How Long Will My Asphalt Driveway or Parking Lot Last?

How Long Will My Asphalt Driveway or Parking Lot Last?
There are many factors to consider before answering this question. Weather, traffic flow, and other factors go into answering this question, but typically asphalt surfaces last 12 to 15 years.


Driveways that are only used for residential traffic can last longer than 15 years. Some residential driveways receive a lot of deliveries, and therefore see more commercial vehicles driven on the asphalt driveway. This can reduce the life of the asphalt. We advise to avoid having large trucks drive on your asphalt driveway when possible. The thickness of an asphalt driveway is usually not suitable for commercial traffic. We install our asphalt driveways at 2.5” thick. If you feel that you may need a thicker asphalt driveway, we can install it at 3”-4” thick for added stability.

Parking Lots

Commercial asphalt parking lots generally last around 10-12 years, though they can certainly last much longer. The main issue with commercial asphalt parking lots is the weight of the vehicles driven on the asphalt. Some commercial asphalt parking lots have many large vehicles (busses, garbage trucks, delivery trucks, etc) which can cause premature wear and tear on the asphalt surface. Some commercial asphalt parking lots receive very little traffic from heavy vehicles, such as an office building. In this case we see isolated areas of asphalt that may wear prematurely, this can be repaired by removing the damaged asphalt and replacing with new asphalt.

The Importance of Asphalt Maintenance

Asphalt that is properly maintained with asphalt sealer will ensure that your asphalt last many years longer than asphalt that is not maintained. Asphalt that is sealed will maintain its flexibility. Asphalt that is not sealed will become brittle and crack prematurely. We recommend sealcoating asphalt every two years. Many clients will have us seal cracks every year.

What is the difference between replacing asphalt and resurfacing asphalt?

When we replace asphalt, we remove the existing asphalt to the gravel base. We bring in more gravel, if required, and regrade the new base for proper drainage. Once the new gravel base is regraded, we compact it with a roller and/or plate compactor. At that point, we pave new asphalt over the gravel base.

Resurfacing asphalt (also known as “capping” or “overlaying”) is when we put another layer of asphalt over the existing asphalt. The existing asphalt can be a good base for the new layer of asphalt. We generally have two concerns when considering resurfacing asphalt.

One concern is drainage. If we are resurfacing (capping or overlaying) asphalt, we need to make sure that the new elevated layer of asphalt will still drain properly. The new asphalt will need to drain away from your house or garage. The asphalt may need to grade toward a catch basin or away from and entry way. As long as the asphalt can drain properly, we can move to our next concern.

The next concern when resurfacing asphalt is the condition of the existing asphalt. We may see that the existing asphalt shows signs of problems with the base. Some repairs may need to be made to the existing asphalt prior to an asphalt overlay.

Although this option will not last as long as replacing the asphalt, it is a more cost effective option to consider when your current asphalt has failed.

Contact Us

If you are looking for details specific to your project, contact our estimation team and get answers.