Is It Best to Remove Old Asphalt or Pave Over It?

November 12, 2020 Published by Leave your thoughts

Over time, your asphalt pavement will eventually show signs of wear and tear. Potholes, cracks, crumbling edges and uneven surfaces are not just unsightly, but unpleasant to walk, drive or play upon. They’re also a tripping hazard, which is the last thing you need when you own a business. Should you pave over your old asphalt in Phoenix, AZ or have it removed?

Should I remove the old asphalt?

It’s tempting to pave over the old asphalt—after all, it seems faster, easier and cheaper than hauling away the old material and repaving the entire project. However, if you don’t want to have to go through the same process again in a few years, it’s best to remove the old asphalt.

Asphalt requires a stable base to stand up to foot and vehicle traffic. By the time it starts cracking, developing potholes or crumbling, that’s a sure sign that the base isn’t structurally sound anymore. A small crack here and there can be repaired, but when you notice serious damage, it’s time for old asphalt removal in Phoenix, AZ.

What happens during the removal and repaving process?

First, the old asphalt is completely removed, including the sub-base. This process is called milling, and uses a machine called a miller or cold planer. The machines use a big rotating drum to pull up the pavement and grind it up so it can be recycled into new asphalt.

After the old asphalt is completely removed, the surface is graded to provide a level base. Your pavers will lay down a thick layer of gravel. This base layer is to encourage good drainage, since asphalt is a porous material. Next, a layer of compacted asphalt is laid over the gravel. On top of that, crushed asphalt is added as a surface layer.

Finally, the surface is smoothed and compacted using a roller truck. This compacts all the layers and provides a perfectly smooth, level surface.

Once your pavement completely cools and sets, it’s ready to drive, walk or play upon once more. If you need to paint markings on the surface, such as parking lot stripes or sports courts, you can do so at this point.

Can I just resurface my asphalt?

If your asphalt isn’t in terrible condition, you might consider resurfacing your pavement. As long as there’s no major damage, resurfacing can add a few years to the life of your investment. However, it’s a good idea to have your paving contractor come out and evaluate your asphalt first. What may look like a few minor cracks and cosmetic issues may in fact be concealing a more serious structural problem.

Resurfacing is a great option for some pavement, but it’s not a fix-all solution for everyone. If your contractor advises you to remove the old asphalt and start fresh, trust them—it might cost more money now, but it’ll save you grief in the long run.

For expert asphalt removal and paving in Phoenix, AZ, let the team at Sunstar Seal Coating, Inc. help.

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