you’ll want to pour the material into the hole and spread it evenly with your putty knife or a towel. You can flatten the material with a tamper. Before you start, it’s best to wash away any oil spots with a degreaser, and, if necessary, apply a primer to the asphalt.

Start Resurfacing

Mix your resurfacer with a drill, mixing tool, or a wooden stick. Once it’s done, dip your paintbrush into the bucket and start applying the resurfacer along the edges of your driveway. With the edges filled, pour the remaining resurfacer in straight, even lines across the width of your driveway. Using a continuous back-and-forth motion, spread it evenly across your driveway with a coater brush. After filling your entire driveway, leave the resurfacer to dry. This can take up to a full day, or in less-than-ideal conditions, two. With that, you’re done! Once your asphalt is dry, you can sealcoat it for added protection.

To protect your resurfaced driveway from new cracks and potholes, read up on these mistakes to avoid after your asphalt driveway is installed, or, in this case, repaired. With due diligence, you’ll be able to control the amount of damage your driveway sustains over the coming years.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.