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Who Says An Overlay Has To Be Asphalt?

Mother Nature and Father Time have a funny way of making an asphalt surface go from new and black to old and cracked in no time. And don’t forget about Uncle Traffic – he’s played a major “roll” in it too. The traditional, long-lasting approach to pavement restoration is to overlay it with a new layer of asphalt. For some situations, alternative approaches can be considered.

Father Time and Mother Nature impact pavement

Asphalt Overlay: A Conventional Method

When a parking lot or paved surface has deteriorated – but not to the point of replacement – it is typically assumed that an asphalt overlay is required. Asphalt overlay is the hot mix application of stone, sand, gravel and liquid asphalt on top of the existing asphalt surface. The mixture is placed in 1 ½ to 3 inch lifts by a paving machine, compacted using a roller, and typically takes 2-3 hours to cure for traffic. Asphalt overlays can improve the lifespan of your asphalt surface by 10-12 years, depending on the condition of the pavement prior to application. A fabric material can be placed between the original surface and the new asphalt on top, providing added strength and an extra moisture barrier. This conventional resurfacing method is still a best practice recommended in most cases, and while less costly than removing and replacing pavement, is a significant investment.

Slurry Seal: A Practical Approach

In cases where the structure of the pavement is still sound, a slurry seal can provide that new driving surface and protective coating your existing pavement needs without as high of an initial cost as an overlay. Slurry is a cold-mix paving treatment consisting of specially graded aggregate, asphalt emulsion, water and other additives. The material is placed using specialized, self-mixing equipment with an applicating spreader box at a thickness of ¼ to ¾ inches. Slurry can improve the life span of most structurally sound pavements by 5-7 years and typically cures for traffic in 24 hours.

The Choice Is Yours

So if the longevity and longer term value of an asphalt overlay are important to you, good choice! But if you’re looking for an economical alternative with lower upfront costs that still provides a new skid-resistant wearing surface for traffic, then a slurry seal might be an option worth considering. These solutions may not put the brakes on Mother Nature’s and Father Time’s deterioration fun, but they will sure slow them down for a while. Now about that Uncle Traffic…

Contact ACE to discuss your options today.

ACE Asphalt is a full service asphalt maintenance, repair, and paving company with offices in Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff, Arizona, Las Vegas, Nevada, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Dallas,Texas. Ace serves the parking lot repair, maintenance, and paving needs of property managers, building owners, and contractors.

(1) responses to "Who Says An Overlay Has To Be Asphalt?"
Dave Thompson says: 23-Feb-2015 03:22 PM
I was under this impression as well. I thought an asphalt overlay was necessary for parking lot repairs. Did not even know that a slurry seal was even an option for repairs. That is good to know as I might be repairing a nearby parking lot soon, and this will be very helpful.
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