Milling vs Overlay – Which One’s Better

Milling vs Overlay – Which One’s Better

Asphalt covered pavements serve as a welcome mat for any property. The pavement creates a lasting impression on anyone who walks or drives over it, which is why you need to keep it in pristine condition.

Potholes, cracks, and fading are some major signs of deterioration that require your immediate attention. Eventually, wear and tear take its toll and your pavement requires a partial removal or a major reconstruction.

Depending on the condition of the asphalt and your budget, you can go for overlay or a combination of mill and overlay. If you reside or operate a business in Charlotte, North Carolina, SMI Paving can help you decide the best course of action. Click here to talk with our experts.

And if you’re still exploring your options, here we offer a comparison between overlay vs milling and overlay so you can have an idea of what’s best for your damaged asphalt pavement.


If there is minor to medium damage on your asphalt, you can consider an overlay. This is also known as pavement resurfacing and is useful for fixing cracks, rifts and potholes.

Overlay, as the name implies, involves applying a new layer over the existing asphalt. An overlay is recommended if the existing asphalt and its sub-base are not damaged beyond repair. In this case, milling is not required.

In some instances, we also clean and fill cracks and holes before adding the layer. The overlay can be 1.5 – 3 inches in depth. This depends on the condition of the drainage and the frequency of the weak spots.

All in all, a simple overlay is cheaper and quicker than milling plus overlay. This also makes business sense, as your parking lot will be repaired and operational in a few days instead of weeks.

Mill and Overlay

Milling may also be required if your pavement and its sub-base is severely damaged, especially by standing water.

We also recommend milling if your pavement as already been resurfaced before. Constant layering decreases the height of the curb, leading to drainage issues.

Milling does away with the need for pavement excavation as it removes damaged areas and trims the pavement to the desired depth. The benefit is that milling also doesn’t disrupt your business operations for a long time, and there is only a little noise pollution.

Of course, there are different types of milling. You can get a single layer or multiple layers of the asphalt removed. Or you can get the base increased by milling, grading and rolling the asphalt, and then applying paving over it.

You must be wondering about costs when discussing the two procedures. Obviously, milling and overlay are more labor-intensive than a simple overlay. Even then, milling is cost-effective and less time consuming that full-scale asphalt repairs and replacement.

Ultimately, if your pavement has reached the ends of its lifespan, a full-scale replacement is necessary.

Property owners and managers in Charlotte, North Carolina can count on us to take care of your pavement at every stage of its lifespan. Click here to speak with our experts at SMI Paving, who will come to your site to perform a survey and give you an estimate of the project.

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