Thin Asphalt Overlay

Thin overlays (1″-1.5″ of asphalt) and ultra thin overlays (less than 1″) offer an economical resurfacing, preservation, and renewal paving solution for roads requiring safety and smoothness improvements. Thin asphalt overlays not only provide a new pavement surface for a fraction of the cost of rebuilding a roadway, but they are the only preventative maintenance technique that adds structural value while helping to extend a pavement’s service life.

According to a 2008 study by the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), thin and ultrathin overlays were more cost effective options over a roadway’s expected service life than chip seal, slurry seal, and micro-surfacing.


Also known as “thin lifts,” thin asphalt overlay applications are more effective for roads in good structural condition, but which need resurfacing due to cracking, raveling, rutting, aging, oxidation, or minor disintegration. Very importantly, thin overlay is not a solution for roadways requiring significant structural rehabilitation.

Grimes Asphalt and Paving’s experience shows than an annual pavement inspection and management program can help highway departments and municipalities identify appropriate thin lift application opportunities. Working with customers to analyze a roadway’s type, extent, and severity of distress, as well as its drainage capabilities, Grimes Asphalt and Paving can help you determine if thin lift is a viable alternative for your needs.


Thin lifts are popular approaches to pavement preservation because they improve ride quality, reduce pavement distresses, maintain surface geometrics, reduce noise levels, reduce life cycle costs, and provide long-lasting service. NAPA studies indicate that thin asphalt overlays can provide expected performance of ten years or more when applied to an asphalt base, and six to ten years when placed on Portland Cement Concrete. Other thin asphalt overlay benefits include:
– Reduced initial costs, in addition to lower life cycle costs
– The ability to handle heavy traffic
– A smooth, sealed surface
– Restored skid resistance
– No loose stones or binder runoff
– Minimized dust
– Minimized traffic delays, due to no curing time
– Recyclability
– The ability to be used in stage construction

More Information
Contact Grimes Asphalt and Paving to find out more about thin asphalt overlays or click on the links below:

NAPA Thin Asphalt Overlay Information
Pavement Interactive: Adding Layers But Staying Thin