Can Asphalt Millings Be Used as a Base Layer?

The answer is a resounding yes! Asphalt millings have proven to be a versatile and cost-effective alternative to traditional materials when it comes to construction projects. Developers have discovered multiple applications for this recycled material, including it’s usage as backfill behind foundation walls and as a base layer beneath concrete basements, sidewalks, and parking lots. These innovative applications not only contribute to sustainable construction practices but also offer a durable and long-lasting solution. By understanding the benefits and practical uses of asphalt millings, builders can make informed decisions and optimize their projects for both efficiency and environmental consciousness.

Do Asphalt Millings Make a Good Base?

Asphalt millings are a great option for creating a stable base for structures. When compacted properly, they can provide a solid foundation for sheds, garages, and other outbuildings. The millings have a natural cohesiveness, allowing them to bind together and form a stable surface. This makes them an excellent choice for creating a firm and durable base.

In addition to providing a stable base for structures, asphalt millings can be used to fill voids in utility trenches and other projects where fill material is needed. Their small, compact size makes them easy to work with and they can be used to fill in gaps or densify loose soil. This makes them a versatile option for various construction or landscaping projects.

One of the key benefits of using asphalt millings as a base layer is that they’re cost-effective. Recycling asphalt millings not only helps reduce the demand for new aggregate materials but also helps to keep construction costs low. By reusing materials, you can save money and reduce waste.

When properly compacted, they can withstand heavy loads and provide a stable surface for years to come. This makes them suitable for areas that need to support heavy equipment or vehicles, such as driveways or parking lots.

They offer a cost-effective and durable solution for various construction and landscaping projects.

Additionally, crushed asphalt lacks the necessary binding properties to create a strong and durable concrete structure. Therefore, it’s advisable to use a proper and suitable aggregate material specifically designed for concrete base construction.

Can You Use Crushed Asphalt for Concrete Base?

This can lead to cracks and unevenness, compromising the structural integrity of the concrete. Additionally, crushed asphalt contains oils and other chemicals that can leach into the concrete, potentially affecting it’s durability and longevity.

Asphalt millings, on the other hand, can be an excellent choice for a base layer for various applications, including concrete. Millings are the ground-up remnants of old asphalt pavement, and they offer several advantages. Firstly, they’re cost-effective and easily available, as they’re often the byproduct of asphalt repaving projects.

They’ll assess the condition of the millings and the specific requirements of your project to ensure that it’s a suitable option. Additionally, local regulations and guidelines should be followed to ensure compliance with environmental and safety standards.

While crushed asphalt may not be an ideal choice for a concrete base due to it’s softer nature and potential chemical leaching, asphalt millings can be a viable option. However, it’s always recommended to consult with experts to determine the most suitable materials and methods for your specific project.

To achieve a durable road surface with asphalt millings, the material requires proper compaction and hardening. Unlike hot mix asphalt, which can be compacted directly, cold mix asphalt, also known as recycled asphalt millings, needs to be heated before undergoing compaction. This article will explore the process of heating and compacting asphalt millings, highlighting the use of a steam roller for effective hardening.

How Do You Make Asphalt Millings Stick?

Hot mix asphalt is typically used as a top layer for roads and driveways, but can asphalt millings be used as a base layer? The answer is yes.

To make asphalt millings stick and form a solid base layer, proper compaction is crucial. This is where the steam roller comes into play. The steam roller is specifically designed for compacting and hardening asphalt millings. As the roller passes over the millings, the weight and pressure help to squeeze out any air voids and bond the millings together.

In addition to proper compaction, it’s important to ensure that the millings are heated before being compressed. This is because recycled asphalt millings, also known as cold mix asphalt, don’t naturally harden like hot mix asphalt. By heating the millings, their binding properties are activated, allowing for a more durable and long-lasting base layer.

This involves removing any loose debris, grading the surface to ensure proper drainage, and compacting the area prior to laying the millings. By following these steps, you can ensure that the millings adhere well and create a stable foundation.

One of the major advantages of using asphalt millings as a base layer is their cost-effectiveness. Millings are often less expensive than traditional aggregate materials, making them an attractive option for budget-conscious projects. Additionally, using recycled materials like millings reduces the demand for new asphalt production, making it an environmentally friendly choice.

The use of a steam roller is essential for achieving the necessary bonding and hardening of the millings. By following proper preparation techniques and utilizing millings as a base layer, you can create a durable and cost-effective foundation for your road or driveway project.

Comparison of the Cost of Using Asphalt Millings Versus Traditional Aggregate Materials

  • Asphalt millings
  • Traditional aggregate materials

Source: How to Harden Recycled Asphalt [Solved] – Build Green NH

Not only are asphalt millings a cost-effective solution for repairing and resurfacing roads, but they also have a variety of other practical uses. One such use is as a base for pavers. By using recycled asphalt millings as a base, you can create a stable and durable foundation for your paver installation, ensuring longevity and structural integrity.

Can You Use Asphalt Millings for Paver Base?

Yes, you can definitely use asphalt millings for a paver base. Recycled asphalt millings have proven to be an excellent option for creating a sturdy and reliable base layer for pavers. Pavers, which are commonly used as exterior flooring, require a solid foundation to ensure their stability and longevity.

The process of creating pavers involves pouring a mixture of concrete and coloring agent into a mold, allowing it to set and harden. To ensure that the pavers are properly supported, it’s important to have a level and compacted base layer. This is where asphalt millings come in.

Asphalt millings are the byproduct of pavement milling, which involves grinding up the old asphalt surface to create a recycled material that can be reused for various purposes, such as filling potholes or creating new pavement. When used as a base for pavers, the millings are spread and compacted to create a stable surface.

Additionally, asphalt millings provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional base materials, such as crushed stone or gravel.

This cost-effective option allows you to recycle and reuse materials while still ensuring the longevity of your outdoor flooring.

Steps for Using Asphalt Millings as a Paver Base

Using asphalt millings as a paver base is a cost-effective and sustainable option for your construction project. To utilize asphalt millings as a base layer, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare the area by clearing the site and removing any debris or vegetation.
  2. Ensure the surface is compact and stable by using a roller or compactor.
  3. Spread a layer of asphalt millings over the compacted surface.
  4. Use a motor grader or similar equipment to evenly distribute and level the millings.
  5. Compact the millings using a vibrating plate or roller, ensuring a firm and level base.
  6. Apply a layer of geotextile fabric to prevent the millings from mixing with the soil below.
  7. Install your pavers or other surfacing material on top of the compacted millings.
  8. Ensure proper edge restraint and stable borders for the paver installation.
  9. Finish the project by sweeping or spraying water over the pavers to settle the joints.

By following these steps, you can effectively use asphalt millings as a durable and stable base layer for your paver project.

Instead of using traditional asphalt, you may wonder if it’s possible to put asphalt millings directly over dirt. Luckily, this option is available and can be done with the help of a contractor. The process involves spreading the millings using a spreader or asphalt paver on top of a soil or gravel subgrade. However, if you’re a DIY enthusiast, it would be wise to have a bobcat and possibly an experienced operator to efficiently move and distribute the recycled mix along your driveway.

Can You Put Asphalt Millings Over Dirt?

When it comes to using asphalt millings as a base layer, the answer is yes, it’s possible. However, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. First and foremost, your contractor will need to spread the millings using a spreader or an asphalt paver. This will ensure that the material is evenly distributed and compacted, creating a stable and durable base.

A crucial step in the process is preparing the existing surface before applying the millings. It’s recommended to place about four inches of the recycled mix over a soil or gravel subgrade. This will provide a solid foundation for the millings and help prevent any sinking or shifting.

In terms of placement, if you’re a DIYer, you’ll need to be prepared with a bobcat or similar equipment. Moving the asphalt into place can be a challenging task, especially if you aren’t experienced. It’s important to ensure that the millings are evenly spread and compacted to achieve the desired results.

One common method is to pile the millings along the driveway and then use the heavy equipment to distribute and level them. This can be a time-consuming process, but it’s crucial for creating a smooth and sturdy base layer.

The Benefits of Using Asphalt Millings as a Base Layer

Using asphalt millings as a base layer offers several benefits. First, it’s an environmentally-friendly option because it allows for recycling of old asphalt materials. By reusing the millings, you reduce the need for new materials and decrease the amount of waste sent to landfills.

Additionally, asphalt millings provide a stable and durable base layer. They compact well and create a solid foundation for roads, driveways, or parking lots. The crushed and compacted millings form a strong and resilient surface that can withstand heavy loads and extreme weather conditions.

Another advantage of using asphalt millings is cost savings. Compared to traditional aggregate bases, millings are often more affordable. This makes them an attractive option for both residential and commercial projects where budget considerations are important.

In summary, asphalt millings offer several benefits as a base layer. They’re environmentally-friendly, provide a stable foundation, and can be a cost-effective alternative to traditional materials.


Not only have developers successfully incorporated them as backfill behind foundation walls, but they’ve also established them as a stable base layer beneath concrete basements, sidewalks, and parking lots. By reusing and repurposing reclaimed asphalt, we not only reduce waste but also benefit from a sustainable and environmentally friendly option.

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