Differences Between Asphalt Overlay & Sealcoat

Grand Rapids Asphalt Replacement

We understand that you want to keep your asphalt parking lot or driveway in good shape, which is why we offer a full range of asphalt maintenance services. However, it can be difficult trying to determine the best solution for your damaged asphalt pavement. In this blog post, we will be going over the main differences between an asphalt overlay and sealcoating. While both can help prolong the life of your asphalt surface, they both perform different functions.

Asphalt Sealcoating

The major difference between sealcoating and an asphalt overlay is that a sealcoat is used as a preventative measure. Sealcoating acts much like a fresh coat of paint. It protects the surface of your asphalt parking lot or driveway from UV rays, precipitation, and automobile fluids. Sealcoating will also give your asphalt pavement a rich black color so it looks like new.

To get the full benefits of asphalt sealcoating, we recommend you apply sealcoating within the first 1 to 3 years of initial installation. If more than three years have passed, you may still be able to do sealcoating. However, please know that all asphalt cracks and potholeswill need to be repaired before doing so.

Asphalt Overlay

Think of an asphalt overlay as a patch. An asphalt pavement overlay is a fresh layer of asphalt used to patch over pavement that has cracked or potholed. While it is possible to pave over small cracks and potholes, asphalt overlays aren’t a permanent solution. Any underlying cracks and potholes will show up in the new surface within a year or two. For the best results, we recommend calling a licensed asphalt contractor to fill cracks and repair potholes.

Which do I choose?

Sealcoating driveways and parking lots will prevent damage from happening in the first place. It is your pavement’s best defense against UV rays, rain, snow, and automobile fluids. If you have recently repaved a driveway or commercial parking lot, you’ll want to invest in sealcoating. Sealcoating is also a good idea if you have recently repaired all the cracks and potholes in your driveway because it will prevent further damage.

Asphalt overlays are best used as temporary fixes to cracks and potholes. If your parking lot or driveway is starting to reach the end of its natural lifespan (approximately 20 years), you may not mind that the asphalt overlay will only buy you another one to two years. Asphalt overlays are best for pavements that have sustained damage, but aren’t ready for asphalt pavement replacement just yet.

If you are noticing signs of pavement distress, you’ll need to call an asphalt repair contractor as soon as possible. The longer you wait to repair asphalt cracks and potholes, the more you’ll have to pay in repairs.

A-1 Asphalt Inc. is a Grand Rapids asphalt paving company that strives to help customers maintain the appearance and function of asphalt surfaces. If you are interested in our asphalt overlay or asphalt sealcoating services, give us a call at (800) 871-4401.