Over time, wear and tear on paved surfaces naturally causes superficial damage such as cracking. Not only is demolishing and repaving all of your asphalt expensive and time-consuming, it’s often unnecessary. Milling is an effective and efficient way to remove asphalt without tearing up the subgrade.
What Is Asphalt Milling?
Asphalt milling is a process by which the surface of the asphalt is ground, or “milled,” down, creating a textured but even surface. Then, the surface can be repaved with fresh asphalt. It’s similar to sanding a surface down before refinishing it.
Only the damaged top layer of asphalt is removed during the milling process. Because the base layers of the surface remain intact, the process is relatively quick, and the new surface can last up to twenty years.
Asphalt milling is typically recommended for surfaces that have widespread, minor to moderate damage like cracking and raveling. The extent of the damage will determine how much asphalt is removed.
Why Mill the Pavement Before Applying an Overlay?
Overlay refers to paving over existing asphalt with a new layer. For minor damage, this is a perfectly fine method to use. However, over time, the layers of asphalt build up which can cause height and drainage issues.
Milling removes a layer of asphalt before the new one is applied, so the height of the pavement can be maintained. While a surface can be restored using only an overlay, eventually the surface will need to be milled.
Significant damage necessitates milling the pavement before applying an overlay. Severe cracking and potholes will need to be “shaved” off during the milling process before an overlay can be applied.
Can I Use Asphalt Milling On Only One Area of a Surface?
Milling is a fantastic technique for preparing parking lots for paving. Parking lots and driveways usually deteriorate more quickly in one or two places that get the most traffic.
If this is the case, it’s often only necessary to repair the damage in those areas, and milling is an excellent way of “patching” the surface. It allows for the new pavement to remain even, but it’s far more cost-effective than restoring the entire area.
When Should I Demolish and Repave a Surface?
Even the most well-maintained asphalt will deteriorate beyond repair at some point. Roots, severe cracks and potholes, and weather damage will eventually cause the lowest layers of the pavement to deteriorate. While milling is an excellent restoration option, it’s inevitable that the asphalt will someday need to be demolished and repaved.
Asphalt Milling and the Environment
Did you know that asphalt is one of the most recycled materials in the country? During the milling process, the “shavings” of asphalt are recovered and reprocessed into new asphalt. Because asphalt is a petroleum product, recycling it is immensely important for reducing our environmental impact.
If you’re still unsure about whether milling is the right option for you, contact us at Gallaher Seamless Paving. We’ll be happy to assess the problem areas and come up with the right solution for you.