Pros and Cons of Asphalt Overlay

October, 15, 2021 By CASSIDY PAVING 6 min read
Asphalt overlay service in New England

When your asphalt parking lot or driveway degrades, there are multiple ways to restore its integrity and appearance. Asphalt overlaying is one of the most common practices in this regard -- this process involves applying a fresh layer of asphalt to a surface that’s previously been paved. Unlike an asphalt seal coat, however, asphalt overlay is intended to repair damaged asphalt (sealcoating is primarily designed to protect asphalt from various environmental threats). That said, asphalt overlay is not as comprehensive as a complete asphalt reconstruction, either. Let’s explore the pros and cons of asphalt overlay so you can make the right decision for your surfaces.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Asphalt Overlay

Advantages of Asphalt Overlaying

Asphalt overlaying has become a popular process for a reason. For starters, overlays are relatively cheap compared to reconstructions -- this intuitively makes sense when you consider that an overlay is merely a new layer placed on top of a paved surface, whereas a reconstruction is an entirely new repaving operation. Additionally, an asphalt overlay project can be completed in just a matter of days (or less, depending on the surface area), minimizing interference at your facility, and fewer resources are needed to tackle an overlay project compared to repaving. When applied properly by experienced asphalt paving contractors, an asphalt overlay can also improve drainage and prevent pothole formation. The freshly applied asphalt will create a smooth, even surface that’s safer for foot traffic and vehicles. Best of all, proper asphalt overlays last a long time -- when well-maintained, a resurfaced driveway or lot can endure for decades.

Asphalt Overlay Setbacks

With all those benefits laid out, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would hesitate to invest in asphalt overlaying. Unfortunately, however, asphalt overlays can’t solve every problem, and they can create new issues in certain cases. If, for instance, your parking lot has sustained severe, deep damage, an overlay might not be enough to bring your lot back to its former glory. A more extensive parking lot repair project might entail cutting out potholes, filling heavy cracks, re-fortifying the base, etc. Otherwise, a fresh overlay won’t last all that long, and you’ll have to start all over again. On top of that, note that asphalt overlaying inherently raises the level of an asphalt surface by at least an inch and a half (2-4 inches is usually recommended) -- while this bump in height might not seem like much, it can cause problems for previously-installed gates, doors, water grades, and more. And lastly, those aforementioned cost- and time-savings afforded by asphalt overlaying won’t always apply if you end up working with a less experienced contractor or require more repairs than you initially thought.

Asphalt Overlay: The Verdict

So, is an asphalt overlay project right for your business or residence? Simply put, if your previously-paved surfaces are in decent shape and you’re not concerned about adding a couple of extra inches of thickness, an asphalt overlay is often a sound investment. If, on the other hand, your pavement needs more attention and your grading can hardly budge, you might seek other asphalt services (i.e., reconstruction/repaving) instead. Of course, those who lack experience in this field might not know what to look for before choosing an asphalt service, which is why it’s best to reach out to the experts. At Cassidy Paving, we will carefully inspect your asphalt to determine the best course of action for repair and maintenance. We offer a host of asphalt repair, maintenance, and installation services for our clients across Southern NH and MA.

Call us today at 866-978-9788 for a free estimate on your next office parking lot project.

Filed Under: Asphalt

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Based in Haverhill, MA, Cassidy Paving is a commercial paving company serving southern NH and Massachusetts.

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Mission Statement: Delivering commercial and industrial paving services with courteous service, clear communication, and consistent results.

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