Can you put new asphalt over old asphalt?

asphalt road

Is blacktop the same as asphalt?

Asphalt is used for more than just parking lots and roadways. There are homes with asphalt driveways, and depending on the architectural style of the home, it lends to the elegance. Until there are cracks and potholes in the driveway, then asphalt resurfacing is needed to maintain that look of elegance. 

Asphalt resurfacing and sealing can make an asphalt driveway look new again, extend its life, and improve the home’s curb appeal. What is resurfacing asphalt? Asphalt resurfacing is the process of replacing the top layer of an existing asphalt surface with a fresh layer of asphalt. The asphalt resurfacing process can extend the life of a driveway for up to another fifteen years in the right environment. 

Yes and no.  Asphalt and blacktop are made from the same two ingredients: bitumen and crushed stone. Where they differ is how those two ingredients are blended. 

  • A construction drum is used to mix asphalt, keeping it at a minimum temperature of 250 degrees. This keeps the asphalt pliable enough for pouring yet keeping it durable and strong. 
  • The ratio used for blacktop is different and at a higher temperature than asphalt, usually at a minimum of 300 degrees. There is more crushed stone than bitumen, giving blacktop that sparkle.  The hotter temperature and extra crushed stone gives blacktop a longer lifespan. 

After a harsh season of weather, both surfaces are simply resealed to renew their appearance. Blacktop is better for pathways, parking lots, playgrounds, and driveways or residential roads where the traffic is light. Asphalt is recommended for major roadways where traffic is steady and heavy. 

How often should an asphalt driveway be resurfaced?

The frequency of asphalt resurfacing isn’t as important as the sealcoating. Sealcoating is more important than other maintenance efforts like asphalt resurfacing because it protects the asphalt. With a proper sealcoating, the asphalt doesn’t degrade as quickly, is protected from the weather, and extends the lifespan. 

Without sealer, the asphalt resurfacing could be needed every 5 to 6 years at the cost of thousands of dollars each time. With sealcoating and a good maintenance regime, your asphalt driveway can give you as many as 25 years. 

How thick should an asphalt overlay be?

For minor surface issues, asphalt resurfacing is sometimes the better option, and there are a few advantages to asphalt resurfacing compared other maintenance treatments. 

  • Seals shallow fatigue cracks.
  • Adds strength to the existing surface.
  • Provides support for bigger loads and have minimal chance of stress failure.
  • Restores proper slope.
  • Improve the smoothness.

However, proper, and thorough preparing asphalt for resurfacing is needed for the results to meet expectations. An existing surface with deep cracks and ruts, wheel paths, and underlying base problems like deformation or moisture, asphalt resurfacing won’t suffice without proper repairs done first. 

How long does an asphalt overlay last?

Asphalt resurfacing is a significant part of asphalt driveways today. It requires the existing surface to be clean, level, and structurally intact so that the asphalt can bond. With an asphalt overlay, the customer must expect that it likely won’t last as long as a full replacement of asphalt, getting a maximum of 15 years instead of 20 years. 

The existing driveway’s elevation is a strong factor in the lifespan of a asphalt resurfacing job. Proper drainage will be key to the longevity of the asphalt resurfacing, so a minimum of one and half inches is recommended. If there is any existing cracking in the driveway, it will likely come through the asphalt resurfacing over time, and that time frame will vary based on the soil surrounding the driveway. 

aphalt built up over time

Can old asphalt be reused?

Absolutely!  The RAP (reclaimed asphalt pavement) market is busting and when you look at the original service life, it makes sense. Even old asphalt pavement is still of value when you consider that there are more than two million miles of paved roads in this country. Of that, over 90 percent are surfaced with asphalt. Recycling and reusing that old asphalt is a priority and because contractors and states now recognize RAP as an economical and environmental plus, it is used more extensively today. 

Why choose an asphalt driveway over your current gravel driveway? Installing an asphalt driveway on your property has four significant benefits: 

  • Asphalt Is Cheaper 
  • Asphalt Repairs are Easier
  • Asphalt Has a Smooth Appearance
  • Asphalt Is Installed Faster
  • Asphalt Cures As It Is Installed 
  • Asphalt Is Easier To Recycle

When you compare these advantages, it is easy to see why asphalt is the better choice over a concrete driveway. Especially when you consider that concrete will take days to install and then has to cure for a week or more before using it. Call 512-646-6069 today for your asphalt resurfacing needs in Austin, TX.