Sommerset Paving

Asphalt Paving

Asphalt Paving

Eventually routine maintenance on your driveway or parking lot will need to be supplemented with repair work. Repairing necessary areas ensures that damage will not continue to spread throughout the existing driveway, parking lot, or road. Potholes, alligator cracking, standing areas of water, and depressions in asphalt are signs that seal coating and crack filling are no longer sufficient. Once these take place, structural problems to the sub base have occurred. If these problems comprise more then 35% of your property, a complete grade and pave overhaul of your property may be necessary.

Asphalt Rip Out and Repair – When Routine Maintenance is Not Enough

Asphalt diagram

The Sommerset Paving rip out and repair/replacement (rr) technique:

Asphalt patching Aphalt patched


In order to correctly address sub base issues, the problem area is saw cut and removed 1 foot beyond the visible defect. The sub base is checked and any undesirable debris such as clay or dirt is removed. Appropriate aggregate or asphalt millings are added to stabilize the sub base if necessary. The area is then machine rolled to industry compaction standards. Next, tack coat is applied to the edges that have been saw cut to ensure proper bonding and adhesion to existing asphalt. This step is often skipped by companies offering too good to be true pricing. If this step is skipped, the newly laid asphalt will soon crack and pull away from existing asphalt, sending the area into the same spiral of cracking and sub base damage. Nothing will be changed.

Proper base asphalt is leveled and machine rolled with a vibratory roller. Vibratory rollers allow for better compaction compared to static rollers. This material is allowed to cool and then a second wearing coarse lift is applied. The existing grade of the pavement is matched so as not to be lifted by snow plows in the winter, and to prevent water pooling. Asphalt cannot be properly compacted in one lift.

Installation of an asphalt drive can be done in a one layer or two layer process. Customers sometimes only look at the bottom line of their contract. The customer might not notice that the difference in price is a cheaper one layer bid versus a more expensive two layer bid. Yes, the one layer process is cheaper, however, “bird baths” which equate to water holds develop over time. A “bird bath” becomes an ice patch in the winter. Skipping the second layer can save you money in the short term but cause costly slip and fall accidents in the future.

Asphalt Milling

An economical repair to remove the top 2’’ layer of asphalt by milling/grinding away 2’’. Asphalt milling is the best solution when damage to asphalt has not reached the sub-base or base course of asphalt. Save thousands now and in the future before pulverization or replace is the only option.

Cold Plane Milling/Grinding Machine

Environmental freezing and thawing cycles, oxidization due to the sun, snow plows, and general wear and tear can damage the top layer of asphalt pavement. This damage is often referred to as alligator cracking. The base course of the asphalt and the sub base of gravel are still unaffected at this point in the life cycle of asphalt. Instead of completely tearing out and replacing these areas, a cold plane diamond tipped asphalt milling/grinding machine allows for economical repair.

The process begins with a cold plane milling/grinding machine with diamond teeth that break up the pavement but leave the sub base intact, if it is still unaffected. The ground-up asphalt is removed from the work site and recycled at an asphalt manufacturing facility. Next, the areas of the driveway or parking lot that were milled/ground away are sprayed with SS1H tack coat to bond the new asphalt to existing asphalt then all milled/ground areas have a layer of hot mix asphalt applied to level out the surface to proper grade. Finally, 2” of additional hot mix asphalt are applied to the surface and compacted with a vibratory roller.

The cold plane milling/grinding option has many advantages compared to a standard overlay. An overlay does not address the cracked and alligatored areas of the first layer of pavement. When a simple overlay is completed these unrepaired cracks reflect back up to the surface usually within 12 months. A milling/grinding machine removes these cracked and damaged areas diminishing the onset or result of reflective cracking. If left untreated the cracks in the first layer of pavement will allow water to penetrate and erode the base layer of pavement, leaving a complete tear out and total replacement as the only viable option.

Aside from being an environmentally-friendly process, asphalt milling can also be more cost effective than the rip out and replace method of road repair. Consumers save money as there is less trucking involved when only removing partial pavement, less man hours to complete the job, and less hot mix asphalt is required to restore the condition of the parking lot or residential driveway. This economical repair extends the life of the treated pavement for 8+ years unlike patching or overlays which may begin to fail as soon as year one.

Milling/grinding the first layer of damaged pavement saves money compared to complete removal and replacement. Other benefits of milling/grinding include:

  • Extends life of pavement for 8+ years compared to 1-2 years with overlayment or patching
  • Leaves a level surface with no raised asphalt edges that can be caught up and ripped away by snow plow blades
  • Saves the base course of asphalt from further damage