Understanding the Different Types of Asphalt Repair Techniques

Blog Home | by on May 21, 2024 in News

Enhancing the Longevity of Asphalt Pavement

Smooth, durable, and well-maintained asphalt surfaces are not only aesthetically pleasing but also essential for safe transportation on roads, driveways, and parking lots. However, harsh weather, heavy traffic, and time inevitably take their toll, leading to cracks, potholes, and surface deterioration. Asphalt problems can escalate when ignored, leading to safety hazards and higher repair costs.

In this guide to asphalt repair, we’ll explore several asphalt repair techniques. From simple patch repairs to advanced infrared heating techniques, each method has its unique advantages and drawbacks. Understanding these repair techniques and their benefits can help you make informed decisions to prolong the lifespan of your asphalt surfaces.

Let’s get started by exploring different types of asphalt damage:

Understanding Asphalt Damage

Asphalt surfaces, although durable, are vulnerable to various types of damage over time. When you understand the common types of asphalt damage, you can identify issues early and take action:

Types of Asphalt Damage


Cracks are one of the most common forms of asphalt damage, resulting from thermal expansion and contraction, freeze-thaw cycles, and heavy traffic loads. They can vary in size and severity, ranging from hairline cracks to large fissures that compromise the integrity of the pavement.


Potholes are depressions or craters in the asphalt surface caused by the combined effects of water infiltration, freeze-thaw cycles, and the repetitive stress of traffic. They pose significant safety hazards to drivers and pedestrians and can lead to vehicle damage when ignored.

Surface Deterioration

Over time, asphalt surfaces experience general wear and tear, resulting in fading, raveling, and roughness. This deterioration is often sped up by factors like UV exposure, oxidation, and inadequate maintenance.

Factors Contributing to Asphalt Deterioration


Extreme weather conditions, like temperature fluctuations, precipitation, and UV exposure can accelerate asphalt deterioration by causing expansion, contraction, and degradation of the pavement materials.

Traffic Loads

Heavy vehicles exert significant stress on asphalt surfaces, leading to cracking, rutting, and other forms of damage. Areas with frequent traffic congestion or industrial activity are particularly vulnerable to pavement deterioration.

Poor Maintenance

Neglecting routine maintenance like sealcoating, crack sealing, and debris removal can speed up asphalt deterioration, allowing small issues to build into more significant problems over time.

By understanding these types of asphalt damage and what causes them, you can proactively identify and address these issues before they get worse. Now that we’ve explained the different types of asphalt damage, let’s explore the asphalt repair techniques we can use to restore your asphalt surfaces.

Asphalt Repair Methods

Asphalt Patching

Asphalt patching is a common repair method for fixing localized damage on asphalt surfaces, like cracks and potholes. The process involves identifying damaged areas, cleaning the repair site, cutting out the damaged asphalt, applying patching material, and compacting it for a smooth finish. Asphalt patching techniques offer benefits like cost-effectiveness, quick turnaround, and targeted repair. However, it may not be enough for extensive damage.

Infrared Asphalt Repair

Infrared asphalt repair is an advanced technique used to fix larger areas of asphalt damage without extensive excavation. Specialized infrared heaters are used to heat the existing asphalt surface, making it pliable for reworking. The softened asphalt is then reshaped, leveled, and compacted to create a seamless repair. Infrared asphalt repair is fast, efficient, and offers seamless blending with your existing pavement, but it requires specialized skills and equipment, leading to higher repair costs.


Overlaying involves placing a new layer of asphalt over the existing surface to address extensive cracking or deterioration. It provides a cost-effective solution for rejuvenating worn-out pavements while extending their lifespan. Overlaying offers improved aesthetics and structural reinforcement, but it may not be suitable for underlying structural issues.

Crack Sealing

Crack sealing is a preventative maintenance technique that involves filling cracks in the asphalt surface to prevent water infiltration and further damage. It helps prolong the lifespan of the pavement by minimizing the formation of potholes and larger cracks. However, crack sealing is not a permanent solution.

Pothole Repair

Pothole repair is essential for maintaining safe asphalt surfaces. When repairing potholes, we clean the damaged area, fill it with patching material, and compact it to ensure proper adhesion. Pothole repair is a cost-effective solution for addressing localized damage but may require ongoing pavement maintenance to prevent the potholes from coming back.

Milling and Asphalt Replacement

Milling and replacement techniques are used to address extensive pavement deterioration. This process involves removing a portion of the existing surface before applying a new layer of asphalt. Milling and replacement improves ride quality, restores surface drainage, and extends the lifespan of the pavement. However, asphalt milling requires specialized equipment and may cause temporary traffic disruption.

Full-Depth Repair

Full-depth repair is necessary for addressing severe damage or structural issues in asphalt pavement. It involves removing the entire damaged section down to the base layer, repairing any underlying issues, and replacing the asphalt surface. Full-depth repair restores the structural integrity of the pavement but is more complex and costly than other asphalt repair methods.

Choosing the Right Asphalt Repair Technique

Selecting the most appropriate asphalt repair technique is crucial for ensuring effective and long-lasting results. When making this decision, we consider the extent of the damage, your budget, your time constraints, and your desired longevity of the repair.

Extent of Damage

The severity and extent of the asphalt damage play a significant role in determining the most appropriate repair technique. For minor damage such as small cracks or potholes, patch repair or crack sealing may be enough. However, extensive damage can require more comprehensive methods like overlaying or milling and resurfacing.

Budget Constraints

Your budget is also important when choosing a repair technique. Some methods, such as patch repair and crack sealing, are cost-effective and suitable for smaller budgets. More extensive repairs like milling and resurfacing or full-depth repair require a larger investment.

Time Constraints

The urgency of the repair and the available timeframe also influence our choice of repair technique. Methods like patch repair and crack sealing can be completed quickly, minimizing disruption to traffic and operations. Techniques like milling and resurfacing or full-depth repair require more time for planning and execution.

Desired Longevity

Finally, you should consider how long you want the repair to last. While temporary fixes like patch repair or crack sealing may offer quick solutions, they may require more frequent maintenance and repairs in the long run. For a more durable and long-lasting solution, methods like overlay or full-depth repair may be the way to go.

Repairing Asphalt: Finding the Right Service for Your Surfaces

Maintaining your asphalt surfaces is important for preserving the safety, functionality, and aesthetic appeal of your commercial property. In this guide, we’ve explored a range of asphalt repair techniques designed to address common forms of damage and deterioration. From patch repair and crack sealing to infrared heating and full-depth repair, each method offers unique benefits and drawbacks.

Understanding asphalt repair techniques and their applications is important when taking action to fix your asphalt damage. Whether it’s addressing minor cracks and potholes or undertaking more extensive repairs, the key is to choose the right technique based on the extent of damage, your budget constraints, time constraints, and desired longevity.

Remember: when it comes to asphalt repair, being proactive is key. Stay vigilant, address issues right away, and consult with professional asphalt contractors to ensure the longevity and performance of your asphalt pavement.

Contact Tolliver & Curl for Commercial Asphalt Repairs Today

Is your asphalt in need of repair? We repair asphalt roads, driveways, and parking lots for commercial clients across the Columbus Ohio area. Contact us today for professional asphalt repair services tailored to your business’s needs and budget.