If your parking lot is faded, cracking, and generally showing its age, you may be looking at ways to make repairs. When the lot is still in good enough shape that it doesn't need to be replaced, two options for repairs are sealcoating and putting on an asphalt overlay. Here are the differences between the two options and how to know when an overlay is the right choice.
An Asphalt Overlay Is A New Surface For Your Lot
An overlay is a new layer of asphalt that's paved over the old lot. This can give your lot the appearance of being new since the surface asphalt is new. An overlay also fills in cracks as the asphalt goes down. However, it's possible that the cracks will reappear in the new asphalt as time passes.
Before an overlay is put down, the surface of the lot is milled. This removes some imperfections, such as shallow cracks, and it helps the new asphalt bind better. An overlay can be a good choice when your lot has some cracks, but the damage isn't so bad that you need to tear out the lot and put in a new one.
A Sealcoat Provides Protection To The Asphalt
A sealcoat is different. This is a coating that restores the dark color so it can make your lot look more attractive and less old and neglected. However, a sealcoat also protects the asphalt so that it lasts longer. The coating keeps rain from sinking into the asphalt, and it protects the asphalt from UV rays.
Sealcoating is like paint, so it won't cover cracks and other imperfections. Damage to the lot shows through right away. Cracks have to be filled before a sealcoat is put on, so if your lot has many cracks, an overlay could be a better choice than a sealcoat.
Both Options Extend The Life Of Your Parking Lot
If your parking lot is in good structural shape, then adding an overlay or a sealcoat could extend the life of the asphalt and save you money over having to tear out the lot. An asphalt overlay isn't always possible if your lot has drainage problems or other serious issues that require the lot to be torn out and replaced.
If you're not sure if the lot has a stable base and you're not sure what type of repairs are best, then call a paving contractor for a lot inspection to see what kind of work your parking lot needs to have a longer life and to improve its appearance.