Resurfacing vs. Sealing Your Driveway: Choosing the Right Path in St. Louis

The mighty St. Louis driveway endures a lot – scorching summers, harsh winters, and relentless wear-and-tear. As your driveway ages, the question arises: should you seal it or resurface it? Both options offer solutions, but they address different levels of wear and tear. Here’s a breakdown to help you decide which path is right for your St. Louis property.

Sealing vs. Resurfacing: Understanding the Difference

Sealing: Think of sealing as a protective layer applied to your existing asphalt driveway. Sealcoat acts as a barrier against water infiltration, sun damage, and oil stains, extending the lifespan and improving the appearance of your driveway.
Resurfacing: Resurfacing involves removing the top layer of damaged asphalt and replacing it with a new layer of asphalt. This is a more comprehensive solution for severely cracked, uneven, or extensively deteriorated driveways.

Sealing: When It's the Smart Choice

Sealing is a cost-effective way to rejuvenate your St. Louis driveway if it exhibits minor signs of wear:

Small Cracks: A few hairline cracks are manageable with sealing. The sealer fills these cracks and prevents them from expanding due to freeze-thaw cycles common in St. Louis.
Faded Appearance: Over time, asphalt loses its rich black color. Sealcoat restores a dark, attractive finish, instantly enhancing your curb appeal.
Preventative Maintenance: Regular sealing (every 3-5 years) is a proactive measure to protect your driveway from future damage and extend its lifespan.

Resurfacing: When Sealing Isn't Enough

If your St. Louis driveway shows more extensive signs of damage, resurfacing is likely the better option:

Extensive Cracks: A network of large cracks indicates a compromised asphalt base. Sealing won’t address this issue, and resurfacing is necessary to create a smooth, stable surface.
Uneven Surfaces: Significant depressions, bumps, or potholes require a complete resurfacing to ensure a level and safe driving surface.
Severely Deteriorated Asphalt: If your asphalt has become brittle, crumbly, or shows significant wear, resurfacing is necessary to restore the structural integrity of your driveway.

Cost Comparison: Sealing vs. Resurfacing

In general, sealing your driveway is a more affordable option compared to resurfacing. Sealing typically costs between $1-$3 per square foot, while resurfacing can range from $3-$7 per square foot.

The Final Decision: Assess Your Driveway

The best way to decide between sealing or resurfacing is to have a professional assess your St. Louis driveway. Reputable asphalt companies can provide a thorough evaluation and recommend the most suitable solution based on the condition of your driveway and your budget.

By understanding the difference between sealing and resurfacing, you can make an informed decision that protects your St. Louis property investment and keeps your driveway looking its best for years to come.