Asphalt Overlay or Replacement – What’s The Best Choice?

asphalt overlay or replacementYou just took a good look at your asphalt pavement, and you were not happy with what you saw. Your pavement has definitely seen better days. There are oil stains, potholes, birdbaths, and polished aggregate, and the old crack repairs make the surface look more like a crazy quilt than a respectable pavement. You need to decide whether to replace your pavement or install an asphalt overlay, but you are not sure how to make the best choice for your needs. Both techniques can be quite cost-effective, but your decision will need to be based on several important factors.

Asphalt Overlay or Replacement – What’s The Best Choice?

What Is an Asphalt Overlay?

Also known as asphalt resurfacing, an overlay is the application of new asphalt over the top of an existing pavement. Typically, asphalt companies mill the existing pavement to remove the top one to two inches of asphalt, then install new asphalt to the same depth. This allows the asphalt contractor to keep sewer access covers, curb reveals, and transitions at their original height.

What Is Asphalt Removal?

As the name implies, removal is the tearing out of the existing pavement. Most Atlanta asphalt contractors have milling machines that are capable of making short work of the removal process. Once the old pavement is removed, your Atlanta paving company will construct a replacement pavement.

When Is an Asphalt Overlay the Best Choice?

There are three things to keep in mind when deciding whether an overlay is the right choice for your pavement. First, any cracks, potholes, or other damage will need to be repaired. Otherwise, the damage pattern will soon manifest in the overlay. Second, if the pavement deteriorated prematurely, the issue that caused the problem will need to be corrected to avoid having the same issue destroy your new overlay. Third, an overlay should only be installed over a stable foundation. If your base layers have been eroded by water, they will need to be repaired. Therefore, an overlay may not be the most cost-effective choice if pavement damage covers more than about 33% of the total square footage, the cause of the damage is extensive subterranean drainage issues, or more than about 25% of the foundation has become destabilized.

When Is Asphalt Removal the Right Choice?

If an overlay is not a feasible option, your only option is asphalt removal and replacement. This gives an Atlanta asphalt company a chance to repair the base layers. Removal is also a better choice if your pavement needs to be stronger. Your Marietta paving company can make the entire structure stronger by amending the underlying soil, building a better foundation, or making the asphalt layers thicker or more numerous.

On a Large Pavement, Can Both Techniques Be Used?

It is quite possible to combine the techniques on a large pavement. For example, the half of a parking lot that receives the most damage from traffic could be removed and replaced, and an overlay could be installed on the other half. However, you would need to discuss this with a reputable asphalt contractor to determine how much money you might save. You will also want to ask about the aesthetics of this approach; in some situations, the combination might not yield the best appearance.

The Surface Masters Will Be Happy to Advise You

The Surface Masters is a well-respected paving company serving the greater Atlanta area from our headquarters in Marietta. We offer asphalt resurfacing and asphalt paving, sealcoating, crack sealing, parking lot markings, and concrete work. We have a reputation for exceptional craftsmanship, honesty, and extraordinary service. If you would like for us to provide you with a free quote, you can submit our online form, or you can call us at 770-250-6392.