Should You Remove a Concrete Driveway Before Laying Down New Asphalt?

Concrete Driveway
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One of the most discussed topics amongst the paving community has to do with driveway replacement. People really debate hard about weather the old concrete driveway should be removed before laying down new asphalt. It is easy to see why this debate is so intense as well. For starters, many people believe the materials to be the same and also that they can be layered up.

Many homeowners and even business owners would have new asphalt laid on top of old concrete. For the material selection, asphalt driveways almost always work better than concrete ones. These are faster to install and have much greater weather resistance. Also, asphalt driveways are very cost-efficient compared to concrete ones as well.

However, the debate just doesn’t stop there. Because asphalt driveways will always be blacker darker than concrete ones, some people have an aesthetic preference for them too. Also, there are some people who prefer the finished look of asphalt driveways better. Yet, there are some technical reasons why old concrete driveway should be lifted and removed before laying new asphalt one.

Can Asphalt be Laid Over Concrete Driveway

The short answer is ‘yes’. This is very much possible as asphalt will bind with concrete too. If you even ask a driveway paving company in Washington  to lay asphalt over concrete without removing it, they will do so as well. Also, this will be a cheaper way of doing it and also a lot faster.

However, if you ask a professional paver about their opinion, they will surely tell you to first get the concrete removed. The cost factor is mostly to do with the heavy equipment and machinery required to dig up and remove the concrete.

So, here is more information on why you should get the concrete removed before getting new asphalt lad:

Sub Base of the Concrete Driveway Is Different to Asphalt Driveway Sub Base

One of the biggest problems with laying asphalt over concrete is site preparation. With concrete, often, there is not much base preparation going on. There are different strength levels required from concrete as well. The simple solution most contractors provide is to alter the thickness of the concrete slab to get more or less strength. Ground underneath that concrete slab can be prone to shifting or shrinking.

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Also, there is simply no way of finding out the ground underneath situation until it gets dug up. When asphalt gets laid over concrete, the two major layers to worry about are the unprepared sub base and also the concrete itself. This is what puts most contractors off laying asphalt over concrete.

Any problems in either of these two layers will sneak up through that asphalt. When there is even the slightest of instability for the asphalt layer to rest on, the whole thing will quickly deteriorate. Any expansion joints in that concrete slab will fast turn into asphalt cracks. And these are always costly and ongoing repairs that might just come through at any time.

Different levels of shifting can be expected from concrete slabs as well. Extreme cases of it are likely to cause the entire surface to crack up rather soon. A good example is to consider the foundation of a house that might crack when not laid correctly. This is why you need professional asphalt paving company to correctly survey the site and suggest accordingly.

Laying Asphalt Over Concrete Doesn’t Age Well

It may look quick and easy just to pour asphalt right over your concrete driveway at first. But there will be problems over time. There will be more work required on it in the future needing more time and money. So, it just doesn’t make sense to save time and money in the first place by laying asphalt on top of concrete.

In addition to lasting longer, asphalt driveways look much better as well. This is also because they are built from the ground up. With its proper stable base, your new asphalt driveway will stand the test of time in any weather. It will require much less work and maintenance saving your money in the long run.

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Some instances like curbs and edges can still get concrete and asphalt working very well together. In general terms, they both work good on their own rather than together. Your concrete driveway when done on its own will last long and require less maintenance as well. However, properly laid from the ground asphalt driveways tend to last way longer than concrete driveways as well.

Reasons to Invest in an Asphalt Driveway

Asphalt driveways are the best in many ways. Also, we strongly recommend to get your concrete driveway fully removed before getting asphalt laid. Start your asphalt driveway from the ground up for it to last longer and stay in good condition. An asphalt driveway:

  • Is much stronger and softer on the surface offering great grip for all materials. Its mixture is soft and yet hard enough to keep its shape under heavy weights.
  • Is darker in appearance looking more elegant and attractive. Its blacker tone contrasts houses and buildings of all kinds nicely.
  • Is much longer lasting as there is no ground shifting happening because of the newly laid surface and preparation of it.
  • Holds up well in all weather conditions requiring much less maintenance because is no cracking due to ground shift.
  • Requires no maintenance costs for a long time. It is also easier to repair and top up with more asphalt as required.
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