What are the Four Common Types of Asphalt Repair?

Understanding the Difference Between Asphalt Patching, Removal & Replacement Repair and Mill & Pave Repair

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All asphalt surfaces will be in need of repairs at one time or another. Asphalt parking lots typically will last 5 to 7 years before needing repairs, depending on the quality of the initial construction. In the early stages, repairs should be minor, such as minor patching, crack-filling and sealcoating.
Eventually, however, small problems start to get bigger and the remedies start to get more complex and more expensive. Budget constraints and other considerations will also weigh into the immediate and long term solutions.
Read on to learn about the four most common types of asphalt repair: surface patching, asphalt removal and replacement (peel & pave), full depth replacement and mill and pave, and to see which repair might be right for your needs.

What is Surface Patching

Surface patching is an asphalt repair that is limited to the top 1 – 2 inches of the existing asphalt surface layer. It is a budget-friendly solution, but it’s often a temporary fix for a small surface area. Raleigh Paving will only recommend surface patching for minor asphalt repairs or for dealing with drainage issues.

Surface patching tends to only work on surface problems, as it requires a stable base to support any repairs. Adhesion issues that need addressing can also limit the effectiveness of any repair. Tack coating and (in some instances) grinding are two ways to improve adhesion to the existing surface before applying the new asphalt patch.

Raleigh Paving can also patch over a cracked surface, but the original cracks will commonly reflect back through the patch within two years.

Is Asphalt Patching right for me?

Raleigh Paving only recommends asphalt patching for customers who:

  • Need a temporary solution to minimally-damaged areas
  • Need a cost-effective solution
  • Have minor damage such as several small potholes or a small area of cracking
  • Have surface drainage issues

Sound like you? Click here to learn more about our patching services!

What is Asphalt Removal & Replacement (Peel & Pave)?

Peel and pave is a far more durable solution than surface patching and will tend to resolve any reflective cracking problems caused by paving over distressed asphalt.

The process begins by marking out the distressed area and saw-cutting along these lines for a smooth edge. Then, either with a skidsteer, backhoe or excavator, the asphalt is removed down to the existing stone subbase. The subbase is usually tested to make sure it can handle the weight of the common vehicle load before new asphalt is laid.

The depth and number of courses of the repair will vary depending on the severity of the existing damage, the anticipated vehicle load and traffic frequency. When specified and performed properly, asphalt removal & replacement can extend the lifespan of your asphalt surface up to 10 times longer than surface patching.

Is Peel & Pave right for me?

We recommend asphalt removal & replacement for customers who:

  • Need a longer-term solution for their asphalt damage
  • Have distressed areas of asphalt with damage that goes under the surface & penetrates to the stone base
  • Have failures due to the weight or frequency of vehicular traffic load

If this matches your needs, click here to learn more about our peel & pave services.

What is Full Depth Repair?

Full depth repairs are repairs that utilize asphalt as a complete structural system. Generally, asphalt is combined with a course of stone in order to provide the strength required to form the structural matrix that makes up the permanent system. There are times that simply removing the asphalt down to the existing stone base is not sufficient to make a durable, long-lasting repair.

If the stone base below the asphalt yields to the weight and frequency of traffic, the asphalt will need to be thickened to make up for the deficient stone base. However, if you thicken the asphalt, you will have to remove more stone base – further weakening the system. Therefore, to compensate for this weakness, more asphalt must be added until the new full-depth system exceeds the original structural strength of the asphalt and stone system.

What is Milling & Paving?

There are times when large areas or the entire parking lot show signs of distress, which may justify bringing in more efficient means of removal to allow for a more durable, long-term fix. One of those alternatives is cold milling.

Cold milling grinds up layers of damaged asphalt into small, gravel-like chunks suitable for reuse to a predefined depth. The material is automatically conveyed into trucks for removal and can be hauled back to the asphalt plants for recycling purposes or go to new construction sites for the construction of new roadways and parking lots.

This process can offer some cost savings for the end user. Cold milling reduces the time necessary for fine grading and can help lower disposal costs. It also expedites the process since final paving can be scheduled much closer to the milling operation – if not simultaneously.

In need of large-scale repairs to your parking lot? Click here to learn more about milling and paving!

How to choose a contractor

Asphalt has always been an ideal material for parking lots because of its durability and repairability.
The best (or correct) repair, however, is often not the cheapest repair, which is why estimates from different contractors can vary dramatically in price. Oftentimes, contractors will underestimate repair needs to win a job, making it difficult to sort out the best price from the cheapest price.
Talk with all potential contractors to come up with a spec that is right for your needs and then have each contractor bid on the same spec. That will get you the best bang for your buck.

Contact Raleigh Paving for Your Asphalt Repair Needs

Raleigh Paving strives to provide high-quality, long-term solutions at affordable prices for our North Carolina customers. From coastal areas like Fayetteville all the way through central NC to Raleigh and Durham, we serve a variety of customers across the state.
Contact us today for an estimate on your asphalt repair needs!