When your asphalt is worn down, you must consider which asphalt pavement repair method is best suited for the type and severity of damage at hand. Minor cracks and holes can be filled relatively easily, but widespread damage often requires a more comprehensive solution, such as the application of fresh asphalt over the existing surface. However, simply laying down new asphalt over your older pavement won’t address those underlying problems. In fact, there are many more steps involved to achieve the optimal overlay/resurfacing results you’re looking for.
So, if you’re wondering whether new asphalt sticks to old asphalt, you must first consider whether resurfacing is the right option for your pavement and what this overlaying process entails. Let’s explore both of these matters.
Why Apply New Asphalt in the First Place
Paved surfaces can only withstand so much pressure before they start to crack and collapse. If your asphalt features deep divots, countless cracks, and plenty of potholes, simply overlaying fresh asphalt with no additional interventions will leave you virtually where you left off, as the fresh pavement will quickly sink into all the places that are already problematic – this is because the ground underneath the driveway or parking lot isn’t strong enough to sustain the load. If, on the other hand, your asphalt pavement is relatively firm but features some minor cracking, a fresh layer of asphalt can smooth out those issues and provide a smooth surface that looks as good as new. Many worn-down asphalt surfaces fall somewhere between these two extremes, so there’s some work to do before fresh asphalt can be applied.
Breaking Down the Overlay Process
The process of laying down fresh asphalt over existing asphalt is known as overlaying or resurfacing (two names referring to the same general process). Pavement repair companies that offer this service may have slightly different protocols for achieving a high-quality overlay, but they all follow the same basic steps. These steps include:
- Preparing the asphalt surface by removing any weeds growing through cracks in the pavement, removing surface debris, and cleaning the surface
- Applying a thin layer of tack coat to the surface after it’s been cleaned and dried – this is a crucial bonding agent that helps the new layer stick to the old
- Level the surface with a thin layer of asphalt to fill any cracks, holes, and dents – this is known as the leveling course
- Compact the leveling course via vibratory roller
- Set the top layer of asphalt known as the wearing course, making sure that all edges are completely compacted
Note that at no point in this process is any grinding, milling, or pulverization necessary. Cleaning, filling, bonding, and compaction are the key components of a successful overlay.
The Verdict: Does New Asphalt Stick to Old Asphalt?
So, does fresh asphalt stick to existing asphalt? In short, yes, but only if the proper preparations have been taken care of and, most importantly, a quality bonding agent (tack coat) has been put in place to adhere the new layer to the old one. Overlaying/resurfacing is more affordable and less intrusive than asphalt paving, so it’s worth asking asphalt experts in your area whether this project is right for your pavement.