Asphalt Milling Best Practices

What happens when you remove old asphalt to make way for new pavement? In most cases, the old asphalt is milled, so it can be recycled into something new. This is an eco-friendly, efficient way to repave your driveways, sport courts, parking lots, roads and more. Over the years, the process has changed. Read on to learn more about asphalt milling in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Why should you mill your old asphalt?

Asphalt is a sturdy, strong material, but sun damage, rain, wind, poor drainage, heat, snow and traffic can all take their toll on your pavement. Your asphalt may crack, crumble and develop potholes and other problems. That’s not only unattractive, but also unsafe. The worse condition your asphalt is in, the more likely it is you’ll need to remove it and replace it with new pavement.

Asphalt milling recycles your old pavement. The asphalt milling machine, which is also called a pavement recycler, cold planer, pavement planer or roto-mill, uses a rotating head to remove the asphalt from the road. The head uses hundreds of spikes to grind and remove the pavement, which is either put into a dump truck immediately or left in place to be picked up later.

After the asphalt is removed, the asphalt is recycled into new pavement. It’s an efficient way to keep roads looking great while cutting down on waste.

Asphalt milling through the years

The asphalt milling practice began in the 1970s. The first millers looked like motor graders, but used a milling head instead of a scraper blade. Instead of layering even more asphalt on top of broken, cracked roads, milling allowed contractors to remove the old pavement and lay new pavement on top of the base.

Designers quickly realized that the cutting drum needed more power. The other drawback was that the cutting head’s teeth would dull very quickly, which meant they needed to be replaced fairly often. Frequent replacements cut into productivity (and the miller’s bottom line), so it was important to come up with a better solution. This manifested in the form of easier replacements, as well as different-sized cutting heads so contractors could mill at different widths.

The next major development was creating a conveyor system so the milled asphalt could be sent into a waiting bin (usually on the truck) for recycling. Today, milling machines require two people for safe operation: one to operate the machine and control the functions, and one on the ground who monitors depth, width and potential obstructions.

Today’s milling machines are significantly faster and more efficient than the 1970s models. This makes it easy to remove your old pavement and get new asphalt installed. Even though the elements and wear and tear can take their toll on your roadways, it’s quick and easy to replace the asphalt and get a fresh new surface.

If you’re interested in asphalt milling in Saratoga Springs, NY, call Asphalt Industries, LLC today. We offer a range of asphalt paving and milling services to suit your needs.