Repair asphalt driveway

We have an asphalt driveway that is in need of some repairs.
The half along the side of the house up to the garage is in pretty good shape. Some cracks, but nothing major. The half out to the street is much worse. Does the sun damage asphalt? The part that is worse gets full sun, the rest is mostly protected.
Anyway, there are two problems: (1) cracks and sinking and (2) the redwood 2x4 borders.
(1) We have two contractors looking at the asphalt itself. One wants to resurface the whole thing. Cost: $3,500. The other wants to just patch it. Cost: $800. The $3,500 guy says that the patch will look terrible and won't last. The $800 guy says that it gets very light traffic and doesn't need to be resurfaced.
Any comments? What should I look for? Should I get a third opinion?
(2) The border. The old redwood 2x4s are completely shot. Broken and rotted. Our gardener offered to replace the boards. One of the asphalt contractors (the $800 guy) suggested replacing them with something called Trex. I did a little internet checking and this seems to be a good product. I am inclined to the the $800 guy do both.
Any comments?
Thanks
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a third or fourth opinion is always a good idea so go for it. Both contractors are correct: patches never look as good or last as long as a *properly* done resurface (look at asphalt patches in the road and consider how well they work), however you MIGHT be able to get away with a patch if it's in a low traffic area and it's kept well sealed. Ask the contractors if they warranty their work - will they come back and fix it next year if it fails, how about two years, etc?
Two things are working against you:
1) the sinking is probably caused by an poor base under your driveway. Not enough or incorrect type or incorrectly compacted fill, maybe not a proper binder layer. You can keep filling the sinking spots, but they'll continue to cause problems. The only true answer to this that I've ever heard of is to actually tear out the driveway and start over. This will probably cost a lot more than you want to consider. Perhaps the contractors know of a way to fix this that I haven't heard of, but I'd be very careful about it (see above comments about warrantying their work).
2) cracks allow water in and under the asphalt, which expands and contracts during the freeze/thaw cycles, which widens the cracks and causes more cracks and moves the driveway surface up and down. The shaded part of your driveway doesn't thaw as often as the sunny part during the winter, so this cycle works more slowly on it. It too will show damage over time from this, but it'll take longer. Keeping a driveway sealed will help prolong it's life.
As for the boards, Trex is a plastic/sawdust composite board. It should last longer than any untreated natural wood, but it probably won't look quite the same. If you're ok with that, then go for it. It will probably cost a bit more than wood too.
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Good suggestion.

Most of the "sinking" was caused when we put in a pool about 10 years ago. One of the cement trucks was apparently too heavy. For some reason, it only damaged one side of the driveway. Perhaps because of the poor base layer.

It rarely gets to freezing around here. Hardly ever below 40. But water can probably cause damage even without freezing and I know the asphalt expands and contracts with the temperature.

The contractor brought a sample of Trex by. The wife seemed to like it and that's all that matters.
Thanks for the tips.
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wrote:

Sounds like an improper base support underneath.
Where there is only localized settling, then it's often entirely feasable to patch.
Generally, you just remove the asphalt top coat to well beyond the affected area and then replace the base material with a properly compacted granular fill before re-paving over.....
Always endeavor to keep your base fill dry...either by elevating the roadbed upon initial installation else by later excavation and maintenance of proper ditching afterwards....the goal being to promote the rapid disposal of any runoff and so prevent ground water from taking away compacted material from underneath your pavement.
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