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Asphalt Overlay vs. Removal

by Administrator25. January 2016 14:19


An overlay or resurface can be used on an asphalt driveway, parking lot, or road way. It consists of installing a new layer of asphalt over the existing asphalt and grinding at the transitions (i.e. sidewalks, garages, drains, curbs, or other asphalt points). A paving surface can be deteriorated but still maintain structural integrity in which an asphalt overlay is the proper solution. An existing asphalt surface is the best base for new asphalt. Damaged or troubled areas are repaired before the installation of asphalt. Sometimes all that is required is a leveling course, which is a thin layer of asphalt that is installed to take out any dips or low areas before the finishing course is installed. A tack coat is normally applied on the existing asphalt surface to help the new asphalt adhere to the existing surface. An overlay is usually installed at an average depth of 1.5” to 2” inches thick depending on the project. Overlays are normally cheaper in price and deliver same quality and strength as other asphalt options.   

Remove and Replace

            A remove and replace is exactly how it sounds, the existing asphalt is excavated or removed which reveals the gravel base. If there are any areas where the sub base is soft they will need to be undercut then fine graded to proper grade. An undercut is an area that needs to be fully excavated and backfilled with aggregate. Undercuts usually range in depth but for the most part are 8” inches in depth. After the existing asphalt is removed and the sub base is properly repaired a new layer of asphalt is applied and compacted to proper thickness. A remove and replace is more expensive and should only be considered if the existing drive is weakened by the structural integrity of the sub base, if there is a drainage issue that needs fixed, or if there are elevation issues. A remove and replace can be a great long term solution for your asphalt needs.

            Every driveway is different and factors such as surrounding elevations, drainage and use of paved surface can help determine the correct course of action. Please contact us for an appointment with one of our asphalt professionals to determine the correct solution for your project.




Comments (14) -

Kyler Brown
Kyler BrownUnited States
2/2/2016 2:51:21 PM #

I need to do some work on the pavement on my lot.  I'm glad that I read this, and I definitely feel that it would make more sense just to overlay in my case instead of doing a remove and replace.  Thanks for sharing this information with me, as this definitely has helped steer me in the right direction.  http://www.quastpaving.com/


Eric Blaise
Eric BlaiseUnited States
2/18/2016 2:34:33 PM #

Asphalt overlay is quite a very common procedure, as it tends to be done fairly regularly. asphalt is great, and quite durable, but even over time, it starts showing signs of wear and damage. This is usually caused by the weather as the sun beating down on it during the summer, and ice forming on its top surface create cracks in its otherwise solid surface. Occasionally resurfacing prolongs its life.


dee francis
dee francisUnited States
2/25/2016 5:17:25 PM #

I need to replace my asphalt driveway, but I'm not sure of what kind of base to use. You mentioned that I should use an existing asphalt surface for it, so maybe I should start from the surface that's already in my driveway. I'll make sure to repair any damaged areas before installing my new surface. Thanks for the tips!


Pete E.
Pete E.United States
3/22/2016 6:07:50 PM #

Nice write-up; overlays are great whenever possible, as you said, to save some coin.  


Hazel Adams
Hazel AdamsUnited States
4/19/2016 2:51:15 PM #

It is interesting for me to learn a little bit about paving. I did not realize that paving was so simple. Now I know what to expect with paving.


Gabriel Faucher
Gabriel FaucherCanada
5/10/2016 1:25:42 AM #

Great technique for asphalt pavement! Thank you for sharing


Hazel Adams
Hazel AdamsUnited States
5/16/2016 2:09:34 PM #

It is interesting for me to learn how to replace and remove cement. I have a cracked driveway I would like to either fill or remove altogether. Now I know that I could get it removed. http://www.afsconstruction-alaska.com/services


emily bennette
emily bennetteUnited States
5/21/2016 11:54:37 AM #

This is some really good information to know about asphalt. I like what you said about how you can use the overlay method to fix a crack or other damage. It is also good to know that you will need to do some repairs to that damage before doing this. Do you know if you have to completely fix the issues before doing it or if just cleaning it  up is good enough?


MichaelUnited States
6/12/2016 2:58:53 AM #

For years, I've been working at mastering asphalt repair and resurfacing. Finally I felt like a was a pro so I opened my hometown company. http://www.paversofmobile.com A lot of useful info here, please keep in comin'


judy wilson
judy wilsonUnited States
6/17/2016 2:48:26 PM #

It's helpful to know how an overlay can be used for my asphalt driveway. I'm glad that you explained how an overlay is usually the best solution if my surface is deteriorated but still maintains the structural integrity. That's something I should check to make sure that my driveway has enough structural integrity to support an overlay. Thanks for the information!


April Cook
April CookUnited States
7/26/2016 1:49:29 PM #

The store I work at has a really bad parking lot and could use some new asphalt. I didn't realize that you could use an overlay and just put new asphalt on top pf what is already there. Does it reach a point where there are too many layers and it is best to remove and replace? Thanks for sharing this information! www.aaapavingandsealingservices.com/services


Jade Brunet
Jade BrunetUnited States
9/27/2016 7:06:35 PM #

I appreciate this information provided about asphalt overlay and asphalt removal. I did not realize that one could lay a layer of asphalt over a preexisting layer. This would be called an overlay. Something to consider would be to seek professional help in deciding which option is better between removing and overlaying. http://completepaving.net/services.html


Kevin Koh
Kevin KohUnited States
11/10/2016 2:36:54 AM #

The information provided on resurfacing asphalt over the surface is a really nice to prolong the pavement duration for future. An asphalt overlay is simply the process of installing a new surface layer of hot mix asphalt directly over existing asphalt on either parking lots or roads. Recently, one of my friends had repaved his asphalt driveway from the paving contractors Chambersburg PA :- capitalpavingconstruction.com . He told me, the contractor also overlaid asphalt on the surface to give a Seal-coat look over the driveway. According to me, its better technique to maintain pavement properly.


Jade Brunet
Jade BrunetUnited States
6/15/2017 9:46:47 AM #

Our asphalt driveway has had some wear and tear over the years and we are wondering what to do to continue to make it last. It is good to know that an overlay can be used on an asphalt driveway. I did not know that this was a new lawyer of asphalt over the existing surface. We will definitely have to look into this option, thanks.


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