Overview

If you have a piece of asphalt pavement that is starting to show signs of wear and tear, it might be time to look into a resurfacing project. By resurfacing the asphalt pavement that you are using currently, you could potentially get many more years out of the surface without having to go through an entire replacement project. Of course, resurfacing is not going to be possible in all situations, so you will need to have the condition of your pavement closely examined before you determine how to proceed. If resurfacing does turn out to be a viable option, you can look forward to a quick project which will be less-expensive than an entire replacement – yet you will still be left with a beautiful and functional piece of asphalt.

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Why is Resurfacing Necessary?

Asphalt is a durable product, and you can expect a new piece of properly installed asphalt to serve you well for many years. However, as the pavement ages, it is inevitably going to show signs of wear and tear. There are a number of reasons for issues to develop on the surface of a piece of asphalt, including the following –

  • High traffic volume. When there are many cars passing over the asphalt each day, the surface is naturally going to wear out due to that volume. One such example of this kind of wear and tear would be the parking lot of a popular grocery store. As customers come and go each day, their cars are doing damage to the asphalt surface – especially in high traffic areas such as the parking stalls and the driveway across the front of the store. These kinds of parking lots may need to be resurfaced on a periodic basis simply due to the high volume that they see day in and day out.
  • Heavy traffic loads. It is not the only volume that can do damage to an asphalt surface – heavy loads can do the job as well. This is often seen on roads and driveways where large trucks frequently pass by. The pavement leading up to a loading dock will usually need attention from time to time thanks to the damage that has been done by the extremely heavy trucks which frequently roll on through.
  • Water damage. It is true that water is essential for life on earth, but it is also an extremely damaging substance when it is found in places where it doesn’t belong. Water that is regularly getting underneath or behind the asphalt (potentially due to cracks in the surface, or irrigation runoff) can quickly cause damage to the pavement.


Regardless of the underlying cause of the damage, resurfacing can be used to bring the asphalt back to excellent condition from both an appearance and performance standpoint. Cracks that have developed in the pavement will quickly be covered over during resurfacing, and the entire piece of asphalt will be smoothed out as well.

When Can Resurfacing Be Used?

Generally speaking, resurfacing is going to be an option when the underlying base remains in good condition. There is a base layer under the asphalt pavement that supports the product, and that base needs to be in good condition in order for resurfacing to be considered. If the base layer is damaged in some significant way, it will likely not be possible to proceed with resurfacing. Instead, the entire piece of asphalt may need to be removed so that it can be replaced after the base is repaired.

It is best to work with an experienced asphalt contractor to determine when resurfacing is possible. You don’t want to attempt a resurfacing job when the base layer is in poor condition, as your new surface won’t last long before the same problems appear again. A professional contractor in the asphalt business will be able to assess your needs and recommend a course of action that will be most effective in the long run.

How is Resurfacing Performed?

If it is decided that resurfacing your asphalt pavement is the best course of action, the first step in the process is to clear the current pavement. The surface of your old asphalt is going to need to be properly cleaned in order to make sure that the new asphalt can adhere fully when it is applied. A ‘tack coat’ is then applied to the newly cleaned surface, after which the hot asphalt will be added.

Naturally, it is common for the resurfaced asphalt pavement to be a little bit higher than the previous surface, since material was not removed prior to the addition of fresh asphalt. However, a good contractor will work to bring the edges of the pavement together as nicely as possible between old and new. Once the new surface has been allowed to cure, it will be ready for use.

The Benefits of Resurfacing

It may be obvious, but the biggest benefit of resurfacing rather than replacing your asphalt is the cost savings. It will not be as costly to resurface the pavement since there is no excavation or base layer work that needs to be done. The only prep work typically required for a resurfacing project is the clean-up, which is rarely a time-consuming task. In addition to saving money on the project by opting for resurfacing, you are also going to be saving time as well. Resurfacing can be finished far quicker than replacement, meaning you can put your pavement back into action in short order. For a business with customers to consider, this quicker turnaround time is a big advantage.

Resurfacing an asphalt surface is not always going to be an option – but when it is an option, it is an idea that should be carefully considered. There are many advantages to going in this direction for your pavement, and almost no drawbacks to speak of (assuming your base is still structurally sound). With the help of an experienced asphalt contractor to handle this project from start to finish, you should come away with a piece of pavement that looks great and is ready to perform as expected.