Asphalt is a mixture of rock and sand. The mixture is combined with a liquid asphalt cement. It is heated to a very high heat of over 300 degrees then poured and compacted, forming an asphalt driveway or parking lot. Over time the asphalt can get distressed. Oil, fuel and other chemicals from the vehicles that park on the surface and due to various weather conditions, drop onto the asphalt. All of these factors can cause the asphalt to lose its luster and strength. When this occurs, overlay can become an option for the asphalt or concrete.
What is an overlay? Overlay is when a new layer of asphalt is applied to the current surface. The new layer can vary in depth, ranging anywhere from 1.5 inches up to 2 inches of new asphalt applied, following by the paving process. The current asphalt will need to have a good base. Any cracks or patches that are present need to be repaired before the overlaying is done. An overlay is an excellent option that allows current asphalt to have a new look along with providing extra strength.
The only time that overlay should not be considered is when the current asphalt or concrete is heavily damaged. The damage may be repairable, but the overlay will only disguise a major problem that is existing in the asphalt. Drainage may be a possible reason as to why there is quite a bit of damage to the current asphalt. If there is a drainage problem, overlay is not an option for the asphalt. The drainage issue will need to be repaired, because the overlay will only develop the same problem. When there is not proper drainage, then the asphalt holds in the water, similar to a sponge. The asphalt holds the water and is only released when weight is put on the area.
Many times, overlay is an added option for asphalt. To know if your current asphalt can have the overlay process done to it, contact a local contractor. The contractor will examine the asphalt and make sure the overlay will be a success if applied to the current asphalt.
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