The Difference Between Asphalt Overlay and Replacement

asphalt repair TorontoOne component of complete property maintenance is periodic asphalt repair in Toronto. This could mean simply applying a quick and convenient overlay to repair and cover up minor damages to your asphalt pavement parking lot or administering an entire overhaul by removing and replacing the asphalt altogether. The type of repairs required depends wholly on the extent and depth of the damage your asphalt has endured over time either as a result of extensive use, consistent weight applied by heavy-duty vehicles or machinery, oil spills, water damage, and other types of external or internal distresses to which your asphalt has been exposed.

What Is Asphalt Overlay?

Asphalt overlay, also known as resurfacing, is a feasible and cost-efficient option for repairing minor surface damages to your pavement such as small cracks, rutting, depressions caused by large vehicles, some water damage, potholes, and so on. The basic concept of the asphalt overlay process involves simply placing a new layer of asphalt aggregate on top of the existing asphalt that’s showing signs of disrepair. In some cases, the existing asphalt might require some milling prior to installing the new layer, especially if there’s been water damage or water drainage issues that result in standing water. Before applying the new layer of asphalt, you need to ensure that all excess water has been properly removed or drained. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with potentially more significant and costly water damage and internal asphalt erosion in the future at which point complete asphalt removal and replacement might be necessary.

What Is Asphalt Removal and Replacement?

Asphalt removal and replacement is exactly what it sounds like. Sometimes, your asphalt pavement might be in such an indelible state of disrepair that repairing it would be a waste of your time, money, efforts, and resources. In these cases, an asphalt overlay isn’t the best solution to your problem because it won’t adequately address or correct any of the internal structural weaknesses that your asphalt is exhibiting. Instead, an overlay would simply provide an ineffective “Band-Aid solution” for a much bigger problem. For instance, if you’re contending with sizeable cracks, deep potholes, extensive water damage, or large oil spills that have penetrated the surface of the asphalt and caused severe internal damage, then it’s time to consider an asphalt removal and replacement. This entails completely removing the existing severely damaged asphalt that’s probably seen much better days and replacing it with a newer, stronger, and more structurally sound layer of asphalt aggregate. Depending on the extent and depth of the damage incurred, you might even need to apply several layers of the new asphalt in order to make it more effective and ensure its longevity.

Asphalt Overlay vs. Replacement

If you’re still uncertain of which process is best for your property, it makes sense to bring in an asphalt contracting expert to evaluate your parking lot pavement and the extent of the damages it’s showing. They’ll be able to spot any issues that aren’t immediately noticeable to you and come up with the most effective solution for your problem in case you’re stuck debating between asphalt overlay vs. replacement. Another point to consider is that asphalt overlay could extend the lifespan of your existing pavement by about 8-15 years while asphalt removal and replacement could potentially last between 20-30 years. As long as you treat your asphalt right, implement the proper repairs when needed, and maintain it well, there’s a higher chance that it’ll perform optimally for a long time.

Asphalt Overlay or Replacement: Which One Is the Right Choice for You?

Choosing between a simple and convenient asphalt overlay or a potentially more complex replacement isn’t necessarily an obvious decision. In some cases, where you might think the damage is only on the surface, there could be impending and unpredictable internal damage that’s difficult to detect. Here are a few instances in which you should consider either an asphalt overlay or replacement:

Cracks and Water Damage

As mentioned, some cracks aren’t major points of contention against the preservation, longevity, and structural integrity of your asphalt. Smaller cracks can easily be filled. If there are multiple small cracks, they should be filled immediately to prevent them from widening, spreading to other areas, or causing greater internal damage and eventually compromising the structural foundation of your pavement. Larger, more widespread cracks that go very deep beneath the surface of the pavement might require that portion of the asphalt to be removed and replaced. Cracks can lead to a series of other potentially harmful issues for your asphalt.

Hazardous Conditions

External damages to your asphalt can also lead to extremely hazardous conditions for yourself, your customers, visitors, and anyone else who uses your property. You’re legally liable for any injuries or accidents that occur on your property as a result of poor or lack of proper maintenance including neglected potholes, cracks, rutting, or portions of missing asphalt. You should conduct regular asphalt inspections throughout your property to anticipate and correct any potential damages that could cause physical harm in the future. Not only will this practice provide you with a great deal of peace of mind, but it’s also a good preventative measure against future lawsuits.

Long-Term Savings

The following point can’t be reiterated enough: the more you take care of your asphalt pavement parking lot, the more you’ll get out of it and that includes long-term monetary savings. Remember that asphalt removal and replacement is a lot more expensive than an overlay, so implementing occasional repairs to your asphalt is a smart way to save some money in the long run. That said, you also need to be vigilant in terms of identifying the types of damages your asphalt has endured as well as applying the appropriate repairs to remedy those problems. Don’t take any shortcuts for the sake of saving money because this will inevitably end up costing you more later on. It’s better to completely eradicate a problem now rather than letting it worsen over time.

Professional Asphalt Repair Contractors in Toronto

Sure-Seal Pavement Maintenance Inc. has been installing, repairing, replacing, maintaining, and overlaying asphalt pavement parking lots and driveways for commercial and residential properties in the Toronto and the GTA for more than 20 years. Our asphalt installation and maintenance experts are equipped with a vast knowledge of the climates and culture throughout Ontario and we use that information to our advantage in order to bring our customers the highest quality workmanship and results. As part of our commitment to delivering the best possible customer service and our customer satisfaction guarantee, we offer a seven-year warranty on all materials we use and projects we complete. For more information about our company and the services we offer, please contact us.

Photo Credit: iStock.com/i-Stockr