What is the Difference Between An Asphalt Overlay and Sealcoating?

Your parking lot is starting to look cracked and worn. You're interested in getting a quote to repair it, but aren't sure what to ask for. Will a new asphalt sealcoating suffice, or do you need an asphalt overlay?

The team at JV Lucas Paving, Inc. has information to help you understand the difference between the two treatments so you can maintain and extend the life of your pavement.

How Do You Know if You Need an Asphalt Overlay or Asphalt Sealcoating?

What Is Asphalt Sealcoating? 

Asphalt sealcoating is a preventative measure used to extend the lifespan of your asphalt driveway or parking lot. The sealcoat material is made of coal tar or asphalt, water, and an aggregate. It works by filling in shallow cracks and covering the asphalt surface, resulting in an attractive, shiny surface that prevents further wear and tear.

When properly applied to your asphalt driveway, sealcoating protects your asphalt from hazards like gas or oil spills, oxidation, and de-icing chemicals.

What Is an Asphalt Overlay?

An asphalt overlay is used to apply a new layer of asphalt over your existing surface. Instead of completely tearing out the old asphalt, it uses the pavement you already have as a base. 

JV Lucas applies an asphalt overlay in four steps: 

  1. First, we'll assess your surface to ensure this is the best solution for your pavement
  2. We'll mill the surface to remove any cracks or damage
  3. We'll perform any needed base repairs, for example in the instance of potholes or rutting
  4. Finally, we apply the overlay

How Do I Know Which Method Is Right for Me?

To understand the difference between asphalt sealcoating and an asphalt overlay, it's important to remember that they have two different use cases. Asphalt sealcoating is a preventative measure, designed to preserve and extend the life of your asphalt. An overlay, on the other hand, can help repair existing minor issues. 

Asphalt sealcoating should be done every 2-4 years as a preventative measure and can protect your pavement, but it won’t fix structural damage to a driveway that's been neglected, is covered in cracks, or has other issues. In contrast, you won't need to do an asphalt overlay as often, but it can help address more serious issues with the pavement.

While this guide can help you distinguish between these two types of asphalt treatment, the best way to know the right approach for your driveway is to schedule a consultation. A member of the JV Lucas team can evaluate your pavement and help you determine the right approach to keep it in peak condition. Schedule your free consultation now.