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What is Asphalt Pulverization?

asphalt pulverization
The Asphalt Pulverization Option- Feed At Your Own Reward!

One option to consider when repairing your asphalt parking lot is asphalt pulverization.  It wants to be fed, the asphalt monster that is.  Like a large prehistoric beast, the blade of a pulverization machine chews old asphalt and spits it out to create a new stone base.

What is Asphalt Pulverization?

Simply put, asphalt pulverization is a method of crushing the existing surface of an asphalt section and mixing it with the existing underlying stone.

The standard method is as follows:

– Pulverize area and mix the underlying stone to create a new stone base, which can be done up to a depth of 12”, but is usually done a couple inches past the existing asphalt section.
– Compaction is done with a sheep’s foot roller.
– A road grader shapes the base to the appropriate grades.
– Additional compaction is done with a vibratory steel drum roller.
– Asphalt is paved over newly constructed base.

What are the advantages?

Pulverization is an effective asphalt rehabilitation option that should be used to bring new life to an asphalt section.  In most cases this option is/has:

– More cost-effective than full reconstruction
– A longer life-cycle than an asphalt overlay

What are the disadvantages?

While pulverization can be an attractive option, there are some things to consider:

– Unstable areas are still a possibility. These may be hidden below the newly created stone base.
– May be a shorter life-cycle than a full reconstruction, depending on the situation

What can be done if unstable areas are found during this process?

Undercut Areas
– Add a stabilizing agent (Cement, Lime, or Fly Ash) to the base and mix with a pulverization machine.


Pulverization is an efficient and effective option when considering pavement rehabilitation.  While this is true, it is important to understand its advantages and disadvantages before feeding the asphalt monster!

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