Working with a contractor to repair your asphalt driveway or parking area is often less expensive than replacing the entire surface, and many times most of the surface is still in good shape. Repairing the section of the asphalt that is failing may only require a small repair, but talk with the paving contractors you are considering and have them inspect the damage.

Potholes and Washouts

If you are dealing with a hole through the asphalt to the soil underneath, you will need to have the paving contractor look at the hole closely. The soil and the gravel under the hole may have washed out and allowed the pavement to sink into the hole. 

Over time, the asphalt will crack and break loose from the rest of the pavement, falling into the hole and leaving a nasty pothole on the surface. Many times, the repair involves filling the hole and patching the pavement.

Still, if the structure under the surface is washing away, the pavement may need to be pulled up around the hole so that the paving contractor can shore up the soil and gravel layers properly. If they are not repaired correctly, the new surface may fail down the road as well. 

Once the sub material is determined to be structurally sound, the paving contractor and their crew can fill the hole and repair the surface, blending the new patch into the old material. When the work is done correctly, it becomes nearly impossible to see the repair to the asphalt surface. 

Resurfacing The Pavement

If the entire surface of the driveway is cracking or has some damage to it, the paving contractor may recommend resurfacing the pavement to extend the life of the driveway. Often, resurfacing requires grinding the surface to make it rough enough to accept the new layer of pavement. Still, in most cases, if the material under the pavement is in good shape, the entire asphalt driveway will not need to be removed. 

The new pavement is laid over the freshly ground surface and rolled while it is hot to force asphalt into the grooves in the base material. When the new layer cools, it will bond with the old material and become extremely strong. The bond will help seel the joint so that water does not get between the layers, causing them to separate or allow ice to form under the pavement. 

Resurfacing works well for small areas, and is also used on full parking lots to save some cost and repair damage to the lot. When done correctly, it creates a durable new surface that will last a few more years before it's necessary to replace the asphalt. 

Talk to your paving contractor about resurfacing your lot or driveway. They can tell you if the base will stand up to it and if it is a good option in your situation. For more information, reach out to a local paving company, like New England Paving.