The main difference is that resurfacing is a structural repair that will extend the useful life of your asphalt surface. It entails the patching (if necessary) and resurfacing of the entire surface with a new overlay of 1 ½" to 2" of hot mix asphalt. Sealcoating is not a structural repair and may be likened to painting. The seal coat protects and extends the life of your asphalt, but does nothing to correct structural flaws. Seal coating, accordingly, is substantially less expensive than resurfacing your drive and can bu used to mask some surface flaws but not repair them.
This is one of the trickiest questions we get. And the answer is 'it depends'! Once we patch part of your drive, it will be a black area in the midst of your existing graying surface or if the driveway has been seal coated a rich black against a faded black. This does not bother some people, as they know that they are protecting the investment that they have in their driveway. Others see it as an eyesore and have the whole driveway resurfaced or seal coated after the patching is completed.
Color aside, we believe it's primarily a question of personal taste, but there are two primary differences.
Asphalt is a flexible surface that has the ability to flex with use and slight movements of the base. Concrete, which is a much more rigid surface, relies on its own internal strength to absorb loads and bridge weaknesses in the sub-base. Both materials will crack over time but unlike asphalt; cracks in concrete cannot be repaired and easily blended to be less noticeable.
Concrete costs significantly more upfront than an asphalt surface of comparable strength and requires no real maintenance after completion. Asphalt is usually 40-50% less in upfront cost and even with the suggested maintenance of seal coating every 3-4 years; over a 20 year time period an asphalt driveway still costs less than concrete.
A new asphalt driveway should not be sealed sooner than 90 days. We generally recommend sealing a new driveway 1 year after completion. How often is a good question. This is usually gauged by the amount of direct sunlight, traffic and freeze/thaw patterns that an area gets. As a rule of thumb, we recommend seal coating every 3-4 years.
At the start of each project we will go over time frame and scheduling to minimize any inconvenience. Generally driveway paving is a 1-2 day process depending on the size of the job and no parking on the new asphalt for 2 days depending on outside temperatures. Seal coating is a 1 day process with 24 hours of no traffic from time of completion.
We are based in Hendersonville and service mostly Nashville and Davidson county, but can help you to about 35 miles around this area.