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Can You Put Asphalt Over Concrete?

When it comes to upgrading your parking lot, you might be faced with a common dilemma: Do you tear out the existing concrete and start from scratch with asphalt, or is there a more efficient and cost-effective option? The answer to this question lies in the possibility of putting asphalt over concrete. This is an effective solution that we discuss when designing and planning commercial paving projects.

Asphalt and concrete are two of the most widely used materials for surfacing driveways, roads, and parking areas, each with its own set of advantages and drawbacks. However, blending these two materials can be a game-changer, offering the best of both worlds. Our asphalt paving professionals from Ruston Paving have shared everything you need to know about “blacktopping” your concrete surfaces. 

Paving the Osbourn Park High School Track in Manassas, VA

Advantages of Putting Asphalt Over Concrete

If you're contemplating whether to put asphalt over concrete for your paving project, check out some of the advantages associated with this approach: 

  • Cost-Efficiency: Removing and disposing of existing concrete can be an expensive and labor-intensive process. By overlaying asphalt, you can save significantly on demolition and disposal expenses.
  • Time Savings: Traditional concrete replacement involves demolishing the old surface, preparing the subbase, and then pouring new concrete, which can be a time-consuming process. Asphalt overlay, on the other hand, can be completed much more quickly, minimizing disruption and downtime for your property.
  • Improved Aesthetics: Asphalt can provide a fresh, smooth, and sleek appearance to your surface. It can cover up imperfections and stains on the existing concrete, instantly enhancing the visual appeal of your driveway or parking lot.
  • Enhanced Durability: Overlaying concrete with asphalt adds an extra layer of protection, extending the lifespan of your pavement.
  • Better Drainage: When you put asphalt over concrete, you can improve water runoff, reducing the risk of puddles and potential damage caused by standing water.
  • Flexibility: Asphalt is a flexible material that can adapt to minor shifts in the underlying surface, reducing the likelihood of cracks and fissures over time. 
  • Smooth Surface: Asphalt provides a smooth and even surface that is comfortable for driving, walking, and parking. 
  • Sustainable Option: Recycling existing concrete by overlaying it with asphalt is an eco-friendly choice. It reduces the need for new raw materials and minimizes waste, making it a more sustainable paving option.

How Do You Put Asphalt on Top of Concrete?

Overlaying asphalt on concrete– a construction practice known commonly as “blacktopping,” is a viable option for enhancing the appearance and functionality of your existing pavement without the need for a complete replacement. The process requires careful planning and execution to ensure a successful outcome. 

Step 1: Evaluate the Existing Concrete Surface

Before starting the overlay process, thoroughly inspect the condition of the concrete. Ensure that it is structurally sound, with no significant cracks or damage that could compromise the new asphalt layer's integrity.

Step 2: Clean and Prepare the Concrete Surface

Remove all dirt, debris, and loose material from the concrete surface. This can be done through power washing or mechanical cleaning methods. Additionally, any oil stains should be treated and removed to ensure proper adhesion of the asphalt overlay.

Step 3: Repair and Patch Any Damage

Address any cracks, holes, or minor defects in the concrete. Fill these imperfections with a suitable patching material. This step is essential to create a smooth and even surface for the asphalt overlay.

Step 4: Apply a Tack Coat

To promote adhesion between the existing concrete and the new asphalt layer, apply a tack coat (bonding agent) to the concrete surface. The tack coat is a thin layer of asphalt emulsion that acts as a bonding agent between the two materials.

Step 5: Determine the Asphalt Thickness

Depending on your project's requirements and the condition of the existing concrete, decide on the thickness of the asphalt overlay. Typically, a thickness of 1.5 to 2 inches is sufficient for most residential and light commercial applications.

Step 6: Lay the Asphalt Overlay

The asphalt overlay is laid using paving equipment, which ensures a consistent and smooth application. It's important to maintain proper compaction during the laying process to achieve a dense and durable surface.

Rolling some fresh pavement at Raymour & Flanigan Plaza in Watertown, NY
Watertown, NY

Step 7: Compact and Smooth the Overlay

Immediately after the asphalt is placed, it should be compacted to eliminate air voids and achieve the desired density. A roller is commonly used for this purpose. Simultaneously, the surface should be smoothed to ensure an even finish.

Step 8: Allow for Proper Curing

After the asphalt overlay is installed, it needs time to cure and harden. This typically takes a few days, during which time it should be protected from heavy traffic.

Step 9: Seal and Maintain

To prolong the life of your asphalt overlay, consider applying a sealant once it has fully cured. Regular maintenance, including periodic sealcoating and repairs as needed, will help extend its lifespan.

Why Choose Professionals to Blacktop Your Driveway

Your driveway is not just a functional path for vehicles– it's a vital component of your property's overall aesthetics and functionality. Whether you're considering a new driveway installation, resurfacing, or repairs, the choice to hire professionals for asphalt/blacktop paving offers a multitude of advantages that extend far beyond the immediate cost savings associated with DIY efforts. 

Expertise and Experience

Professional asphalt contractors have the knowledge and experience needed to properly assess your driveway's condition, prepare the site, and execute the paving process. They understand the nuances of asphalt mixtures, paving techniques, and the factors that affect the quality and longevity of the pavement.

Quality Workmanship

Professionals have access to the right equipment and materials to ensure a high-quality finish. They are trained to achieve proper compaction, grading, and smoothness, resulting in a professionally finished driveway.

Cost-Effectiveness

While hiring professionals may seem like an added expense, it can actually be cost-effective in the long run. DIY projects often lead to mistakes that can be costly to rectify. Professionals do the job right the first time, reducing the likelihood of future repairs and replacements.

Time Efficiency

Professional contractors have the skills and resources to complete the job efficiently. They can typically finish the work in a shorter amount of time compared to a DIY project, minimizing inconvenience for you and your family.

Compliance with Local Regulations

Asphalt paving projects are subject to local regulations, zoning codes, and permitting requirements. Professional contractors are well-versed in these regulations and can ensure that your project complies with all necessary codes and permits.

Paving Varsity Drive at NC State

Safety

Asphalt paving can be physically demanding and requires proper safety measures. Professionals are trained to prioritize safety, reducing the risk of accidents or injuries on the job site.

Access to Quality Materials

Professionals have access to high-quality asphalt materials, ensuring that your driveway is constructed with durable, long-lasting materials that can withstand the rigors of weather and traffic.

Warranty and Guarantees

Reputable asphalt contractors often offer warranties or guarantees for their work. This provides peace of mind, knowing that if any issues arise within the warranty period, they will be addressed at no additional cost to you.

Aesthetic Appeal

Professional contractors can create a smooth and visually appealing finish for your driveway, enhancing your property's curb appeal.

Maintenance Recommendations

Professionals can provide guidance on proper driveway maintenance to extend its lifespan. They may also offer sealing and maintenance services to keep your driveway in optimal condition.

Contact Our Commercial Asphalt Paving Installation Experts Today 

Don't wait any longer to enhance the beauty and functionality of your commercial property’s driveway or parking lot. Contact Ruston Paving today for professional asphalt over concrete services. 

Whether you're looking to create a brand-new driveway or parking lot, repair existing damage, or ensure its long-term durability, our team is here to provide you with top-notch service and expertise. 

Give us a call at (800) 727-6223 or fill out the online contact form to get started. 

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