No asphalt surface will last forever. At some point, it will need to be dug up and a new asphalt surface will need to be installed. This can be a major expense for your business, especially if the surface in question is a large parking lot. However, it may be possible to have an asphalt overlay done. This is cheaper than installing an entirely new asphalt surface, but there are a few things you should know.
Not every surface is a candidate for an asphalt overlay
The process of an asphalt overlay is not just laying down a new layer of asphalt over the existing surface. This technique involves a thick layer of asphalt, so the existing layer forms the foundation for the overlaid layer. This means that the existing surface must be level. If your current asphalt only has shallow cracks or small holes, this won't be a problem. On the other hand, if there are deep cracks that reach the ground, an overlay cannot be done without first making repairs.
Repairs may be possible with your asphalt surface
Depending upon the nature of the problem, it may be possible to repair your asphalt surface and then apply an asphalt overlay. Deep cracks can be a problem because if they are deep enough, water will penetrate to the ground underneath the existing asphalt. In this case, the area where the crack is must be inspected for depth. The area of the crack may need to be excavated to remove all water residue. Deep potholes may only need to be filled and leveled. Keep in mind that before an asphalt overlay is applied, the existing asphalt will form the cushion beneath the overlay, so it needs to be level and the ground needs to be dry.
It is possible to overlay asphalt onto concrete
If you have a parking lot that is part asphalt and part concrete, it is possible to overlay the concrete with asphalt so you will have one uniform surface of asphalt. This has the advantage of lowering costs because laying concrete can be as expensive as replacing asphalt. However, concrete is hard, so over time, it will crack. This means that an asphalt overlay will likely move more than it would when it sits on a primary layer of asphalt. The bottom line is that you may need more maintenance for asphalt over cement.
Asphalt surfaces can only go through a limited number of repairs before it will need to be replaced. An asphalt overlay may be an affordable alternative. Your parking lot surface may need certain repairs before this overlay can be applied. It may also be possible to use asphalt over concrete, but it will likely need more maintenance over time. It is best to consult with an asphalt contractor to discuss your options concerning your specific surface.