Eventually, every asphalt pavement will become so bedraggled and unattractive that the only solution appears to be tearing it out and rebuilding it. Perhaps the pavement shows evidence on virtually every square foot of the numerous crack repairs that have been made over the years. Maybe the pavement is riddled with bare spots or oil stains, or perhaps it displays ruts, raveling, or other signs of distress. You know that reconstructing your pavement will seriously inconvenience those who normally use your pavement, but you do not believe that you have any choice. Before you call an asphalt company to rebuild your pavement, you should determine whether it is suitable for asphalt resurfacing, which is also referred to as an asphalt overlay.
What Are the Benefits of Asphalt Resurfacing?
Asphalt resurfacing involves the installation of a layer of new asphalt on top of the existing pavement. The new layer is usually between two and three inches thick, and it is possible to vary the thickness to correct certain drainage problems or other issues. This new layer will be similar in appearance and longevity to a reconstructed pavement, but it will be much less expensive and will require less time to complete. With an overlay, curb reveals, drains, and other pavement features can be preserved at the appropriate height.
Are All Pavements Suitable for Asphalt Resurfacing?
Asphalt resurfacing is not always a cost-effective solution. Like your original asphalt pavement, the overlay needs a stable foundation, so foundation damage will need to be repaired before resurfacing. If the foundation has been destabilized under more than about 35% of the pavement, it may be better to choose a reconstruction over resurfacing. The same may be true if the foundation damage was caused by a previously undetected issue that must be addressed to prevent the damage from occurring again; changes in the water table, new underground springs, soil insufficiency resulting in subsidence, and incorrectly constructed or poorly compacted foundations are just a few of these issues. Furthermore, any significant damage will need to be repaired before resurfacing, so if the damage to the pavement is widespread, resurfacing may not be your best option.
Can You Install an Asphalt Overlay on Concrete Pavement?
It is indeed possible, and there are many stretches of interstate highways and city streets as well as numerous parking lots that feature an asphalt overlay on top of concrete pavement. However, the concrete must have the ability to provide the stable foundation required for an overlay. If there has been significant horizontal or vertical movement of the concrete slabs at the expansion joints, an overlay may not be possible. There is also the possibility that a little more maintenance may be required to repair any cracks that may develop at the expansion joints.
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