Most asphalt consumers do not know the difference between an asphalt overlay and sealcoating maintenance. While this is understandable because they are similar processes used to maintain and repair asphalt surfaces, it may be helpful to learn more about them. Our experts on sealcoating in Amador City, CA, offer the following information on the two processes, so you do not spend extra money asking for one when you really only need the other.
Asphalt overlay describes a patch repair on a stretch of asphalt pavement. This is common for repairing asphalt with potholes and cracking but is not bad enough to demand complete replacement.
When a contractor applies an overlay, they will use a paver to apply a thin layer of hot asphalt onto an existing asphalt surface. It is essential to remember that an overlay will not repair any existing damages to an asphalt surface. Instead, any potholes and cracks will show through the new surface within one to two years. Although this process is similar to adding a new layer of shingles on an older roof, it is generally not recommended in most circumstances. Still, you can do it in emergent situations to hold off repairs until you can afford them.
While asphalt can fill the most minor, shallow cracks, any cracks over 1/8 of an inch should be crack-filled to prevent water intrusion into your pavement’s deeper layers. Sealcoating is similar to putting a new coat of paint on your home. The end result is primarily the same: A shiny finished surface that discourages wear and tear, prevents water infiltration, and protects against sunlight damage.
Sealcoating resists damages like cracks and potholes that can pose a danger to drivers and pedestrians. As a result, you can avoid liability for damages or injuries due to pavement failures and keep money in your pocket. In addition, with sealcoating, there is no need to worry about swerving to miss potholes or twisting your ankle in the parking lot.
Unlike a fresh coat of paint on your home, sealcoating wears out relatively fast. However, an affordable and straightforward crack fill and sealcoat on your asphalt surface can prevent other asphalt repairs for years in the future. It is by far the best and most cost-effective option for asphalt maintenance over time. Experts recommend sealing your driveway within a year of installation and every 2 to 3 years after for the best protection and curb appeal.
We hope this has helped you understand the differences between asphalt overlays and sealcoating maintenance. Both can provide you with a smooth, sleek surface, but only sealcoating can protect your asphalt from having significant problems before they have a chance to develop. Prevention is the best choice for protecting your asphalt investment. On the other hand, if your pavement has more extensive damages that you need to hold off fixing permanently, asphalt overlay can provide you with a year or two of use before the flaws become apparent again.