What Is The Difference Between Asphalt Overlay & Asphalt Milling?

If you’re planning to repair or resurface your driveway, parking lot, or any other pavement surface, knowing the difference between asphalt overlay and asphalt milling is just as important as making the decision of getting a new pavement for yourself.

These are the two common techniques which are commonly used in road construction and maintenance projects, but they both serve different purposes.

Both can be cost-effective and are great for maintaining the structural integrity of pavements. And the best part is, you don’t have to remove the entire surface underneath.

In case of milling, by removing only the top few inches of damaged asphalt layers using specialized equipment known as milling machines; contractors can create a smooth base for new pavement installation. As for overlays, the existing surface is made smoother and a new layer of asphalt is spread across the pavement to make it fresh & new.

In this article we’ll take a closer look at both methods – their differences, advantages and disadvantages – so you can make an informed decision about which type of asphalt solution best suits your needs. Whether you need asphalt overlay for your commercial property, our professionals can do the perfect job for you.

Asphalt Overlay: The Basics

Asphalt overlay is a common maintenance practice for asphalt pavement. It involves applying a new layer of asphalt over an existing pavement surface to restore the smoothness and improve durability.

The process starts with evaluating the condition of the existing pavement, which includes checking for cracks, potholes, and other signs of wear and tear. If the underlying structure is sound, then the old surface can be cleaned and prepared for the new overlay.

This typically involves removing any loose debris or dirt using a broom or blower. Once this is done, a tack coat is applied to help bond the new asphalt to the old surface. Finally, a paving machine is used to apply the new layer of asphalt at the desired thickness level.

The Benefits Of Asphalt Overlay

Driving on a bumpy, cracked road can feel like riding a rollercoaster without any safety bars. It’s not only uncomfortable but also hazardous. That’s where asphalt overlay comes in as the hero who saves the day–or rather, your ride.

Asphalt overlays involve laying a new layer of asphalt over an existing one to create a smooth surface that looks brand new and provides excellent traction for drivers. The benefits of this method are numerous: it’s faster and cheaper than tearing up old pavement and replacing it entirely; it extends the life of roads by adding another protective barrier against weather damage and wear-and-tear from traffic; and it eliminates potholes and other unsightly imperfections that could cause accidents or vehicle damage.

Now you can enjoy smoother rides with fewer bumps along the way–driving will just feel like gliding on the glass surface with a brand new asphalt overlay.

Asphalt Milling: An Overview

Asphalt milling is a process of removing the top layer of an asphalt surface to create a new base for repaving. This involves using heavy machinery, such as grinding machines or bulldozers, to break up and remove the existing pavement.

The resulting material is then hauled away and recycled for future use. Asphalt milling can be used on various types of surfaces, including roads, parking lots, driveways, and runways.

The Advantages Of Asphalt Milling

It also has a range of benefits over other methods of asphalt layouts. The advantages of asphalt milling are cost savings, improved drainage and skid resistance, smoother driving conditions, and longer lasting pavements. By contrast, asphalt overlay involves placing a new layer of asphalt over an existing one without removing it first whereas, in asphalt milling, you remove the old layer and replace it with brand new one.

After learning about asphalt milling, it’s important to understand how it differs from asphalt overlay. Some may believe that these two processes are the same, but they have distinct differences. Asphalt milling involves removing a layer of existing pavement, usually around 1-4 inches deep, using specialized equipment like grinders and cold planers. This process creates a rough surface texture that allows for better bonding when new asphalt is applied.

Choosing The Right Method For Your Paving Project

When it comes to paving projects, there are two common methods: asphalt overlay and asphalt milling.

Asphalt overlay involves placing a new layer of asphalt on top of the existing surface, while asphalt milling entails removing a portion of the old pavement before resurfacing with new material.

The choice between these two methods depends on several factors such as budget, timeframe, and condition of the existing pavement.

If the current surface is in good shape but needs some cosmetic improvements or minor repairs, then an asphalt overlay may be the best option.

However, if there are underlying issues like drainage problems or severe cracks that need addressing, then milling may be necessary to ensure proper base preparation and structural integrity for the new pavement.


Asphalt overlay involves adding a new layer of asphalt on top of the existing surface, while asphalt milling removes the top layer to create a smoother base.

When deciding which method to use, it is important to consider factors such as budget, timeline, and the condition of the current pavement.

As they say, ‘different strokes for different folks.’ Ultimately, choosing the right method will ensure that your paved surfaces are durable, safe, and visually appealing for years to come.

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