While asphalt is a reliable construction material for paving, all types of asphalt (whether hot asphalt or cold mix) will likely need repairs after a few years. Of course, how often you need to repair your asphalt surface depends on what sort of wear and tear your asphalt endures year after year. For example, if you live in the north east or midwest—where seasonal temperatures can fluctuate dramatically—your pavement may face more erosion, expansion and cracking than in a more temperate climate. The 3 signs a road needs to be repaired are potholes, cracks and fading. Many people are curious how they should approach asphalt restoration or repair.

People are asking, “How do you restore asphalt?”

Asphalt patching is one of the most common types of asphalt restoration services, but it’s not the only method. You might also be wondering, “How many types of asphalt are there?” and whether or not pavement type dictates the method of maintenance or repair. 

Generally speaking, there are five major types of asphalt that are most commonly used: 

Although there are five major types of asphalt in use today, there are only four common types of asphalt repair. Learn more about each approach to repair below.

What is resurfaced asphalt repair?

When resurfacing asphalt, also known as surface or asphalt patching, only the surface of the asphalt is restored. This means that if you have any issues with the top two inches of asphalt, resurfacing is an appropriate way to address those problems. If imperfections exist on lower layers of the asphalt, however, you won’t be able to correct them with asphalt patching alone.

It’s worth noting that even if you patch cracks on the surface of the asphalt, those cracks may start to show again in as few as two years. As such, resurfacing asphalt or asphalt patching usually only makes sense if you only have minor problems with your pavement or are looking for a short-term or inexpensive solution.

What is “Remove & Replace” asphalt repair?

Remove and replace asphalt repair is going to provide results that are ten times more durable and sustainable than resurfacing asphalt. In a premove and replace repair job, sometimes referred to as “peel and pave,” the damaged portion of pavement is cut out and excavated. From there, the subbase is often investigated to ensure that it is properly supporting the pavement before new asphalt is laid down. 

Whether due to heavy traffic or heavy weight, a peel and pave asphalt repair job is the best course of action if you’re interested in a long-term solution. Particularly if your asphalt is damaged at multiple layers or the subbase, peel and pave asphalt repair is a solid way to fix your asphalt.

What is milling and paving?

For bigger projects, such as parking lots that are wearing down, milling and paving may be an appropriate solution that is more cost-effective than other options. With a milling and paving or asphalt grinding restoration job, a cold milling technique is used to grind up and reuse the top layer or so of the pavement. Once ground up, it can be recycled to become asphalt once again, keeping this type of job less expensive—even while it’s useful for large projects.

Another major benefit of milling and paving is that it can be a faster job than alternative methodologies. This means that if you need to ready your parking lot for an influx of use quickly, milling and paving can get the job done in less time for less money.

What is full depth repair?

As you might be able to guess from its name, a full depth asphalt repair focuses on every layer of the asphalt—including the subbase. For example, if it’s discovered during a repair job that the subbase and asphalt don’t create a strong enough support system for heavy vehicles, a full depth repair may be necessary to prevent repeat problems every few years.

WIth a full depth repair, the asphalt mixture is bulked up by being combined with stone. This allows it to support more weight without sustaining as much wear and tear, ultimately leading to a more durable pavement solution. If you’re looking for a restorative solution that strengthens your pavement, a full depth repair is worth considering. 

As you can see, there are several different approaches to consider when you’re thinking about getting your pavement repaired. Asphalt restoration and repair is best done by experts, so consider reaching out to a local professional in order to get a consultation and see which approach may be best for your specific scenario. Simply Googling “Asphalt repair Seattle” (or wherever you live) can get you in touch with a dedicated team of pavement specialists to get your repair job done in no time at all. Best of all, with the information above, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision that takes your budget, timeline and repair needs into account. 

If you’re looking for, or considering a career in the asphalt industry, see our lineup of open positions at AA Asphalting.