Can You Pave Over An Existing Driveway?

Can You Pave Over An Existing Driveway?

Generally, it is not a good idea to put a new driveway over an existing driveway. Because many types of old driveways such as concrete, grass, pavers do not provide a good base for a new driveway. Moreover, paving over an old driveway will almost always results in unattractive or unimpressive results.

Nevertheless, you can put a new asphalt driveway over an existing one. This is just about the only way you can pave a driveway over another. I will explain why and how this is possible. 

Why can you pave new asphalt over existing asphalt?

Asphalt is a very strong and sturdy material. A properly installed asphalt driveway will not only look good but also last for many years. However, to continue looking new and amazing it must be regularly maintained. Nevertheless, even with proper maintenance, it will reach the end of its lifespan when you will feel it is much better to tear it down than to continue maintaining.

When such a point reaches, you can actually tear it down to install a brand new asphalt driveway. However, if you are on a budget, instead of tearing down your existing asphalt driveway, you can pave over it by using it as a base for a new asphalt driveway.

What is an asphalt overlay?

Paving a new asphalt driveway over an existing one is called asphalt overlay or resurfacing. The new layer often has to be at least 1.5-inch thick to look good. The existing driveway is typically used as a base for the new one. 

An asphalt overlay is possible when only the top layer of the existing driveway seems to be worn and its base is regarded to be in good shape. If the base of the existing driveway is not in good shape then carrying out an asphalt overlay is not advisable.

What you need to consider before doing an asphalt overlay?

  1. Cost

This is the most important thing to consider. Tearing down your existing highway to install a completely brand new one will cost you big money. It is cheaper to pave over your existing driveway for a new/newish driveway. However, while it is cheaper to resurface an existing asphalt driveway, it will still cost you plenty of money. Be prepared to pay at least $3,000 for an asphalt driveway.

  1. The damage to the current driveway

An asphalt overlay is only recommended when the damage to the current driveway is only on the top layer. For example, if the top layer exhibits potholes, cracks, and similar damage, doing an asphalt overlay is okay. However, if you suspect damage to the layer beneath the top layer, doing an asphalt overlay is not recommended because the whole thing will not be stable and will most likely not look good.

  1. Timing 

The best time to pave over your old asphalt driveway is in summer. This is because the warm weather will make the job easier and will enable your new driveway to cure nicely and completely. 

  1. Drying time

To ensure your new asphalt driveway gets completely dry and solid, you will need about three days of warm weather. So for three days, you are going to need to park your vehicle somewhere else to give your driveway time to heal. If you use your new driveway before it completely dries, you will not like the results.

How long will a resurfaced asphalt driveway last?

If your existing asphalt overlay is well-made with a very solid and nicely done base, then the new asphalt will last for many years. A well-maintained resurfaced asphalt driveway will last for around eight to ten years. While a well-maintained new driveway will last for around sixteen to twenty years. The actual number of years will depend on the usage of the driveway and the climate. 

When is it right to pave over an existing driveway?

The best or the right time to pave over an existing driveway is when the existing driveway suffers simple water damage, looks uneven, looks unattractive, or develops unattractive surface cracks. When your suspect your existing driveway has issues in its base layer, resurfacing it will be cosmetic. It will only cover up the bad top layer and after a few weeks or months, the brand new surface will start looking like an old driveway. 

In other words, an asphalt overlay or paving over an existing driveway is only recommended when the base layer is structurally sound. 

When is it not right to pave over an existing driveway?

When you suspect your existing driveway has a problem in its base, it is best not to resurface it. Because doing so is only going to waste your money. The new driveway will quickly start looking like the old one within a few weeks or months. If you suspect the base of your current driveway has a problem, you should simply have it removed and replaced.

If you never want to think about resurfacing your driveway again, you should remove the current one and replace it with pavers. Pavers last for a long time and often need no serious maintenance. You just need to set them and then forget them.

What to do if you want an asphalt overlay?

If you really want an asphalt overlay, you should get a professional paving company. If you do, you will love the appearance and the results. If you do not and try to do things yourself, you will most likely not like the results. A professional paving company will know what to do, when, and which equipment to use. So get a professional to install an overlay for you if you want impressive results.