Are you looking for a solution to patch potholes, depressed areas, and large cracks in your pavement? Maybe you want an affordable option for paving a dirt road. Your first thought might be to use gravel for the job. However, asphalt millings are the superior choice for several reasons.

Asphalt milling, also known as pavement milling, is the process of grinding and removing the topmost layer of asphalt. This must be performed every few years to prevent periodic resurfacing from making the pavement too high. Asphalt milling also helps prevent drainage problems and allows a new sub-base to be installed when necessary.

The asphalt material removed during pavement milling is not simply discarded. Instead, it’s ground down into aggregate-sized pieces known as millings, which can be reused for paving projects like yours. Explore these five reasons to consider asphalt millings over gravel to ensure you make the right choice.

Asphalt Millings Reduce Project Costs

As waste materials from previous paving projects, asphalt millings cost significantly less than new paving materials, including gravel. Your contractor passes the savings directly on to you, thus reducing the cost of your project.

Asphalt Millings are Eco-Friendly

Asphalt is a non-biodegradable material, so it will be around forever. That’s why paving new roads and patching existing pavement with repurposed asphalt millings is better for the environment than using new gravel. Without this recycling method, old asphalt would simply go to waste and take up unnecessary space in the landfill.

Using gravel has its own environmental concerns. Not only does gravel mining generate pollution but laying gravel and driving on loose gravel roads also generates a tremendous amount of dust. This decreases air quality and may cause health problems for those in the immediate area.

In addition to feeling good about making an eco-friendly choice, using asphalt millings can also help you earn LEED credits toward your LEED certification. Certain commercial projects may even qualify for tax credits from using millings, which lowers your project’s overall effective cost.

Asphalt Millings Bond Well

Consider how gravel scatters over time. It does not make a stable material for paving roads and parking lots or filling potholes. Over time, gravel spreads out of its bed and sinks into the subsurface. Before you know it, you’re driving on dirt.

The tar in reclaimed asphalt can be rejuvenated by incorporating a blend of acid, polymers, and other ingredients into the millings. Following proper site preparation, installation, and compaction, the contractor sprays the rejuvenated millings with liquid asphalt to help them harden and bond together even more. The resulting surface is smooth, stable, and erosion-resistant.

Asphalt Millings Withstand Wet Weather

Some people use crusher run, a blend of coarse aggregate and fine aggregate, to help their gravel roads hold together better. Unfortunately, this method produces muddy conditions in wet weather. Depending on the crusher run material, the surface may also become sandy over time, losing its compaction in the process.

One workaround for this problem is to use synthetic gravel. However, this product is more expensive than asphalt millings, and it still doesn’t hold up as well in wet weather. This is because synthetic gravel typically contains clay, which causes the surface to become soft and messy when it rains.

Asphalt millings withstand weather conditions the best because they create a hard surface that doesn’t deteriorate under heavy rain the way gravel does.

Asphalt Millings Require Little to No Maintenance

Gravel roads are susceptible to sinking and erosion. As the material settles and spreads, it’s necessary to regrade the subsurface and replenish the gravel to maintain the road’s integrity. This increases the lifetime costs of the road and consumes more raw materials.

On the other hand, asphalt millings require very little maintenance. This paving material does not need refinishing, resurfacing, or replacing because it grows stronger and harder as it bakes under the Arizona sun. This also differs from hot asphalt, which requires sealing and patching as it breaks down over time.

Assuming average traffic levels and normal wear and tear, a paved surface made of asphalt millings can last 20 to 30 years. For the best results, make sure you work with a company that sources high-quality asphalt millings for the project.

Contact Cactus Asphalt Today

If you’re thinking of using millings for your paving or patching project, consult with the experts at Cactus Asphalt. We are the Phoenix area’s premier commercial asphalt company, with over 40 years of experience serving our community. We would be happy to recommend the best materials for patching or paving your road to maintain a beautiful surface for years to come. Call us today at (623) 552-7854 or contact us online to speak with a knowledgeable representative.