Recycled Asphalt – Yay or Nay?

Last updated on July 24, 2022

Want to use recycled asphalt as one of the building materials in your construction project? Here’s all you need to know about it. Read on!

There’s no doubt that asphalt as a paving material is not very energy efficient. Making and using it usually leaves a negative environmental footprint. If you’re all about sustainable and eco-friendly building, you will, of course, want an alternative.

However, asphalt is also one of the most affordable and durable materials not only for roads but for driveways and backyards as well. How do you go around that? The answer may lie in recycling. Like all recycled materials, the process turns it into a sustainable material.

In this post, we will explore all types of recycled asphalt, how it’s made, how it can be used, and its benefits. We will make a brief cost analysis as well.

Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

1of 17

What is Asphalt Made of?


Asphalt consists of the aggregates, filler, and a binder. With a binder, the aggregate will have a cohesive mixture. Aggregates and bitumen are the main ingredients.

The aggregates include the processed crushed rocks, gravel, sand, slags, among other materials. Asphalt making most often involve bitumen as a binder. Fillers help to extend asphalt life.

The viscous bitumen hydrocarbons make the binding strong. Aggregates make up to 95% while fillers and bitumen make the other 5%.

The main elemental components include oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen, and Sulfur. Metal traces used include vanadium, nickel, and iron.

Ingredients depend on the asphalt type, intended use, and location. Hydrated lime, hot oil, and polymers may be added for bond tightening and flexibility.

2of 17

Crushed Asphalt

Crushed Asphalt

Crushed asphalt is a composite material with components crumbled into small pieces. Its materials have no difference with the originally prepared asphalt.

The best components will make a long-lasting crushed asphalt. The milling process on a small and large scale makes it possible to have this type of asphalt.

The blacktop is ready for use in various places like roads, airports and parking lots. The size of the aggregate after being smashed determines the crushed asphalt appearance and usage.

3of 17

Asphalt Millings

Asphalt Millings

This is exhausted asphalt from previous construction activities that, to a large extent, maintain the characteristics of the fresh asphalt. It is crushed appropriately and ready for footpaths, landscaping, parking lot, and hardscaping.

Millings have a low carbon footprint compared to fresh asphalt. High-end machines make the production of millings possible.

We recommend millings due to quality, environmental consideration, and the recycled asphalt chunks save you money.

4of 17

Asphalt Recycling

Asphalt Recycling

Asphalt recycling starts with getting the broken, old, and damaged asphalt. Machine-based processing produces the crushed asphalt.

These aggregates and asphalt get screened for quality use. Recycling follows reduce, reuse and recycle rule.

5of 17

Reclaimed Asphalt

Reclaimed Asphalt

Removing and crushing old asphalt gives you the reclaimed asphalt. Reclaiming saves you money. Acquire it for multiple uses like roads and landscaping.

Its standards, effectiveness, and applications have no big difference with fresh asphalt. Reclaiming asphalt also maintains a clean environment.

6of 17

Recycled Asphalt Pavement

Recycled Asphalt Pavement

Removed or processed asphalt and aggregate materials make up the Recycled Asphalt Pavement (RAP). It is an environmentally friendly option.

Most of these materials come from reconstructions and resurfacing. Well processed RAP guarantees quality and high graded materials.

7of 17

Recycled Asphalt Driveway

Recycled Asphalt Driveway

Recycled materials from the driveways have superior quality. When well processed, installed, and sealed, you cannot tell when it is not new.

It has exceptional bonding and percolation properties. We encourage it because it is affordable with extremely attractive looks.

8of 17

Sealing Asphalt Driveway Pros and Cons

Sealing Asphalt

The sealer gives the surface a clean, smooth, and sleek look. The sealed driveway with a sealer has greater durability, and you will save money.

Maintenance of the sealer and repairs will cost you, especially if you have to do it several times. You will pay for an expert and incur the sealer cost. Coloration may also appear in the future.

9of 17

Recycled Asphalt Driveway Problems

Driveway Problems

Recycled asphalt might not give you the deep color you desire. Color changes often. To some, the changes are attractive, while others don’t love the changes.

In terms of quality, it might not give you what you expect. Mixing will require the recommended guidelines. Quality depends on how it is handled and processed.

10of 17

How to Make Asphalt

How to Make Asphalt

Asphalt mixtures manufacture asphalt on an industrial base. The step by step industrial process includes the following.

  1. Crude oil distillation to asphalt raw material
  2. Blending asphalt then exposing it to the air to have solid asphalt
  3. Emulsifying for easy interaction with other products
  4. Crushing it further to have a more powered form
  5. Finally, heated air blowing to have it remain in liquid form.
11of 17

DIY Asphalt Driveway

DIY Asphalt Driveway

Be prepared for the process. Acquire all the equipment and rent what is necessary. Prepare the site by having a good base and quality gravel. Quality is dependent on preparation. You can now pave your driveway.

Start paving the driveway, then the street. Lay the binder asphalt than the topcoat. When doing this, have the right calculation, and execute it rightly.

Have someone to help because you will need spreading, leveling, rolling, and coating the surface again.

12of 17

Asphalt Millings Driveway

Asphalt Millings Driveway

The crushed recycled asphalt gives a worth experience. Asphalt millings give your driveway the perfect look, quality, and usage.

Compact the millings with a binder and use it on a new asphalt surface or to seal a few places. Add emulsifiers if the millings are coarse. Millings need to be screened for size.

13of 17

How to Harden Asphalt Millings

How to Harden Asphalt Millings

We’ve covered the process of how to harden recycled asphalt. First, prepare the site well if you want easy asphalt hardening. When starting, do the proper mixing. You will also need to add some regulators before you begin.

The evaluation will also help a lot. Compacting must be comprehensive because you want a hard surface. Lastly, seal the surface perfectly.

14of 17

Cost for Asphalt Driveway

Cost for Asphalt Driveway

The asphalt driveway cost varies. It depends on the amount of the recycled asphalt you acquire and the size of the particular space you want to install the asphalt. The typical range of costs that you can expect to pay is $2,856 to $6,299.

If you engage a professional, choose a high-end asphalt and repair a huge space, it will cost you. DIY approaches save you money.

15of 17

How Much Does Asphalt Cost?

Asphalt Cost

Typically the price ranges from $1,000 – $6,000 and beyond. The cost will depend on your state of residence and the work at hand. An asphalt driveway fair cost makes it affordable.

The asphalt cost goes for an approximate of $3 to $4 per square foot. It will cost you an approximate of $6 per square foot to install concrete.

16of 17

Asphalt Paving Cost

Asphalt Paving Cost

Installing asphalt costs relatively low. The job complexity has a lot to say about the cost. You will spend less than $4 per square foot. Get an estimate to be sure about the cost.

Several factors influence the project cost. Nature of foundation, preparation, base coat, drainage additions, and materials determine the cost.

17of 17

Where to Buy Asphalt?

Where to Buy Asphalt

Are you in need of quality recycled asphalt? Know what you want and settle on the right seller. If they sell and help you repair, then that will help fasten your project.

Here’s where to look for:

  • Local building sites
  • Local contractors
  • Stores that specialize in selling asphalt millings (looks for stores near you)
  • Online stores
  • Ask around – a friend of a friend might be tearing down their driveway and have asphalt for reuse.

Related reading:

Read more

Read more

Read more

Read more

Read more

Read more