concrete recycling

Concrete Recycling – Cracked Driveway Re-Use

Concrete driveways have been considered to be required additions to any housing project. Concrete offers numerous benefits when compared to other paving materials. One of the best benefits offered by concrete is its longevity. It takes decades before one requires redoing the concrete driveway.

If you are looking into redoing your concrete driveway, one of the best ways to save on the cost is by recycling concrete. The recycling process is relatively easy. It involves the process of breaking the concrete from your driveway, removing it and crushing it.

The benefits of recycling concrete

According to statistics, construction and demolition waste amount to 25% of the national total solid waste. Concrete waste makes up the largest percentage of concrete and demolition waste. With concrete recycling, these numbers can greatly reduce.

Here are the benefits associated with concrete recycling:

There are several environmental and economic benefits of recycling concrete. They include:

  • Reduction of tippage and related freight charges
  • Recycled concrete is cheaper than newly mined aggregate
  • Reduced landfill space requirements to dispose of concrete debris
  • Reduction in the need for gravel mining since the concrete recycled can be used as gravel.

Ways recycled concrete can be used

There are several ways through which recycled concrete can be used:

As aggregate base

Aggregate can be used as the foundation for roadway pavement. It is used as the layer that forms a structural foundation for paving projects. This means that your driveway can be reconstructed using the aggregate from the demolished driveway as the foundation for the new project.

Ready to mix concrete

The recycled concrete can be used as a substitute for virgin aggregate. This can be used in the building of residential slabs and foundations, construction of residential streets and alleys, concrete driveways, as well as foundations for commercial building constructions.

Stabilization of soil

This is done by incorporating recycled concrete, fly ash or lime into subgrade material that is of marginal quality. This enhances the subgrade’s load baring capacity. This process changes the subgrade’s water susceptibility which in turn stabilizes the soil or the subgrade.

Pipe bedding

Recycling concrete provides material for building firm foundation beds where underground utilities can be laid.

Landscape material

Recycled, sized concrete rubble can be used in different landscaping settings. It can be used as attractive architectural support that offers varying structure colors and textures. Recycled concrete rubble can also be used as stacked/boulder rock walls, erosion structure, underpass abutment structure and also as water feature.

The process of concrete recycling

The process of recycling involves crushing, pre-sizing, sorting, screening and elimination of contamination.  The idea is to create clean concrete material that can later be re-sized and used based on need.

Large impactors, cones and primary jaws are used to reduce the concrete debris into smaller sizes. Further processing is done to create a finer product. Foreign particles and dirt are removed by the use of scalping screens and deck screens.

While it is still a new phenomenon, concrete recycling is expected to grow in importance over the coming years. Good quality Aggregate supplies are becoming less accessible in most regions and there is an increase in the need for waste concrete in landfills to be made useful.

Concrete vs Asphalt

Concrete vs Asphalt

When choosing paving options for driveways and pavements, most homeowners have to choose between concrete paving and asphalt paving. While these two materials are used to create the same effect in a space, there are a lot of differences in the two. These differences can make decision making easier.

Material difference

Asphalt is made using aggregate, which is crushes sand and rocks bonded using bitumen. When paving using asphalt, bitumen is mixed with aggregate and poured on a bed of heavier aggregate. A steamroller is used to press the asphalt which compacts it. The asphalt is them left to cool off before it is used.

When it comes to concrete paving, the concrete used also have an aggregate but in this case, the binder is cement. As it dries, it creates a stiff pavement.

Sustainability

There are differences between asphalt and concrete paving when it comes to maintenance and sustainability.

After being used for 6 months or a year, asphalt roads and pavements need to be sealed. Asphalt will require subsequent sealing every 3 to 5 years. This does not require any special tools and can be done by anyone with a little knowledge on the same. Sealing the asphalt extends its life which can see it last up to 30 years with proper maintenance.

For concrete driveways, concrete paving slabs, or concrete house slabs, once installed, they can last for up to 50 years with minimum maintenance. Concrete slabs do not require sealing even though sealing it can improve its finished look. Repairing cracks in concrete is easy and can be done by anyone.

Durability

It is always beneficial to go for a durable solution for drive3asys and house slabs. Concrete is far more durable than asphalt. It is also stronger than asphalt meaning it can hold more weight over a longer period than asphalt. A 5’’ thick concrete paving slab has a load capacity of an asphalt pavement that is 8’’ thick. Asphalt will only last about 20 years with proper maintenance while concrete can last up to 50 years.

The cost

Asphalt is more affordable to install than concrete with an average of about $3 to $5 per square foot. This means that it costs between $900 and $1500 to install a 300 square foot of asphalt paving in your driveway. On the other hand, it can cost between $1500 and $3000 to install a concrete driveway in the same space.

Even so, when considering the cost of either asphalt or concrete slabs, you cannot just look at the cost of installing. There are maintenance charges that come into play after the installation is done.

For asphalt, a lot of maintenance and sealing is required after every 3 to 5 years. For concrete house slabs, very little maintenance is required and can last for up to 50 years before a redo is required. Asphalt cannot last this long even with the regular maintenance. Therefore, asphalt proves to be more costly in the long run than concrete paving slabs.

Kerb appeal

Unlike the old days, concrete driveways today can be dyed to any color desired. This provides a unique addition to any home’s exterior space. This makes concrete a better choice for anyone going for a look that is eye catchy. Also, concrete can be textured and polished. On the other hand asphalt is only done in black color.

Conclusion

While the concrete vs asphalt debate is far from over, it is clear that concrete driveways and concrete house slabs are a better choice if one is lolling for durability, style, and comfort that will last for years.