Parking Lot Overlay: What to Expect

A parking lot overlay allows you to get a like-new asphalt parking lot without the need to fully replace the old one. This is a typically less expensive and quicker option compared to a new lot installation.

Site Preparation

Preparation begins with a site visit. Your contractor will assess the paving problem areas that need to be addressed, such as areas with poor drainage or existing damage. They will then put together an overlay plan and present it to you for approval.

The next step in preparation is to clean the lot. Debris and loose gravel needs to first be removed. Potholes are weeded and cleaned out, and crumbling edges may be cut to smooth them in preparation for the overlay. If drainage concerns were identified, new storm or trench drains may be installed at this point to provide a solution for the problem before it ruins your new parking lot. 

Grinding and Repairs

The top layer of asphalt is usually ground down a small amount. This creates a rough surface that the hot asphalt overlay can better adhere to. After grinding, the lot is cleaned a second time to remove the aggregate that was loosened during the grinding process. 

Grinding sometimes reveals other damage, such as developing potholes that haven't yet penetrated the old paved surface. For this reason, most repairs are postponed until after grinding. It is at this point that cracks and potholes are patched with hot asphalt materials. These are flexible joint fillers that allow for expansion and contraction and may be used in larger cracks so they won't reappear in the overlay once applied.

Paving and Finishing

After all the preparation and grinding, the overlay is finally put in place. A hot asphalt mix is spread over the lot to a depth of several inches. Machinery is used to flatten and level it, with care being taken to maintain the proper grade so there are no low spots. This allows moisture to drain from the lot appropriately.

The asphalt overlay is allowed to cure for several days or up to a week. Once this initial cure is complete, the parking lot lines are repainted. While a full cure can take several months, the lot is safe to use after the initial cure. After the full cure is complete, a seal coat will be applied to protect against weathering damage. Your paving service will provide the appropriate timeline for this, as it is dependant on the season and your local climate.

Contact a commercial paving service if you have more questions or concerns about the overlay process.