Can Applying New Asphalt on Old Asphalt be Bad for a Driveway?

Can Applying New Asphalt on Old Asphalt be Bad for a Driveway?

October 31, 2023

Man,Sealing,Asphalt,DrivewayWhen it comes to repairing or resurfacing a driveway, one common question that homeowners have is whether it is advisable to apply new asphalt on top of old asphalt. While overlaying can be a cost-effective and time-saving solution, it is essential to consider the long-term impact on the driveway’s durability and longevity. In this blog post, we will explore the potential issues that may arise from overlaying new asphalt on old asphalt and provide insights to help homeowners make informed decisions.

Understanding the Potential Issues:

1. Increased Thickness and Unevenness:

Applying a new layer of asphalt on top of old asphalt will inevitably increase the thickness of the driveway. This increased thickness can result in an uneven surface, creating potential tripping hazards and impacting the overall aesthetics of the driveway. It’s important to note that even if the old asphalt is relatively smooth, the additional layer may still cause irregularities due to variations in thickness.

2. Reduced Drainage Efficiency:

Water drainage is a crucial factor in maintaining the integrity of a driveway. Overlaying new asphalt on old asphalt can lead to a reduced ability to properly channel water away from the surface. Over time, this poor drainage can result in water pooling, which can cause damage and deterioration to the driveway. The inability for water to flow away efficiently may also increase the risk of cracks and other structural problems.

3. Decreased Structural Integrity:

Old asphalt may have underlying issues, such as cracks, potholes, or uneven surfaces. By covering these problems with a new layer of asphalt, the underlying issues are not addressed or repaired properly. Over time, these hidden flaws can worsen, leading to structural instability and a shorter lifespan for the driveway. It is essential to assess the condition of the old asphalt before deciding on an overlay to ensure any underlying issues are adequately addressed.

4. Compatibility and Bonding:

The effectiveness of an overlay largely depends on the bond between the old and new layers of asphalt. If the old asphalt is compromised or deteriorated, it may not provide a solid base for the new layer to bond effectively. Poor bonding can result in premature cracking, separation, or lifting of the new asphalt. It is crucial to evaluate the condition of the existing asphalt to determine if it is suitable for overlaying without jeopardizing the integrity of the new layer.

Professional Assessment and Solutions:

To ensure the best outcome for your driveway, it is highly recommended to consult with a professional asphalt contractor. They have the expertise and experience to assess the condition of the existing asphalt and provide suitable solutions based on your specific situation. In some cases, they may recommend removing the old asphalt completely and starting fresh to ensure a more durable and long-lasting driveway.

Alternatives to Overlaying:

If overlaying is not a viable option for your driveway, there are alternative solutions to consider:

1. Full Depth Replacement:

In situations where the old asphalt is severely damaged, a full-depth replacement may be necessary. This involves removing the existing asphalt and replacing it with a new base and surface layer. This approach ensures a solid foundation for the new driveway, addressing any underlying issues and providing long-term durability.

2. Patching and Repair:

If the existing asphalt has localized damage, patching and repair can be an effective solution. This involves repairing cracks, filling potholes, and smoothing out uneven surfaces. Regular maintenance and timely repairs can help extend the lifespan of your driveway without the need for complete overlaying.


While overlaying new asphalt on old asphalt can be a cost-effective and time-saving solution, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks and impact on the driveway’s durability and longevity. Increased thickness, poor drainage, decreased structural integrity, and bonding issues are some of the concerns associated with overlaying. Consulting with a professional asphalt contractor is key in assessing the condition of the existing asphalt and determining the most appropriate solution, whether it involves overlaying, full-depth replacement, or patching and repair. By making informed decisions, homeowners can ensure a well-maintained and long-lasting driveway.

Need an Asphalt Contractor in Spring Hill, TN?

D. Lee’s Paving is an asphalt paving company in the Spring Hill, TN area. At D. Lee’s Paving, our extremely skilled crew draws their know-how and skill from years of family work in the paving industry, using the absolute best techniques to provide you with the perfect finish for your site. Whether you’re doing a residential driveway or a commercial parking lot, we can get it done professionally and at a convenient cost. We offer comprehensive asphalt paving, maintenance, and repair services, as well as tar and chip fixes and road striping. For more details, please visit our site, or call us today!

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