Microsurfacing Frequently Asked Questions

What is Microsurfacing?

Microsurfacing is a road maintenance tool that involves laying a mixture of dense‐graded aggregate, asphalt emulsion, water, polymer additive, and mineral fillers to correct or prevent certain deficiencies in pavement conditions. We use Microsurfacing primarily to extend pavement life by sealing any cracks in the pavement surface. This also improves surface friction and corrects rutting.

How long will my street be closed?

There may be parking restrictions and road closures the entire day the work is scheduled. Once placed, microsurfacing requires 1‐2 hours to set or harden before the road can be opened to traffic.

What should the residents do to prepare for their streets to be microsurfaced?

Residents will be notified 24‐48 hours in advance. On the day the street is scheduled for microsurfacing, the residents will be required to remove all personal items from the roadway (vehicles, trash cans, basketball nets, etc.). Residents will need to park their car on an adjacent street that will be scheduled in advance. All sprinkler systems will be required to be turned off that day.

How soon till I can walk on the street?

Pedestrians should keep off the street until the roadway has had the required 1‐2 hours to set and harden. A good indication is after you see the material turn from its applied color of brown, to its cured rich black color. Be aware that “wet” microsurfacing is “tacky” and is difficult to remove from clothing and fur. The final product provides a finished surface that is black in color and looks similar to that of an asphalt surface.

Why does the street seem rough?

A piece of burlap is dragged behind the paver during the application process to give the microsurfacing its desired texture. During this process the burlap pulls a small amount of the aggregate to the surface of the material, which gives it an initial coarse appearance. Over the next few weeks traffic will do its job of rolling down that aggregate and smoothing the surface. Be aware that the texture is not exactly that of new asphalt. When complete, your roads will be protected with a strong, less expensive, wearing coarse with improved skid resistance, to provide a safer driving environment.

A resident turned out of their driveway and it left a mark.

When microsurfacing is first placed, the surface is tender and can be marked up by sudden turning movements. Do not worry, these imperfections on the pavement are temporary as seasonal weather and traffic will smooth out these imperfections over time.

Is it essential to repair structural damage to the roadway prior to microsurfacing?

Yes. In order to get the best results from microsurfacing, all necessary base repairs must be addressed. Keep in mind that a single application is approximately 3/8 of an inch thick. Extensive cracking networks need to be properly filled and any necessary potholed or delaminated areas need to be patched. Depending on how severe the cracking network may be, reflective cracking may occur after application. Microsurfacing also has a unique leveling capability. Severely rutted areas can be leveled using several lifts giving an overall improved riding surface.

Jefferson Public Works has made extensive efforts to prepare your roadway for microsurfacing. Preparations such as shoulder milling, strip paving, belgium block repair and catch basin renovations have all been done in an effort to extend the life of your roadway and improve storm water runoff. 

Is the microsurfacing hot?

One of the many benefits to microsurfacing is that NO it is not hot! Because of the improved polymer modified binders used in the product, heat is not needed to produce this special mix. Therefore microsurfacing is an environmentally friendly process that cuts down carbon emissions and allows for reduced energy consumption!

More questions about Microsurfacing? Feel free to call us at the Public Works office 973-697-2522