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What are the Different Types of Road Surface Dressing, and Which Is Best?

What are the Different Types of Road Surface Dressing, and Which Is Best?

Axtell Surfacing are a leading road surface dressing contractor with over 20 years’ experience in road resurfacing projects of all types and sizes. In this post we explain and compare the different types of road surface dressing available and the process of road surface dressing.

What is Surface Dressing?

Road surface dressing is designed to extend the life of the road surface for seven or more years and is used before the need to resurface a road, in order to prevent such works being necessary. It seals the surface to help prevent from environmental damage such as rain and frost, and against wear and tear from vehicular activity. It also improves the road surface and reduces stopping time for road users. It can be applied to cover chips, cracks and knocks to the road surface, and can be put directly over existing surfaces of tarmac, concrete, and tar and chip finishes.

Types of Road Surface Dressing & the Road Surface Dressing Process

Most surfaces which will be dressed are roads, but a modified method can be applied to surface dress pathways, cycle lanes, and areas with low or no traffic such as borders and reservations. Standard surface dressing is used on roads likely to see heavier traffic, and micro asphalt on quieter roads such as in residential areas.

Road Dressing Process

Firstly, the road is treated for any major damage such as cracks, areas where the surface has fallen away, and potholes. Next, the road is sprayed with a fine layer of bitumen to create a tacky surface which fills in surface gaps and gives the surface dressing something to adhere to.

Following this, a layer of asphalt, micro asphalt, or other material chippings is added and rolled in a single- or double-layer formation, depending on the type of surface and the traffic it is likely to endure. This layer is made fairly thick, to stop traffic picking up bitumen and removing patches of the surfacing works.

One kilometre of surface can be dressed in around two hours, meaning larger works may involve overnight closures and reduced speed limits while the surface settles and until the excess chippings are cleared.

The road will be monitored for a few days, and road markings replaced after the final sweep a few weeks after the initial works.

machine lay tarmac

What are the Benefits of Surface Dressing?

Surface dressing has many benefits, which outweigh the temporary inconvenience of road closures and reduced speed limits:

  • Can be completed quickly compared to other road repairs
  • Reduced cost compared to other road repairs
  • Creates a non-skid road surface
  • Help reduce braking distances
  • Extend the life of the road
  • Help prevent cracks and damage
  • More environmentally friendly compared to other types of road repair as materials can sometimes be reused.

What Might Stop a Surface Dressing Project?

Due to the nature of the materials involved, surface dressing works cannot be carried out in particularly hot or cold weather, and the surface must be laid and set in dry weather.

Start a Conversation with Axtell Surfacing for Commercial Road Resurfacing

With over 20 years’ experience our wealth of knowledge of road surface dressing and road surface treatments has allowed us to build up our trusted reputation to become one of the leading surface dressing companies in Surrey.

For more information about our surface dressing services or road repairs to start a conversation with Axtell Surfacing to discuss your project requirements, simply contact our friendly team or call us on 01483 357277 for a quote today.

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