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Driveways & Resin Surfacing

SOLVED: Can Asphalt Be Laid On Top Of Concrete?

can asphalt be laid on top of concrete

Regardless of the reason for improving your driveway, you will want to make sure that you stick to your budget.

One way of keeping the costs low is to cut corners when it comes to the preparation of the base of your new asphalt driveway, by laying it directly onto your current concrete base. But is this a good idea? Can you really lay asphalt directly onto concrete, and what happens if the base isn’t quite up to scratch?

Asphalt is a mix of bitumen and aggregate, and is a common material used on roadways. It is one of the cheaper options when it comes to driveways, and offers a reasonable solution to improving the look of your drive.

It is, however, known for being prone to crumbling and cracks – especially when the sub-base has not been prepared correctly. On the plus side, it is a 100% recyclable product and it is also perfectly permeable, allowing water to seep through.

The usual way to lay an asphalt driveway is to remove the current driveway material and dig down a few centimetres. A layer of stone is added for drainage and the asphalt is poured directly over this. This ensures that there are no issues related to water and that the surface can be graded to give it a smooth look.

Can Asphalt Be Laid Over Concrete?

The short answer to this is yes. However, there are a number of things that need to be kept in mind to achieve this without issues.

In the long run, you may decide that the short term gain is not worth it. Yes, you will save money and the process of improving your driveway will be shortened, but the final results may not be all that you expect.

can asphalt be laid on top of concrete

Your concrete driveway needs to be in perfect condition before you add the asphalt base, and if it is in perfect condition, why do you want to improve it?

Concrete Can Provide A Solid Base-But It Needs To Be Perfect

Concrete is smooth and solid and can therefore provide an excellent base for an asphalt driveway. But there is much more to it. The reason you are improving your concrete driveway is probably because it doesn’t look as good as it used to; it may be crumbling or cracking.

These issues are going to affect the asphalt layer. The strength of the upper layer of asphalt comes from the strength of the base layer of concrete. If there are any issues with the lower layer, it will show on the upper layer.

The main way this happens is through water getting into the concrete layer. Asphalt is permeable; therefore, water will seep through it. This water will then reach the concrete layer, and seep into any cracks that are there – even very tiny imperceptible cracks.

Due to the freeze and thaw cycle, the water in these cracks will expand making the the cracks larger. The movement of the concrete base will soon start to affect the asphalt layer and the cracks will start to show on the surface.

Even a perfect concrete driveway can cause problems. A concrete driveway is usually laid with expansion joints every few metres. These are designed to allow movement of the concrete surface to allow for weather changes, and water freezing and thawing.

Laying asphalt directly over these gaps can mean that you are introducing weak areas to the upper surface. As the concrete layer continues to move, it will affect the asphalt layer as well.

can asphalt be laid on top of concrete

Your contractor may be able to work around this by tapering the edges, but the driveway will always be higher than it was. You also need a good depth of asphalt to ensure it will last and not start to crumble; reducing the amount of asphalt used is not an option

You Are Adding Height To Your Driveway

Your concrete driveway may be a few centimetre deep already, and when you add another layer of asphalt, you are adding a few centimetres more. Before you know it, you will have a lip or edge that runs all the way around the perimeter.

This may be an issue where the driveway meets the road or pavement edge, and where it meets the steps into your home.

Your contractor may be able to work around this by tapering the edges, but the driveway will always be higher than it was. You also need a good depth of asphalt to ensure it will last and not start to crumble; reducing the amount of asphalt used is not an option.

Asphalt Is Harder To Maintain Than Concrete

While you may be adding asphalt to your driveway to improve how it looks and performs, you need to bear in mind that the surface will require ongoing maintenance.

The fact it is installed over concrete is likely to mean it is prone to cracks. These can be repaired relatively easily, but should be done as soon as they appear. You may also choose to seal the driveway; this needs to be repeated every 2-3 years.

can asphalt be laid on top of concrete

If you want asphalt, you should dig up the old the driveway, and start afresh. But if you are doing that, you might want to consider resin bound as it will last even longer and give you plenty more options when it comes to the look you want to achieve

For A Longer-Lasting Driveway, Try Resin Bound Surfacing

The idea of paying asphalt over concrete may seem very tempting as the costs are significantly cheaper than starting from scratch.

But in the long term what you actually want is a driveway that looks solid and long lasting, and a driveway that is aesthetically attractive; one that will last for many years, with little or no maintenance. Resin bound driveways offer this and more.

Resin bound driveways are a mix of resin and aggregate stone that have been mixed together, and pressed into a sub-base. This base can be asphalt that has been newly laid to provide a solid and smooth surface.

● Resin bound driveways are an attractive option. While asphalt comes in one colour – black, resin bound can be any colour you wish. Simply choose the stones that you like and mix and match as required.
● Resin bound driveways are known to last as long as 30 years and are solid and strong.
● Resin bound driveways are a permeable material and will allow water to seep through. As the base is also permeable, the chances of cracking are incredibly low and almost always only ever due to poor installation.
● Resin bound driveways require very little time before they can be driven on and are less likely than most other driveway materials to require maintenance. In fact a simple brush and wash will be all that is needed.
● Resin bound driveways are flexible enough to be used in almost any application.

There are times when saving money is not really worth the effort, and adding an asphalt overlay to a poor concrete base is almost always going to be something you regret.

If you want asphalt, you should dig up the old the driveway, and start afresh. But if you are doing that, you might want to consider resin bound as it will last even longer and give you plenty more options when it comes to the look you want to achieve.

Seeking a resilient surfacing solution that stands the test of time? Resin bound material offers exactly that-and a whole lot more besides. Take the first step to creating a driveway of distinction today, by giving us a call on 0800 1700 636, or simply clicking the button below!