How Long Does Mill and Overlay Last?

Deciding on a building material for your driveway, sidewalk, or private road isn’t anyone’s favorite chore – but you do have several great options. There are many types of paving from cheap gravel to complex and high-end concrete forms, so how you decide which is best for you and how long should it last?

One of the more popular types of paving in Colorado is an asphalt mill and overlay. Mill and overlays are popular for their affordability, pleasing appearance, and more – but how long does mill and overlay last? Let’s learn more about mill and overlay including what it is, what jobs it’s suitable for, what type of budget you need, and how long it lasts.

How Long Does Mill and Overlay Last?

What is Mill and Overlay?

Though it’s a common paving option, most homeowners only know about new concrete or asphalt – so what is mill and overlay? Mill and overlay is the process of removing the top layer of asphalt (milling) and overlaying a fresh layer of asphalt onto the previous base.

Asphalt contractors use a milling machine to remove anywhere from an inch and a half to two inches of the top layer of asphalt, make any necessary drainage or structural corrections, then use specifically formulated asphalt to add a beautiful new topcoat. On average mill and overlay is much less expensive per square foot than asphalt replacement.

You can only use mill and overlay for asphalt surfaces that have a structurally sound base. You cannot mill and overlay concrete.

Mill and Overlay Usable Life

Did you know there are two distinct types of asphalt? Asphalt paving projects utilize hot-mix asphalt, so it is not ideal to pave in the winter. Hot-mix asphalt must remain hot to compact and perform properly. If the ambient and ground temperatures are too low, they will chill the hot-mix asphalt while it is in transport from the production plant to your property. This is not good. The other type of asphalt is cold-mix asphalt. This product is engineered to perform in almost any temperature, so it can be installed in the summer or the winter. Cold-mix cannot be paved, so it will not work for replacing an entire driveway; however, it can be used to repair potholes.

Factors in Mill and Overlay Lifespan

  • Temperature Extremes – Both extreme heat and cold will affect mill and overlay jobs though extreme cold and frost cycles are more likely to damage your asphalt than warmer temperatures. The colder your area gets, the shorter its lifespan will be.

  • Traffic – Mill and overlay driveways can support heavy vehicles but the more use your mill and overlay, the quicker it will get damaged or wear out.

  • Quality of Work – Choose an established contractor over a fly-by-night paver. The quality of work can make a big difference on your mill and overlay’s lifespan.

  • Other Elements – Wind, harsh sunlight, and other extreme elements will wear down your asphalt sooner than more ideal conditions. Unfortunately, most Colorado residents experience mile-high UV damage, bitter winds, and other enemies.

7 Reasons to Choose a Mill and Overlay

  • Affordable – Because you’re leaving the previous base in place, mill and overlay is less expensive than full asphalt replacement.

  • Can Make Corrections – If your asphalt has drainage or other issues a concrete contractor can adjust during the mill and overlay process for a more efficient system. This includes leveling the new asphalt for a better drainage path or adding specialized drainage before replacing the top layer.

  • Forget About Repairs – Spot repairs are more affordable than a mill and overlay but they’re not fun to schedule and will only provide a temporary hold. Instead of getting caught in a repair cycle, try mill and overlay.

  • Looks Great – A new mill and overlay isn’t a complete asphalt replacement but you can expect the same great looks as if it were. Homeowners only see the top layer of asphalt. That top layer is replaced during mill and overlay, leaving you with a much more beautiful blacktop than before.

  • Stronger – A new mill and overlay is much stronger than asphalt that’s reached the end of its usable life. With a new mill and overlay you don’t have to worry as much about repairs or accidentally harming your asphalt.

  • Increase Property Value – A new, shining blacktop will do much more for your home value than a dingy and cracking driveway. A mill and overlay might cost you anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, but you can pass that on if you’re listing the home.

  • Easier than Replacement – Mill and overlay is less expensive than replacement but it’s also easier on your peace of mind. Because they don’t remove the base, mill and overlay takes less time than a full replacement.

7 Signs You Need a Mill and Overlay

If your asphalt is showing any of these signs it’s time to talk to a certified asphalt contractor about mill and overlay:

  • Asphalt chipping
  • Large and deep cracks
  • Numerous small cracks
  • Large potholes
  • Numerous pockmarks
  • Faded color
  • Widespread oil staining

How Much Does Mill and Overlay Cost?

The overall cost of a mill and overlay job depends on many factors like square footage, terrain, and drainage needs but there are some basic numbers available to Colorado homeowners.

The average cost of a mill and overlay will is usually $160 -330 per 100 square feet depending on many factors such as the size of the job, location, the current condition of the asphalt, and general site conditions. A four-inch removal and replacement can cost from $380 to $680 per 100 square feet. Project costs will vary depending on size, the difficulty of the mill, type of overlay, and much more. By meeting with an asphalt contractor, you’ll better be able to determine what type of costs your driveway or private road will cost and if it works for your budget.

Considering asphalt replacement averages $50 to $100 per 100 square feet, mill and overlay is clearly the more affordable option.

Colorado Pavement Solutions for your Mill and Overlay Needs

If you need an affordable and easy solution that can take care of your asphalt needs, it’s time to schedule a mill and overlay estimate and inspection. When you meet with a professional paving contractor you can look at the entire project, help decide if mill and overlay is best for your needs and budget and get on the schedule.

You have several paving options but if mill and overlay match your needs, contact Colorado Pavement Solutions. Colorado Pavement Solutions knows how to get the most out of mill and overlay jobs and can get you fixed up without breaking the bank. Don’t wait while your asphalt gets worse – call Colorado Pavement Solutions with further questions or to schedule service today.

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