How Much Weight Can A Residential Asphalt Driveway Hold?

Jennifer Eggerton
by Jennifer Eggerton

Asphalt is an affordable material that is used for driveways, roads, and parking lots. It is a durable material that requires relatively low maintenance. When it’s time to install a new asphalt driveway for your home, you need to know how much weight the material can hold.

A residential asphalt driveway holds approximately 8,000 pounds. The weight-bearing capacity of asphalt is based on the thickness of the material. For most residential driveways, 2” to 3” of asphalt is adequate for daily use. You also need to have 6” to 8” of a granular based aggregate under the asphalt. The soil is under the aggregate.

When it comes to installing an asphalt driveway that can hold the weight of your vehicles, you need to consider the thickness of the asphalt, as well as how the material is laid for the driveway.

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Specs for a Residential Asphalt Driveway

For most homes, 2” to 3” of asphalt on a driveway is thick enough to bear the weight of family vehicles. This thickness also holds up to heavy trucks and equipment that are occasionally parked on your driveway.

There should be 6” to 8” of granular base aggregate under the asphalt, and a layer of soil under the aggregate. The aggregate is made of gravel, sand, crushed rock, and other hard minerals.

How Much Weight Can a Residential Asphalt Driveway Hold?

Manufacturers develop asphalt materials that are rated for certain weight limits. You will find a Structural Number on the label, or you can ask the contractor for this information. One of the denser asphalt materials has a Structural Number 3, and this means that the final product is 3x stronger than the aggregate in its original form.

How Thick Should Asphalt Be for a Residential Driveway?

Use 2” to 3” as a baseline for the thickness of asphalt on your driveway. If you plan on having heavy vehicles on the driveway, such as an RV, boat, or commercial truck, use 4” of asphalt. Climate should also be considered. If you live in an area with temperature extremes, such as the desert or where it gets very cold in the winter, use 5” to 6” of asphalt.

How Many Layers of Asphalt for a Driveway?

You can use two layers of asphalt to form a strong and affordable driveway. Some contractors put down a 6-inch to 8-inch layer of gravel or compacted aggregate, and then lay down 3” of asphalt.

How Much Does an Asphalt Driveway Cost?

An asphalt driveway costs $2 to $6 per square foot for materials, and $5 to $7 per square foot for labor. The average residential asphalt driveway costs $4,737.

How Long Does Asphalt Last?

Asphalt is designed to last 12 to 20 years. Your driveway may last less time or more time, depending on how it was laid, climate conditions, use, and maintenance.

How Do You Maintain an Asphalt Driveway?

Every 12 to 24 months, sweep the asphalt, and spray it with a hose to remove any debris that is stuck in the material. Asphalt should be seal-coated every 2 to 5 years.

How Do You Repair an Asphalt Driveway?

Use a patching compound to repair asphalt that has cracks and holes. The compound contains the same aggregate as the original asphalt, and it needs to be hot when it is applied. You can use a cold compound for smaller repairs. Remove any crumbling asphalt, rocks, and debris. Apply the compound according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Related Guide: Can You Use Flex Seal To Seal Cracks In An Asphalt Driveway?

Can You Put New Asphalt Over Old Asphalt?

You can put new asphalt over old asphalt. The new layer extends the lifetime of your asphalt driveway by 8 to 15 years. The new layer of asphalt needs to be at least 1.5x the thickness of the original asphalt. If the original asphalt is 3” thick, you need to add a layer of 4.5” of new asphalt. The total thickness of your driveway will be 7.5”.

Related Questions

Is concrete or asphalt better for a driveway?

Both are good materials for residential driveways. Concrete costs more, but it lasts longer. You don’t have to maintain concrete. Repairs are done with a slurry of cement and water. Asphalt is more affordable, but it doesn’t last as long and needs to be sealed every 2 to 5 years.

Can you put asphalt over concrete?

Yes, you can put asphalt over concrete. Concrete is an excellent foundation for a residential driveway. You don’t have to remove the concrete pad to switch over to an asphalt driveway.

Do You Need Asphalt Paving Services?

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The weight-bearing capacity of an asphalt driveway is based on the thickness of the material. A 2-inch to 3-inch layer of asphalt is adequate for family vehicles. Commercial vehicles require at least 4” of asphalt. If you live in a very hot or cold climate, use 5” to 6” of asphalt.

The asphalt needs to be laid on top of 6” to 8” of aggregate with soil under the aggregate. A single layer of asphalt on top of aggregate is adequate, as long as the asphalt is thick enough for the weight requirements of the driveway.

Jennifer Eggerton
Jennifer Eggerton

Jennifer L. Eggerton loves being hands-on, whether it's with a home DIY project, making repairs, re-decorating a room, or keeping life organized. She enjoys helping people by sharing her knowledge, insights, and experiences, as well as her lessons learned. In addition to her work as a writer, Jennifer is a Jeep® overlander, self-published author, and nature photographer who loves being outdoors.

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