If you’re not well-versed in the asphalt resurfacing process, you might think that contractors simply apply fresh asphalt over damaged surfaces to make them look good as new. However, this approach would only prolong problems with your asphalt and result in uneven grading. Indeed, work must be done before resurfacing to ensure proper grading, adhesion, and durability – the process in question is called asphalt milling (or cold planing).
Put simply, milling removes the upper layers of damaged asphalt to yield a fresh, grooved surface for new asphalt paving. While this concept is easy enough to grasp, the process itself is highly nuanced, which is why professionals are required for the job. Let’s go over three key best practices these experts adhere to when performing asphalt milling.
Top 3 Best Asphalt Milling Practices
1. Proper Preparation
Efficient, safe, high-quality milling outcomes rely on careful asphalt inspection, the perfect functionality of asphalt milling machines (or cold planers), and a well-trained crew all on the same page. A thorough inspection will determine the precise areas that require asphalt repair and paving and which machines are right for the job. Taking good care of said milling equipment will keep the project operating at 100% efficiency. As for the crew, every team member must know their role and maintain strong communication throughout the process to maximize safety, minimize debris fallout, and stay on schedule.
2. Deliberate Pacing
Like shaving hair or mowing grass, the settings, speed, and pace of your milling equipment determine how much material is removed and how evenly it’s distributed. Anyone who has witnessed commercial asphalt repair before knows how variable damaged surfaced can be – milling equipment is designed to restore a level playing field, but it’s up to the operator’s technique to ensure these desired outcomes. Operators should begin slowly to allow the rear tracks to walk into the cut. This slow approach applies when stopping, too. Abruptness is the enemy. Simply milling at breakneck speeds puts undue stress on the cold planing machine and results in a coarse pattern. The milled material will also come out larger with this approach, meaning it may need to be further demolished before it can be reused for future asphalt projects.
3. Thorough Sweeping of Milled Surfaces
Milling machines tear through a lot of asphalt. When properly milled, these bits and pieces are flung into a large bin to be recycled. Of course, some of these materials won’t make it to their desired destination. By the time milling is complete, you can expect some debris and dust to riddle the area. New asphalt should only be applied to a dry and dustless surface, so thorough cleaning is necessary prior to this final step. Wet sweeping is a tried and true method used by asphalt repair services when cleaning up after a milling job – just note that any moisture must completely evaporate before resurfacing. Industrial-grade vacuuming is another solution, one that leaves no moisture behind.
Get the Most Out of Milling
A little asphalt milling can go a long way with proper preparation, expert operation, and thorough cleaning after the fact. At Cassidy Paving, professional asphalt milling constitutes one of the many comprehensive asphalt services we deliver to clients throughout New England. Call us today at 866-978-9788 for a free estimate on your next asphalt repair project.