How Long Does an Asphalt Driveway Last?

Asphalt is a good choice for driveways, offering a visually appealing and customizable look that may enhance the resale value of your property. It also stands up well to deicers like road salt and ice melt.Asphalt Driveway

Asphalt Driveway also hides stains more easily than concrete, but periodic washing and degreasing are still needed to keep them looking great.

When installing a new asphalt driveway, the cost will vary depending on the size and layout of the project. In general, paving contractors estimate $7 to $15 per square foot for blacktop installation, including any minor land preparation and materials. This price includes labor, a basic asphalt sealant, and a crushed rock base for support. However, the cost can be significantly higher if additional services are required like excavation or grading.

Other factors that will influence the cost of your asphalt driveway include the type of asphalt you use, and whether you’re replacing a gravel or dirt surface or paving an entirely new area. Cold mix asphalt is typically the cheapest but is designed for repairs only and can be less durable. Hot mix asphalt is more expensive but provides excellent durability and can be used for full driveway paving projects. More premium options like stamped or colored asphalt are also available but can increase the overall costs.

The lifespan of an asphalt driveway is also influenced by the number of cars and trucks that use it on a regular basis, as well as the weather conditions in your area. For example, if you live in an area that experiences frequent freeze-thaw cycles, you may want to consider choosing porous asphalt. This type of pavement is designed so that water can pass through it rather than pooling on the surface, which helps prevent damage from frost heaves.

Another factor that can impact the longevity of an asphalt driveway is the amount of maintenance it receives. It’s recommended that you apply a coat of sealant every two to five years to protect the surface and prolong its life. You can get professional asphalt resealing done for about $0.17 to $0.24 per square foot, or you can do it yourself with the right materials.

Repairing cracks and other damage to an asphalt driveway is typically a do-it-yourself (DIY) project that can be completed fairly easily, although large potholes might require the help of a professional contractor to fill in properly. In addition, resealing and resurfacing an asphalt driveway are fairly low-cost DIY projects that can help reduce the need for professional maintenance over time.


Asphalt is a very long-lasting material that can be used for a number of different applications, including residential driveways and parking lots. Unlike concrete, it is relatively easy to repair and maintain and can last for decades with proper care. There are several factors that can affect the longevity of an asphalt driveway, including weather conditions, weight of vehicles, and upkeep. Keeping these factors in mind can help homeowners understand how long their asphalt driveway will last and how they can extend its lifespan.

The type of asphalt used and the quality of the installation can have a major impact on the lifespan of your driveway. The best option is to choose hot mix asphalt, which is more durable than cold mix and can withstand more extreme temperatures. The quality of the base and the aggregates is also important to the longevity of the asphalt. A professional installer will be able to help you choose the right aggregates for your needs and install them properly.

In addition, the amount of use your driveway sees can affect its lifespan. If you have heavy traffic from large trucks or equipment, the asphalt may need to be reinforced and thickened to accommodate this type of stress. Having your driveway properly maintained and regularly seal coated can also add to the longevity of your asphalt.

One of the biggest factors that can shorten the lifespan of your asphalt is water damage. During rainy seasons, you should keep an eye out for cracks and puddles. If you notice them, it is a good idea to have them repaired as soon as possible. If you allow them to spread, the damage can be much more severe.

Another factor that can affect the longevity of your asphalt driveway is its exposure to sunlight. When it is exposed to the sun, the heat can cause the asphalt to shrink and crack. This can be especially problematic in areas with large temperature fluctuations throughout the year. This is why it is a good idea to have your asphalt re-sealed once per year and to keep it free of debris like sticks and stones.


Asphalt is relatively durable, especially compared to concrete, but this does not mean that it can’t crack or damage over time. A well-constructed asphalt driveway can last 20-30 years, though the lifespan of your driveway is heavily dependent on factors such as weather conditions and maintenance needs. Asphalt driveways can also be damaged by environmental factors like frost heave, which causes the ground to expand upward in colder climates. In addition, asphalt is susceptible to deterioration from the use of deicing salts and other chemicals.

To prevent these issues, you must have a properly graded and compacted base for your asphalt driveway. A professional paving company should be able to provide this service, which will help prolong the life of your new asphalt driveway. Keeping up with regular maintenance will also extend the longevity of your asphalt driveway. This includes filling in any cracks as they appear and re-sealing every two to three years. It is important to note that asphalt is derived from petroleum products, which can cause it to oxidize over time and lose its waterproof properties.

Unlike concrete, which has a high initial cost, asphalt is a cheaper option for homeowners looking to improve their driveway or sidewalks. This makes it a popular choice for budget-conscious homeowners, as it can be laid in a shorter amount of time and is less expensive to repair or replace. Asphalt paving is also more environmentally friendly than other types of paved materials, as it uses fewer resources to produce and has a lower carbon footprint.

While asphalt is a durable material, it does not perform as well as concrete in areas with harsh winters. The freeze-thaw cycle can deteriorate the surface, as water seeps into the cracks and freezes. Over time, this can widen the cracks and lead to further damage. Additionally, deicing salts can cause the asphalt to deteriorate faster than it would in other environments. This is why it is essential to have a professional paving company apply a proper base for your asphalt driveway, and to have a good deicing plan in place for your area.


Asphalt is a durable surface, but it requires maintenance to keep its appearance and functionality. It can be ruined in several ways, such as when it is exposed to excessive moisture, which causes it to degrade from underneath and become cracked or pitted. Other common issues that affect asphalt are water pooling, weed growth, and low spots. These problems are often caused by improper drainage. The best way to avoid these issues is to have your driveway drained by a professional after installation and then perform routine preventative maintenance.

One of the most important things you can do to maintain your asphalt driveway is to clean it regularly. Sweeping the surface with a stiff broom and power hose spray can prevent dirt build-up, which can cause the asphalt to wear down. Oil spills should be immediately cleaned with a grease-removing detergent, and any cracks should be filled with asphalt crack filler.

Another important step in maintaining your asphalt driveway is to resurface and seal it twice a year. This will help the pavement to retain its flexibility and durability, and it will also protect it from damage from the elements. Unlike concrete, which needs to be resurfaced every three to five years, asphalt can last much longer with regular resurfacing and sealing.

Moisture is the most damaging factor for a driveway, as it penetrates the pavement through cracks and breaks down its base layer. This can result in water-filled potholes, which can be very expensive to fix. Moisture can also degrade the surface of a driveway by freezing and thawing in repeated cycles, which can cause surface depressions. In addition, it can lead to the development of weeds and grass on the surface.

It is recommended to use a high-quality asphalt sealer that provides UV protection. This will extend the life of your asphalt driveway by protecting it from sunlight damage. A quality asphalt sealer will also improve the appearance of your driveway, which is a big selling point for many homeowners. If you are unsure of the best type of sealant to choose, talk with your local paving contractor. They can suggest the right product for your home and budget.