Kalamazoo Asphalt Paving Company
Kalamazoo Asphalt Paving Company

What is the Difference Between Asphalt Overlays and Sealcoating?

Asphalt Overlays and Sealcoating Kalamazoo, MI

As an asphalt sealcoating company, we commonly get asked for the differences between sealcoating and other asphalt maintenance services. To help you out, we’ve decided to write this blog post to show the differences between asphalt sealcoating and overlays.

While both can prolong the life of your asphalt pavement, they do so in different ways. An asphalt overlay company will be able to repair potholes and cracks so you can maintain the function and appearance of your asphalt surface.

What is Asphalt Sealcoating?

Sealcoating prevents potholes and cracks by forming a protective surface layer against UV rays, rain, snow, and automobile fluids. Asphalt sealcoating also gives the 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 after initial installation. If more than 3 years have passed, then you’ll still be able to sealcoat your pavement as long as you repair all asphalt cracks and potholes beforehand.

A sealcoat is different from an asphalt overlay because it is a preventative measure. This means that you cannot repair asphalt cracks and potholes with sealcoating. Instead, you will have to make any needed asphalt pavement repairs prior to sealcoating.

What is an Asphalt Overlay?

An asphalt pavement overlay is essentially a patch placed over cracks and potholes. Keep in mind that an asphalt overlay is not a permanent solution. In a year or two, the patch will reflect the damaged asphalt underneath.

Asphalt overlays are best for pavements that need repair but aren’t ready for replacement. Since asphalt driveways only last about 20 years, an asphalt overlay can help you hold off on replacing your 18-year-old driveway for another year or two.

Which do I choose?

Whether you choose an asphalt overlay or sealcoat will depend on whether you are trying to repair asphalt damage or prevent it from happening in the first place. If you wish to prevent damage, sealcoating is your answer. If you need to patch over cracks and potholes, you’ll need an overlay.

Which service you choose also depends on the age of the asphalt pavement. For example, new asphalt installation is best suited for sealcoating. Sealcoating is your pavement’s best defense against UV rays, rain, snow, and automobile fluids. Sealcoating driveways or parking lots is also beneficial if you have recently repaired all the cracks and potholes.

If you are looking for a temporary fix for cracks and potholes, we recommend asphalt overlay installation. When asphalt pavements reach the end of their lifespan (approximately 20 years), you may not mind that the asphalt overlay will only buy you another one to two years. Asphalt overlays are perfect when it’s not the time for asphalt pavement replacement. However, an overlay won’t be able to repair alligator cracking, which is a sign the foundation is failing.

The Kalamazoo asphalt paving contractors at TM Asphalt Sealing are dedicated to helping customers preserve asphalt driveways and parking lots. If you are interested in our asphalt overlay or asphalt sealcoating services, give us a call at (269) 496-7281.