Tear out or just pave over asphalt driveway?

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My neighbor's asphalt driveway is getting old and cracked, probably 15 years or more old. He was thinking of tearing it out and then putting down new asphalt. I suggested that since the present driveway is well settled, and any tear-out would disturb the base to some extent, that he might be better off just paving over the existing driveway since it is well settled. It is settled, but fairly level, and with 2 to 4 inches of new asphalt there would not be a serious edging problem.
I said if it were me, I would rather spend a little more money on the asphalt and save the $$ to tear out what I think is a fairly decent base for the new asphalt
Am I totally off base, a little off base, or on the right track?.
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wrote:

Try to persuade him to consider a permeable material instead of more asphalt. Dunno whether he is alert to saving rainwater by allowing it to percolate into the soil instead of running off the asphalt.
This run-off is a very serious environmental problem. When rainwater runs off into the gutter, it takes along with it all kinds of **** that does not belong in the sea. Storm water -- and this is a leading "green" city -- does not get treated in the same way as sewage. So it carries into the sea everything from horse doo-doo to waste oil to plastic and on and on. Some of the most popular surf and swim beaches around here get an "F" from the terific organization "Heal the Bay", which monitors all up & down the W. Coast.
Yet another negative is how ocean life --birds, mammals and fish -- are killed by ingesting plastics and other discarded maerials. Think of your pets; would you like them to die such a horrible death...!
I will look up & post some sites describing the gigantic Pacific eddy composed of the trash items discarded by our careless, affluent society. Dunno if it is replicated in other oceans as yet, but the Pacific one is a scandal!
Many schools are replacing asphalt and concrete playgrounds with grass. Kids race around and take a lot of falls. Grass is easier on their bodies, and of course it absorbs rainfall rather than letting it run off.
Environmentally-conscious businesses and manufacturers are going to permeable materials. Some even have huge reservoirs under the buildings to save water for irrigating their landscaping. This is a big money-saver, as they don't have to buy so much water. Especially useful in dry areas.
Bottom line: I hope your friend will consider using some of the very handsome permeable driveway materials that can be found on-line . Check out NGs like <rec.gardens>.
Hypatia
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OK, here is just one site describing the huge garbage island in the Pacific:
< http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6206498.ece
There are many others; look under "Pacific garbage patch", for example.
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Higgs Boson wrote:

Does a permeable driveway still matter if you don't have storm sewers?
I also need a new driveway, but even compacted 'interlocking' gravel is a non-starter for me, since it is sloped, and I have to use a snow blower for 1/3 of the year or so. I'm also not a rich man, so a grow-through paving block driveway is out of the question. The neigborhood does have culverts under all the driveways in line with the drainage ditch in all front yards (although most of the culverts are long since filled with dirt and decayed plant matter), and they all stage themselves in unlined collection ponds (where people dump their grass clippings and leaves) before it runs into the various watershed systems. It still seems to drain okay, and I only see ponding in any yards after heavy rainstorms, and only for a few hours.
--
aem sends...

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I re-read what was said about the permeable driveway. The poster made some good points about stuff running into gutters and then into the water system. So, how does this compare to your driveway? It doesn't.
Gutters often go to the storm sewer system. Huge parking lots may have the water channeled to a storm sewer system. Most residential driveways are about 10 feet wide. The rain runs off of them onto the grass along side and percolates into the ground. If there is a piece of plastic on my driveway, it will end up on my lawn, not in the ocean. If you are paving 15 acres at a new shopping mall, different story.
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I hate to disagree, Ed, but if that applies to you, it doesn't totally to me. Driveways here are very short, but generally slope to the street, the portions that dump water onto lawns are small. The streets (cul-de- sac) do not have gutters, but are angled towards the middle, so today's rain goes off the driveways into the middle of the cul-de-sac streets, then to the corners and into the storm sewer system of the bigger roads, and off to the Passaic river. No idea whether it is treated before it ends up there, but with heavy rains treatment systems would likely be overwhelmed.
I will need to replace my driveway sometime soonish, so I will look into a permeable system. Would help the big oak tree on the corner of the driveway and street a bit too.
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Best regards
Han
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Change the pitch to the side a bit and solve 80% of that.
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My and my neighbor's driveway are "touching". Total area about 30 wide (along street) and 25 feet deep. In this case, your solution is really difficult.
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Best regards
Han
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Han wrote:

Easy, just slope both driveways to the outsides, so the point where they meet is the high point.
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The street also slopes. It just isn't practical.
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Han
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This is precisely my experience, and that of 99-44/100 of the houses in my little city. The driveways are angled toward the street - - sometimes quite sharply as on my property.
These driveways do NOT NOT NOT facilitate drainage of rainwater into the lawn -- if any -- quite the contrary. Water goes straight into the storm drains, carrying with it the **** described in earlier messages.

Good on ya' !!
Nice to see somebody aware of the connections we have with each other and our environment, even though it's sometimes hard to register those connections, as we are overwhelmed with recession and terrorism threats.
If anybody's interested, a TV science documentary series called "Connections" is one of the best tools for teaching THINKING to young (and not-so- young) people I ever saw. It must be at least 25-30 years old, but is sui generis. An affable Irishman named James Burke writes and narrates the series. Highly recommended, if you can find it. It's on You Tube (barely watchable), but would be much nicer to find on DVD.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connections_%28TV_series%29

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On 4/25/2010 3:39 AM, aemeijers wrote:

Don't worry about it. The ocean gets "contaminated" by natural seepage 24/7/365. Most petroleum based run-off is from tire wear, not asphalt or even the minor quantity spilled from engine oil leaks. Contrary to popular belief this is not a detriment to nature, and do not fall for the Valdez type of comparison. There is none.
Most detrimental run-off is of a different chemical composition. That is also a different subject.
*DO* smack a litter bug.
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Off base. In a year the old cracks will telegraph through the new toping. If it is in poor condition, a reputable paving company will not take a re-coat job because it does not hold up. Re grade and compact for a good job.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

We faced the same issue when our condo parking lot needed repair. Either a complete tear-out or full 2" repaving were too costly at the time. We had a rolled resurface done, after patching pot holes, with all the old cracks eventually reappearing. We were told at the time that 2" repaving would be like new and would not have the old cracks reappear. It was in very bad shape before the work was done.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Rip it out and replace it with proper thickness concrete with reinforcing and never have to worry about silly sealing or deteriorating asphalt again. Also enjoy the much cooler surface in the summer than asphalt.
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Pete C. wrote:

If cash is not a problem, that is the best solution. Alas, for many of us, the $4k price for asphalt, versus the $8k price for concrete, make the lifecycle cost comparison harder to crunch. Yes, concrete will last longer, but how many more years will I keep this house, and will the additional money pay back on resale? Not to mention, here is snow country, asphalt melts ice-free a LOT quicker than concrete. (Not a trivial consideration for sloping driveways when winter is wide, like this most recent one has been. Not many DEEP snows, but the small ones just kept coming.)
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On Sat, 24 Apr 2010 20:19:29 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson

I don't know anything about driveways, but I have noticed that the people who pave highways don't tear out the old asphalt every 15 years. I think on the xways they've roughed up the surface so the new stuff sticks. The xway probably gets more traffic than the driveway.

His question was whether to pave over or remove and then pave. Is this going to go on top of the old asphalt or must he rip out the old asphalt. If it goes on top, won't the water permeate the new surface and then just run off wherever it's been running off to for the last 15 years?
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You are quite right. I noticed about the base only after posting my Jeremiad about not letting **** reach the sea (or river).
If he's interested enough, and the cost of removing the base is within his means, he could go for the permeable model. Might set an example for his neighborhood.
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Could we get back on my original questions????
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On 04/25/2010 07:05 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

I don't mean to threadjack, but where does one find a contractor that will use permeable materials? I did some web searching on permeable concrete a couple years ago when I bought my house and found lots of info but no idea as to where to start about actually purchasing same. My driveway hasn't gotten any better in the last three years :)
I'm in northern Virginia if anyone local is reading this and has any insight.
I'd also be curious as to any experiences people have had with permeable concrete in regards to working on a vehicle in the driveway, e.g. does it play nice with jackstands, creepers, etc.?
I'm going back and forth between resealing my current asphalt driveway and hoping for the best (although it was buried under soil for a decade or more - seriously - and I just unearthed it when we moved in, and patched a few of the worst spots with cold patch) and getting quotes on replacing it.
nate
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