How to Lay Recycled Asphalt

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With people trying to be more environmentally responsible in the way we use and recycle building materials, it's not a surprise to find that we can even recycle asphalt for paving streets and driveways. Although the end result of laying a recycled asphalt driveway may differ slightly from a virgin asphalt material, laying recycled asphalt can be fairly simple and can also save money over new asphalt.

Things You'll Need

  • Steam roller
  • Hand tamper
  • Heavy-duty metal rake
  • Shovel
  • Sand or gravel
  • Asphalt sealer
  • Brush
  • Remove tree branches, rocks, stumps and organic matter such as leaves from the area to be paved. Fill in any holes or deep cracks in the surface with sand or gravel, using a shovel. Break up any large clumps of earth with the tip of the shovel and smooth out the surface with the rake.

  • Shovel the asphalt out across the length of the area being paved so there is an asphalt layer of at least 1 inch. Start at the top of the drive if you are paving the length of a driveway. Use a heavy-duty metal rake to even out the asphalt and create even coverage across the area.

  • Tamp down the surface of the asphalt with a hand tamper. Move across the entire area and use the tamper to hit every square inch with solid force to compact the layer of asphalt. If you wish, leave the installation as it is at this step and drive over the surface slowly with a car or truck to further compact the asphalt layer. The recycled asphalt will be laid down just like a traditional gravel driveway and should stand up well for a few years

  • Roll over the asphalt layer with a steam roller. The steam roller will further compress and heat the recycled asphalt so it essentially melts together and then sets up to form a hardened surface as durable as new asphalt. Allow the asphalt to cure for at least 24 hours.

  • Apply a commercial-grade asphalt seal-coat product, using a brush. A sealer will also help protect the new layer of asphalt and help it last for many years.

Tips & Warnings

  • Have the recycled asphalt delivered on a warm day. The heat will help the asphalt set during installation.

References

  • Photo Credit asphalt image by AGphotographer from Fotolia.com
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