How Long Does Asphalt Last? Learn about the Lifespan of Pavement

How Long Does Asphalt Last?

Though asphalt has a reputation for being an incredibly sturdy material, it’s not indestructible. Just like every other building material, asphalt will eventually reach the end of its lifespan. How long does asphalt last? Our guide will explain the asphalt lifespan so you can figure out when your asphalt needs to be replaced.


Why Is Asphalt Longevity Important?

People rely on asphalt to help their vehicles travel as smoothly as possible. A sturdy asphalt surface creates a nicely organized parking lot or a safe and efficient road. Unfortunately, as it reaches the end of its life, asphalt struggles to perform its job well. Outdated asphalt can be challenging to drive due to cracks, gaps, and bumps.


Factors in Asphalt Longevity

The answer to “How long does asphalt last?” varies depending on these factors:

  • How extreme temperatures are
  • How much rain falls
  • Whether the asphalt is exposed to standing water
  • What types of traffic drive on the asphalt
  • Whether there are speed bumps
  • How the asphalt was applied
  • Whether you maintain it regularly


Understanding Asphalt Lifespan

As you can see, many details can affect asphalt’s life expectancy. Here’s what you need to know when determining its lifespan.


Typical Lifespan of Asphalt Pavements

How long does blacktop last? On average, around 25 years. However, some asphalt surfaces reach the end of their lifespan after 15 years, and some still look great until they’re 30.

 Generally, asphalt roads wear out before asphalt driveways because they face more traffic. How long do asphalt roads last? A road often needs replacement after about 18 years, while a driveway can still be in decent condition after 30 years. The lifespan of parking lots is usually around 22 years or so.


Factors Affecting Asphalt Durability

Both extreme heat and extreme cold can damage asphalt, and UV rays can also cause issues. Asphalt is also less durable if water collects underneath or on top of the pavement. If the asphalt is improperly installed, these sorts of issues are more likely to occur and require resurfacing more often.

 Another factor to consider when asking, “How long do asphalt roads last?” is wear and tear. An asphalt surface with minimal traffic will last longer than one with a lot of heavy equipment traveling back and forth. Keep in mind that maintenance significantly affects asphalt’s lifespan. If you neglect to fix small cracks, your asphalt will get damaged even faster.


Maintenance Tips to Prolong Asphalt Life

Proper upkeep is one of the best ways to extend the life expectancy of asphalt. Maintenance helps to maintain asphalt’s structural integrity and keep cracks from worsening. How long does asphalt last if you maintain it well? Properly maintained asphalt typically lasts at least 20 years. Here are some tips to keep your asphalt surface in top condition. 


Regular Inspections and Timely Repairs

Take the time to look for potential damage on your asphalt surface regularly. Cracks and potholes are a problem because they get bigger over time. Fortunately, minor asphalt issues are quick and easy to fix. Doing a few asphalt patches each year can help you avoid needing to do any big, costly repairs.


Sealcoating: Protection Against Elements

Another helpful maintenance option is a sealcoat. This thin sealant layer protects your asphalt from UV rays, water, and harsh chemicals. It also helps to seal patches placed over cracks or gaps. For best results, you should reapply a seal coat every two years.


Repair or Replace? Making the Right Decision

The answer to “How long does blacktop last?” can change depending on whether you prefer to repair or replace damaged items. Here are some tips for deciding between replacing and repairing your asphalt.


When to Opt for Repairs

Repairing is often a good choice if your asphalt is less than 15 years old. Asphalt repairs are ideal in situations where less than 25% of the pavement is damaged, and most cracks and bumps are more minor.


Signs That Indicate a Need for Complete Repaving

If your asphalt is older than 20 years, skip repairs and go straight to repaving or overlaying. Repaving is also recommended when you have extensive damage, such as cracks more than a few inches deep or damage covering more than 30% of the pavement. Another reason to select repaving is if your asphalt was poorly applied and has underlying foundational issues.


Solutions for Asphalt Longevity

Helpful Professional Services

For best results, always seek professional assistance. Though DIY asphalt repairs are technically possible, most property owners lack the specialized equipment to achieve stellar results. By working with pros, you can ensure your asphalt gets the care it needs to stay in good shape.



With the proper maintenance, your asphalt surface can last for decades. If you’d like help increasing the lifespan of parking lots, roads, and driveways, Southern Asphalt Engineering is here to help. We have over 20 years of experience working in Miami and provide various commercial, industrial, and residential asphalt services. Our team is happy to provide sealcoating, repairs, and other maintenance that can keep your asphalt looking great for years to come.


Take the first step to protecting your asphalt today.

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