Asphalt Driveways

Considering An Asphalt Driveway?

Is An Asphalt Driveway The Best Choice For Your Home?

  • What are the benefits of asphalt vs concrete or permeable/interlocking pavers?
  • Which driveway surface is best when choosing between asphalt, concrete or permeable/interlocking pavers?
  • What type of ongoing maintenance does an asphalt driveway require compared to a concrete or interlocking paver driveway?

These are all very important things to consider when it comes to choosing a new driveway.

All About Asphalt Driveways

Whether you call them black top driveways, ash-phalt driveways tarmac or macadam driveways… they’re all the same.

How common are asphalt driveways?

The further North we travel in the United States, the more likely we see asphalt. The further South we travel in the United States, the more likely we see concrete and/or permeable/interlocking pavers. This is due to the amount of freeze and thaw cycles that occur in colder regions.

Asphalt is pliable, making it much more forgiving than concrete when it comes to heaving from freeze and thaw cycles.

Asphalt is also an excellent choice if you happen to live in a snowy region.  The black color can soak in the heat from the sun and melt snow much faster than any other type of driveway surface.

Installation Time

A new asphalt driveway can be installed in a relatively short amount of time. Typically it only takes 1 day to install after the sub-grade preparation is complete. Sub-grade prep can take anywhere from less than a day to a couple of weeks depending on the soil conditions in your area.

There’s very little inconvenience when having one installed. However, if you live in a region that requires the sub-grade to settle for a couple of weeks, it can be a bit of an inconvenience.

Asphalt can generally be driven on at least 24 hours after installation. But a new asphalt can take years to fully cure, therefore minor scarring of the surface may occur from sharp turns, power steering divots, tractor tires, snow blade and a variety of things for the first couple of years, particularly on hot sunny days.

Rolling a freshly laid asphalt driveway to compact it
Compacting a freshly laid asphalt driveway with a plate compactor

If you already own an asphalt driveway and it’s beginning to show the signs of aging, exceptional deterioration, or has a tremendous amount of patching and repairs and looks blotchy and uninviting; overlaying the existing asphalt or completely removing and replacing it may be in order. This absolutely should be performed by a reputable paving company that will do it right the first time by performing soil tests and determining if the sub-grade is suitable to re-pave the driveway on the existing soil. If not, the soil should be excavated and new base or structural material installed for a solid, long lasting driveway.

All driveways age, deteriorate and can become a safety hazard. However, the goal with any driveway should be to maximize the life expectancy as much as possible before having to completely remove and replace it. This requires a solid plan with maintenance of every 3 to 5 years.

Of the four types of driveways, asphalt is #3
when comparing cost and #2 when comparing ongoing maintenance.

Cost Chart:


Paver Driveway - #1 - Most Expensive

Concrete Driveway - #2

Asphalt Driveway - #3

Gravel Driveway - #4 - Least Expensive


Asphalt can be the least expensive option when compared to other hard surface driveways.

Ongoing Maintenance Chart:


Gravel Driveway - #1 - Most Ongoing Maintenance

Asphalt Driveway - #2

Concrete Driveway - #3

Paver Driveway - #4 - Least Ongoing Maintenance


Asphalt requires the 2nd most frequent amount of ongoing maintenance when compared to other driveways.

Life Expectancy Of An Asphalt Driveway

A properly installed asphalt driveway with regularly scheduled maintenance can last up to 20 or even 30 years. That variation in age can be determined by the stability of the sub-grade, the quality of the installation, the type and frequency of maintenance, the drainage plan and the climate of the region you’re located in.

Types of ongoing maintenance you can
expect to perform on an asphalt driveway?

Crack Sealing

Sealing cracks in an asphalt driveway


Sealing an asphalt driveway with a squeegee

Oil Spots

Oil spots on asphalt

Weed Control

Weeds in an asphalt driveway


The edge of an asphalt driveway next to grass

New asphalt driveways should NOT be sealed until they are at a minimum of 6 months old. They should then be sealed every 3 to 5 years thereafter to slow down the deterioration process. However, only a quality commercial grade asphalt sealer is recommended and applied either by yourself or a reputable seal coating contractor. When cracks develop, they should be sealed frequently. Ultimately cracks should be sealed every fall when the asphalt is cool and it has contracted. The cracks are open at their widest this time of year and will be optimally sealed when the heat from summer comes back around and the asphalt has warmed and expanded. Sealing the cracks will help to prevent further damage and pavement failures like alligatoring and potholes.

Choosing The Right Driveway For Your Home

When choosing between asphalt and the other three types of driveways, take into the consideration these things:

  • Step 1

    Is an Asphalt Driveway Compliant with your HOA/Local Municipality?

    Be sure and check with your HOA (if you have one) or your local government municipality to make sure an asphalt driveway is acceptable in the area you live. Some HOA's or municipalities do not allow asphalt driveways.

  • Step 2

    Will An Asphalt Driveway Look Good In The Neighborhood You Live In?

    Will an asphalt driveway look good in front of your home? Maybe a different type of driveway will look better. Have you explored your options?

  • Step 3

    Will An Asphalt Driveway Stand Up To The Elements?

    What is the climate like in your region of the country? Be sure and select a driveway type that make sense for your region.

  • Step 4

    How Much Maintenance Will An Asphalt Driveway Require?

    If you want your driveway to last a lifetime, regular maintenance plays an important role in how long your asphalt driveway will last.

  • Step 5

    Is An Asphalt Driveway Durable Enough For Your Needs?

    How much and what kind of traffic do you expect to use your driveway? Normal, everyday passenger vehicle use or heavy vehicle use? Select a Driveway that make sense.

  • Step 6

    Is An Asphalt Driveway Within The Budget?

    Select a driveway that fits into the budget short term and long term. Would a low maintenance or maintenance free driveway make better sense?

If the short term, up front cost is a deciding factor, Gravel Driveways and Asphalt driveways are excellent, low cost options, depending on the size of your driveway and the thickness requirements. The long term trade off, however, is gravel driveways and asphalt driveways require more ongoing maintenance. If cost is not as important of a factor, and aesthetics are more important, then Concrete Driveways or Interlocking Paver Driveways are the alternatives for your driveway. While initially the up front costs are higher, long term they require less maintenance therefore less maintenance costs.

Also, take into consideration, the effects of an asphalt driveway
if it’s not maintained properly or how it can look as it ages.

An asphalt driveway that was not maintained properly
An aging asphalt driveway that needs to be re sealed

Asphalt Driveway Cracking

Asphalt by nature cracks, and unlike concrete, controlled joints cannot be added to asphalt to help control where it does crack.

When cracks develop, they should be sealed with a hot pour rubberized sealer. Sealing the cracks will help to prevent further damage and pavement failures like alligatoring and potholes.

Ultimately, cracks should be sealed every fall when the asphalt is cool and they are open at their widest. The fall season is the optimal time for sealing cracks so when the heat from summer comes back around and the asphalt has warmed and expanded, the cracks are sealed tightly from rain and water runoff.

Cracks sealed in the heat of the summer have the potential of opening up in the winter again when the asphalt has cooled and the cracks have contracted again, allowing melting snow and water to penetrate them.

This is tough to avoid since most driveway maintenance companies provide crack sealing services in conjunction with sealing, which can only be performed with temperatures of 50 degrees and rising. This is why in most areas of the country sealing is performed only in the summer months.

The best maintenance plan should include crack sealing services in the fall of each year. This will most certainly save money long term, avoiding costly patching services.

Summary Of Asphalt Driveways

Asphalt driveways can be a beautiful and economical solution for a driveway. They provide a very sharp, clean, sleek black look which is inviting to visitors.

Consequently, the black color is also very appealing for snow melt in the wintertime. The black asphalt heats up from the warmth of the sun and melts off the snow and ice much faster.

Unfortunately, asphalt driveways come in only one color. However, new sealers on the market which offer a variety of colors to choose from. See some different Colorful Design Ideas For Asphalt Driveways.

When it comes to durability, keep in mind the amount of traffic and the type of traffic your driveway will endure. If it will have to endure exceptionally heavy vehicles, an above average amount of heavier vehicle traffic, or an above average amount of water runoff, a concrete driveway may be a much better, longer term solution. Learn more about concrete driveways here.

If you’re considering having a new asphalt driveway installed, an existing one overlayed or one completely removed and replaced, see our Asphalt Driveway Installation FAQ’s section for more information to ensure yourself a good, quality long lasting job.

You can also learn more about the ongoing maintenance of an asphalt driveway by visiting our Asphalt Driveway Maintenance FAQ’s section.

Before you hire a contractor to install or perform maintenance on your asphalt driveway, be sure and review our video and eBook series, “The Most Common Ways Asphalt Contractors Rip Us Off And How To Avoid Them”™.  In the end, you’ll learn everything you need to know in order to hire a reputable contractor and get the job done right the first time!

Or make it easy on yourself by saving time, money and future headaches by hiring one of our pre-screened and background checked companies to install, remove and replace or perform maintenance services on your asphalt driveway. Learn more or request an estimate from one of our Find prescreened and background checked Asphalt Installation & Asphalt Repair Contractors in your local area.

Last, if you would like to learn how to perform maintenance services on your asphalt driveway yourself, visit our “Do It Yourself” Training Center for great tutorial videos and eBooks that cover How To Repair and Sealcoat An Asphalt Driveway.

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I had 6000 sqft of asphalt put down in October. It’s April and I am finding raveling all over. Of course the contracted won’t call me back… one year warranty, yeah right.  Anyway, what should I do?  I spent a lot of money and now I am thinking the rain will wash away $9000 by the end of the year.  Seal coat?  Cold patch, heat and compact?  I Need some help


 Hello Lost a Bundle!

I’m sorry to hear what has happened. If you can provide us with some photos that would help us give you better advice. Also, I would recommend filing a complaint and let’s see if we can get the contractor to come back and make the job right. If they won’t we’ll warn other homeowners about them and hopefully save them from getting the same result!


I have a concrete driveway that is all crack up and broken, wondering if you could black top over it. Is it a good under surface?


I have a concrete driveway that is all crack up and broken, wondering if you could black top over it. Is it a good under surface?


Hi Bob! No. Not a good idea. I’ve attached a picture of where an asphalt overlay was attempted on cracked and broken concrete. (First on right) If the concrete were not broken and cracked up you could overlay it with asphalt, but I still strongly advise against it. You have two things to consider: #1) Drainage. In order to get the water to drain properly, the concrete would need to be removed several feet from the garage or home (How much depends on the degree of slope) so that a lip is not created. Feathering is not an option either… Read more »


This information was very very helpful. I’ve had people come to my house twice last summer and this summer with the good deal of trying to unload their extra asphalt. I amd so greatful for the information. I will be asking all the questions and looking for the right answers so that we don’t get ripped off. Thank you so much.


This information was very very helpful. I’ve had people come to my house twice last summer and this summer with the good deal of trying to unload their extra asphalt. I amd so greatful for the information. I will be asking all the questions and looking for the right answers so that we don’t get ripped off. Thank you so much.


 Absolutely! Your very welcome! Thank you for the supportive comments!


Excellent source of information.


Thank you! We appreciate the great feedback!


Thank you for all the wonderful information.  


 Your welcome Beth!


Terrific information. Left a message for contractor to call me to go over several concerns after reading your informative articles. My main problem is that he has no guarantee listed on the work; but wrote that he cannot guarantee 100% drainage because existing conditions may not allow for the 1/4″ per foot pitch. I’m in the Philadelphia area.


will asphalt drive handle a 25000 lb service truck turning on it everyday


Short term sure. But long term, probably not with a typical installation. Hard to say for certain. For something like that I would recommend hiring a soils engineer to design your driveway. It’s fairly pricy though which, depending on where you live, may make more sense to go with concrete.


I had an asphalt driveway installed June 2012. Literally since day 10 it has been a problem. It has various areas about 8″ round that appear very dry and gravelly. There are spots developing all over it that appear like oil spots (We do NOT have oil leaks). If you put your finger into these they are deep, wet and oily and the asphalt dust and pebbles will be on your finger when you take it out. It does not smell like oil. ( I have been told this might have been caused by diesel oil on the roller). I… Read more »


If you file a complaint, we will try to help!

Just go to:

Mark Appelman

I’m being told my car “sunk” a hole into my driveway because it sat for a couple of months. I drive a dodge 2004 grand caravan. Could it of sunk my driveway where the vehicle was sitting?


Hi Mark. Yes this is definitely possible. Here’s a link that I cover this in detail. FAQ #4:

This can also happen with a vehicle that’s parked in the same place for a long period of time.

Mark Appelman

Thank you.



I recently moved into a house built in 2005. The blacktop driveway has some sort of black coating that transfers onto to everything. It tracks into the house turning the floors black and turns my daughter black head to toe when she plays outside. I live in OH now. I grew up in NY and never saw such a problem with our blacktop driveway or roads. Is there something I can put on it to seal it to prevent the black getting on everything? Or is there a way to remove the coating that’s there? Thanks!


I would be willing to bet money that it was sealed with either an oil based asphalt sealer… or even worse… tac oil. You’ll need to have it sealed with a water based sealer or let the current sealer oxidize and wear off.

Marinus Hook

I want to thank you for this website!! It is Awesome. I recently fell on some hard times and yes they happen in threes (all big ones to) haha I guess I am stronger now. Anyway, I am trying to resurrect a house to make it comfortable for me and the Driveway needs help. Honestly, not sureI can afford it right now but need to start somewhere and this website has been very helpful. Thank you very much.


Can you apply concrete over an asphalt driveway?


Not if you want it to last any length of time. The problem is that any cracks in the asphalt will reflect up through the concrete. If you’re pouring the concrete bigger than the asphalt, the edges of the asphalt will reflect up through the concrete also. The cost of removing the asphalt is minimal so why would you want to do this?




I just had half (couldn’t afford the whole thing) of my driveway repaved. At the street, they poured a liquid black substance around the end of the new blacktop. It looks tar like. They did not pour this where the old driveway blacktop meets the new blacktop. I am concerned that the joint line between old and new could deteriorate quicker than other spots. Is this product they used at the street meant to help bond the old blacktop to new blacktop at the point where they meet? Thanks in advance.


Without knowing exactly what material they used, we can only guess but yes it sounds like Tack Oil was used. Yes they probably should have used tack oil on the seam of the new blacktop/old blacktop but its’ really not the end of the world. That seam there is more than likely going to open up anyways from expansion and contraction.

Eric Hamilton

Hello. In September I got a new Tarmac drive to replace a lawn. Now a greyish blue streak has appeared down the middle of same My contractor has been informed but he has yet appeared. Any ideas as to the cause of this problem please

I would need to see pictures to really say. Can you send a pic?


My driveway is beyond the “fill the cracks and seal it” phase. I waited to long since the last time it was done. I need to wait a while since it will be a large expense. What is the negative of waiting, compared to getting it done right away?

The negative of waiting is similar to waiting to get new brakes on your car. The longer you wait, the more damage that can occur and the more expensive the repairs will be. It also depends on where you’re at in the country, if you’re in a cold, snowy climate you’ll have to wait until the season kicks in. If not, the temperatures must be 50 degrees and rising.


I understand the comparison to bad brakes. Since my driveway has spots that there is no asphalt left and erosion in several areas on the sides, the steps that must take place (I don’t know what that is) don’t seem to change if it continues to erode for another year. Your thoughts?

It sounds to me like your driveway is in pretty bad shape. If it is, crack sealing and sealcoating it may be a waste of money particularly if you can’t get at least another 3 to 5 years out of it. You might consider saving your money and removing it and replacing it. I couldn’t say for sure without looking at it.


its ben over 8months siwe had our parking lot recoated 7 THEY WERE TO PUT DOWN 1/2 INCH TOPPING FOR 5 TO 6000.00 WHEN THEY FINISHED THEY ENNED UP PUTTING 1to 3 inches for 22000.00 we gat them down to 18000.00. Its been about 6 months now & we keep coming out to repair all of the holes that keep appearing no matter what we set on the asphalt.Just week they put a seal coat on it & 3 days later when we park our cars the tire sink into the asphalt & when you step on the area it… Read more »

Please file a complaint with us and we’ll investigate it.

As the video states. Crowning is a very very rare need. A basketball court should be flat. The pitch is so little that you will barely notice. 1/2″ per 8′ is the standard.

Sounds to me like your driveway was not compacted well enough. This can happen even with a well compacted driveway along with very hot temperatures but the indentations should not be extreme.

There’s nothing you can do without spending several hundred dollars to fix it the right way. On top of that, any repairs you do will always be visible. If there are companies that do infrared patching in your area, I would have them infrared patched and then sealcoat your driveway next spring to hide the repairs.

Doesn’t sound good at all. Please, please send them to us. I’ll be able to tell you right away.

I’ll reply to you with our private email.

Nati Hanuka


I would like to know what is the recommended asphalt thickness when pouring over concrete? I understand that the greater the thickness, the greater the duration but for a 7′ x 70′ residential driveway, what is the minimum thickness required?



Hi Nati. There is no recommended thickness. I would never overlay concrete. Ever! Sorry! :( Wish I could tell you differently.


i had my driveway redone and there is a round patch looking area on the center of drveway. what could that be from?

Can you email us or upload some pictures? Can’t say without seeing.


Hi Patrick,

i sent two pic from my phone. not sure how to upload here?

Go to this URL and submit your concern along with a picture.


the contractor states there is nothing wrong with it although he came to smooth it out. still noticable looks like a patch. rest of driveway is perfect. what can this be? a sinkhole that they refilled?


I am considering asphalt millings instead of gravel for a large driveway. Anyone have experience with ashpalt millings? Contractor says it packs and locks well, doesn’t create dust like gravel, lasts about 8 yrs. They are doing it for $1.25 sq ft. Any thoughts?

Hi! My issue with asphalt millings are many. 1) Asphalt millings typically have rubber (from sealing cracks where it was placed) which can track into your garage and home. 2) Quite a few contractors out there promote this as “just as good as a new hot asphalt driveway” NOT TRUE!!! Yes, it will get hard again over time however, it takes time. During that time that it takes to become hard again, it will ravel and get thinner in some spots than others. 3) It’s is virtually impossible to fix potholes once it gets hard again. 3) If you ever… Read more »

Nick Smyrnioudis

My grandmother just had a new asphalt driveway installed and there are rust lines all over it! The company blames the machine and how it is made of steel and gets wet so when it stops rust forms and gets transferred to the driveway. It is all over the driveway. Worse in some areas. They said to drive over it and it will go away soon. She’s in her 80’s and doesn’t have a lot of traffic on it. She’s very upset. They said they can’t do anything to fix it and it will take time. Does this sound legit?

Yes this is very normal. There is nothing to worry about. They will fade and disappear. There is really no way to avoid it.

Will Rompala

Hi all. I just had my driveway patched up – we are selling the house and it needed a bit of tlc. The patches they did look fine and firmed up nicely. However, they poured hot tar on the edges and over some cracks. The tar is not setting well – particularly in the summer heat… It’s getting tracked everywhere. Is there something that can be done for this? Thanks for your help!

Spread some black sand over it.

Sam Cabarga

I just had my driveway worked on. They topped off an existing blacktop driveway. The company left a small hill 2 1/2 feet in front of my garage and now when it rains it diverts water into the garage where it never did in the past. Also there are several areas of the new blacktop that are not smooth and have large nooks and crannies. The salesman was just here and told me that those crevices will disappear as the blacktop cures and the gases are released from beneath. He also said that after sealing it the first time it… Read more »

Sounds like a bunch of garbage. Gases are released? What a joke. No. What you see right now is what you get. There is no settling, curing or gases that will change anything.

Sam Cabarga

What would cause all these nooks and crannies? Could it be that the material wasn’t hot enough?

I can’t say without seeing pictures of exactly what you’re talking about. Can you post some pictures of what you’re seeing?

Sam Cabarga

Not sure how to post pics, been trying no luck yet!

You can also file a complaint and send pictures. Just go to:


i spoke to one local paving company to have my driveway repaved. He suggested tearing the old driveway, applying base gravel and leaving it for a 3-4 weeks to let it “settle” and then apply the asphalt pavement. To me it makes sense. Is this a common practice among paving companies?

It depends on the soil conditions. Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. I would highly suggest against making a decision based on 1 estimate and obtaining a minimum of 3 estimates to compare what the other 2 suggest.

Gina Martinez

I had a stone drive while building the house, we had several estimates done and had an asphalt drive done. We wanted the new drive to be wider than the existing stone drive, which they stated they would have to add stone to edge of the drive. They said they would be at the house at the house at a certain time to start the job. When I left work early and got home to be there and meet them, they had already been there and completed the job (not happy about that). After less than a year the edge… Read more »

Doesn’t sound good but I would need to see pictures before I could say for sure. Can you upload pictures? If not, submit a complaint and you can reply to the email you receive from us with pictures. Just go to:

Carlos Ana Dasilva

I had a paver tell me that they put 31/2″ hot and that translate to 2” compacted. I Asked for 3” compacted and he said that it would necessitate 2 lifts because if they did it in one shot that would mean 41/2” to 3” compacted which is too much to compact in one shot.
What are the requirement for 2 lifts?
Is 2” inches compacted enough for the Buffalo area?

3 1/2″ to 2″? Not accurate. 2 1/2″ to 2 3/4″ compacts to 2″. There are hundreds of companies that install 3″ driveways in 1 lift. Hundreds.

Carlos Ana Dasilva

Would 2’ compacted be enough for this climate. That seems to be what all the estimates are based on and the cheapest cost.
Thanks Again

I don’t know where you are so I couldn’t say. It’s not the climate that would determine the thickness, but the soil condition.

Misha Davis

I just had my asphalt driveway re done and the compactor machine left all these dirt lines over various areas of the driveway. We had them come back out to try and wash it off and they also sprayed some SS1 on it to cover it, but after only an hour of drying, the dirt lines show up again. Will these lines ever go away?

That sounds more like rust lines from the drum of the roller. Nothing at all to worry about. This is very common and will fade over time.

Misha Davis

The paver told me he may have tracked dirt from the road when he compacted one final time. It doesn’t look like rust. How can I attach a picture? My concern is the asphalt is mixed with dirt..

It’s just a little dirt mixed with the water. It’s honestly nothing to worry about. Send me more if you’re still concerned. The 1 picture you sent looks like they did a pretty good job,


Hi Patrick, I live in Rochester, NY (upstate NY). I had a 1200 sq ft section of my old driveway ripped out and redone in September last year. Some parts () 4-6 sections of 4-6 sq ft each, see the first picture below, where the water sits) of the driveway have settled a little bit (slight depression). The contractor came over the other day, noticed that some sections had settled a little bit, and recommended that the driveway should be repaved and re-levelled, which he said he could do for a fee of around $500-$600 for a 1200 sq ft… Read more »

I emailed you. Please check your email and spam folders.

Adam Arens

I just had my driveway added onto by a contractor that is working with my city repaving our roads. My situation may be a little unique in that my existing driveway is concrete and the additional section was asphalt. They did the job when I was not home, but when I saw it two things pop out at my immediately… 1. My existing driveway is a disaster, and 2. There doesn’t appear to be the 4″ of class 5 base my contract specifies. Is this normal practice? Do I have any ground to stand on to ensure they come back… Read more »

Hi Adam. My first impression is not good. I believe contractors about 1 out of 0 times when they tell me they’re paving the roads for the city, county etc. It’s not typical and hard to verify. Your existing driveway is a complete disaster. That’s going to be very hard to get off and will take a long time to fade. Last, the base, I see none. Doesn’t look like the best job. How did you pay them? Cash, Check or CC?

Adam Arens


Thanks for the reply. I was actually put in touch with them from the city, and they did my addition as they repaired other driveways in the neighborhood after substantial underground utility repair but those were funded as part of the city contract and mine was “extra work.” Again, this wasn’t the usual we have extra from our other jobs bit as the city instead gave me their info and I contacted them. I have actually not yet paid them, which is likely the best thing I have going for me.

Best next move?

I have a lot of ways I can find out things contractors think they can outsmart me with… but I don’t like to give away my secrets publicly! I’ll email you!

Karen Forman

We had our drive-way re-paved about a year ago with asphalt. It is a huge drive-way which partially slopes down. We noticed when it rains the stones from underneath the drive-way are leeching out and washing down the drive-way. Would a curb help prevent this? We paid $26,000 to have the paving done and cannot afford to pay this price again. We also had two sink holes at the top (not on slope) and had to chase the company to fix it for months. The only thing that got them here was a bad review on-line. In one area, the… Read more »

Doesn’t sound good so far. I would highly recommend you file a complaint and let me research this. I would really like to see pictures. Go to and fill out the form. You can upload pictures there or you can reply to the confirmation email with pictures. Do you also have a copy of your contract? I would like to see that too.


Love the video’s… I live in the south & am going to have my (Concrete) driveway expanded, can’t wait until you get those videos done.


My husband left his trailer hitch-down on the driveway in the summer and now there’s a small area that is damaged. Any thoughts on how to fix this? The driveway is in great shape otherwise… I was thinking if we could heat it up we could pound it back down? Thank you for any advice you may have!

Heating up an impression and pounding it would make it a deeper impression wouldn’t it? Without pics, I can’t really give you accurate advice.


Hi Pat. Thanks for getting back to me! The pics dont really shoe it but its indented and also raised up quite a bit on the one side, like its been displaced… if that makes any sense…comment image

It’s a depression so you should fill it. It’s not the perfect solution but if it were my driveway, I would get a bag of cold patch asphalt mix from your local Lowes and fill it with that. Over time it should harden.

As far as the displaced or raised asphalt, on a hot day, or over several hot days… you might be able to park a heavy vehicle on it or renting a plate compactor and compacting it. There’s really no way to heat it up without causing more damage.


Thanks again!comment image

Lori Rørvik

The asphalt company laid our asphalt during heavy rain and cold wind so the asphalt did not compress properly. After 1 mth we had pot holes and loose asphalt where the joints are. The contractors have agreed to fix this area. After 5 months we now have another joint with loose asphalt. Unfortunately this is an area we thought to be ‘ok’ so it was not fixed. Is it normal to have loose asphalt if the asphalt is laid correctly?

No. They should not have paved the driveway under those weather conditions.

Amber Basara

We are having our driveway completely ripped out and redone. The company we are using said they use N50 asphalt. Is this good??? Will it hold up to Chicago weather? I know we do not want “recycled” material, but want to make sure this N50 stuff is good .

My guess is the name of the mix at the asphalt plant. There are all different types of names for the same or similar mixes all over the country. Your best bet is to call your local asphalt plants and ask them what it is and then come back here to repost. We can then better answer your question.

Patricia Ann Trogdon

ps:// I had my North Carolina driveway asphalted in a very warm November 2016, costing $5,000 with a guarantee of one year for any problems and assurances that this company always handles defects regardless of the time period. The day after completion, it rained for 10 days which the contractor said would be ideal and would help cool the asphalt faster, no foot nor car traffic was on it during that time and I live alone with very little vehicle traffic ever. I made a point to impress that water should be diverted away from my carport, but it now… Read more »

Hi Patricia,

Your driveway isn’t ideal by any means but I would say you have a pretty decent job. Nothing alarms me about it. Sounds like your contractor is going above and beyond. Let us know how it works out.


Hi Patrick, I recently had my driveway paved and have large stones showing in the pavement similar to the pictures above. I have not yet had it sealed (waiting a year to do so), but was wondering if this was the sign of bad/cheap asphalt or if this is the way it should normally look. I was expecting a very smooth, black look when it was first done, not something that showed lots of little stones. I also have not yet contacted the company who did the install because I am sure that they will say that the sealer will… Read more »

Hi Chad,

I would have to see pictures to be 100% certain. However, this is a common complaint. If you were expecting smooth like concrete with no voids in the surface, then I can see why you would be concerned. Asphalt is porous therefore, it is not as smooth as concrete. Sealing it will fill in those voids and make it smoother, but still nothing like concrete. But again, I would have to see pictures to say for sure.


comment image Thanks for the quick reply Patrick. I am attempting to upload a few pics of some of the rougher spots to see what you think, any input is greatly appreciated…..
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This is not the worst but it could definitely be better. The only way to resolve this is 1 of 2 ways: Rip it out and re install it which is way overkill or seal it in 6 months. The sealer will fill in the voids but it will never be smooth like concrete.


Ok thank you. What is the cause of this, poor asphalt or poor installation methods?

Many different reasons. The asphalt mix simply has less fines and more aggregates which the contractor has no control over, maybe the asphalt cooled too much before compacting it, high winds during the installation, inexperienced rakers, low quality equipment. Its not an absolutely terrible job from what I can see. Believe me… I’ve seen the worst.

Melissa Mccoy

Good morning! We had our driveway asphalted yesterday morning and there are about 20 dirty/rusty colored spots on it from I think the plate compacter. They are not coming off with water. Should I call and complain? scrub it with anything in a week? Thank you for your time.comment image comment image

This is very common. It will fade.

Melissa Mccoy

Thank you so much for your fast response!!

Ramona Van Slyke

My driveway was put in a year ago. This year anything near the asphalt is being covered with little round black spots. They take a little work to remove. Do you know what is causing this issue?

Can you provide us with some pictures? I can’t say without seeing them.

Adam Glassman

Just had my driveway repaved and notice water squirting out of a few spaces in the same area and goign down driveway. see pics. I send pics to the company that did it and said they have never seen anything like that but obviously this concerns me as maybe when they were grading and digging up the old gravel driveway that theymay have hit some kind of pipe but have no idea if there is anything below this driveway. see pics. Any ideascomment image comment image comment image comment image

Water supply line was hit.

The answer to your question is right here on our website. Did you read any of the site? Or did you just post a question?

Mary Kline

thank you I actually re-read your website and I got the info. I was looking for thank you!

I need to see photos.


We have a new construction home with an asphalt driveway – however, they only installed the binder coat, not the top coat. The builder said to wait at least a year before putting the top coat on, at our cost of course! :( It’s now been three years and we’re planning on adding the top coat but wanted to confirm whether this was necessary and what the benefits are. We are located in Massachusetts and do get significant cold/snow. We are also considering bumping out a portion of the driveway so that we can park an additional car. It’ll be… Read more »

That’s very common. Contractors do it this way so that you have a hard surface to drive on during construction. You wouldn’t want all of that construction traffic on your driveway if it was complete.

I would 1) Have the company put a base down (recycled or otherwise) 2) then a binder and 3) have them pave the top coat all at 1 time. You don’t want to add asphalt later. Never looks good and always cracks at the seam.

Wendy Cooper

My driveway is less than 60 days old and this is what it looks like. Supposed to be three inches thick. Don’t know what the ugly streaks are from. They told me the marks would be gone after the first rain.comment imagecomment imagecomment imagecomment image

Doesn’t look like the best job unfortunately. What part of the country are you in? I’m not sure what the white substance is. Looks like lime. In all fairness you can’t measure the edge of a driveway to determine the thickness. Do you have a written contract? Can you scan it and send it to me or take a picture of it and send to me at

Wendy Cooper

I’m in Michigan. They offered to repair the raised areas by heating them up and packing them. Then sealcoat it for appearances. Will this work? They did this in one area and it raised up the next day? I have areas that look like coated gravel and I can kick up loose stone. And I thought sealcoating wasn’t supposed to happen this soon.

Absolutely no. Don’t waste your money.

Wendy Cooper

What do you mean? On the sealcoating? They are offering to sealcoat for free. Is that just covering up the problem?

Is this a new driveway?

Wendy Cooper

60 days old. Several areas in the streak area are starting to fissure and some areas look like coated gravel.comment imagecomment imagecomment image

Looks to me like they did not put a weed inhibitor down before Paving. If it were my driveway, I would spray weed killer down in those holes. If they’re talking about heating it up with a torch to compact it back down, it will work but they have to be careful not to burn too many oils out of the asphalt. And that if they Sealcoat afterwards it should look much better.

I’m not a fan of recycled asphalt at all. The negatives far outweigh the positives. I cover this in detail here:

No. You cannot seal recycled asphalt and it will not bind it together.

Water line.