Asphalt Overlay Vs. Replacement – Note The Differences

Asphalt pavements offer numerous perks like aesthetics, durability, noise reduction, and safety. However, the benefits do not make asphalt damage-proof. A time comes when your pavement deteriorates, perhaps due to age, the weather, or lack of maintenance.

If your asphalt pavement shows signs of tear, you may be torn between two restoration processes: overlay and replacement. To help you make a sound choice, this blog explains the differences between an asphalt overlay and replacement and when each is the best fit.

What Is Asphalt Overlay?

Also known as asphalt resurfacing, an overlay is when your pavement contractor places a new layer of asphalt over the existing surface.

An overlay is usually ideal when the existing asphalt pavement has minor cracks and shallow potholes. The process is also applicable to restore roadways that have a previous overlay before but show signs of premature failure due to poor construction or inadequate maintenance.

Benefits and Downsides of Asphalt Overlay

This process has both upsides and limitations. The primary benefit of overlay is that it’s the cost-effective and faster option compared to asphalt replacement.

However, some other factors limit its efficacy. For example, an overlay won’t provide a long-term solution if your pavement lacks stability or has underlying structural issues, such as a serious base failure.

In the same way, if your pavement has drainage problems, an overlay won’t provide the desired outcome. As soon as the new layer goes on, standing water accumulates and makes the pavement weak again. Consequently, you may incur more expensive costs for repair or restoration.

What Is Asphalt Replacement?

Unlike overlay, asphalt replacement involves removing and disposing of the existing surface, followed by installing a new layer of asphalt. Typically, this procedure is applicable when the existing pavement shows signs of serious damage, such as deep potholes, cracks too wide to fill, or underlying issues like a base failure.

Replacement also offers an opportunity to restructure your driveway by rerouting drainage away from structures on your property or making necessary changes to improve accessibility. For example, suppose you want to widen the driveway for easy access. In that case, asphalt replacement is the only option.

In the same way, if you have an older, failing asphalt surface beneath the existing layer, a replacement would be the best option to strengthen your pavement.

Benefits and Downsides of Asphalt Replacement

Asphalt replacement is a more rigorous process than an overlay, yet it can provide long-term success with proper installation and maintenance. In addition, asphalt replacement allows you to address underlying issues that have caused serious damage to the existing surface. For example, with this process, you can fix drainage problems or reconstruct your driveway for better access.

Replacing worn-out asphalt also provides an opportunity to use high-quality material for enhanced durability and longevity.

Nonetheless, asphalt replacement comes at a higher price than overlay, as it requires more time and labor.

Which Is the Best Option?

The ideal option between an asphalt overlay and replacement depends on your pavement conditions. If the existing surface has minor damages, such as cracks or shallow potholes, an overlay can be a more suitable choice. But if you have major issues like drainage problems or base failure, or you want to make structural changes to the driveway, asphalt replacement is the way to go.

Consult a reliable contractor to ensure optimum results with either of these processes. The professional will assess your problem and offer the most suitable solution.

You can trust us at Pinnacle Paving & Sealing for quality asphalt services. Our experienced team can help you with asphalt paving or repair needs, no matter how big or small the job is. Contact us for a consultation, and let us help you decide which process suits you best.