Regardless of the quality of the initial construction, all pavements will eventually show signs of aging. Cracks may appear, low spots can develop or the pavement may develop unsightly stains. At some point, it may seem that the only viable option is to have the existing pavement removed and replaced. However, in many cases, the issues can be resolved with an asphalt overlay.
Asphalt Overlay – What Is An Overlay?
An asphalt overlay is a layer of asphalt, typically between 1.5 and 2.5 inches thick, that is installed over existing pavement. Although an overlay is much less costly than rebuilding the pavement, an overlay will look like new asphalt pavement and have a similar life expectancy.
What Pavements Are Suitable for Overlays?
Asphalt overlays can be applied to either concrete or asphalt pavements. Usually, ideal candidates for overlays have little or no damage to the pavement’s supporting foundation and do not have severe damage to more than 25 to 33 percent of the pavement’s surface. Although only an experienced contractor can determine the advisability of an overlay, overlays may not be appropriate for asphalt pavement that has crumbled, has numerous wide cracks, has deep depressions, has numerous long cracks or has a great many low spots. If the pavement has extensive alligator cracking, an overlay may not be a viable option. Concrete pavement featuring a number of slabs that have uplifted or subsided may not be suitable for an overlay. Problems that are not corrected before an overlay is applied will continue to worsen and “telegraph” through to the overlay. Because the overlay is bonded to the pavement underneath, if cracks in the existing pavement remain active, they can pull apart the overlay. If the existing pavement continues to crumble, the overlay will not have sufficient support, which can cause the overlay to develop alligator cracking or potholes.
How Is an Overlay Installed?
The exact steps that a contractor will follow can vary by project. However, the typical steps are outlined below.
• Cracks are filled and potholes are repaired. If there are areas that are badly damaged, the existing pavement in those areas will be removed and a patch will be applied.
• Low spots or depressions will be leveled through either milling or filling. Milling may also be performed on other areas of the pavement.
• The pavement will be washed to remove any dust or dirt.
• A tack coat will be applied to enhance the bond between the overlay and the existing pavement.
• An overlay of hot-mix asphalt is installed.
Once the overlay has cured sufficiently, the pavement can be sealcoated and have pavement markings applied. As is the case for all asphalt pavements, overlays need to be properly maintained by having sealcoating applied as needed and having any cracks that develop promptly repaired. If properly maintained, an overlay can provide 15 years or more of useful life, making it an extremely cost-effective method of rejuvenating aging pavements.
Why You Should Choose Alpha Paving
Alpha Paving has extensive experience in all phases of asphalt and concrete paving. We are an award-winning company serving customers throughout most of Central Texas. Our services include asphalt overlays, parking lot striping, asphalt paving, sealcoating, crack repairs and road construction. We also offer an extensive line of concrete services. Our diverse customer base includes municipalities, major retail chains, airports, educational institutions, churches, restaurants, gated communities, apartment complexes, manufacturing facilities, shopping centers and commercial complexes. For a free estimate, call (512) 677-9001 or complete the quote request form online.