Asphalt Pavement Resurfacing, Also Known As "Top Coating"

"Should it be considered?"


The answer is yes, but that comes along with some "ifs".

If the base material is in good condition, it can be done. Usually, this is not the case. Most people wait too long for repaving to get any long term benefit from a resurface. Many wait, until the pavement base material has been compromised, to the point it all needs to be replaced. The signs for this are heaving, rutting or unevenness to the pavement surface. And/or there is a lot of cracks, in a spider web or alligator skin pattern, in the pavement. Any defects in an existing pavement will eventually go through the new resurfaced pavement. This usually happens sooner than later.

If there isn’t a problem with any thresholds affecting the final grade, resurfacing can be done. The thresholds can be a garage floor, walkways, steps, street level, storm drains, manhole covers, etc. When a resurface is done the old pavement should be removed near any threshold area so the new surface will meet flush with the threshold to avoid a "lip" which can cause a trip hazard, puddling of surface water, freezing of puddles – slip and fall hazard, plowing hazard/potential for future damage, etc. When the pavement is removed in front of these areas, and the rest of the pavement is built up, the pitch of the finished resurfaced pavement changes. A decent pitch is needed, in the right direction, in order for the pavement to last as long as it should. If the existing pavement is a 2 layer or more system, the top layer can be removed by milling or sometimes by peeling off the top layer with a machine. This, of course, will add an additional expense to the project.

If the new height will not be a problem with existing structures, resurfacing can be done. The structures include curbing, storm drains, manhole covers, siding, gutter downspouts, etc. Some of the heights of these structures can be raised to avoid a problem, but again, at an added expense to the project.

If the resurface does not create an unwanted "speed bump", it can be done. This can occur near the street entrance, usually after more than 1 resurfacing has been done previously. It depends on what the final pitch will be after the resurface in relation to the pitch of the street. A quick change in pitch from the street to the driveway or parking lot can cause this "speed bump" affect. This will obviously cause damage to the pavement and possibly a vehicle if a vehicle "bottoms out" on the new pavement. A plow and/or the plow vehicle can also be damaged, along with the new pavement, when being plowed in this situation.

The final "if", if the situation has made it through all of these "ifs", then resurfacing should be considered. Resurfacing is generally much more economical than a full replacement of the pavement base material and pavement.

Unfortunately, many people put budget constraints ahead of the "ifs" and go ahead with a resurface when they shouldn’t. This usually ends up turning into a poor choice when everything needs to be removed and replaced, well before a pavement installed properly would have been.

The most important thing a customer needs to watch for during a resurface is the amount of hot asphalt material going down. There is a big difference in how long a resurface will hold up when 2 inches is put down versus ½ inch. Putting a thin coat of asphalt down is probably the biggest scam going among untrustworthy so called "pavers". The customer should make sure they do their homework when picking a contractor, especially for a resurface job.

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SMITH'S 783SEAL
Paving & Seal Coating

776 D Watervliet Shaker Rd.
Latham NY 12110
518-783-SEAL(7325)

Smith's 783Seal serves the entire New York Capital District and surrounding areas which include Albany, Altamont , Ballston spa, Ballston Lake, Berne, Bethlehem, Coeymans, Cohoes, Colonie, Clifton Park, Halfmoon, Green island, Guilderland, Knox, Latham, Menands, Malta, Niskayuna , New scotland, Ravena, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Scotia, Schenectady, Voorheesville, Watervliet, Waterford, Westerlo and more. We provide sealcoating, and paving services for residential driveways and commerical parking lots.

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