What Is an Asphalt Overlay?

Asphalt Overlay / Pavement Overlay

An asphalt overlay is a process in which an existing worn asphalt surface is paved over with a new layer of hotmix asphalt material and applied by an asphalt paving machine. Between the old and new layer of asphalt, a glue like binder called tack or SS-1h is applied and fuses the two layers together.

20 years ago the best way to fix a failing asphalt parking lot was to perform an expensive asphalt removal and replacement treatment, or to install upwards of 4" of asphalt over the existing damaged surface. Both of these options were very costly and we're now finding that it's rarely necessary.

Although an overlay is not a permanent fix for the cracking that is occurring in your asphalt, it is a great way to bring that fresh paved look back to your parking lot, and for a fraction of the cost of the remove & replace option.

This approach of repair is following the same trends as the thin overlays being performed on streets and roads across America. Asphalt overlays are both the smartest and most economical approach to repairing your asphalt today. The reason for this is because asphalt overlays will give your parking lot that "brand new look" while utilizing most of your existing asphalt surface below.

Fabric Overlays & Petromat Overlays

Two terms meaning the same thing

A petromat overlay is very similar to an asphalt overlay. The main difference is that between the old asphalt and the new asphalt, we include the installation of a nonwoven petroleum fabric that looks like a black cloth. This cloth is installed via a machine that pulls the material tightly and glues it to the tack emulsion on the existing surface.

The reason to consider a petromat overlay vs. a standard asphalt overlay is that the petromat fabric helps create a water barrier between your old asphalt and the new asphalt installed, as well as retarding crack reflection. That is it is slows the rate at which the old cracks will return to the surface.

Fabric overlays are something that we will recommend to our customers when their parking lot has small, yet widespread hairline cracking throughout the surface of their parking lot, yet the sub-grade is still in pretty good shape.

By utilizing a petromat fabric overlay, you can effectively extend the life of your parking lots or roads by as much as fifteen years. This longevity is achievable with a basic maintenance plan that includes sealcoating & asphalt crack repair every 2 years based on usage and traffic weights.

The last alternative to a petromat overlay is to do a complete removal and replacement of your asphalt which is considerably more expensive.

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