Overlay Versus Sealcoating: Understanding Which Is Right For Your Asphalt

Even though it is an incredibly durable material, asphalt is susceptible to damage. From discoloration and cracking from the sun and heat to more involved cracks and fissures that can be unappealing and dangerous, your asphalt parking lot, driveway, or patio may require repair at one point in time.

Fortunately, there are options for restoring an asphalt surface back to a safe, appealing state. Overlay and sealcoating are both restoration options to consider, but you may not understand the differences between each. This guide will describe overlay and sealcoating to help you determine which is right for your needs.


Basically, overlay is a way to patch damaged areas of your asphalt. It is most commonly recommended if you have a pothole or larger crack in your asphalt surface.

The process of placing an overlay is a bit easier than repaving, so it is easy to see why so many people opt for this restoration method.

To get started, a thin layer of asphalt is poured over the damaged area. A paver machine smooths the asphalt out over the top of the surface, covering the damaged area and surrounding asphalt.

It is important to remember that overlays will not fix any underlying issues, but it can be a fast and simple way to restore a damaged area and improve the look of your asphalt driveway, parking lot, or patio.


Sealcoating is a bit more involved. Most contractors recommend filling in any large cracks or holes with sand before pouring the sealant. This will ensure the underlying issues are addressed before the asphalt is covered with the sealant.

Sealcoating offers many benefits. Firstly, it is capable of repairing damaged areas while improving the overall look of the asphalt surface. However, sealcoating creates a layer of protection that makes the asphalt extremely durable.

The new surface of your asphalt will be protected from the sun's harmful UV rays, heat, freezing temperatures, and wintry precipitation. Sealcoating protects your asphalt from moisture damage, which reduces the risk of cracks, holes, and fissures.

Because it focuses on repairing the asphalt surface and underlying issues, sealcoating can be a bit more expensive and time-consuming, but it is a great investment for your property.

Whether you want to enhance its look or repair dangerous areas, overlay and sealcoating projects are both effective options to consider. To learn more about restoring your asphalt back to its original state, discuss these options with an asphalt paving service.