Microsurfacing FAQs


As part of the Township's roadway maintenance program, each year a number of streets are selected for a process called "microsurfacing." Microsurfacing applies a durable asphalt seal to roads that have begun to show signs of aging and minor distress. The process of microsurfacing has been employed by the Township for many years.

Questions about microsurfacing continue to be the most commonly asked questions received by the Public Works Department. For your convenience, we put together this Frequently Asked Questions page to help shed a little light on microsurfacing and the process.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation during the microsurfacing process. If you would like to know more information, or have any questions about microsurfacing that are not covered on this page, please contact the Public Works Department by filling out a Contact Us Form or by calling (814) 238-4651.

General Microsurfacing FAQs

What is microsurfacing?

Microsurfacing is known as a cold-mix paving system. The material used for microsurfacing consists of small aggregate, asphalt emulsion, water and mineral fillers, and is generally applied in a 3/8" thick layer.

How does the Township decide which roads receive the microsurfacing treatment?

Each year, certain streets are selected to receive the microsurfacing process. The Public Works Department reviews Township streets and selects roads that demonstrate some signs of distress, but not roads that show major signs of deterioration. Such roads may become the target of a repaving project, rather than microsurfacing, as microsurfacing works best as a preservation technique.

What happens after a road has been selected for microsurfacing?

The Township uses an independent contractor obtained through a bidding process to complete the microsurfacing work. The contractor will provide a schedule for microsurfacing that should not conflict with trash and brush and leaf collection schedules. The contractor is required to provide notice to residents (usually in the form of a door hanger) that their road will be microsurfaced and to make plans for alternate parking. Prior to commencing the work, the contractor will place "No Parking" signs on the affected roadway.

Why is microsurfacing used over other paving types?

Microsurfacing is mainly used for preservation of existing roadways. It is viewed as a more cost-effective road treatment than the traditional hot-mix paving system.

What are the benefits of microsurfacing?

The biggest benefit to microsurfacing is the cost. It is less expensive than many other road treatments. It is also known to provide better skid resistance, correct some surface irregularities, and minimize oxidation and aging.

What are the application conditions of microsurfacing?

When microsurfacing occurs, typically one lane of a road is closed at a time. Ideally, microsurfacing will occur when temperatures are generally fifty (50) degrees and rising. Microsurfacing should not occur if rain is imminent or freezing temperatures are anticipated within twenty-four (24) hours.

How long before I can drive on my road again after it has been microsurfaced?

Because of the quick-setting emulsion, traffic on the finished road can normally resume within one (1) to two (2) hours after the application.

How long do microsurfaced roads last?

The average performance lifespan of a microsurfaced road is five (5) to seven (7) years.