Everything You Need to Know About Cut and Patch Repairs

February, 20, 2023 By CASSIDY PAVING 8 min read
Cassidy Paving project next to Fenway's Citgo sign.

If you’re starting to see small issues in your asphalt, you may be wondering what kinds of quick fixes you can apply before you need an entire restoration of your pavement. After all, small cracks and holes in your pavement can lead to much bigger and more costly structural damage down the line. Here’s some information on what causes minor deterioration in asphalt, what kinds of damage it can lead to later, and a few tips for how a cut and patch asphalt repair job could help you save big on time, budget, and the safety of your property’s visitors and vehicles.

What to Know About Cut and Patch Repairs

What Causes Cracks and Holes in Asphalt?

Many issues can lead to the need for an asphalt patch repair project, and some of these you might already be seeing in your own pavement. Some of the most common types of minor deterioration to asphalt are cracks, pitting, and potholes. Typically, these are very commonplace in high-traffic areas due to repeated pressure from heavy vehicles and regular foot traffic. Potholes, in particular, are formed when the base and sub-base layers of asphalt are no longer strong enough to support pressure anymore and begin to collapse.

Additionally, the natural elements can cause quite a bit of wear and tear on the integrity of your asphalt. This is especially true of properties in geographical areas that see high amounts of precipitation like rain, snow, sleet, and hail. Moisture from these elements can seep into the surface layers of the asphalt, causing collapsing or lifting in the sub-base layers beneath. And if you’re in a chillier climate, you may be prone to the havoc caused by the freeze-thaw cycle. This occurs when moisture from snowmelt and rainwater leaks into cracks in the pavement, freezes, and then expands. This can widen the existing cracks and cause deep grooves in the pavement. When temperatures begin to warm, the water under the surface of the asphalt melts again. During the next freeze, it hardens again. Over multiple seasons, this freeze-thaw cycle can cause major deterioration.

Snow removal services, as necessary as they are to keep businesses running and pedestrians safe, can also cause damage to your asphalt. Heavy snow plows add pressure to your pavement, and the plow’s scraping mechanism can begin to wear away at the top layers of asphalt. Using rock salt on icy pavement can cause pitting, and shoveling—especially with metal shovels—can cause dents and cracks in the pavement. So as you hire your property’s snow removal service each year, take note of how they complete the projects and whether any damage occurs because of them.

What Kinds of Damage Can Occur if Cracks Are Left Unattended?

We discussed the freeze-thaw cycle, and this is one of the prominent causes of cracked asphalt. When moisture seeps into these cracks in the pavement, it can shift, buckle, and collapse during chilly temperatures. But even if you’re not located in a cold climate, moisture seeping into your asphalt’s cracks can cause base degradation, which results in lumpy, bumpy asphalt as the water applies pressure from beneath the surface. “Frost heave” is another common phenomenon. This occurs when soil swells upward during freezing temperatures, causing uneven pavement.

Crocodile cracks or alligator cracks—so called because of their patterning, which resembles the scaly hides of these animals—are others forms of deterioration. These issues may start with a small crack, but will soon begin to break up into individual “cells” of varying sizes. This type of asphalt distress is typically caused by overloading or poor drainage, and the damage exists mostly in the layer known as the sub-base.

So, with all of this said, how do you fill holes in pavement? What should you do about those pesky cracks that could lead to further damage? Let’s find out.

How Can Cut and Patch Repairs Help Mitigate Risk?

Cut and patch repairs are some of the fastest and easiest types of asphalt repair jobs—and best of all, they are only done on the problematic part of the pavement rather than having to break up and repave the entire surface through reconstruction or resurfacing work. Cut and patch repairs are typically used on uneven areas, potholes, or cracking on your walkways, driveways, or parking lots. The highly localized nature of commercial cut and patch means most paved areas will still be passable while spots are being patched, and those areas won't be occupied by paving crews for long—reducing your chances of lost productivity or inconveniencing your facility’s occupants.

How do you cut and patch asphalt? First, hire a knowledgeable and experienced team to complete the job; don’t try to go it alone. There are two phases of this type of work that the team will complete. First, they’ll do the cutting. This is when they remove existing pavement damage like those minorly deteriorated, crumbling, or damaged areas, localized cracking, or potholes. Next comes the patching phase. This is when the team will fill that space with fresh paving to restore your asphalt to its original condition.

Sometimes, you’ll see signs of completed cut and patch repairs when there’s a circle of fresh pavement that may be darker than the rest—an indicator of pothole filling. And you may see lines of freshly-filled asphalt after an asphalt crack repair. Typically, though, asphalt service teams do their best to blend these repairs with the surrounding asphalt so they’re aesthetically pleasing. Cut and patch repairs are an excellent and economical way to restore your pavement to driveable, walkable conditions without extensive work that could cost you more in time, budget, and scheduling hassles. Cut and patch improvements also coincide with greater facility health and safety, including industry compliance and seamless inspections.

What Should I Look for in an Asphalt Repair Company?

The first thing you should be looking for when vetting asphalt repair companies to potentially partner with is their reputation. Do they have an established business with plenty of case studies and testimonials from satisfied clients? If you speak to an asphalt maintenance company and they don’t offer this information upfront, do some research on the internet, and don’t hesitate to ask for testimonials.

Next, you should be looking at whether this company is familiar with your geographical area. If you’re located in the chilly, icy Northeast United States, for instance, your asphalt repair company should be well-versed in how and when to perform certain paving projects, giving knowledgeable consideration to the elements and timing projects optimally so you get the most bang for your buck—and avoid any issues that could mean repeating the project a few months later. Consider the types of industries and clients that the company serves. If you’re seeking upgrades to your commercial or industrial lot, you won’t want to hand the reins over to an asphalt repair company that works mostly on residential properties.

Also, take into account the asphalt repair company’s staff and equipment. Do they employ enough team members to fully staff your project without delays? Are they all licensed and insured? Is the equipment that they’re using up to date and inspected regularly? Finally, consider your budget to see if the company’s pricing structure meets your needs or whether you may need to look elsewhere.

What Does Cassidy Paving Offer in Asphalt Repair Services?

Cassidy Paving is a leader in the asphalt paving industry, specifically in the New England region. Cassidy Paving is a family-owned and operated asphalt paving company headquartered in Haverhill, MA and serves clients throughout Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. We’ve handled some of the largest commercial, industrial, and government paving projects in the area, and we’re well-versed in winter weather and the optimal timing of projects.

Cassidy Paving offers an array of asphalt repair and maintenance services, including cut and patch repairs, milling, overlay and resurfacing, pulverizing and grading, reclamation, full depth reconstruction, and even commercial snow removal services. Whether you’re looking to make small asphalt repairs on your commercial lot or you’re a city, state, or federal government client looking for an extensive project on a massive thoroughfare, we have you covered. We’ll pay close attention to ADA compliance concerns as well to ensure you’re covered liability-wise.

We use industry-leading equipment for our projects, and our full-time crew has over 100 years of combined experience—plus, they’re bonded with full liability and full workers’ compensation insurance. Our communication is top-notch from start to finish, so you’ll never have to guess what the status of your project is or what you can expect in terms of results. We’ll work with your schedule and budget, assessing high-priority needs and executing thoroughly and immediately, then mapping out a longer-term plan for lower-priority projects. We also offer a guarantee on all new paving services to ensure your complete satisfaction. Our commercial and industrial paving services are expertly delivered with courteous service, clear communication, and consistent results. Contact us today to speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives to discuss cut and patch repairs or any other asphalt maintenance service you may need.

Filed Under: Asphalt

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Based in Haverhill, MA, Cassidy Paving is a commercial paving company serving southern NH and Massachusetts.

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