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Asphalt Resurfacing Explained In Basic Terms

By Andrea Davidson

Everyone can agree that road carriageways can wear out. If they cope with a large number of vehicles each day then that point will occur much sooner. However, there are varying degrees of damage that a road can undergo. Sometimes the topmost surface will only need a small amount of treatment to bring it back up to standards, at other times a complete asphalt resurfacing task will be needed.

In cases where the surface has become polished due to the passage of traffic, it could potentially affect a vehicles braking. This could possibly lead to a fatality during inclement weather. To overcome this just the upper surface might require redressing. However if the road is approaching it’s finite life it could be more cost effective to rebuild the whole carriage way.

For anyone who has been told that it just a matter of putting down a new layer has sadly been misled. Just putting down a new layer on top of what is already there, can alter the effectiveness of existing drainage. Another point for consideration is that if this road will be closed for repairs, the traffic will have to be diverted elsewhere. Once this has been thought out then the primary survey can be initiated, this is to discern the depth of work needed.

In the event that the road surface needs totally replacing, a work-crew will lower any utility inspection plates. This permits the machinery to strip the road surface away without damaging these inspection plates. The road surface is worn away until an even solid layer is attained, even if this is the substrate level. Prior to any more work been started all of the dirt, and rubble has to be removed.

When the substrate layer is all clear a tack coat is applied. This is normally a black sticky mixture which is sprayed directly onto the substrate layer. This will prevent the substrate layer breaking up into a powder, and will also provide a good binding medium for the new surface to adhere to.

The original crew return to refit the utility covers to their correct level. This will be flush with the new road surface. If the covers sit too proud then there is a possibility that they could pose a hazard to traffic, and if they are set too low then any rainwater could collect there, again a possible hazard for traffic to negotiate.

At this point the upper road layer can be laid. If it is a busy road then the upper surface will be created from what is known as a hot mixture. Even when it gets poured the temperature is above three hundred degrees. Which means that because of the heat it will flow freely and fill any small cracks or imperfections.

Once the new surface has cooled a further protective coating can be spread and subsequently the road markings can be applied. Traffic needs to be kept off of the new surface for at least 24 hours to allow it to fully harden. This is basically how asphalt resurfacing is achieved, and perhaps it is not as simple as people might think.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Davidson, Andrea "Asphalt Resurfacing Explained In Basic Terms." Asphalt Resurfacing Explained In Basic Terms. 25 Apr. 2014. 25 Mar 2015 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Davidson, A (2014, April 25). Asphalt Resurfacing Explained In Basic Terms. Retrieved March 25, 2015, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Davidson, Andrea "Asphalt Resurfacing Explained In Basic Terms"

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