Pavement Preservation

Asphalt pavement preservation is a critical element to extending the life of pavement and asphalt. Pavement preservation is part of an ongoing routine maintenance effort meant to extend the life of a road, parking lot, or another paved surface.

There are many different types of pavement preservation treatments depending on if the road is concrete pavement or asphalt, and variations within each. Without a pavement preservation treatment program, all paved surfaces will eventually degrade to the point of needing expensive reconstruction. Preventative maintenance not only costs less in the long run but will cause less disruption to the use of the paved surface.

Concrete Pavement Preservation

Concrete pavement preservation should be part of a preventative maintenance plan – pavement preservation treatment is always more cost-effective than waiting for a road to turn into a reconstruction project later.

Concrete pavement preservation includes removing old joint sealant, crack sealing and repair, concrete joint repair. In some cases, concrete joints can become too wide to repair with a replacement seal, in which case a different pavement rehabilitation method must be used.

Asphalt pavement preservation is handled differently. Pavement maintenance for asphalt is similar to concrete pavement preservation in that preservation is always less expensive than allowing a road to turn into a pavement reconstruction job, but the pavement maintenance methods used are much different. Asphalt is naturally soft and flexible and tends to ‘wear out’ in a way concrete pavement does not; while concrete tends to require more maintenance in joints, asphalt roads require more of a surface preservation treatment. Slurry seal is almost always part of an asphalt pavement preservation program. Slurry seal is a way to improve pavement condition by laying down a layer of water, asphalt emulsion, aggregate (crushed rock), and several other compounds. The asphalt emulsion mixed into the slurry seal is what gives a freshly paved road a slick, black appearance. Pavement maintenance is not only a way to save money over the lifetime of the road but adds to the aesthetics of the community. Not to be confused with slurry seal, chip seal is an alternative to asphalt; chip seal is a process of pressing small gravel into the hot oil – sometimes identified as being more of a light gray or white in appearance, commonly found in the desert.