Can You Put New Asphalt Over Old Asphalt? (Here's How)

Kirstin Harrington
by Kirstin Harrington
Installing asphalt isn’t difficult but it poses its obstacles, and many homeowners wonder if it’s possible to put new asphalt over old asphalt. Luckily, you can put new asphalt over old asphalt as long as it is thicker than the old layer. It is important to cover old asphalt with new asphalt correctly, so let’s explore the steps it takes and how to calculate thickness.

Whether your driveway is getting worn out or you just want to spruce it up, you have plenty of options. While some may want to tear up the asphalt and start new, others are wondering if there’s an easier option.

The short answer is yes, you can put new asphalt over old asphalt. This can add several years to the surface. An asphalt overlay can last between eight to fifteen years on the surface. When applying asphalt over an old layer, make sure the new layer is at least 1.5 times thicker than the old one.

Below we’re going to discuss everything there is to know about asphalt overlays. I hope this gives you the inspiration to tackle another home improvement project and save money doing so.

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Five Facts to Consider

So you want to lay a new layer of asphalt over the old stuff. Whether this is a driveway, a parking lot, or even a small country road, there are five things to keep in mind. Consider these things before you begin the project.


For the remainder of this article, we’re going to be using overlaying a driveway as an example. The first thing you need to consider is how long and wide your driveway is. Things like prep work before the overlay to get the surface ready can be quite costly.

The larger the surface is that you’re working with, the more time and money this will take. If you are working with a very long driveway, consider if removal and replacement are cheaper.


Something else to keep in mind is the elevation in the surrounding area. Is there even room to add another layer of asphalt? To perform an overlay there needs to be at least two inches of thickness for the asphalt to settle.

You can mill it down further than that, but 1 ½’’ is the proper thickness for a layer of asphalt. Removing asphalt can be stressful, so it’s important to know ahead of time if there’s enough room to get the job done.


The third thing you’ll want to think about is the pitch of your driveway. Is it straight off the road, or are there any hills or turns? The flatter the surface, the more milling is required when performing an asphalt overlay.

This is another situation where it may be more cost-effective to start from scratch. Always weigh your options to see what the best bang for your buck is in the long run.

Cracks and Holes

Even if you put an entirely new layer of asphalt over the existing one, cracks and holes will show up again over time. It can take years for them to reappear or just a few months. If there’s a lot of surface damage, paving fabrics can slow this process down.

Future Expectations

Just like with anything in life you’re facing, the number one thing is to have realistic expectations. A full removal and replacement can last up to 20 years. An overlay may last 10 to 15 years.

Something that plays a determining factor when it comes to the longevity of asphalt is the surface it’s being poured onto. Sandy soils are well-draining and are better for asphalt. Clay-like soils can hold water, causing freezing and thawing damage to the blacktop.

Let’s Talk Cost

You have several different options when it comes to purchasing asphalt. You can do so by the yard, pound, and even by the ton. Below you’ll find an in-depth price guide to give you a good idea of how much you should budget for an asphalt overlay.

Asphalt Cost Per Yard

If you want to buy per yard, that’ll cost you between $80 and $100. Many sellers prefer to price by the ton, but for smaller projects, like a driveway, cubic feet may be better.

Pound of Asphalt

A pound of asphalt will cost you anyway between $0.10 to $0.20. This may sound cheaper, but you’d be surprised by how many pounds of asphalt you’ll need.

Porous Asphalt Costs Per Square Foot

Porous asphalt costs between $8 and $15 per square foot. This style of asphalt is designed to reduce the amount of runoff. This diminishes the need for excessive leveling and grading before installation.

Porous asphalt does need an additional layer of crushed stone to help with the draining. This allows it to soak up water, which also prevents cracks and crevices over time in the finished surface.

Recycled or Reclaimed Asphalt

Another option that is great for anyone who is eco-conscious is recycled or reclaimed asphalt. It costs $10 to $20 per ton, which is 1/10 of the cost if you were buying new. This can save you up to $1,400 on your driveway as well.

If you want to go with this option, ask the installer to mill the materials onsite. Doing so can cut down drastically on transporting supplies and materials.


When laying down asphalt for the first time, not an overlay, you need to put down a layer of gravel. This is done between the soil and asphalt and acts as a draining system for the surface. Gravel rocks can cost between $0.50 and $1 per square foot.

Asphalt Overlay Cost

An overlay will set you back between $3 and $7 per square foot. This is a cheaper option, as you’re only adding a top coat to an existing blacktop. You’ll also need an asphalt sealant on top of the topcoat, which costs about $500.

Cost to Remove Asphalt

If there’s a lot of surface damage and you’ve found the need to altogether remove the asphalt, that’ll cost $1 to $2 per square foot. If you plan on replacing the asphalt, ask the installer to use the old materials to help save money.

Cost to Lay Asphalt Over Concrete Driveway

Laying asphalt over a concrete driveway costs the same as an overlay on top of a blacktop. It’s around $3 to $7 per square foot, but this needs to be done annually. This can be incredibly pricey over time, and it will be cheaper to remove the concrete and lay down asphalt.

Price Guides

Below you’ll find how much it can cost you to put new asphalt down on your driveway. Keep in mind this includes labor and materials. If you’re doing the job yourself, you can expect these prices to be on the lower end.

National average$4,625
Typical range$2,874 – $6,380
Minimum cost$1,500
Maximum cost$10,800

If you want to break it down even more and get a more accurate price for your project, take a look at this:

Asphalt Paving Cost Per Square Foot

Asphalt$1 to $5
Gravel$0.50 to $1
Installation$5 to $7
Total$7 to $13

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Related Questions

How long will an asphalt overlay last?

When you perform an asphalt overlay, you may want to know that it won’t last as long as brand new asphalt. If it’s installed correctly, the overlay can add between eight and 15 years to the surface.

What is the difference between asphalt and blacktop?

Something that many folks don’t know is that blacktop is a type of asphalt. In general, asphalt refers to things like highways, roads, and anywhere public. Blacktop is the term used when referring to personal driveways.

How do you fix crumbling asphalt driveway?

Crumbling asphalt can be a real pain. One of the best ways to fix the issue is to fill any cracks, crevices, or holes with compacted sand. On top of that, you’ll lay a bead of asphalt crack filler using a caulking gun and smooth it over with a putty knife.

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Kirstin Harrington
Kirstin Harrington

Kirstin is a passionate writer who loves helping people learn new things when it comes to home improvement. When she's not behind a keyboard, she enjoys DIY projects, crafts, spending time with her pets, and making videos. She hopes that with all she writes, someone is finding a solution to their home improvement needs.

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