Asphalt Driveway Question

My neighbor is having his asphalt driveway re-done. His old driveway was full of cracks, and he assumed that the cracks were from freezing and thawing and that probably the foundation under the asphalt was poor or non-existent. Surprise! When they went to remove the old asphalt, they discovered that there was a second layer of asphalt underneath. And, it had absolutely no cracks whatsoever.
So, my question is - what would cause the top layer to crack in this situation? Poor asphalt mix?
I am really curious.
Thanks
Duke
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On Jun 30, 1:13 pm, snipped-for-privacy@eldorado.com wrote:

re: When they went to remove the old asphalt, they discovered that there was a second layer of asphalt underneath.
So they were really removing the *new* asphalt, not the old, right?
Had the orginal driveway settled a lot, even if it hadn't cracked? Why was there a second layer on top, if there was nothing wrong with the one below?
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

A good asphalt job will always have two layers on top of the stone base. A coarse binder followed by a fine top layer.
But the OP didn't give any details so who knows?
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This is why I SEAL my driveway every couple years, the coating seals the cracks and keeps water from penetrating causing more cracks.
my driveway isnt brand new but thats OK since its about 25 years old
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wrote:

I have sealed my driveway every year for seven years, and I have many cracks also. I don't know if my neighbor had his done.
Duke
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snipped-for-privacy@eldorado.com wrote:

\\The only reason the asphalt cracks is because it heaves up and down by the frost. If it had a proper base it wouldn't crack and wouldn't need to be sealed.
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mine had a one foot deep base of a variety of rock, installed by a company that does public roads.
it didnt crack much when young but has more as its aged.
asphalt detoriates and cracks in phoenix where it almost never freezes.
although sun does much damage there.
the next door neighbor where i grew up as a child, and I am 52:( now.
that driveway is asphalt as old as I am and still in decent shape, the neighbor still lives there but over 80 years old he hasnt been able to seal it recently.
tom meehan is a nice guy I will stop and visit this summer
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bob haller wrote:

Dittos. Mine is 35 years old, cracked but sealed. I would redo if pieces were coming up but they aren't.
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On Tue, 30 Jun 2009 10:48:19 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

A good question. The house was a model home, onto which a garage was added after the first asphalt layer was laid - so I am told anyway.
Noone seems to know why the second layer was added except maybe it was to make the top of the asphalt match up with the garage entrance, which it does - if the added asphalt is there.
Anyway he had several bad cracks, and so wanted to correct that. Let us hope that the new second layer does better.
I was just curious. It seemed odd to me.
Duke
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Proper asphalt is in two layers. The bottom coating is more course than the finish coating. It may well have been freezing on the top coat. One you get a crack, they keep getting bigger in the freeze/thaw cycles.
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On Tue, 30 Jun 2009 13:13:55 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@eldorado.com wrote:

It could be that there was not enough liquid asphalt used when it was mixed. It could be that too hard a grade of asphalt was used when it was mixed. It could be that it was not compacted properly. Or a combination of all those. It could also be that the quality of the rock was not very good, some rock absorbs too much of the asphalt and some rock just doesn't coat very well.
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Wow.
What else don't you know about asphalt...? -----
- gpsman
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