In this article, you will learn about the installation of Asphalt over concrete driveway. You can easily install Asphalt over an existing concrete driveway but with certain conditions. In fact, it could potentially be a great choice, as concrete makes an excellent base material. It offers more compaction and stability for the Asphalt over it. As long as there is a strong existing sub base, paving asphalt over concrete may work great, but if not your driveway could face issues in the long term.
Let’s look at all the details of installing Asphalt over your concrete driveway below:
Is it Possible to Pave Asphalt over a Concrete Driveway?
As a homeowner, you are indeed searching for options that provide more stability, comprehensive services, and excellent weather resistance. For all this, asphalt pavement over existing concrete is an excellent idea because it gives you all that and lots more.
Installing Asphalt over a concrete driveway is certainly possible. Many homeowners now pave Asphalt over their concrete because it offers several advantages. However, when doing so, you need to consider a few facts.
Concrete is a strong and stable material, so you will have an even harder surface when you pave Asphalt over it. But this can only be successful if your existing concrete in a stable and well-prepared sub base, or else you will end up with an unstable and prone-to-cracking driveway.
One cannot doubt that paving asphalt over a concrete driveway that has an appropriate compaction sub base is always a superior pavement.
Why You Should Remove Concrete before Installing an Asphalt Driveway
Even today, asphalt installation is a significant investment and not something homeowners can afford time and again. Hence, when you pave Asphalt, you expect it to serve you for at least twenty years. This can only happen if you follow the proper protocols of installation and maintenance.
For starters, the paved asphalt driveway’s durability depends heavily on the strength of its underlying base. The techniques contractors have for strong driveways differ for Asphalt and concrete. Contractors want a durable driveway in concrete cases, so they lay thicker slabs but unfortunately do not prepare it properly to suit an asphalt layering on top.
This problem with the base may adversely affect the asphalt driveway’s durability and may reduce its life. Since no homeowner would enjoy a premature replacement of the Asphalt, it is, therefore, necessary to dig up your existing concrete drive to pour new Asphalt over it. With a more stable foundation, Asphalt has a higher lasting potential.
Furthermore, concrete has a fluctuating nature, which does not align well with Asphalt. When temperatures fluctuate, it is the nature of Asphalt to contract and expands and thus needs a stable base beneath. Only when you are confident of the concrete driveway condition underneath and its appropriate compaction and stability can you consider pouring Asphalt over it.
Why You May Want to Switch from Concrete to Asphalt
If you mainly live somewhere where the temperature fluctuates frequently, then Asphalt is ideal for paving. It can better handle fluctuations than concrete, which tends to crack a lot than in severe winter weather.
In most cases, Asphalt performs just as well as concrete, provided you put it down the right way and maintain it well too. You will find repairs must cheaper for Asphalt than concrete because patch and sealing holes and cracks do not weigh heavily on your pockets.
Besides, resurfacing layers work better when driveways begin to age and Asphalt again takes the lead. Resurfacing is advantageous for homeowners because it is cost-efficient and maximizes the life of the driveway.
Concrete cannot give you these two advantages because of the lack of resurfacing. Due to this, you have to replace the entire driveways once it reaches the end of its life. Hence, if you have been weighing the advantages of Asphalt over concrete, then as a summary, here is what you can base your decision upon:
- Concrete does not survive well under harsh colder climates
- Concrete is harder to repair
- It is more expensive
- Asphalt is budget-friendly
- It offers resurfacing facility, so you do not have to replace the entire driveway
- You can install asphalt faster
- Asphalt requires easy maintenance
Pros and Cons of Asphalt vs. Concrete
When ruts, stains, and cracks become increasingly evident on a driveway, homeowners cannot decide on a new installation. However, picking one out of the two most common solid materials for pavement is not that easy.
Concrete and Asphalt have their own sets of pros and cons. While they mostly contain a mixture of stone and sand and lay over a gravel substrate, their adhesive components differentiate the nature and functionality of the two.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of both materials below:
- With concrete, you get more visual options. You will find concrete in a pale gray color in basic form, but it responds better to tinting or staining in any color you fancy. You may even stamp concrete with patterns if you want a textured finishing.
- Concrete is the batter option for regions where hot summers are typical. Asphalt does not work well in such places because the heat tends to make it sticky and gooey. Additionally, the process of softening in hot temperatures and re-hardening when it cools down causes cracks and sagging.
- Asphalt requires resealing every couple of years, but this is not necessary in the case of concrete driveways. You may seal concrete voluntarily to reduce fading, especially if you want a tinted driveway.
- Typically, your driveway will have to endure rust, gas drips, and engine oil drips over its lifetime. Concrete has a lighter surface; hence you will find every spill and mark visible. If you want to maintain its good looks, you will have to degrease and clean aggressively.
- Concrete does not survive well in colder climates. You will find it cracking and buckling more every time winter sets in, and it snows. Concrete can also develop ugly marks from blotching, staining, or pitting from salt for melting the ice.
- Concrete may not give a streamlined appearance to match your streets.
- It requires tougher maintenance.
- Asphalt has a darker color, so it is good at concealing stains and signs of wear and tear.
- Asphalt installs faster, and you can use it within a couple of days of the process. In the case of concrete, you have to wait for enough for it to cure before you can use it.
- Asphalt is not as costly as concrete. It will cost you nearly less than forty to fifty percent than its counterpart.
- It does not last longer than a concrete driveway that you install well and maintain properly in favorable climates. The lifespan of a concrete driveway can be up to thirty or forty years, while for an asphalt driveway, it is not more than thirty years at best.
- Asphalt does not survive well in hotter climates, and the expansion and contraction from melting and re-hardening can cause and widen cracks.
- It may be easy to maintain, but the maintenance does not last beyond three to four years. You will find yourself repairing your asphalt driveway more often than a concrete one.
The Cost of Switching from Concrete to Asphalt
One of the reasons why homeowners popularly prefer Asphalt over concrete these days is the cost difference. On average, a concrete driveway is more expensive than an asphalt one, with the former costing you approximately $4 or more per foot and the latter nearly $2 or more per foot.
The price of Asphalt largely depends on crude oil prices and fluctuations in those that cause the other to fluctuate. As a comparison, you will find the standard installation of a concrete driveway costing you approximately $4 to $6 per square foot.
Concrete Surface Removal Cost
Despite some of its drawbacks, one cannot doubt the long-lasting capacity and strength of the concrete material for driveways and other construction projects. It can serve you well for years, but as time advances, you will find it giving in to cracks from climatic changes, movements, and eventual unsettling.
In due time, concrete will fail when it has lived well and under aggressive conditions for long years. This is when you will need to replace it entirely. However, it would be best to prepare for the wide range of costs incurred in concrete removal.
These costs mount up considering the concrete’s location, thickness, and how much of it you remove. In terms of replacement, generally, you have to replace the entire driveway because resurfacing is not an option in concrete.
For this very reason, the national average cost range for concrete removal can fall anywhere between $500 to $5000. As an estimate, most homeowners pay approximately $1,846 for removing six hundred square feet of their concrete pavement.
Removal Price as per Concrete Type
The concrete installation has two types:
- With reinforced concrete- this is merely a concrete slab
- Or with unreinforced concrete- with rabar embedding
The cost of concrete removal also depends to a large extent on the type of concrete that went into your driveway. Both the types differ in removal costs because they consider the location and size of your area. The contractors also have to include the costs of machinery they will employ and transport it to your area for the removal process. For this, they have to measure the thickness and the existing concrete and the level of equipment they will have to use.
Ultimately, all these add up to the final cost of the process.
Asphalt Pavement Prep/Installation Cost
Asphalt installation is a prevalent trend because of the many advantages it gives to homeowners. From the enhanced drivability to increasing your curb’s appeal, new asphalt pavement can increase your home’s resale value and give you many attractive benefits.
The cost-efficiency and easy maintenance win hands down with homeowners, while the eco-friendliness, higher tolerance of weather, and improved safety please all. But most importantly, its cost-friendliness is why most homeowners turn to this material.
Who can ever argue against the charm of acquiring a qualitative material for the home at affordable rates? None we believe!
While it would be difficult to quote a definite figure, the truth remains that Asphalt falls much cheaper than concrete. The final cost takes into account the manufacturer and the kind of mix they use for the Asphalt, but even then, the final estimate fits into every homeowner’s budget.
The final cost also depends on the location, the size of your project, and the sort of equipment and workforce that will go into the process. The national cost range of paving an asphalt surface per square foot is generally around $6.
So if we look at a total, an asphalt driveway will roughly cost you around $4,500 t0 $6,100. The installation would also consider factors such as the time it took, workforce, the magnitude of the construction in addition to secondary factors. These include what it took to rip out your existing surface, how the contractors had to haul it away, and what other steps were required before laying down your new asphalt mix.
The final cost of your asphalt installation will also include:
- Excavation of the existing surface
- Installing a gravel foundation
- The amount of tonnage
- The cost of transportation from the plant of asphalt production to your project’s location
- What other materials did the contractors need in addition to the Asphalt
- What base coat they apply
- Market environments, including construction activity, permit requirements, and current prices of oil.
If you are considering pouring Asphalt over concrete driveway, then the process is possible. However, you can only expect the surface to be stable and reliable if you have a properly compacted subbase beneath, or else resurfacing with Asphalt will fail.
From easy maintenance to being less costly, Asphalt is advantageous over concrete in multiple ways and can also increase your home’s resale value.