Asphalt repaving an existing parking lot or driveway is always a good idea, especially if it’s time to replace an old, weathered lot or drive. In many ways this can be an easy job, especially if you’re simply repaving over tired but existing asphalt. It takes little time and effort to prepare the old pavement to receive fresh new asphalt, and your new lot or driveway will be black, shiny, and pristine in no time.

However, if you’re replacing an existing surface that’s already covered in concrete, it’s another story altogether. It turns out that there are many reasons why you should ensure all that old paving surface is removed first before laying any new asphalt down, as there are a number of factors that you’ll need to keep in mind before even beginning your asphalt repaving. Here’s what you need to know.

Start With a Good Foundation

It’s true that paving a lot or drive with concrete is, in many ways, similar to laying down fresh asphalt. Yet there are some important differences, most notably in how the foundation for concrete paving is handled. The secret is how these paving materials handle wear and tear.

Concrete, for example, can provide high levels of strength and stability simply by ensuring it is poured into a slab that is thicker and deeper, regardless of the condition of the ground below it. However, this can conceal shifting or sinking that would need to be addressed before any asphalt repaving efforts to ensure the finished product is level and graded properly to encourage proper drainage.

Not All its Cracked Up to Be

In addition to possible shifting or sinking that can lead to uneven asphalt surfaces, asphalt repaving over concrete can lead to stress being placed on the new pavement directly over the original’s expansion joints. As asphalt doesn’t require expansion joints to cope with environmental changes over time, this can lead to cracks forming as these joints give way beneath the asphalt.

This, in turn, results in much more wear and tear on your new asphalt paving, making it more maintenance-intensive and, in many cases, an unsightly mess. This is yet another important reason to have the original concrete pavement completely removed first instead of simply paving over the area with new asphalt.

Better Safe Than Sorry

The bare truth of it is that asphalt repaving over concrete is never ideal. There are, of course, many advantages to using asphalt. It’s quicker and less expensive to use it as a paving material, and it can be much safer and more durable than concrete with the right maintenance. However, many of these advantages are compromised by paving over concrete.

It doesn’t matter if you’re just replacing the pavement of your public parking lot in Passaic or you’re redoing your driveway in Tom’s River — your best bet will always be to haul that unsightly concrete out of there before you decide on asphalt repaving. Keep New Jersey beautiful by not just choosing asphalt but by making sure you do it right.