Crushed Concrete & Concrete Aggregate 101

Looking for a cost-effective, more sustainable way to pave your driveway or accomplish your construction project? Crushed concrete, also referred to as recycled concrete aggregate, may be your answer. 

What is Crushed Concrete or Concrete Aggregate?

Crushed concrete is made up of asphalt debris from other construction projects that can be reused to create driveways, pathways, garden beds and more. When any concrete structure, road, sidewalk or parking lot is demolished, that concrete is usually deposited in a landfill. Concrete is not biodegradable and won’t decompose — so it simply sits there taking up space and causing environmental problems. All the while, new concrete is simultaneously created to begin the process again. Thankfully, there is an alternative to this unsustainable and inefficient process: Recycling! 

Recycling crushed concrete to be reused helps reduce landfill overflow AND saves more resources from being used to create new concrete. The concrete can be crushed down to specific sizes, cleaned so that unwanted debris is removed from the mixture, and reused as a solution to a number of construction and landscaping problems.

How can I use Crushed Concrete?

  1. Walkways / Pathways
    Crushed Concrete can be reused to create beautiful walkways in your home or business landscaping. To make sure that your walkway looks as uniform as possible, make sure that the pieces of crushed concrete are all from one project site. This will also ensure that they are easier to form into your path since they will all be similar sizes. Using uniform pieces will also prevent rainwater from infiltrating your path and causing damaging runoff.
  2. Raised Garden Beds
    Raised garden beds provide many benefits such as improving drainage and warmer soil. These benefits allow for faster growth in the spring. Crushed concrete laid in layers is the perfect base for creating a raised garden bed. 
    raised garden bed
  3. Retaining Walls
    Layering crushed concrete is also a great way to create a retaining wall and control erosion on slopes or hills in your yard. Different sizes of crushed concrete can function together to help prevent erosion. A layer of smaller, more broken-up crushed concrete as a base will contribute to the stability of the wall. Following with layers of larger recycled concrete packed with dirt will create an even, beautiful retaining wall. 
  4. Drainage
    Smaller, more broken up concrete is a great drainage alternative to gravel. 

What is the process of installing/delivering crushed concrete?

Purchasing and installing your own crushed concrete material is possible, however, it can be a challenge to find the right type of crushed concrete for your project without professional assistance. Purchasing the wrong size or type can cause drainage or erosion issues. Crushed concrete is also heavy and difficult to install. Unless you’re a seasoned landscaper who’s used to heavy loads and precision installation, call a professional to ensure the job is done right the first time.

The installation process with Superior is simple. Our team of experts will recommend the right type and amount of crushed concrete material you’ll need for your project, and easily deliver and install the material in one step with our stone slinger trucks. Our fleet of stone slinger trucks also allows us to install material without driving over and crushing your lawn or other landscaping.

Pros and Cons of Crushed Concrete

 

  1. Price
    The first check in the pro column for crushed concrete is the price. Because the process is more efficient and requires less resources, crushed concrete is significantly cheaper than new concrete.
  2. Sustainability
    Using crushed concrete is a much more environmentally-friendly way to complete your project. It not only saves landfill space, conserves resources, and reduces waste; it also reduces carbon emissions produced in the concrete manufacturing process.
  3. Multi-Purpose
    Crushed concrete can be used in a variety of circumstances. It’s used by homeowners, contractors, and landscapers as a practical material for general problem-solving like creating a base for a driveway, garden beds, or overall construction purposes.
  4. The Look
    Some people prefer the look of new materials for their landscaping needs over recycled concrete aggregate. Our solution? Use the recycled materials to create a solid base, then use new materials for the more visible parts of your project. This way, you can achieve the look you want, while still being sustainable and cutting costs.

Types of Crushed Concrete

There are many types of crushed concretes. Our expert team at Superior is happy to help guide you towards the best material for your project. Here are some of the kinds of crushed concrete we offer and what they can be best used to achieve

  1. 21AA CRUSHED ASPHALT
    21 AA Crushed Asphalt contains oils that cause it to heat faster and bind together, preventing dust. It can be successfully used for roads, driveways, or walkways.
  2. 21AA CRUSHED CONCRETE
    21AA Crushed Concrete is great for drainage which makes it the right solution in wet areas. It’s often used as a surface for driveways or parking lots.
  3. 21AA Natural
    21AA Natural is a looser material that works for gravel roads or as a base layer underneath asphalt pavement.
  4. 22A Crushed Concrete
    22A Crushed Concrete is made up of smaller particles which create a smooth driving surface. This makes it excellent as a top layer for roads, driveways, and parking lots. It can also be used as a base layer underneath asphalt pavement.
  5. 21A Gravel
    21A Gravel is made up of small particles and makes a great base for patio and paver bases.
  6. 6A Crushed Concrete
    6A Crushed Concrete is a clean crushed concrete which is often used as a base for driveways or walkways. It can also be used in muddy areas. 

What about washout?

After concrete is laid at a site, the trucks and other equipment have to be cleaned before the concrete hardens. The material that is “washed out” is called washout. This material contains toxic materials that are harmful for wildlife, environments, and humans. It must be cleaned and sorted thoroughly prior to use. After the water evaporates and the cleaning and sorting process is finished, the remaining aggregate pieces can be safely used as crushed concrete.

Crushed Concrete Driveway

Crushed Concrete driveways are a much more cost-effective driveway solution compared to gravel driveways, regular concrete driveways, or asphalt driveways. With benefits like the price, sustainability, and the fact that it can never crack and require a repair, crushed concrete is a great driveway option. 

With its many benefits and uses, crushed concrete is a highly-practical and widely-available material that could be the solution to many of your construction or landscaping needs. Call the expert team at Superior Groundcover today to start your project.

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7 thoughts on “Crushed Concrete & Concrete Aggregate 101”

  1. I thought it was interesting when you explained that the material that comes out of concrete equipment when it is cleaned is called washout. It never occurred to me that the insides of the trucks that drop it off at construction sites would need to be cleaned out. I can only imagine how hard it would be to clean if the concrete were to dry on the inside.

    1. Ready-Mix Vet

      You have no idea how much a ready mix producer spends in order to remove hardened concrete from the inside of the drums of concrete trucks. It requires entering the drum with jackhammers to break it up from the inside surface. HARD

  2. I like how you mentioned that one of the advantages of aggregate concrete is that it is environmentally friendly. There are a couple of big cracks on my driveway that keep catching the tires on my car, so the whole thing needs to be repaved. I’ll be sure to find a paving company that uses aggregate concrete.

  3. Russell Garrick

    Is it ok health wise to live in a RV that is parked on top of crushed concrete. Rented a RV space 2 months ago, fine light white dust in house, dry throat, sneezing/ cough?

  4. I found it interesting when you said that aggregate concrete is environmentally friendly. My uncle needs to find a crushed concrete supplier to be delivered to his construction site this summer. It’s probably a good idea for him to find one that has a lot of trucks.

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