Repaving A Private Road? What Are Your Most Durable Options?

As a business owner, you've likely taken on a number of responsibilities you never expected -- from pitch-in short order cook or dishwasher to occasional de facto therapist for troubled employees. If your business has frontage on a private road, you may need to add "paving supervisor" to your list of job duties once your road has begun to develop potholes, thick cracks, or other structural issues that could pose dangers for your customers and employees. What are your most durable and cost-effective repaving options for a narrow, well-traveled private road? Read on to learn more about some paving materials and methods that can keep your road in great shape for years to come.

Reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP)

RAP is composed of recycled or reclaimed asphalt pavement, old rubber tires, and other crude-based products that are shredded and then melted together to create a viscous base for fresh asphalt. Because it already contains recycled "hot mix" asphalt, it can also be mixed and poured at lower temperatures than other types of asphalt, making it a good cold-weather patching or repaving material. Not only is RAP eco-friendly because it keeps old asphalt and tires out of the landfills, but it's also inexpensive -- in many cases, you'll be able to use RAP for a much lower price than you'd pay for brand-new hot-mix asphalt.

RAP is first heated until it's reached enough of a liquid state to pour easily, then carefully spread onto the surface of the pavement and allowed to cool a bit. Once the RAP has cooled enough to become a bit springy, it's compressed with a rolling attachment on a skid steer or loader until there's only a small amount of give. After the RAP has been thoroughly compressed and allowed to dry for a few hours, it should be ready to support light traffic.

When it comes to withstanding abuse over time, RAP comes out ahead of the competition in many respects. This pavement is less likely to hang onto excess water and develop cracks and crevices than loosely-packed asphalt, concrete, or brick, and when repairs are needed, it will be fairly easy to heat a bag of asphalt patch up until it's easily spreadable and then seamlessly incorporate it into your existing asphalt without leaving a visible patch mark or ragged edges. 

Recycled concrete

Although asphalt can provide a smooth, seamless driving surface, recycled concrete can often create a better aesthetic if you're repaving a small area directly in front of your business. Asphalt doesn't always lend itself well to patterns, and stamping your concrete can give it the look of brick, river stone, or even old-fashioned cobblestones without adding much extra cost to your project. By utilizing recycled concrete rather than raw materials, you'll also be able to save money and minimize some of the amount of construction debris sent to area landfills. 

Your recycled concrete will be heated to high temperatures until it is liquid enough to easily flow and fill the poured space. The paving contractors will set up borders to prevent the concrete from leaking out into the surrounding ground, then pour the concrete into this mold and allow it to harden upon exposure to the air. At this time, you'll be able to stamp any designs or patterns you'd like the concrete to take on once it's dried. As soon as the concrete has hardened, it will be able to support the weight of traffic and pedestrians while providing your business with a clean, streamlined new look.

As long as you make an effort to keep your private concrete roadway clean and free from debris, you're unlikely to suffer any cracking or chipping issues within the first few years after repaving. Any holes or cracks that do happen to develop should be quickly patched with quick-mix concrete to prevent them from growing and causing greater structural problems.

For more information and advice, contact a paving maintenance company in your area.