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?.
Try to persuade him to consider a permeable material instead of more
Dunno whether he is alert to saving rainwater by allowing it to
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
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
from horse doo-doo to waste oil to plastic and on and on. Some of
most popular surf and swim beaches around here get an "F" from the
terific organization "Heal the Bay", which monitors all up & down the
Yet another negative is how ocean life --birds, mammals and fish --
by ingesting plastics and other discarded maerials. Think of your
you like them to die such a horrible death...!
I will look up & post some sites describing the gigantic Pacific eddy
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>.
OK, here is just one site describing the huge garbage island in the
There are many others; look under "Pacific garbage patch", for example.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
If anybody's interested, a TV science documentary series called
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.)
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
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
he could go for the permeable model. Might set an example for his
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
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
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
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