Asphalt milling driveway – All you need to know

Milling driveways can be an effective way to reduce the cost of asphalt work while making your driveway look brand new. It is a popular choice for homeowners looking to restore the stability and beauty of their driveway without replacing it altogether. The asphalt milling process involves skimming off the top layer of asphalt and smoothing out any imperfections, leaving you with a fresh and beautiful surface that will last for years to come. Let’s explore this in more detail:

existing asphalt

Table of Contents

Asphalt milling driveway

Asphalt milling is a great way to update your driveway without breaking the bank. The milling process involves grinding up old asphalt into gravel, combined with a binder or sealant when compacted, for a fresh and stable surface that looks like new. It reduces the use of scarce natural resources, is more weather-resistant, and requires less maintenance compared to other traditional paving methods.

reclaimed asphalt pavement

Why asphalt milling may be the right choice

Asphalt milling is a beneficial process when you need to replace the surface of your current driveway, or if you’re looking to add asphalt pavement in front of your home or garden. It’s an effective and reliable way to freshen up any outdoor space.

Asphalt milling provides robust and flexible driveways or private roads through the pressure used to lay and compact the milled asphalt. While these surfaces are usually not suitable for roads that are frequently used by a lot of cars, they work well for smaller private roads and driveways. The milling machine process also has the added bonus of being environmentally friendly, as it’s made from recycled material.

recycled asphalt pavement

Milled asphalt explained

Milled asphalt is an engineering process wherein asphalt is ground up and used in the construction of driveways, roads or other surfaces. The pavement mixture resulting from this process is strong, flexible and resistant to wear. It offers structural stability even in the face of harsh weather conditions, making it a great choice for modern construction projects.

Milling asphalt involves using powerful milling machines to grind up the material, which is then compacted with tremendous pressure. This forms a durable surface that can be used for small private roads and driveways.

The longevity of milled asphalt makes it an ideal investment for both residential and commercial applications. By providing a resilient surface that requires minimal maintenance over a long period of time, milled asphalt has proven itself cost-effective over time.

In addition to its practical benefits, milled asphalt also provides an aesthetic enhancement to any area it’s installed in. Its smooth finish includes an attractive colour and texture that adds visual appeal wherever it’s used. All these features make it an ideal solution when constructing new surfaces or replacing existing infrastructure damage caused by weather or extended use over time.

pavement milling machine

Advantages of Asphalt Millings

Here are the main advantages why you should consider asphalt milling:

1. Lower Cost

Asphalt millings offer a number of cost-saving benefits compared to traditional paving materials. The milled asphalt can be obtained for free, as it is often recycled from existing roads which are being updated with new materials. This allows the material to be reused and drastically reduces the cost of any project that uses it as a primary component.

In addition, installation costs are also generally lower when using asphalt millings, since fewer specialized tools are required and the process takes less time than traditional paving solutions.

2. Lowers Use of Scarce Natural Resources

Asphalt millings are a great, eco-friendly paving option because they don’t require the extraction of any new materials from the earth. The asphalt surface is obtained from existing roads that are being resurfaced or demolished and then recycled for new uses. This not only reduces cost but also lowers the use of scarce natural resources in the production of road surfaces, helping to protect the environment.

In addition, asphalt millings also have a much lower carbon footprint than traditional asphalt when considered over its entire life cycle. The production and installation processes require less energy input than paving with freshly quarried materials, making it a great long-term solution for sustainability-minded companies and homeowners alike.

3. Resistant to Weather

It’s highly durable and resistant to a variety of weather conditions, making them an ideal choice for roads or pathways in areas where temperature variability and precipitation are common. The milled asphalt material is far more flexible than traditional asphalt, which makes it able to withstand fluctuations in temperature without cracking or crumbling over time.

4. Little Maintenance

Asphalt millings require very little maintenance once installed, making them a practical and cost-effective option for home or business owners looking to pave their pathways or roads. Due to their resistance to weather conditions, millings are more likely to remain in top shape over time with only sporadic checkups and touch-ups needed.

In comparison with materials like concrete, asphalt millings also have fewer issues associated with weeds and moss growth due to the composition of the material.

weather resistant asphalt

Disadvantages of Asphalt Millings

Here are the main disadvantages of asphalt milling:


Used asphalt rarely maintains its color like new (virgin) asphalt. Since the material has already been subjected to rain, sunlight, and other conditions, it is already prepared for discoloration. Suppose you are passionate about the deep black color of an asphalt driveway. In that case, you should imagine how the finished product will look like compared to fresh non-recycled asphalt, and this may mean opting for fresh asphalt conversely.


Another disadvantage of using asphalt millings is the potential for decreased quality. The material has likely been reused multiple times and can become thin, weak, or filled with debris. Furthermore, the age of the recycled material can affect its ability to bind correctly when being laid down, leading to a decrease in overall durability. To ensure a long-lasting and high-quality installation, selecting fresh asphalt may be the most appropriate option.

asphalt cracking

How is milled asphalt installed?

After years of dealing with potholes and rocks in my gravel driveway, I decided it was time to take action.

I wanted something that was durable and low-maintenance, so asphalt millings seemed like the perfect choice. With some research and a lot of shopping around, I finally found a local contractor who could do the job.

Once the material was delivered, the contractor began the installation process:

  1. First, he levelled and graded the area for maximum evenness before adding a layer of crushed stone gravel.
  2. Next, he spread out the hot asphalt millings throughout the area until it was completely covered and levelled.
  3. Finally, he used a compactor or steamroller to compact everything in place for added strength and stability.

Once complete, I couldn’t believe how much better my driveway looked! After years of dealing with substandard surfaces, I finally had a driveable space that felt safe to walk on and looked great too – all thanks to my new realistic asphalt millings driveway!

driveway worker

Asphalt milling cost

So we know that asphalt milling is a lot cheaper in comparison to other forms of paving, but how much does it actually cost?

The cost of milled asphalt can vary depending on geographical location, delivery fees, and the amount of recycled content in the mix. Generally speaking, prices can range from as low as $7 per ton to as high as $60 per ton.

As a result, it’s important to ask questions and get quotes from multiple suppliers before making a decision. Additionally, there may be additional costs associated with the installation and grading of the existing surface. It is always best to do your research and compare all available options before making a commitment.

If you want a very rough idea of the total cost, you should expect to pay from $500 to $2,500 for a standard-sized driveway.

asphalt milling cost

Are asphalt millings better than gravel?

Asphalt millings are a darker color than gravel, which means that snow and ice will melt off faster. Additionally, asphalt millings have the added bonus of bonding over time, whereas gravel does not. This eliminates the need for frequent resurfacing and replacement of parking lots or roads paved with asphalt millings.

How long do asphalt millings take to harden?

Asphalt millings typically take between 1-2 days to harden after they are laid down. The amount of time required for the asphalt to harden depends on the weather, with warmer temperatures allowing for shorter curing times. It is essential to allow enough time for the asphalt millings to meet their maximum strength before driving or walking over them.

asphalt driveway setting period


Milled asphalt is an excellent choice for restoring or introducing new surfaces without having to pay a large sum of money. Not only is it environmentally friendly due to its recycled material, but its installation process also requires less labor and machinery compared to traditional pavement methods.

The pressure used to lay and compact it makes the surface robust enough to support heavier weights, while also making it flexible enough to withstand wear and tear over time. Additionally, its attractive colour and texture add a touch of beauty wherever it is installed. With milled asphalt, you get a cost-effective solution that can last for years with minimal maintenance needs.

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Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright

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