If you're paying a commercial paving company to surface a specific location, it's important to understand some basic things about the process. Customers should know the basics regarding these three issues.


Even in the driest regions, drainage for a surfaced area is critical. Fortunately, asphalt provides excellent drainage.

You may need to engineer the base if you're using concrete to support the surface. However, a commercial paving company can usually deal with these sorts of drainage issues during the initial installation.

A previous installation could create problems if the drainage is poor, though. Also, some changes to the area, such as a nearby building going up, could change the drainage characteristics of a location. In extreme cases, this may require tearing up the surface, removing the base, and starting fresh.

Types of Jobs

Most commercial paving work falls into one of four categories: surfacing, resurfacing, patching, and maintenance.

Surfacing is putting down the initial asphalt. Resurfacing involves pulling up the asphalt, remixing it with more asphalt, and reapplying it to the surface. Unlike many other materials, asphalt tends to improve in terms of durability when you recycle it.

Patching is exactly what the name suggests. It often involves filling potholes with asphalt. In some cases, the commercial paving company may need to resurface a section or even repair the underlying base.

Maintenance normally involves spraying the surface with a sealant to treat microfractures. One of the biggest virtues of asphalt is it will usually last for a couple of decades if you regularly maintain it. How often you need to do this will vary based on how much sunlight, precipitation, and traffic there is at your site.


All asphalt paving contractors mix or remix their materials. Mixes are characterized by their temperatures.

Cold mixes are soft, and companies usually use them for patches and potholes. A cold mix tends to resist the ingress of water. Also, a contractor can put it down in nearly any weather condition, making it ideal for winter repair work.

Hot mixes provide the greatest versatility in terms of coarseness. If you need a very coarse mixture to encourage water drainage in a wet region, for example, a company may use a hot mix to produce the desired result. You can also use mixes with more stones for traction or sand to produce a smoother surface.

Warm mixing is an in-between option. It's more environmentally friendly, but it can be difficult at lower temperatures.

Keep these tips in mind as you look for commercial paving services.