What’s The Difference Between Road Milling and Pulverizing?

April 24, 2024


When it comes to maintaining and repairing roads, two common methods used are road milling and pulverizing. While both processes are designed to remove existing pavement and prepare the surface for new pavement, they differ in their approach and the end result they produce. In this blog post, we will discuss the difference between road milling and pulverizing, their specific techniques, and when each method is best suited for asphalt repairs.

Road Milling: Definition and Process

Road milling is a process that involves using a machine equipped with a rotating drum to remove the top layer of an asphalt pavement. The milling machine grinds and removes the pavement material, creating a rough and uneven surface. The removed material is then collected and disposed of, leaving behind a clean and level surface ready for new pavement to be laid.

Pulverizing: Definition and Process

Pulverizing, on the other hand, is a process that involves using a machine equipped with a large drum to crush and grind the existing asphalt pavement into small pieces. The pulverized material is then mixed with a binding agent and compacted to create a sturdy base for new pavement. This process results in a more uniform and stable surface compared to road milling, making it ideal for areas with significant asphalt deterioration.

Key Differences Between Road Milling and Pulverizing

One of the main differences between road milling and pulverizing is the end result they produce. Road milling leaves behind a rough and uneven surface, while pulverizing creates a more uniform and stable base for new pavement. Additionally, road milling removes the top layer of pavement material, while pulverizing grinds the existing material into small pieces that are then reused in the reconstruction process.

When to Use Road Milling

Road milling is typically used when the surface of the existing pavement is in good condition but needs to be removed to accommodate a new layer of pavement. It is also commonly used to remove surface irregularities, improve ride quality, and increase the skid resistance of the road. Road milling is a cost-effective and efficient method for removing thin layers of pavement without causing significant damage to the underlying base.

When to Use Pulverizing

Pulverizing is best suited for areas with significant asphalt deterioration, such as deep cracks, potholes, and severe rutting. It is also ideal for situations where the existing pavement needs to be completely replaced, as the pulverized material can be reused as a base for the new pavement. Pulverizing is a sustainable and environmentally friendly method that reduces the need for new materials and saves on disposal costs.

Benefits of Road Milling and Pulverizing

Both road milling and pulverizing offer several benefits for asphalt repairs and road maintenance. Road milling helps improve ride quality, increase skid resistance, and extend the life of the pavement. Pulverizing, on the other hand, provides a cost-effective and sustainable solution for areas with significant asphalt deterioration, reducing the need for new materials and minimizing disposal costs.


Road milling and pulverizing are two common methods used for repairing and maintaining asphalt pavements. While road milling is ideal for removing thin layers of pavement and improving ride quality, pulverizing is best suited for areas with significant asphalt deterioration and the need for a stable base for new pavement. By understanding the key differences between these two processes and their specific techniques, contractors and road maintenance professionals can choose the most appropriate method for their specific asphalt repair needs.

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