Recycled asphalt driveways are an inexpensive option for a driveway. But before you go buying recycled asphalt that the contractor is "in the neighborhood and just stopped by to give you a great deal" on... recycled asphalt driveways are something to be considered very carefully. For a few reasons:
1) Recycled asphalt hardens over time, but not the way you think!
Recycled asphalt can harden over time, which some might assume is a benefit... but it's NOT! In a perfect world, if it were to harden evenly, recycled asphalt would be an excellent option. But unfortunately it doesn't harden evenly. Because of this, potholes can form that are virtually impossible to fix. Imagine having a pothole in your driveway that never, ever goes away... regardless of what you do to try and get rid of it.
And because recycled asphalt does in fact harden over time, if you're considering having a concrete or new hot asphalt driveway installed sometime in the future, that hardened recycled asphalt MUST be removed prior to installing the new driveway just as if you already had an existing driveway.
So, as mentioned earlier, the hardened recycled asphalt will need to be removed and hauled away.
Unfortunately, typically it will not break up and crush into a gravely substance again if the contractor tries to regrade it. As it's graded it will only break up in chunks and cannot be graded properly. As a result, this requires it to be hauled away and disposed of which increases the costs for the new professionally installed hot asphalt or concrete driveway.
2) Recycled Asphalt has a lot of foreign material in it that can track into your home and garage
Recycled asphalt, because it IS recycled, can have many types of foreign materials in it. Rubber, paint and oil just to name a few. These foreign materials are sticky and can stick to our shoes, car tires and bicycle tires and track into the car, garage and all over the carpet in the house. Particularly on a hot summer day. Try cleaning tar off of your carpets! No thanks!
So... is a recycled asphalt driveway really a good option?
Not in our opinion. As a matter of fact, there are also many scams unethical contractors pull with recycled asphalt driveways. Learn about Recycled Asphalt Scams and avoid getting ripped off. Or better yet, locate a reputable contractor in your area and get the job done right regardless of the type of driveway you choose!