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Asphalt Repair

What is asphalt repair?

Extremes in temperature, prolonged exposure to water, improper sealing and natural UV exposure will all eventually break down the integrity of any asphalt surface. Asphalt repair may consist of one technique or combine several to restore the surface and shore up overall strength.

What is infrared asphalt repair?

Infrared asphalt repair is a modern asphalt repair method that makes use of infrared heat to soften existing asphalt and then mix in components to reform the surface. The area is first cleaned, then heated appropriately for the depth, season, and aggregate, without any risk of separation. An oil-rich “rejuvenator” is applied to replenish materials lost via oxidation. The base aggregate layer may be amended, raked, and graded, and then additional asphalt applied and compacted. The asphalt used during infrared repair may be new or recycled and the overall operation requires less downtime, making this option less environmentally harmful and less expensive.

This is also the only type of asphalt repair that is not affected by extreme temperature and can reliably be done year round. Infrared asphalt repair can be long-lasting and has countless applications, like seamless overlays, elevation adjustments around utility openings, filling potholes, leveling, securing speed bumps, creating patterns for rumble strips, etc. If deep structural issues exist, infrared repair will be a great intermediate solution, but your asphalt surface will eventually require more comprehensive repair in subsequent years.

How do you repair asphalt cracks and damaged asphalt?

There are four main techniques used to repair asphalt.

1. ASPHALT OVERLAY. Sometimes called “throw-and-roll” patching or surface patching, asphalt overlay is a superficial repair method, affecting only the top inch or two of the existing surface. Heated asphalt is poured over the damaged surface and then rolled over. Because asphalt overlay is a less invasive quick fix, it’s a budget-friendly option but is generally only a temporary solution. Asphalt overlay is only meant to work in the short term to repair surface cracks and divots, minor damage, and drainage issues, or to address emergency repairs in adverse weather conditions. Asphalt overlay cannot be used to repair deep or underlying stability issues.

2. ASPHALT REMOVAL & REPLACEMENT (PEEL & PAVE). For asphalt surfaces that are too damaged to resurface, removal and replacement is the best option for longer-term repair. A designated area will be cut and removed to a specified depth. The existing base will be checked for strength, recompacted, and a substance called tack coat will be applied to ensure successful bonding between new and old asphalt surfaces. Fresh, hot asphalt is then poured in and rolled to compact. Peel and pave repair is a durable solution for many common asphalt problems. It can greatly extend the life of an asphalt surface, lasting up to ten times longer than a surface patch.

3. FULL-DEPTH ASPHALT REPAIR. Sometimes the underlying issue with an asphalt surface is rather deep, extending into the subbase or beyond. In these cases, full-depth repair is the best option. It could be that the weight of constant vehicular traffic can’t be sustained by the existing stone subbase. Deep damage would require that the existing layers of asphalt and subbase be removed and replaced with a stronger aggregate and a thicker product overall – together they can withstand more weight. Full depth asphalt repair goes far to improve long-term strength and durability. Because this is an extensive and entire pavement system replacement, it’s best used when professional assessment deems it necessary, based on obvious factors like massive potholes and widespread crumbling. If properly done, full depth asphalt repair will improve structural integrity far into the future.

4. ASPHALT MILLING & RESURFACING. If large areas require repair and you prefer a more long-term fix, asphalt milling and resurfacing is an efficient method. Also called “cold milling,” this technique grinds up layers of damaged asphalt into small chunks and to a specified and even depth. The ground asphalt is then carried away by automatic conveyors to trucks for removal and is often recycled. Because the subbase is left undisturbed, the areas can be swept and cleaned, and new asphalt can be laid down quickly. The height of the roadway is maintained so utility access and curbs remain undisturbed.

When to repair an asphalt driveway

Professionally-laid, well-used asphalt driveways can sustain many years of steady use before repairs become necessary. That said, regular sealcoating and other maintenance will ensure that avoidable damage is prevented. First signs to look for when deciding if asphalt needs professional attention are typically large, visible cracks that split the asphalt. Sealant alone cannot fix these. If 30% or more of your driveway is damaged, it could be time to consider a complete overhaul. Learn more about our asphalt repair services.

Can you repair asphalt in the winter or in the rain?

Winter weather and exposure to water are top culprits for asphalt breakdown and it’s best not to wait on repairs, but cold spells and rainy seasons aren’t ideal for asphalt repair work. Asphalt contains several oil-based components and because oil repels water, overly wet conditions will cause unavoidable cracking and damage.

Under certain conditions, it is possible. Using a “cold mix” or “warm-mix” asphalt, repairs can be made at just about any temperature. But this type of asphalt cannot be paved and so is best used for minor repairs and patching, not for large areas. A cold mix is generally used for a quick fix until large-scale repairs can be done in warmer months. But repairs should be done during winter if need be, as damage will only get worse with time. For best results and for safety reasons, select a span of days that are forecasted to have mild, dry conditions. And for a repair option that can be more reliably done year round, consider infrared asphalt repair.

Will asphalt stick to concrete?

Technically, yes, asphalt can be laid over concrete. But it isn’t always the best idea for stability and longevity of your paved surface. Asphalt and concrete both achieve the same purpose–creating a smooth stable surface for driving, etc.–but they are very different materials. Concrete is a strong material that can withstand shifting underneath, which is why expansion joints are put in during construction. As the ground underneath concrete shifts, the slabs can adjust and still be usable. If asphalt is poured over concrete, shifts and breaks in expansion joints caused by the unprepared or unstable subbase will eventually cause cracks in the asphalt, requiring ongoing and potentially costly repairs.

That said, if you know that the subbase is stable and there is no expansion joint shifting, asphalt can be successfully laid over concrete. But ideal conditions are usually the exception to the rule, and it can mean a complete excavation to be sure of what’s under the concrete layer. If you want or need to go the route of overlaying concrete with asphalt, regular maintenance and filling of cracks is a must to prevent water intrusion and preserve the asphalt for as long as possible.

How much does asphalt repair cost?

In general, prices for repair range widely and are often charged per square foot. Small fixes can run hundreds of dollars, while more extensive work can get into the thousands. There are several factors at play that can affect the overall cost of asphalt repair. Other than the extent of the damage, the cost of materials, the needed thickness and load capacity, your location can also make a big difference in your total quote. If you have maintained the area well, major repair costs will hopefully be kept to a minimum. But remember that asphalt does have a lifespan, and every 20 years or so you may need to do a serious overhaul. Contact Municipal Contractors today to request a free quote. We take on all asphalt repair projects, from residential to commercial and industrial to heavy highway.

Municipal Contractors serves residents, businesses, and state or federal clients in the following Florida counties:

Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, Desoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Lucie, Sumter, Volusia

Florida Certified General Contractors License Number: CGC 1528070