Asphalt Paving Blog

What are the Side Effects of Paving Asphalt over Concrete?

paving asphalt over concreteDo you currently have a concrete driveway or concrete parking lot and want to make the switch to asphalt pavement? If you've been thinking about updating your driveway or parking lot, you might be wondering if asphalt can be paved right over the top of the concrete.

Well, the answer is yes!

It is safe to pave asphalt over concrete. Concrete is a great base material because it is stable and allows for excellent compaction of the asphalt above. In fact, many miles of concrete roads are paved over with asphalt every year. However, it is important that you understand there are potential side effects and things to watch out for when paving over concrete. Take a look below.

Concrete Stability is Important for Paving

Concrete is not usually a compacted surface because it hardens no matter what it is poured over. Asphalt, on the other hand, has to be compacted to get longevity and strength. Concrete pavement is occasionally poured over the top of unstable soils because concrete has the ability to “bridge” the instability. If the concrete has been poured over an unstable base, the slabs, once they crack at the expansion joints, can pivot slightly with traffic.

Think of a time when you have driven down a bumpy concrete road where the bumps are rhythmic. Those slabs have pivoted slightly from where they were originally poured. Chances are these slabs weren't poured over an unstable base, but rather, frost heaving moved them.

Each individual slab can move at the expansion joints, and if you have an unstable base, the condition can occur more often. A concrete pavement that moves will damage any asphalt overlay over time. If you are looking to add asphalt over concrete, you will need to make sure you have a stable concrete surface below, with no expannsion joint shifting, to make a proper base for overlay.

Concrete Expansion Over Time May Cause Reflective Cracks

Concrete has expansion joints where asphalt does not. Over time, the expansion joints will shift the concrete surface and wherever your concrete has a crack, the asphalt will eventually crack there as well. The expansion joint in the concrete is a designed area to allow for a crack, and while there are special reinforcing fabric strips that can be applied prior to overlay, over time, there is a very good chance that the cracks will eventually crack in the same spot on the asphalt. This is not considered pavement failure, but it is just a result of ongoing heat and cold expanding and contracting. Regular maintenance of your asphalt driveway or parking lot, and crackfilling these reflective cracks to prevent water intrusion will leave you with pavement that will last a long time.

Trust Trained Paving Professionals 

Wolf Paving has engineers and paving professionals on staff with the knowledge and expertise to do the proper preparation needed to ensure your asphalt over concrete surface is built with durability. This means the team at Wolf Paving will ensure your new surface is installed properly with these steps:

  • Ensuring the base has a uniform thickness.
  • A complete concrete surface cleaning for optiminal adhesion.
  • The use of a strong adhesive to bond the asphalt pavement to the concrete below.
  • Proper installation of any paving fabrics over the concrete expansion joints and cracks.
  • Milling portions of the concrete, as needed.
  • Proper asphalt overlay with hot mix asphalt.

At Wolf Paving, we own the materials and plants, which allows us to control the entire process and provide you with the highest quality custom asphalt mixes to meet your specific paving needs.

With 75 years of asphalt paving experience, from highways to commercial driveways, we are your local source for all of your asphalt paving needs.

It’s not too early or too late to request a quote and get on our list for projects! Call Wolf Paving today! For the Milwaukee area, call us at 262-965-2121. For the Madison area, call us at 608-249-7931.

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Topics: Asphalt Driveway, Asphalt Parking Lot, Asphalt Pavement, Asphalt Solutions