Cracked Asphalt: When to Repair vs. Replace

June 22, 2017 8:31 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

If your driveway is cracked and starting to look worse for wear, you may be thinking about replacing it. But visible wear and cracks in the asphalt can be deceiving, and replacing your driveway may not always be the best option. Sometimes either making a few repairs or opting to repave your asphalt driveway is a better solution, but it can be hard to tell which option is best for your particular situation. If you are a dealing with a cracked asphalt driveway, here are a few things you should know before you decide to replace or repair.


Repairing your asphalt driveway is basically a two-part process. First, any cracks, ruts or other blemishes in your driveway need to be patched or filled in. If you try to simply go over the damage with asphalt paving, the same cracks and ruts will only reappear in the new asphalt. Once the cracks and divots have been filled in and patched properly, a new layer of asphalt can be poured in over the existing asphalt.

Repairing your asphalt driveway is much faster, simpler and less expensive than replacing your driveway—that is, if no foundation damage has occurred. Below are a few examples of when it’s okay to repair your asphalt driveway rather than replace it:

  • Your driveway is less than 20 years old
  • The cracks in your asphalt are linear (forming nearly straight lines)
  • The cracks in your asphalt are less than a quarter-inch wide

As your local source for asphalt paving in Middlesex County, MA, we’ve found that most driveways fall into the repair rather than replace category, but this is not always the case. Under certain circumstances, completely replacing your asphalt may be in order.


Replacing your asphalt driveway is much more time consuming and complicated than repairing or resurfacing it. But if the damage to your driveway is significant, trying to repair it will only be a temporary solution and a waste of your time and money. When your asphalt driveway is replaced, the old asphalt and foundation will be broken up, removed and completely replaced. Below are a few examples of when you should replace your driveway:

  • Your driveway is over 20 years old
  • The surface is severely cracked and rutted to the point that it looks like scales
  • Cracks are larger than a quarter-inch wide and/or several inches deep.
  • More than 25 percent of your driveway’s surface is damaged

Although replacing your driveway may seem like a hassle, in the long run, you’ll actually save money. Trying to repair a severely damaged driveway will only cover up the problem—not fix it.

Whether you’ve determine it’s time to replace or repair your asphalt driveway, Cooper Bros Asphalt Paving Inc. can help! We specialize in asphalt paving in Middlesex County, MA and have experience doing both asphalt driveway repair jobs and replacements. If you need help determining which option is best for your driveway, give us a call today!

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