Everything on the exterior of your house, adds to its value including the asphalt pavement. Although asphalt pavement has a long life, it requires regular, proactive maintenance to keep it in great shape. There are different types of maintenance activities for different stages of its life. Micro surfacing is a method to preserve the pavement from the signs of aging, cracking, oxidation, and other types of distress.
What is Micro-Surfacing?
It is a method to preserve low-traffic asphalt pavements from minor cracking, fading color, and other such issues. A mixture of water, asphalt emulsion, small crushed rocks, and additives is applied to the asphalt pavement surface. The asphalt emulsion disintegrates on the pavement surface and bonds with the pavement to create a durable surface. It quickly hardens and gives the pavement a dark, brand new look. It helps in preserving the underlying structure of the pavement. It should be used as preventive maintenance, and can last for five to seven years.
There are specific weather condition requirements for micro surfacing. The minimum required temperature is 50 degrees with no chance of sub-zero temperatures within 48 hours of the treatment. Minor changes in the weather such as humidity, cloud cover, and shade on the pavement, can affect its bonding with the pavement.
How to Determine if You Need Micro Surfacing?
Certain factors including your location, weather in your area, frequency and load of traffic on the pavement, and its general condition, determine if micro surfacing is the right solution. If the pavement has moderate distress and narrow cracks, it may be a good candidate for micro surfacing.
Some of the conditions that may warrant the use of micro surfacing include:
- Oxidation – When the pavement is exposed to oxygen, it starts to become brittle and its color begins to fade.
- Loss of friction – or skid resistance
- Raveling – This means disintegration of the pavement due to loosening of the gravel, sand, and crushed stone.
- Rutting – This is a term to define the deformation in the asphalt pavement surface, which is characterized by the engraving of the tire path.
Benefits of Micro Surfacing
Below are just a few of the benefits micro surfacing brings:
- The pavement looks as if it was newly laid.
- Safety from skidding due to increased friction on the pavement surface
- Considerable extension in the life span of the pavement. Micro surfacing adds 5 – 7 years.
- It protects the pavement surface from water, moisture, and other types of fine debris infiltration.
- It can be used to address pavement distress for both residential and commercial pavements and roads.
- It protects the pavement from major rehabilitation and offers a significant cost-benefit. It costs approximately 75% less than an asphalt overlay. Periodic application of micro surfacing can maintain pavements without need for major repair for decades.
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