Full-depth reclamation is a recycling technique that reuses the underlying materials and incorporates an additive such as cement before regrading, compacting, and paving the site.

Full-Depth Reclamation may be the most cost effective and best long-term solution when a parking lot has severely deteriorated, and typical pavement repair techniques such as patching or overlay will not hold up. FDR may also make sense when more than 40% of the areas will require full depth patching.

FDR is a good candidate when:

  • Base or subgrade failure issues are present
  • Severe rutting or deep depressions exist
  • Repeated patching failures occur

The FDR Process:

  1. The existing old asphalt and base material is pulverized in place to a specified depth usually between 8” and 12”.
  2. An additive such as cement is introduced to the mixture and distributed among the material.
  3. Water may be added depending on the nature of the existing soils.
  4. The existing material and cement are again pulverized and blended with the reclaimer machine.
  5. The modified base is graded and compacted to proper depth and elevation in preparation for paving.
  6. New pavement is installed immediately after the site has cured.

FDR can cost significantly more compared to asphalt patching or overlay, so it is important to fully assess the geotechnical conditions and long-term needs of the pavement to devise the best solution for your site. There are different thresholds that experts use to determine when FDR is needed; some require FDR when more than 40% of the area will require full-depth patching while others think it is as little as 20%. The correct assessment of your site can be challenging, and it requires an experienced paving professional or engineer to examine the site firsthand.

Recently completed Full-Depth Reclamation projects include: Hillandale Elementary School in Durham, Sanderson High School in Raleigh, Wake Tech Community College in Raleigh, Health & Human Services in Raleigh, and Central Regional Hospital in Butner.

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