Thin Asphalt Overlay And Its Benefits
Thin asphalt overlays are defined as asphalt mixes that do not exceed 1.5 inches of thickness. This thin asphalt overlay acts as seal and protection of asphalt layers that can provide immediate and economical solutions to pavements that are still in good condition but needs repair. This can be applied as a thin layer on top of an existing pavement or as part of a mill-and-fill strategy. This may not make your pavement stronger in terms of structure, but it can improve driving conditions and address functional problems. But, this does not only provide a functional benefit but also helps extend the life of a pavement.
Thin overlays are also known as “think lifts” as they provide a thin “lift” to the current pavement. Thin lifts are the best solution to roads that are still in good structural condition but needs resurfacing because of cracking, rutting, aging, raveling, minor disintegration, and oxidation. However, this is not the best solutions for roadways that need major reconstruction and rehabilitation.
The application and use of thin overlays have become popular as they can improve driving conditions, maintain surface geometrics, reduce pavement distresses, reduce noise, cost-effective, and provide lasting service. A study conducted by NAPA (National Asphalt Pavement Association) determined that asphalt surfaces last 10 years longer when thin lifts are applied to the base of the layer. Also, concrete pavements last five years longer when covered with a thin asphalt layer. Other benefits of thin lifts are as follows:
- It lowers the life-cycle costs of asphalt pavements and concrete pavements. It also reduces initial costs.
- It is durable that it can handle heavy pressure and traffic. This can be applied to high-traffic areas.
- It is smooth and has a sealed surface.
- It can restore the ability of a pavement to resist skidding.
- No noticeable loose stones or binder runoff.
- It helps minimize dust.
- It does not need to cure, thus preventing traffic delays.
- It is recyclable.
- It can be used in stage construction.
- It does not require a lot of maintenance.
If your pavement needs minor repair due to cracking and other minor problems on asphalt surfaces, you don’t need to call on the professional to have it fully reconstructed. Instead, you can opt for a more affordable, cost-effective choice. That is having think overlays on top of your still working pavement. Your pavement does not need full reconstruction to look new. It just needs a thin lift to achieve the same results as when you first drove over your pavement the first time it was constructed.
DIY Guide: How To Repair Alligator Cracks
There are different types of pavement problems that you may encounter in this lifetime. You will see some pavements with pot holes, sink holes, spiderweb cracks, and others. One of the most common types of asphalt problem is alligator cracking. You will know your pavement has alligator cracking if you see cracks that are similar to that on the back of a gator. Some would describe it as looking like spider web cracks. If your pavement is showing this type of problem, you should not freak out. Besides calling for professional help to resolve this issue, you can take the DIY route and fix the problem yourself.
You will need three ingredients for this process. You will need an alligator asphalt patch, an asphalt sealcoat sealer, and an asphalt squeegee. If an asphalt squeegee is not available, you can always use an asphalt brush. Once you have filled the patches with an alligator patch, you will need to seal it for added protection.
- Alligator Patch. This is very similar to cold pour crack fillers that you can buy at DIY stores. The difference is that this material has more solid ingredients that get harder when it dries comparing to cold pour crack fillers. This makes this type of patch filler suitable for alligator cracks. You can easily find alligator asphalt patch at DIY stores or lumber stores.
- Asphalt Squeegees. Squeegees can be used for different purposes, and one of its uses is for patching alligator cracks. This can also be used for applying a sealcoat over your asphalt pavement. When you go to the store to buy one, you will find different varieties of this product. The size of an asphalt squeegee starts from 24 inches. For faster work, you may need something that is bigger than two feet. But, if you are on a tight budget, you can use the smallest asphalt squeegee as it will do the same job as the bigger ones.
- Asphalt Sealcoat Sealer. This can be bought at different hardware stores. There are different types of driveway sealer that you can choose from. You can either use a coal tar emulsion sealer, asphalt emulsion, oil-based sealer, fast-dry sealer, or acrylic sealer. No matter what sealer you use, you just have to make sure that you’ve done your research and have determined which one best suits your needs.
How Much Alligator Patch Do You Need?
To make sure that you are buying enough or more than enough alligator patch, make sure that you did some serious measurements before you hit the store. You should not need more than one 5-gallon of alligator patch where one gallon can cover a 20 square feet of alligator cracking. Again, it is important to take measurements before you hit the store so you can properly estimate the amount of alligator patch that you need to cover every crack that you have on your pavement.
You just need to follow four simple steps to patch alligator cracks on your pavement.
- In the middle of the repair area, you can pour a general amount of alligator patch to cover the entire area.
- Use the squeegee to spread the patch leaving a layer of an eighth of an inch or a fourth of an inch of alligator patch.
- You can pour more alligator patch when you need to.
- To balance the entire area, you can spread more alligator patch outside the repair area thinning it out to the areas where there are no cracks to achieve a natural look.
When this is done, you just have to wait until the patch is dry. This can take several hours depending on how thick and deep the patch is. You will know when the patch is dry if it is already hard.