Is There A Difference Between Asphalt Overlay and Asphalt Resurfacing?

asphalt driveway

Given its affordability and durability, it’s no surprise that asphalt is a popular choice for parking lots, driveways, bike paths, and walkways. By focusing on quality maintenance over the years, you can lengthen your investment’s lifespan – something especially important for businesses and HOAs to consider as exterior value and aesthetics play major role in budgets. No one wants to look at an area with holes and cracks everywhere or see their asphalt crumbling.

If your asphalt is in need of some serious attention, you may be considering either resurfacing or an overlay. But which one is right for your property? A professional contractor will be able to assess your needs and determine the best solution. Resurfacing involves removing the existing surface of asphalt before adding a new layer, while an overlay simply adds a new layer on top of the old one. Keep reading to learn more about when you would use each method and what you can expect from the process.

What is Asphalt Overlay? 

When you do an asphalt overlay, you’re only fixing surface-level problems like cracks, fissures, and the beginnings of potholes. As long as the subgrade slab and integrity of your asphalt are still good, an overlay should be enough. And since no milling is necessary, it’s a simpler and quicker process overall. Of course, there might be some other maintenance needs for your asphalt paving before doing the overlay—like filling holes or smoothing out cracks in a specific area.

Overlays are usually only 1 to 2 inches deep, but the thickness can grow if the initial asphalt is in bad shape. In some cases, overlays might be 3 inches thick without needing milling—if done correctly. This process is popular among property owners not just because it’s cheap, but also because it’s quicker. However, you should double-check that you’re working with reputable asphalt contractors who will guarantee your overlay improves performance while maintaining integrity.

What is Asphalt Resurfacing? 

Resurfacing may be needed if you have many deep cracks or water has pooled, as this often happens when there is deterioration at a subgrade level. If you notice issues with drainage or height due to several overlays on your asphalt, resurfacing could create a brand-new surface without having to replace the entire area.

Asphalt resurfacing is the process of removing and replacing damaged sections without having to remove the entire surface. This allows for a new layer to be added once everything has been cleaned up. The inspection part is key here in order to see how deep the refurbishing needs to go so that there’s an actual difference made structurally and aesthetically. It’s slightly more complicated than other methods, but still cheaper than starting from scratch again entirely.

You can contact our dedicated team here at ESPJ Construction if you have any questions or concerns about how to maintain your asphalt driveways. We can help you keep your driveways looking great for years to come. Don’t wait!