If your asphalt parking lot is looking old and worn, it may need an asphalt overlay in order to restore its condition. During an overlay, the surface level of the asphalt will be removed with a milling machine, and then an entirely new surface layer will be applied to the parking lot. An overlay fixes surface defects and provides protection to the layers below, which helps to extend the usable lifespan of your parking lot. To learn about which problems an asphalt overlay is best suited to fix, read on.
The primary reason to place an asphalt overlay on a parking lot is to fix surface oxidation. When asphalt parking lots are first installed, they're a deep black color. Over time, the surface of the parking lot begins to lighten and turn gray. This is due to oxygen in the air reacting chemically with the asphalt, and it turns asphalt brittle in addition to changing its color.
Oxidized asphalt is more susceptible to cracking from vehicle traffic since it can't flex underneath the weight of a vehicle like new asphalt. A parking lot that has an oxidized surface will be rapidly damaged by cars and trucks driving over it. You can prevent this from happening by milling the oxidized surface off of the parking lot and placing an asphalt overlay on it, which restores its condition and makes it less vulnerable to traffic damage.
Rutting Due to Vehicle Traffic
Older asphalt parking lots often develop well-worn ruts in them due to vehicle tires constantly pushing down against the asphalt. These can't be fixed with asphalt crack filler, and the rutting is often too extensive to make cutting out sections and patching the asphalt worthwhile.
Rutting can be a safety issue for people driving on your parking lot. When someone's driving and their tire enters into a rut, their steering wheel will shift and their car will change direction slightly. This can lead to an accident when someone's traveling quickly.
An asphalt overlay is the best way to fix extensive rutting on a parking lot since an overlay will make the entire surface perfectly level again once it has been placed.
Extensive Shallow Cracking and Pitting
An asphalt overlay is also the perfect solution for a parking lot that has numerous small cracks and pits on the surface. Removing the surface and replacing it with a new layer of asphalt will repair them all at once, improving the appearance of the parking lot and preventing the cracks and pits from causing damage to the asphalt layer underneath the surface.
Keep in mind that the cracks and pits have to be confined to the surface layer that's being replaced. Cracks that go deeper than the surface can't be fixed with an overlay, since an overlay only replaces the surface layer. An asphalt pavement contractor can measure the cracks in your parking lot to see how deep they are and whether or not an overlay would be the best option to restore your parking lot.
Overall, an asphalt overlay is a less expensive alternative to fully replacing your entire parking lot, and it will repair all of its surface defects. In addition, placing an overlay on your parking lot helps extend its lifespan by stopping the surface defects from worsening until they affect the layers below the surface. If you think that your parking lot would benefit from an overlay, contact an asphalt paving contractor in your area and have your parking lot inspected. They'll assess the condition of your parking lot, including the layers beneath the surface, and tell you if an overlay would be the best option to repair it and extend its longevity.