Can You Pour New Asphalt Over Old Asphalt?

March 5, 2021

Over time, you can expect to notice signs of deterioration in your driveway. Even if you stay on top of maintenance (sealing, repairing cracks and holes), eventually cracks will form in the surface, and you will need to consider putting down new asphalt.

One common question we receive from homeowners concerns whether it’s possible to simply pour new asphalt on top of the old asphalt, rather than digging up the asphalt and starting from scratch. The answer is yes, it’s possible, but it may or may not be the best solution for your property.

Here’s an overview of what you should know about this method of driveway and parking lot paving in Montgomery County, MD.

Using asphalt overlays

An asphalt overlay is a specific type of repair method in which you apply a new layer of at least 1.5” in thickness on top of existing asphalt. This process is also occasionally referred to as “resurfacing.”

The principle here is that even a cracked top layer of the driveway may still be structurally sound underneath, allowing it to function as a base for new asphalt. When done properly, an asphalt overlay will last approximately 10 to 15 years. Compare this to a complete replacement of the asphalt system, which will last from 20 to 30 years, depending on the usage, climate and various other factors. Clearly you have to balance your budget with your desire for a long-lasting asphalt surface.

That being said, an overlay can be a good idea if there are only minor surface cracks or water damage, or if you have an uneven surface. The savings make this an attractive option for people with asphalt still in reasonably good condition who are also working on a budget. But again, the surface needs to be structurally sound, free of large debris and still able to provide sufficient drainage.

You should not go with the overlay method if you have major problems with the existing surface, such as large potholes or poor drainage. If the base is unstable and you attempt to put an overlay on top, you might get a few years of service out of the new surface before it cracks or collapses. In fact, it might only take one winter for you to see it collapse.

If you want complete assurance that you will not have to perform any additional driveway repairs within just a few years, it’s in your best interest to instead opt for a complete replacement, including a tear-out of the existing surface. While this will cost you more money, it will also provide you with more reliable, trustworthy results that will last for a significantly longer period of time.

Every situation is different, so consult with an asphalt paving expert before you decide which method is best for your pavement.

For more information about Maryland Asphalt LLC and our asphalt paving services, we encourage you to contact our asphalt contractors in Montgomery County, MD with any questions. We look forward to working with you.

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