Thin Lay Asphalt Overlays Help Preserve Road Assets

Asphalt overlays are the most effective material used for pavement maintenance and preservation in the US. There are over 3 million miles (6 million km) of roads and highways in the US. These roads need to be carefully managed and preserved in order to maintain safety, ensure the timeliness of the transport of goods. Because the country’s infrastructure is considered mature, less focus is spent on building new roads and the budget is allocated and spent on maintaining those already in place.

Asphalt overlays erode over time due to weather and use, among other factors. Using recycled asphalt is one way to continually maintain roads without compromising quality or safety. Thinlays™ also provide a cost-effective solution to maintenance problems. Thinlays™ are composed of the same material as traditional asphalt paving, aggregates bound by bitumen. Like asphalt, Thinlay™ reduces surface friction, presents as smooth under car tires which makes for a smoother driving experience and is ideal to use for minor road problems like cracking, raveling or rutting.

Thinlays™ make for a cost-effective alternative to traditional asphalt overlays, which are usually laid at over 1 ½ inches thick or more. They can be placed over roads at a depth of 5/8 inch or more, half of the traditional thickness. New material and improved technology mean that despite the thin layer, Thinlay™ can easily meet safety and quality standards. It’s also a better alternative than patching, sealing or placing roadblocks or detours.

This saves on material, labor and without as much impact on drivers or routes. Roads takes less time to repair, less material needs to be used and it sets faster than ordinary pavement.

Current, the National Asphalt Association and the National Center for Pavement Technology are testing Thinlay™ materials made from recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) to further reduce its environmental impact. Thinlays™ not only assist in preserving the surface, but prevent damage from seeping through to the bottom of the road structure. Cracks, flood or water damage and other forms of distress can be easily prevented, helping to preserve the underlying structure for a longer period of time.

This type of asphalt overlay is ideal for roads with intact structures. Ideally, it should be used if the road is still well-maintained and in good condition. If the road underneath is badly damaged, applying Thinlay™ would be a waste of resources. Ensure that the structure is not compromised. Inspect the road for cracks, water damage, seepage, etc.

Thinlay™ is also ideal for cosmetic applications in residential or commercial areas, saving business and homeowner money without compromising quality and value. Thinlay™ can be used for low-traffic roads in subdivisions or rural areas, as well as parking lots and even driveways.

Well-maintained road surfaces have more than cosmetic benefits. Well-paved roads save commuters time and reduce vehicle maintenance needs. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), good roads have an impact on vehicular impact and crash rates. Good roads also hold up better in difficult driving weather, which can reduce crashes due to poor visibility or badly maintained roads.