It’s no wonder that asphalt is one of the most popular materials for making surfaces suitable for heavy vehicles. Asphalt is inexpensive to make, quick to install by a professional asphalt company, and can last for many years as long as it’s properly maintained. Asphalt is particularly well-suited to places that see a lot of shifts in temperature since it can expand and contract depending on the weather, without constantly cracking.
However, nothing lasts forever, and that’s certainly true of a material that takes as much abuse as asphalt. It will wear down over time, from a combination of daily usage and weathering effects from wind, rain, and winter weather. So, as it begins to break down, it may be time to consider calling in an asphalt company to resurface your asphalt. This replaces the top layer of the asphalt and helps extend the overall life of the installation.
When do you need asphalt resurfacing, and what does it entail? Let’s take a look.
When Does Your Asphalt Need Resurfacing?
Resurfacing is one of the more expensive maintenance options for asphalt, so it should only be considered when it’s truly necessary. Much of the time, more basic cracks and potholes can be patched without a full resurfacing. So what indicates it’s time for more serious measures?
1 – Poor drainage
An asphalt surface should not allow standing water to pool on it, because this can quickly damage the asphalt. On installation, your asphalt should have been graded with at least a 2% slope, so that water drains off of it. However, over time, the ground beneath the asphalt may shift, or overall damage to the asphalt may disrupt its drainage.
Resurfacing eliminates this by creating a new drainage-friendly top surface for the asphalt.
2 – “Alligator” cracks
As mentioned above, basic cracks can typically just be patched. However, “alligator” cracking is different. This is when there’s a visible network of cracks that look somewhat like the scales on an alligator or other scaled creature. This indicates a more general failure of the asphalt’s structure, beyond what simple repairs can address.
3 – Extensive potholes
A single pothole can be easily patched. However, if there are numerous holes, that’s a trickier problem – particularly with asphalt that hasn’t been well-maintained. Sometimes resurfacing is truly the easier option than trying to deal with every hole individually. This is especially important for commercial properties since you could potentially be held liable if potholes in your parking lot caused damage to visitors’ cars.
4 – Fading color
Over time, damage from the sun’s ultraviolet light may cause your asphalt to fade and lose its color, particularly if it has not been properly sealcoated. Be aware, this isn’t merely an aesthetic issue. Faded UV-damaged asphalt is going to be weaker than when it was first installed, and resurfacing can restore it to like-new status.
The Asphalt Resurfacing Process
When the time comes to call in an asphalt company to do your asphalt resurfacing, there are three basic steps to the process.
1 – Milling
First, the top layer of the asphalt is stripped off in a process called milling. This is typically done with a high-powered grinder, a bit like a huge wood sander, which can quickly flatten and even out the asphalt.
2 – Repair
Once the top layer is gone, it’s time to fix any major issues below the surface of the asphalt. This means filling in any deep cracks or potholes, as well as potentially doing more milling to smooth everything out further. If there are foreign objects intruding on your asphalt, such as roots from nearby trees creeping in, this is also the time to deal with those.
3 – Resurfacing
Finally, once all the structural issues are taken care of, it’s time for the actual resurfacing. The exposed layers of asphalt are dried and prepped, and then a new layer of asphalt is poured over the top. This is typically around 1 inch and simply supplements the asphalt already in place.
All told, the process can typically be done within a day, except for the largest of asphalt installations. Given time to dry, this means your asphalt driveway or parking lot can potentially be repaired over the weekend, and be usable again by Monday morning.
Blalock Paving Are Your Durham-Area Asphalt Experts!
We’re a proudly family-owned company that’s been serving The Triangle since 1968 with the best in concrete and asphalt services. We’re a full-service asphalt company, capable of installing top-quality asphalt, and then maintaining it over the years to come. Our focus on great work and customer satisfaction is what keeps people coming back to us!
If your asphalt is in poor repair or is showing signs of age-related decay, resurfacing can quickly restore it to like-new status! Contact us to learn more, or receive a free estimate on the work.