Asphalt Overlay: Suitability And Installation Process

A worn parking lot with lots of minor cracks or pitting isn't just unattractive, it is also going to be prone to frequent major damages that will require expensive repairs. One way to slow the aging process and give the parking lot a facelift is to have an asphalt overlay installed. An overlay is basically a resurfacing of the asphalt while keeping the old base and edge curbing. 

Initial Assessment

An overlay can't be done until a full assessment of your parking lot is performed to see if it is suitable. As long as the damage only penetrates through the top layer of asphalt, overlay is a good option. Deeper damages, like potholes that have broken through to the base, uneven settling, and major ruts can't be repaired with an overlay. The good news is that a partial overlay may still be possible if deeper damages are limited to a small area. 

Milling and Final Assessment

For parking lots that are suitable for an overlay, the next step is milling up the top layer of asphalt. The depth of milling varies depending on the amount of surface damage, but generally, it's milled down an inch or deeper. Once milling is complete, your paving contractor will perform a second final assessment to verify that there are no areas of deep damage that may require additional repairs before the overlay is installed. 

Final Repairs

Final repairs before overlay installation can range from minor to more involved. A minor repair may be putting an epoxy filler into a deeper crack, for example. A more involved repair is if part of the base must be removed and rebuilt, such as if there is a single deep pothole that only compromises a small part of the original asphalt base. Repairs are often done a few days before final paving so that they have time to begin the curing process.

Overlay Installation

The overlay itself is nothing more than a fresh layer of hot asphalt. You will have options, such as if you want to use a dyed asphalt product or have an aggregate surface embedded in the paving. The overlay is typically installed to the same thickness as that which was removed during the milling process, although sometimes a thicker layer is put down on older lots that have settled substantially over the years. 

Contact an asphalt overlay service to find out if this is a good option for your parking lot.