Three things are certain in life; death, taxes, and asphalt deterioration. That last one is especially true for pavement within regions that experience freeze-thaw weather cycles as the seasons come and go— such as the Midwest. What’s more, those cracks or potholes in your parking lot or driveway aren’t going to repair themselves. But besides, can they, or should they even be repaired? Or should you opt to replace the pavement entirely?

As the weather starts heating up, it’s time to sort this issue out. Mostly because quality contractors, like Pavement Solutions, are quickly getting booked up for the season. These four questions will determine if a repair or a re-pave is your best move:

1. How Old is the Pavement?

When installed and maintained correctly, asphalt pavement can last you 25+ years. If your driveway, roadway, or parking lot blacktop pavement is over 15 years old and shows a lot of cracks and other damages, that’s a sign that it’s stressed out. Cracksealing repairs, asphalt patching, and infrared repairs might extend the life of your asphalt pavement surface by a couple more years. But you’re likely going to need more significant and expensive repairs again sooner than you know it.

2. How Severe are the Cracks or Potholes?

Cracks that are far and few between, mostly shallow, and less than a quarter of an inch wide are easy enough for any credible asphalt pavement contractor to repair. The same goes for potholes that are relatively new and smaller in size.

However, if your pavement surface is riddled with deep and wide cracks and hazardous potholes, it’s probably time to seriously consider a full replacement.

3. Are There Areas with Pooling/Standing Water?

Pooling/standing water is the kiss of death for your asphalt driveway or parking lot. Caused by poor drainage, this will only accelerate the deterioration of your pavement as time goes on. In the Midwest, it will make damages caused by freeze-thaw weather cycles even worse. Not to mention, it’s a major safety hazard for vehicles and pedestrians when that pooling water freezes in the winter.

Also, it may be a sign of problems under the surface, depending on the answer to the next question:

4. Is There Sinking or Shifting on the Surface?

Milling down a couple of small raised humps in an area isn’t an issue. However, deeper depressions and shifts in your pavement points to an unstable subbase. (The subbase is the foundational layer beneath the actual asphalt) If you come to learn that your pavement surface requires a subbase stabilization, then a full-blown repave is in order.

So… what are your options?

Depending on the answers to the above questions, patching potholes, repairing damages, filling cracks, and sealcoating the surface can help you prolong the need for a full repave for many years.

Although, as a mid-level approach, your pavement surface may be a candidate for an asphalt overlay/resurfacing. Resurfacing is where a brand-new layer of asphalt is applied right on top of the existing surface. It can be a cost-effective option, but it’s only viable if the current surface and subbase are both in good condition. Contact our pavement professionals to see if an asphalt overlay/resurfacing would be right for your specific situation.

At Pavement Solutions, our team of experts will give you an honest answer based on decades of experience in the asphalt paving industry. Reach out to us and we will evaluate your specific property to recommend the best approach. Get your free evaluation and price estimate by giving us a call at (815) 675-0696 or by requesting a quote with our online request form.

Posted by C. Butler on 5/30/24