If you’ve ever driven past a road crew working behind their orange cones and barricades, chances are they were working on road resurfacing. It’s a common job for road crews to complete because it’s a necessary part of maintenance on all asphalt paved roads, especially those that see high traffic and a lot of heavy vehicles. Tucker Paving has nearly 30 years in the asphalt and concrete paving industry, and we have resurfaced our fair share of roads. Explore the ins and outs of road resurfacing.
What Road Resurfacing Is
Road resurfacing is adding a new layer of asphalt over the existing layers and bases rather than replacing all of it. There are many different methods for completing road resurfacing, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. The decision on which method of road resurfacing to use depends on the current state of the road, the traffic the road sees, the climate, and how long the road can be closed while work is completed.
Road resurfacing has many advantages over complete road replacement. For one, resurfacing asphalt is a much faster process than replacing an entire roadway. This minimizes road and lane closures and allows traffic to resume as normal as quickly as possible. Resurfacing is also much more economical than replacing an entire road, which is a boon as most roads are being fixed thanks to taxpayer dollars.
Road resurfacing is also more environmentally friendly as many of the methods used in resurfacing recycle the old top layer of asphalt and use it in the resurfacing mixture. Lastly, road resurfacing extends the life of an asphalt road and returns it to a clean, smooth state that is the most desirable for safe driving.
Overlay. An asphalt overlay is when a thin layer of new asphalt is applied over the old asphalt road. This improves structural integrity, creates a smooth surface, and extends the life of the road. It is also the fastest option, but it is really only for roadways that have few issues.
Hot-in-Place. When there are some cracks on the existing asphalt road, and the asphalt binder used in the road is still soft enough to take new asphalt, this road resurfacing option can be utilized. The top layer of the existing asphalt is heated and either roughened—called scarifying—or removed via milling, and then new asphalt is laid down in its place. This is also a fairly fast option, allowing roads to be reopened almost immediately after new asphalt has been laid and cooled.
Mill and Fill. When the top layer of asphalt has been degraded to the point where there are multiple cracks and other deeper structural problems, then mill and fill is usually used. The damaged top layer is taken up in a process called milling and a new layer of asphalt is laid down.
This method is used when the asphalt has already degraded to the point where cracks and other structural defects have already made their way below the surface. The milled asphalt can be turned into Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement, or RAP, and used on that project or in future asphalt projects.
Tucker Paving has nearly 30 years of experience in the concrete and asphalt paving construction industry, and we offer sealcoating, pavement resurfacing, and asphalt repair and replacement. Call us at (863) 299-2262, or contact us online, for your next project!