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Can You Put Asphalt Over Concrete?

Key Takeaways:

– Asphalt can be installed over concrete, making it an excellent option for driveway paving

– You will need to ensure that your concrete is in good condition and adequately prepared before asphalt paving can begin

– Asphalt is a hard-wearing and long-lasting material that requires little maintenance

– Paving contractors in Fort Mill can help determine if asphalt is the right paving choice for your home or business.

Are you bored of looking at your stony concrete driveway and thinking, “I wish I had asphalt.” Well, you’re in luck! Asphalt paving is a great way to spruce up your concrete driveway and give it a new lease on life. So can you lay asphalt on concrete? Let’s see.

Let’s review a few key factors before you can proceed with laying asphalt on your concrete driveway or pavement.

Concrete can expand

Not just expand, but concrete can also contract. Due to the expansion joint, the concrete can expand with fluctuating temperatures. Asphalt, on the other hand, is not as forgiving.

Although you can take extra measures to prevent it, if you pave asphalt over concrete, the asphalt is likely to eventually crack where the two meet. Cracks that develop in the pavement are not a sign of poor construction or wear and tear but rather an indication that something has gone wrong. They’ll be there, and you’ll need to address them fast so they don’t get worse.

Concrete can expand

The instability of concrete

Concrete constitutes cement, water, and aggregate (rock, sand, or gravel). Over time, the water within the concrete will evaporate.

As the water leaves, it takes with it some of the cement. This causes the concrete to become weaker and more brittle. This is why your concrete driveway hardens over time. The hardening can lead to cracking of expansion joints and the slabs to shift and pivot. So as you are laying asphalt over the concrete, ensure the slabs are in place and no cracks are formed.

Compaction of sub base

The sub-base compaction is an essential factor in laying asphalt over concrete. The sub base is the layer between the concrete and asphalt. Although the sub-base may appear firm, it’s possible that the ground below the concrete pavement has changed positions or sunken in.

An asphalt overlay will work well if your concrete pavement is in good condition. However, the new asphalt may also crack if it is broken or shifting. You can tell if your concrete is in good condition by looking for cracks and checking to see if any slabs have tilted.

Checklist for laying asphalt over concrete 

1. The surface must be spotless and free of debris or loose material.

Before applying asphalt to concrete, the surface must be clean and debris-free. This includes oil, grease, or other substances that can act as bond breakers. The surface should also be textured to allow for better adhesion between the two materials. Once the surface is prepared, you can begin laying the asphalt.

2. The surface must be dry and free of any moisture.

Wet concrete can be a problem when laying a blacktop over it. The asphalt won’t adhere properly if the surface is too wet, resulting in a weaker bond. So, make sure to allow your concrete plenty of time to dry before asphalt paving begins.

If you’re asphalt paving in the winter, you’ll need to ensure that the temperature is warm enough and that there’s no chance of rain or snow for at least 48 hours.

3. The surface must be level and even.

Remember what we said about concrete cracking and crumbling? Well, that’s more likely to happen if the surface underneath is uneven. An asphalt layer can help to level out a rough concrete surface and provide a smooth, even surface for paving.

4. You must repair the surface before laying asphalt

This can help to fill in any cracks or craters and prevent future cracking and damage. Techniques such as asphalt milling and infrared patching can be used to prepare the surface for asphalt paving.

5. Asphalt should be laid thicker.

When you lay asphalt normally like you do on gravel and sand, the asphalt is only about 1.5 to 2 inches thick. When asphalt is laid over concrete, it should be relatively thick to prevent cracking and damage. Depending on the analysis of your paving contractor, the thickness can range from 2 to 5 inches.

6. Consult a professional.

As we’ve repeatedly stated, asphalt paving is not a do-it-yourself job. By working with an expert, you can ensure that the task is carried out correctly, preventing any issues down the road. Paving contractors in Fort Mill, like Atkins Paving, have the experience and expertise to get the job done right.

Care Tips After You Put Asphalt Over Concrete

1. Wait at Least Three Days 

After you have the asphalt laid over concrete, you will need to wait at least three days before driving or parking on it. This gives the asphalt time to cure and harden. If you move or park on it too soon, you risk damaging the asphalt.

2. Avoid Spills 

It is also important to avoid spilling or spattering any liquids on the asphalt. If you do spill something, clean it up immediately. Otherwise, the liquid could seep into the asphalt and cause damage.

3. Don’t Put Too Much Weight on It 

Also, try not to overload the asphalt with excessive weight. This includes heavy parking vehicles or having large groups of people stand on it for long periods. The added pressure can cause cracks and breakage.

4. Keep It Clear of Debris 

Keep the asphalt free of debris, such as leaves, twigs, and dirt. If left unchecked, these materials may begin to decompose and emit chemicals that can harm the surface.

5. Seal It Regularly 

To help protect the asphalt from damage, be sure to seal it regularly. This will create a barrier preventing liquids and other materials from causing harm. You should seal your asphalt every couple of years. People often miss how integral sealcoating is to asphalt upkeep.

6. Have It Inspected Annually 

Finally, be sure to have your asphalt inspected by a professional at least once a year. They will be able to identify potential problems and recommend repairs or maintenance.

Ending Note:

So, should you lay asphalt over concrete? While it is possible, you should keep a few things in mind. Consult with a professional to get the best advice for your specific project.

Atkins Paving, serving Fort Mill, SC, is an expert in asphalt paving services. We can give your concrete driveway a new blacktop asphalt paving. We also offer other services like sealcoating, line striping, and asphalt repair.

Contact us today for a free estimate!