Asphalt is flexible, strong, cost-effective, and sustainable. It is the material of choice for many when it comes to parking lot reconstruction and resurfacing. However, asphalt resurfacing is not as simple as sweeping your pavement surface and applying a layer of hot mix asphalt. It takes a bit of preparation, as well as a thorough pavement analysis, to make an informed decision prior to moving forward with resurfacing.
Here are a few things to do before you resurface as well as what to expect from the job.
Assessing The Structural Ingretity Of Your Parking Lot
One thing to remember when dealing with asphalt is that the surface is only as good as the materials below. With that in mind, it is imperative to evaluate the structural components beneath the surface layer. Any underlying issues will continue to cause problems, regardless of whether the surface layer is replaced or added to.
One of the best ways to address the structural integrity of the parking lot or roadway is to take core samples of the pavement. A core gives a small glimpse into the effectiveness of each layer, from the base on up.
Assessing Your Traffic Load
Once the structure of a parking lot is found to be sufficient, the contractor may ask about the traffic loading, amount of turning traffic, and other design components to guarantee that they provide you with the best quality hot mix material for the job.
If your parking lot has above average traffic and/or is utilized by heavy trucks or equipment, then the contractor may suggest a polymer-modified hot mix. Adding polymer to the liquid binder and then mixing with aggregate creates a product that is highly flexible (to combat turning loads) and more resistant to cracking or rutting (from heavy loads).
What To Expect From Asphalt Resurfacing
The actual resurfacing piece of the pavement maintenance process consists of the contractor adding a layer (usually 1 1/2″ to 2 1/2″) of new asphalt over the existing surface.
Placement of the hot mix is performed by a crew operating an asphalt paver and traditionally is a speedy process (depending on the scope of the project). Traffic can typically get back on the pavement within a day or two, once all pavement markings are complete.
The end product is an attractive coal-black surface that is incredibly smooth, shows pavement markings much more clearly, and in many instances improves the curb appeal of the business.
Be Proactive About Pavement Maintenance
Resurfacing can be the most cost-effective way to extend the life of your asphalt surfaces. That being said, our #1 tip for resurfacing is to do the work BEFORE your parking lot shows serious signs of deterioration. This means keeping in constant contact with industry experts (like your friends at A&A Paving) and having routine maintenance checks done to ensure you are staying on top of pavement damage.