While asphalt paving companies typically close by the end of December, there is something called winter paving. Winter asphalt is typically in the form of cold patching, and is not the same as summer asphalt. While cold patch asphalt is beneficial and often necessary, it differs significantly from the hot mix asphalt you get in summer.
Cold Patch Asphalt:
- Cold patching asphalt is essentially what it sounds like; filling a pothole with gravel/asphalt material without heating it.
- It is cheap and quick, but it’s only temporary.
- Cold patch asphalt is not heated, and it’s meant for temporary or emergency repair (usually as a way to get a parking lot through winter to hot asphalt paving season).
Hot Mix Asphalt:
- Hot mix asphalt is the best way to repair potholes, as it is a more permanent method.
- Hot mix asphalt is the classic asphalt paving you’re familiar with that involves a hot mixture and compaction machinery.
- There are a couple different paving methods used –
- Milling – This is a method of resurface paving using a milling machine to grind down the top layer of the existing asphalt (typically 1.5” depth). These millings are then loaded into a dump truck to be sent for recycling. A new layer of asphalt can then be paved on top to the thickness that was removed.
- Pulverization/Full Depth Reclamation – Asphalt reclamation is a very “green” method of paving. In this process, the full depth of the asphalt and a predetermined portion of the underlying materials are pulverized and blended together to produce a stabilized base course to pave on. By reconstructing the existing asphalt, and transforming it into processed stone in-place, this process eliminates costly truck moves and hauling expenses.
- There are several different types of hot mix asphalt patching used for repair –
- Saw Cut & Patch – This method involves the cutting and removing of sections of pavement that have deteriorated. After removal, these sections are filled with hot mix asphalt (according to the appropriate depth and grade).
- Milling & Patching – As described above, the milling process involves a pavement’s surface being ground to a desired depth so that a new layer of hot asphalt mix can be put on top. This process is actually very economical because you can choose the depth of your repair.
- Infra-Red Patching – Innovative machinery is used to heat and soften the asphalt surface allowing it to be workable in any weather (above 0 degrees). Because of this, this method can be performed year-round, and eliminates the seam created by other patching methods.
Prior to winter, you will want to make sure that your asphalt is prepped and ready to take on the cold, harsh, and wet months ahead. Some parking lot winter preparation items include; inspection, cleaning up your lot, drainage check and repairs, crack filling, pothole patching, sealcoating, and re-striping your parking lot lines.
Hot mix asphalt patching should be completed prior to winter, but if winter brings on major parking lot deficits, applying a cold asphalt patch is beneficial in temporarily slowing down deterioration, until you can apply hot mix asphalt next season. It is important to understand that cold patch asphalt is only a temporary fix, and should not be expected to permanently fix your asphalt.
By proactively maintaining and repairing your parking lot, you can help extend its overall lifespan, and ensure a safe lot. Contact EastCoat Pavement Services today for your free paving, repair, and/or maintenance parking lot consultation!