One question we often hear at Wolf Paving has to do with driveway replacement:
“Should I lay new asphalt over an old concrete driveway?”
This is an excellent question, and many homeowners and business owners are asking it. When it comes down to it we recommend asphalt driveways over concrete, with faster installation and much better resistance to weather, it’s a better overall option. However, if there's an existing concrete driveway, this presents new challenges.
If the question is “CAN I lay asphalt over concrete?” then the answer is “Yes.” This is absolutely possible if elevations allow for it, and we're happy to lay asphalt driveways over concrete if that's what you want. It's also the cheaper option, since heavy equipment is required to dig up an existing concrete slab.
Nevertheless, there are significant downsides to this. Generally speaking, we recommend removing the existing concrete first, for several reasons:
Building The Right Driveway SubBase
The big problem with laying asphalt driveways over concrete has to do with the initial preparation of the site.
With concrete, if you're concerned about strength and stability, the solution is to simply lay a thicker slab. Because of this, contractors laying concrete rarely worry too much about preparing the base. The ground underneath a concrete driveway may be prone to shifting or sinking, and there's really no way of knowing what's down there until it's dug up.
Prolonging The Longevity Of Your Driveway
Unfortunately, when asphalt driveways are poured over concrete which rests on an unstable base, the resulting asphalt pour is going to be prone to instability. Expansion joints in the concrete will quickly turn into cracks in the asphalt, which will require costly ongoing repair jobs. In extreme cases, shifts in the ground could crack the entire surface, just as a house's foundation may crack if improperly laid.
Asphalt driveways last longer and look better when they are built from the ground up. Your new asphalt driveway will have a proper, stable base, and therefore will require less maintenance as time goes on, saving money in the long run.
For more information about the side effects of paving asphalt over concrete visit this blog.
Wolf Paving also reclaims and recycles 100% of the concrete we dig up! It goes into our mixers to make more asphalt and base materials, helping reduce the environmental cost of the next asphalt driveways we lay.
So if you're interested in a new asphalt driveway, whether there's existing concrete or not, contact us today for a free estimate and consultation!