Asphalt Overlay vs Replacement: What Are Their Pros and Cons

Asphalt is popular for paving roads, driveways, and parking lots. Over time, asphalt can wear down due to weather, traffic, and other factors. When this happens, asphalt overlays and removal and replacement become viable options. In this article, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the two. 

What Is an Asphalt Overlay? 

An asphalt overlay is a process where a new asphalt layer is applied over an existing one. This is a cost-effective way to repair and extend the life of an asphalt surface without having to remove the existing surface altogether. The process involves cleaning and preparing the existing surface, applying a tack coat, and applying a new asphalt layer to the existing surface.

What Are the Pros and Cons of an Asphalt Overlay? 


1. Cost-Effective

An asphalt overlay is more cost-effective than removing and replacing the entire surface. 

2. Quick Installation

An asphalt overlay can be completed in a shorter time than removal and replacement. 

3. Minimal Disruption

An asphalt overlay can be done without shutting down the surface, allowing traffic to flow uninterrupted. 


1. Shorter Lifespan

An asphalt overlay can add a few years to the surface’s life but will not last as long as a completely new surface. 

2. Limited Application

An asphalt overlay is only recommended if the existing surface is in good condition and has not exceeded its lifespan. 

3. May Not Fix Underlying Issues

An asphalt overlay will not fix any underlying issues, such as drainage problems, cracks, or potholes.

What Is Asphalt Removal and Replacement?

As the name suggests, asphalt removal and replacement involve entirely removing and replacing the existing surface with a new one. The process involves breaking up the existing surface, removing it, grading the subgrade, and applying a new asphalt layer.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Asphalt Removal and Replacement?


1. Longer Lifespan

A completely new surface will last longer than an asphalt overlay. 

2. Fixes Underlying Issues

Asphalt removal and replacement allow for fixing any underlying issues, such as drainage problems, cracks, or potholes. 

3. Increases Property Value

A new surface can increase the value of the property.


1. More Expensive

Asphalt removal and replacement is a more expensive solution compared to an asphalt overlay. 

2. Longer Installation Time

Asphalt removal and replacement can take longer than an asphalt overlay. 

3. Disruption to Traffic

Asphalt removal and replacement require shutting down the surface, disrupting traffic.

Asphalt Overlay or Replacement: Which Is the Best Choice for You?

The decision to choose an asphalt overlay or removal and replacement depends on several factors, such as the condition of the existing surface, the budget, and the expected lifespan of the surface. An asphalt overlay may be the best option if the existing surface is in good condition and has not exceeded its lifespan. However, if the existing surface has underlying issues, has surpassed its lifespan, or if a longer lifespan is desired, asphalt removal and replacement may be the better choice.


Both asphalt overlay and removal and replacement are viable options for repairing and extending the life of an asphalt surface. It is important to consider each option’s pros and cons before deciding. Consulting with a professional asphalt contractor can also help make the best choice.

If you are still contemplating the asphalt overlay vs. replacement debate, Economy Asphalt is here to help! We are the leading asphalt company in Omaha. Get in touch with us today for more information!

Posted in Asphalt Overlay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *