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Can I Lay Asphalt Over an Old Concrete Driveway?

Paving Plus Answers Our Clients’ Hottest Pavement Questions

Many clients ask, “Can I lay asphalt over an old concrete driveway?” This may be one of the hottest pavement-related questions asked of Paving Plus. So, we will help answer our clients’ question about covering over old concrete with asphalt.

Let’s begin by saying the region in and around Christiansburg, Virginia, has its mixture of driveway materials. Not every driveway consists of concrete or even asphalt. Many homes and businesses still use gravel; but we digress.


Getting the Deets on Concrete

Getting back to concrete, we might agree that not all mixtures are not the same. Some details about concrete mixes relate to the consistency. Some made primarily of cement have a smooth and sandy texture. Other types of concrete include a combination of aggregate in the form of sand, rocks, and gravel of various sizes. Knowing these types of concrete textures can make a difference in thinking about asphalt coverage.

Concrete itself has been in use for generations now. The different types of concrete mentioned earlier might depend on when the installation occurred and who did it.

However, cements made since the 1930s (with a lower C2S content and a higher specific surface) reach their peak strength between 10 and 25 years, and thereafter undergo some retrogression of strength.
Civil Engineering Forum

Looking at the peak strength of aging concrete, we can see how and why it degrades. Many years of use, traffic, and weather do take its toll. Home and business owners can repair concrete in much the same way we repair asphalt today, by applying patches or a top coating. However, considering the age of the concrete materials, these repairs may not be as nice of a solution.


Paving Plus: Asphalt Paving to the Rescue

After many years of concrete repair, a property owner may choose to stop patching old concrete. While concrete is a durable paving substance, too many patches and repairs can detract from its appearance. This is when many customers come to us with their question, “Can I lay asphalt over an old concrete driveway?”

Property owners look for possibilities that will give them a nicer finished result with fewer problems than concrete repair. This is especially true if the concrete area is sizeable and repaired many times. Property owners look to have a consistent look to their driveway as opposed to a patchwork appearance.

Of course, one option for property owners is to replace the aging concrete. This would require digging it up and moving it out. It can involve jackhammers and heavy machinery, which create a lot of noise and dust. Next, the contractor must prepare the area for the new concrete installation and allow time for it to cure properly.

While it is possible to replace the concrete, many home and business owners do have another option. Many find it much more cost effective to consider installing asphalt. This is when they call on the professionals at Paving Plus to rescue the driveway.


The Short Answer: Of Course!

If you have ever watched work crews while paving a city road, you probably already know the answer. The short answer is, “Of course you can lay asphalt over concrete!” In fact, having concrete as a layer below the asphalt can help ensure its durability.

One caution we would instruct any property owner is not to cut corners. For example, many people like the look of a freshly finished or coated asphalt driveway. They think a faster way to achieve the look might be to apply asphalt sealer on top.

Blacktop sealer is intended to seal blacktop that has become porous and needs its surface oils refreshed. Definitely the wrong product for concrete.
The Garage Journal

Sidestepping the full asphalt application is not something we recommend. Paving Plus installs asphalt as a main service we offer the Christiansburg region. Our professionals can evaluate the concrete driveway and determine whether it is fine to apply the asphalt.

To obtain good asphalt adherence over concrete, our crews may have to prepare the surface. You might be familiar with the way road crews prepare roadbeds for asphalt. But for smaller projects like a driveway, paving over the existing concrete is fairly easy. We will evaluate the surface before starting the project to avoid any “bumps in the road” later.


Other Considerations Include Slope and Drainage

Property owners with driveway projects may want to let us know if there are any other special things to consider. The slope of the driveway or any drainage issues might be just two of the concerns. These depend on the property, construction, or materials of the existing driveway.
Paving Plus crew members are familiar with the intricacies of installing asphalt over concrete. We naturally recommend asphalt for several reasons. Asphalt has faster installation, offers better resistance to weather, and is more cost-effective.

Your fresh new asphalt driveway can provide many years of service with regular maintenance. As residential and commercial asphalt contractors, Paving Plus sees our share of paving situations. This wide experience gives us an edge when answering questions from our customers.

If you have a question about installing or maintaining asphalt paving, give Paving Plus a call. Your question may even be the source of a future article! We are here to serve the Christiansburg area, and look forward to scheduling your next project.


Contact Paving Plus, in Christiansburg, Virginia, at (540) 505-7353. Follow us on Facebook for more on our projects. Allow us to answer your most pressing questions, including “can I lay asphalt over an old concrete driveway?”