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If your asphalt pavement appears to be worn out, you may wonder whether your only option is to reconstruct it. Before you commit to ripping out and rebuilding your existing pavement, you might want to discuss the feasibility of an overlay. Asphalt overlays can often add many more years of life to a pavement, allowing property owners to defer the expense of a reconstruction without sacrificing the aesthetics or functionality of their pavements. Here are five things that you should know about overlays.

Five Important Facts About Asphalt Overlays

What Are Asphalt Overlays?

An asphalt overlay, also known as a paving overlay or asphalt resurfacing, is the application of new asphalt to an existing pavement. Typically, an Atlanta paving company will use a milling machine to grind off two or three inches of the old asphalt, then replace the material by installing the appropriate number of layers of new asphalt to return the pavement to its proper depth.

What Are the Advantages of Asphalt Overlays?

There are several excellent reasons to choose an overlay instead of a pavement reconstruction.

• Speed: Depending on the project’s scope, an overlay can allow you to reopen your pavement to traffic within one to three days. With a reconstruction, traffic will not have access for a week or more.
• Cost: Depending on the size of the pavement and other factors, an overlay can often cost half as much as a reconstruction.
• Longevity: When installed by a qualified asphalt paving company, an overlay can have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
• Functionality: A well-installed paving overlay will be virtually identical to a new surface in both looks and drive quality.

Are Asphalt Paving Overlays Maintenance-Free?

If you want your overlay to have a long life with fewer major repairs, you should invest in a little routine maintenance. Have sealcoating applied within its first year, then repeat the procedure at the intervals recommended by your contractor for your specific pavement. If vehicles leak oil or other fluids, remove them promptly, especially while you are waiting for the asphalt to cure before you apply sealcoating for the first time. Deal with drainage issues quickly, keep the pavement clean, and have your contractor repair significant cracks promptly.

How Many Times Can Asphalt Contractors Resurface the Same Pavement?

Theoretically, asphalt paving can be resurfaced as often as needed. However, the pavement must be sufficiently maintained to make an overlay cost-effective.

When Would It Not Be Cost-Effective to Install an Asphalt Overlay?

Although overlays are frequently much more cost-effective than reconstruction, there are exceptions.

• Asphalt pavements depend on their foundations for both strength and flexibility. Repairing a compromised foundation requires removing the existing pavement to access the foundation. Asphalt contractors typically do not recommend an overlay if there is severe foundation damage involving more than about a third of the total area.
• If the pavement failed prematurely, it is critical to identify and correct the cause. Otherwise, the damage pattern will be repeated. Sometimes, the cause lies beneath the pavement. If the contractor must remove more than approximately 35% of the pavement to resolve the problem, a reconstruction might be more cost-effective.
• Significant cracks, potholes, and patches of alligator cracking need to be repaired before installing an overlay. Without the proper repairs, the damage patterns will soon begin to appear in the overlay. The need for extensive repairs could affect the total cost of the overlay. Although it depends on the severity and type of the damage, most asphalt paving companies recommend reconstructions for pavements with serious damage involving more than 30% of the pavement.

The Surface Masters would be happy to answer any additional questions you might have about asphalt resurfacing. We are a highly experienced and well-respected paving company serving the greater Atlanta region. Our paving services include asphalt resurfacing, sealcoating, asphalt paving, concrete repair and construction, asphalt repairs and crack sealing, and pavement markings. We are known for our professionalism, craftsmanship, integrity, and customer service. You can request a free quote by calling 770-250-6392, or you can use our online form to submit your request.

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