Asphalt Patching vs. Resurfacing


Your asphalt driveway doesn’t just need to bear the weight of heavy four-wheelers but also looks good. A well-maintained driveway boosts your curb appeal and is great to walk or drive on. If you need to repair or get maintenance done for your driveway you can hire professionals by searching for “paving companies near me”. Let’s check out whether you should opt for asphalt patching or resurfacing while fixing your driveway:

The Differences

  1. Asphalt Patching – If you have numerous cracks growing on your asphalt driveway you need to patch them up as soon as possible. Asphalt patching involves filling up tiny holes and cracks with asphalt or a concrete sealant.

You can get these raw materials easily at a local hardware store. If you ignore the cracks and allow them to grow, water will fill up the cracks and seep into the underneath gravel. This will weaken the foundation and cause the asphalt to crumble and create potholes.

There are a few advantages to asphalt patching. For instance, it is the easiest method of fixing your driveway and doesn’t require the expertise of professionals. It’s also a ridiculously inexpensive way of fixing your driveway. You can pick up patch material for around $2 to $3 per square foot along with an asphalt squeegee to fill up the cracks.

The main disadvantage of this method is its limited scope. This method can only be used to fix small cracks that are less than a quarter-inch wide. Moreover, patching is a short-term solution. While patching doesn’t completely fix the problem, it keeps it from growing.

  1. Asphalt Resurfacing – As mentioned above, smaller cracks can be fixed with patching. However, it fails to fix cracks that are more than a quarter-inch wide. Larger cracks represent extensive damage and that’s when you need to do asphalt resurfacing.

For fixing numerous moderate cracks or a few severe cracks, resurfacing is the most cost-effective and practical solution. With resurfacing, certain portions of the asphalt driveway are scraped off and then resurfaced by pouring new asphalt. It’s a more intensive repair that gives long-term protection compared to patching.

Resurfacing has many advantages over patching asphalt. While patching gets the job done temporarily, it doesn’t look as great as a resurfaced asphalt driveway. Resurfacing is also cheaper than having to completely repave the driveway. It costs you around $3 to $7 per square foot. It can add around a decade to your asphalt driveway.

On the other hand, the disadvantages of such intense repair are also evident. It’s not a DIY job. You need to hire professionals for this task. Expect to pay a couple of thousand dollars or a bit more to get your asphalt driveway resurfaced. That’s why most people opt for resurfacing for 5 to 10-year-old driveways.

  1. Appearance – When you have a few minor and narrow cracks on your asphalt driveway, you can simply fill up an asphalt squeegee with asphalt, fill up the cracks and be on your way. However, your driveway won’t look the most attractive after this fix. The patched cracks would be very noticeable even from a distance. It doesn’t offer a seamless appearance.

Resurfacing wins the cake here since it makes your driveway look far better than some DIY patching. Homeowners usually opt for resurfacing when a quarter portion of the driveway is filled with cracks and damages. If you go the impractical route and resurface the whole driveway, it will look as good as new.

  1. Cost – As mentioned above, patching is the least expensive asphalt repair you can do. Since you can do it yourself you don’t spend any money on labor, the most expensive part of any repair work. All you need to spend is around $30 to $50 for an asphalt squeegee and around $2 to $3 worth of material for every square foot.

On the other hand, resurfacing your asphalt driveway is not cheap by any means. Resurfacing costs around $3 to $7 per square foot. Expect to spend over $2000 for getting a 2-car driveway resurfaced. For a 12 by 100 square feet private asphalt road, expect to pay a lot more. However, it’s much cheaper than obliterating the existing driveway and getting it repaved. Moreover, in the long-term resurfacing can be cheaper than patching since it adds around a decade to your driveway.

While the upfront cost of patching the driveway is minimal, you need to do it multiple times over several years. That’s a lot of money and valuable time wasted on a temporary fix. Instead, you can limit the damages temporarily with patching and then get the driveway resurfaced when the damages grow to a certain extent.

  1. Durability – As mentioned above, patching is a temporary fix. Even after you fill up a small crack, water would eventually seep into it and cause problems. Expect patching to keep the damage at bay for around 2 years or less.

For a long-term fix, resurfacing is the best option. With a decade added to the life of the driveway, you don’t have to worry about the damage worsening over time. Moreover, neighbors and strangers passing by your driveway won’t be looking at a shoddy patchwork.

  1. DIY friendly – While resurfacing is the ideal repair work in most cases, this is the only factor where patching wins a point. Patching requires a simple tool, easily available patch material, and your elbow grease. You don’t need any technical knowledge. Just follow the manufacturer’s guide or watch a few YouTube videos and you’re qualified for the task.

Contrary to that, resurfacing requires quite a bit of expertise and technical knowledge that can only be offered by professionals. The damage needs to be assessed properly before the work is even attempted. If you try resurfacing your driveway without any technical knowledge, you may do more harm than good.


Patching and resurfacing are very different kinds of repair jobs that need to be done in different situations. In the worst case, you may need to start from scratch and get your driveway replaced and repaved. You can hire professionals for any of those jobs by searching for “paving companies near me”.

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