What Do Paving Professionals Look For When Considering Repair Or Repaving?

Key Takeaways:

  1. Asphalt driveways and parking lots are standard residential and commercial property features and experience a great deal of wear and tear over time.
  2. It’s essential to understand the wear and tear indicators so that you can take action to repair or replace your asphalt surface.
  3. Paving professionals are called on to assess various problems with asphalt surfaces and decide whether repair or repaving is the best solution.
  4. Some common asphalt defects include potholes, block cracking, alligator cracking, raveling, rutting, shoving/rippling, and depressions/bird baths.
  5. When deciding between investing in repaving, the professionals consider factors such as age, traffic volume, location, and cost.


Knowing the signs of damage on your asphalt driveway or parking lot is crucial to keeping it in good condition. Asphalt driveways and parking lots are standard features of residential and commercial properties. They can experience a great deal of wear and tear over time from the weight of vehicles, changes in temperature, or simply exposure to the elements. By understanding the early warning signs of trouble, you’ll be able to take action to repair or replace your asphalt before serious problems arise.

Remember that every project is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Still, these are some of the things that professional contractors take into account when assessing a job. So, read on if you’re curious about what goes into a paving job! Paradise Asphalt Maintenancediscusses essential factors that go into that decision-making process.

Common Asphalt Defects You Should Look For

By understanding the condition of your asphalt surface, you can develop a strategy for repair or replacement before contacting a professional. Here are some common asphalt issues you should look out for:

1. Potholes

Potholes may develop if you do not take care of your asphalt surface. They are caused by pooled water and heavy traffic that breaks the pavement. The top layer starts to erode because of the water, and constant traffic wears it down over time until potholes form.

They are the worst, especially for drivers. Reports indicate that potholes result in $3 billion in damage to US drivers annually.

Common Fix

Depending on the severity of the issue, professional pavers would recommend either cold mix patching repair in case of low severity, whereas potholes measuring more than 3″ may require hot mix patching.

2. Block Cracking

They are formed when cracking forms interconnected rectangles on the asphalt surface. These cracks in the asphalt pavement are usually due to shrinkage caused by the inability of the asphalt binder to expand or contract according to temperature changes.

They occur due to poor-quality asphalt material or inaccurate mixing of pavement material during asphalt paving.

Common Fix:

For repairing block cracks, you can consider crack filling if the cracks measure 1/2″, but more severe ones would require asphalt patching.

3. Alligator Cracking

These are often referred to as fatigue cracking, and they appear in interconnected cracks resembling an alligator’s skin.

Heavy traffic loads usually cause alligator cracking on weak foundation layers or due to insufficient asphalt thickness. It can also be caused by improper drainage patterns or pavements subjected to high temperatures.

Common Fix

For alligator cracking, the underlying cause must be identified and resolved before repairs are made. Depending on the severity of the damage, asphalt resurfacing or complete replacement may be necessary.

4. Raveling

Raveling happens when aggregates loosen from the surface of asphalt pavement, and it’s usually caused by a lack of binder in the asphalt mix or inadequate compaction during installation. It causes the asphalt surface to break apart and form small stones, which can erode the asphalt driveway or parking lot.

Common Fix

Raveling often requires complete asphalt resurfacing to repair, as it’s challenging to distinguish broken pieces from sound material in the existing pavement.

5. Rutting

Rutting is a common issue caused by heavy vehicles driving on the same route repeatedly and compressing the asphalt over time, forming visible grooves on the surface. It can also be caused by improper construction techniques or inadequate thickness of the asphalt overlay.

Common Fix

Depending on the severity and depth of ruts, repairs may involve saw-cut patching or full-depth repair with milling and replacement of underlying layers. If necessary, you may use an additional new layer of hot-mix asphalt.

6. Shoving and Rippling

When the edges of an asphalt surface are not properly compacted, they tend to rise or swell in places due to traffic driving over them. It creates a rippled effect on the pavement surface and is known as shoving or rippling.

Common Fix

It can usually be fixed by saw-cut patching or full-depth repair with milling. Still, larger-scale repairs often require the whole section of asphalt to be replaced.

7. Depressions or Bird Baths

Depressions that accumulate water on an asphalt surface are bird baths or puddles. They occur when the underlying soil has not been adequately compacted and cannot support the weight of passing traffic.

Common Fix

You can fix the issues using cold-mix patching, tack coat, and sealing techniques. You may want to use full-depth repairs to stabilize the base layer material.

To Repave or Not to Repave? That is the Question

Although repair and patching techniques are effective in addressing certain types of asphalt defects, there may come a time when repaving the entire surface is the best option. When it comes to deciding whether or not to invest in a complete repave, it’s essential for paving professionals to consider the following factors:

1. Age and Condition of Asphalt

If your asphalt surface is more than 20 years old, has widespread cracking, and has had multiple repairs, it may be time for a complete repaving job.

2. Traffic Volume & Loads

High-traffic loads will require faster replacement and resurfacing intervals than areas with low-traffic volumes. If your asphalt driveway and parking lot will see much heavy traffic, opt for a thicker asphalt layer.

3. Location & Surroundings

Areas exposed to extreme weather conditions, such as snow and heavy rain, will require more frequent asphalt maintenance than those with milder climates. Additionally, if your pavement is surrounded by trees or other vegetation, roots and overhanging branches can cause premature damage to the asphalt surface and accelerate the need for repaving.

4. Cost & Budget Considerations

Repaving comes at a cost, so you must consider how much money you’re willing to invest in your new pavement before making any decisions.

It may be more cost-effective to perform minor repairs now for a longer-term benefit rather than opting for a full repave immediately.

Ultimately, when deciding between repairing or repaving your asphalt driveway or parking lot, it’s essential to weigh all factors – from the condition of the pavement to budget considerations.

Also Read: How Often Do You Need Asphalt Paving, Repair & Maintenance Services?


Paving professionals play a crucial role in determining the best course of action when repairing or repaving asphalt.

They consider factors such as the age and condition of the pavement, expected traffic and wear patterns, safety concerns, budget limits, and more.

Professional Pavers in Belton, MO

Paradise Asphalt Maintenance can provide high-quality service if you’re looking for an asphalt paving professional in Belton, MO.

We understand the importance of getting your asphalt pavement repaired or replaced correctly and quickly. We offer various services, including seal coatingpatchingcrack sealingstriping, and asphalt paving.

Our experienced team will assess the condition of your property’s pavement and decide whether it’s best to repair or repave the surface.

Contact us to get a free estimate today.