While appearing strong and durable, asphalt is sensitive to the elements and suffers without maintenance. When asphalt repairs and crack filling don’t cut it anymore, many business owners decide to repave. The process can be time-consuming and costly. An alternative approach to restoring the damage is asphalt overlay (also called resurfacing). By adding a new top layer to the pavement, you can enjoy brand-new asphalt without removing the base. Asphalt overlay costs for commercial properties depend on many factors. Let’s take a closer look at what can affect your expenses.
What is the Process of Asphalt Overlay?
Asphalt overlay involves applying a new layer of asphalt to the old deteriorating surface. Instead of breaking down the old asphalt pavement entirely and replacing it with a new one, by overlaying, you can use the existing surface as the foundation for the new pavement.
Overlaying is possible for extremely damaged asphalt surfaces. However, a seriously deteriorated pavement may require milling and repair before overlaying.
The overlaying process involves:
- Evaluation — not all asphalt surfaces are subject to overlay. Extensive structural damage may mean that your only choice is repaving.
- Milling — before applying new asphalt, the damaged top layer needs to be removed. This ensures proper bonding of the new layer to the old structure.
- Repair — if the base layer of your asphalt driveway or parking lot has numerous cracks and potholes, it requires repair before overlay for better bonding and longevity.
- Overlay — once the surface is ready, the paving contractor applies a new layer of asphalt. The thickness may vary, but it is generally about 1.5″ to 2″.
Asphalt overlay is a cost-effective choice for commercial parking lots and driveways. Besides reducing expenses, the process isn’t as time-consuming as repaving. Accordingly, you wouldn’t have to face any serious downtime.
Is Asphalt Overlay Cost-Effective for Your Commercial Property?
Before opting for asphalt overlay, you need to determine if it’s the right option for your commercial property. Here are a few factors to consider:
- Size — since site preparations are the costliest part of the overlaying process, for small driveways, it may be cheaper to opt for new asphalt paving.
- Condition — if the asphalt is severely damaged, milling may be too costly. In such a case, repaving could be less expensive.
- Thickness — the thinner the existing pavement is, the thicker the overlay should be. Keeping milling costs in mind, overlaying extra thin asphalt may not always be cost-efficient.
Which Factors Affect Asphalt Overlay Costs?
The average cost of overlay depends on several factors.
The bigger your parking lot or driveway is, the more money you can save on resurfacing. For large projects, the cost can go down by as much as 50%.
While for small driveways repaving could be cheaper than overlaying, for large parking lots, resurfacing is a huge money-saver.
If you need to install a thick top layer, be ready for bigger expenses. The thickness depends on the initial condition of the surface, such as potholes, cracks, and other damage.
The more milling you need to do, the thinner your asphalt base becomes. For long-term results, you need to apply a thicker layer of asphalt. Asphalt material costs about $100 to $200 per ton.
If your asphalt is seriously damaged, you need to repair the base before applying a new layer. This usually increases the total cost of asphalt resurfacing.
The more damage you need to repair the less obvious the price difference between resurfacing and repaving becomes.
Asphalt paving and resurfacing expenses include labor costs. Depending on the state you live in, labor costs may vary.
The asphalt overlay costs also depend on the contractor you choose. Experienced contractors who have long-standing relationships with asphalt vendors are likely to offer a better price on commercial projects than smaller companies would.
Overlay vs Repaving Costs
Repaving is a time-consuming and expensive process since it involves removing the entire asphalt surface and replacing it with fresh layers. Usually, you would need to pay about $6 to $10 per square foot.
Overlay takes less time and fewer materials to complete. That’s why it’s less expensive. The approximate cost per square foot varies from $3 to $6.
Overlay vs Seal Coating Costs
Seal coating involves putting a protective layer over the existing asphalt. It keeps water and heat away from the pavement, thus improving its longevity. However, a sealcoat can’t be applied to damaged asphalt. You’d need to repair the pavement first.
If you are repaving your commercial parking lot or driveway, consider sealcoating it as well. This can keep the surface in top shape for many years and help you avoid costly repairs.
Benefits of Asphalt Overlay
Besides being a cost-efficient method of repairing and improving your asphalt, overlay comes with such benefits as:
- Excellent appearance — resurfaced asphalt looks brand new, making your commercial property more appealing to clients and visitors. Just like sealcoating, overlay creates a smooth and attractive finish.
- Longevity — with the right driveway and parking lot maintenance, resurfaced asphalt pavement can last for many years. Smaller commercial driveways can stay intact for up to 30 years.
- Drainage — if asphalt overlay is done correctly, it improves drainage and prevents pothole formation.
- Safety — worn-out and damaged asphalt is a safety hazard for both drivers and pedestrians. Overlaying takes care of this issue.
How Much Does Asphalt Overlay Cost for Commercial Properties?
The asphalt overlay cost depends on a variety of factors. You can resurface your parking lot for as little as $2 per square foot and as much as $10 per square foot. To get the best price, you need to evaluate the condition of your pavement carefully and find the right contractor.
At Limitless Paving & Concrete, we have decades of experience with asphalt maintenance, repair, overlay, repaving, and seal coating. To learn more about what asphalt overlay is and how to get the best price, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.