What is it?
Patching is the process of applying a layer of hot asphalt to a damaged asphalt surface, or removing a section of damaged asphalt and replacing it with a layer of fresh asphalt. Using a grinder, we cut into the existing surface and grind it down to the desired depth. The section removed can be shallow (1”-2” deep) or full depth (the entire asphalt surface down to the underlying substrate) depending on the extent of the damage.
Why is it important?
Removing and patching damaged areas of asphalt is a great way to prolong the life of your asphalt surface overall without the cost and time commitment of a full removal and replacement. Areas with substantial cracking, potholes, or other damage can allow water to penetrate underneath and erode the base layer, weakening the entire asphalt surface as a whole. Removing the damaged spots creates a stable base for the patch to be applied and prevents reflective cracking from appearing through the new surface and affecting the freshly laid asphalt.
In addition to the damage that cracks and potholes can do to the remaining asphalt, they’re also a large cause of vehicle damage and injuries from trips and falls that can result in costly lawsuits.
What do I need to know?
- Surface patching is a temporary fix meant to prolong the need for further repairs – as this method involves adding a thin layer of asphalt over a cracked and damaged surface, the estimated life of a surface patch is 1-2 years. Reflective cracking and underlying damage will eventually show through the patch
- Partial patching only works on areas without deep, substantial damage – since only the top couple inches of asphalt surface is removed to allow space for the patch to be applied, any damage that extends deeper than that may come through and compromise the stability of the top layer
- There are two main types of asphalt for patch work: cold-mix and hot-mix – the cold-mix asphalt can be applied by anyone with access to a home improvement store and has an incredibly short lifespan as it is meant to prevent immediate safety issues while more extensive repairs are being planned. Hot-mix asphalt requires professional application and has a longer lifespan due to its stronger composition and bond with the existing surface
- Patches will not blend seamlessly with pre-existing asphalt – while the asphalt from the patch will adhere to and form a strong bond with the pre-existing asphalt, there will be a noticeable difference in the color and texture of the two surfaces
When do I need to do it?
If you’re wondering if you need it, you probably do. If the majority of your asphalt surface is smooth, safe, and undamaged, but there are some areas with extensive cracking or potholes, a patch or two might be the right solution to “buy time” until more serious repair or maintenance can be scheduled. When in doubt, give us a call and let us see how we can help.