If your old concrete driveway is cracked and heaving, the only real solution is to have it replaced because it is impossible to completely repair concrete so it looks like new. Asphalt is the perfect replacement medium. Not only is attractive, repairable, and long-lasting, it is also often less expensive to install compared to new concrete. The following are a few things you need to know when replacing concrete with asphalt.
1. It's Necessary to Rebuild the Base
Concrete is considered less elastic than asphalt, so it is less likely to suffer from minor earth movement such as frost heave. Thick slabs of concrete, in particular, require a less sound base. For this reason, the base or foundation that is installed beneath concrete won't be up to the task of supporting a long-lasting asphalt driveway. Your contractor will need to reconstruct the base once the old concrete slab is removed. Depending on the state of the base, it may require little more than being built up and recompacted. If the base is very weak or damaged, it may make more sense to remove it and install a completely new base.
2. The Old Concrete Is Recyclable
There's no need to worry about waste if you opt to switch from concrete to asphalt. Although concrete cannot be melted down and reused like asphalt, it is still recyclable. A common way to reuse asphalt is to grind up old concrete slabs into aggregate. This aggregate is then used in asphalt mixes or as a base material beneath new driveways, sidewalks, and roads. Check with your asphalt company to make sure they recycle the concrete slab after removal. Most will handle the process so you won't have to find a recycler on your own.
3. Additional Drainage May Be Necessary
A major concern with concrete is that proper drainage is often skipped during installation. This is for much the same reason as to why the base is thin—thick slabs can handle minor washouts beneath them so drainage isn't a high priority. On the other hand, when it comes to asphalt, proper drainage beneath the paving is a must to ensure there is no heave or collapse of the drive. Your installer may need to install drainage troughs or drain grates through the base or into the paved surface so you won't have to worry about water damage.
Contact an asphalt paving company to learn more about your options.