4 Things to Know About Asphalt Overlay

Asphalt is a major contributor to our society. It provides the foundation for our roads and highways, allowing us to travel safely and comfortably. However, with its exposure to the elements, traffic, animals and more, the top layer of asphalt inevitably begins to show signs of wear and tear. From cracks to potholes, the wearing down of asphalt can create major problems for unsuspecting people and vehicles. When asphalt is damaged, there are two main courses of action. The first is to completely tear it out and reconstruct the road, parking lot, or driveway. This is a huge project that can cost a lot of time and money, but one that ultimately creates a finished surface that will last for a long period of time. The second is to use asphalt overlay. While not as long lasting as new construction, asphalt overlays are a quick and more budget friendly fix that can greatly extend the life of the current surface. So just what is asphalt overlay? Asphalt overlay is what we call the process of covering an existing asphalt surface with a new asphalt cross section. The two surfaces bind together to cover any damage and create a smooth, useable surface. Asphalt overlay is also sometimes called resurfacing. How is an asphalt overlay applied? There are several different steps to applying asphalt overlay. The current surface must first be prepared by: · shaving down the existing asphalt · removing any extremely broken areas · sweeping the surface · applying an adhesive · applying a leveling course Once the preparation is done, you are ready to apply the asphalt. Each step is necessary to make sure that the damage is repaired and the new overlay will match the height and thickness of surrounding asphalt. How thick is an asphalt overlay? That actually depends on the existing asphalt. An overlay is designed to create a seamless surface with the surrounding material. In general, the more damage there is to the original surface, the thicker the overlay will be in order to repair it. What are the advantages of asphalt overlay versus new construction? The biggest advantages to using asphalt overlay are time and money. Since you don’t have to tear up the current asphalt, you save time in the construction and spend less on materials. In general this means that you can repair a larger surface area (and more quickly) than you could with new construction.