October 27, 2022

What Lies Ahead For Asphalt Maintenance and Paving Industry?


Despite the COVID-19-related economic downturn, the asphalt maintenance and paving market expanded in 2020 at a CAGR of 3.6%. In 2021, the paving sector rose by more than 3.1% and is expected to balloon up to $321.5 million by 2027. This implies that parking lot and pavement resurfacing jobs witnessed an uptick for property managers across the US throughout 2022.

In order to navigate uncertainty, inflation, labor shortages, evolving tech, and continually adapt to emerging market situations, staying on top of asphalt & paving maintenance trends is more important than ever.

As if inflation wasn't bad enough, the expense of maintaining pavement rises as pavement conditions deteriorate. What are the challenges ahead for the paving industry? What will stick, and what will be lost in the hubbub? In this blog, we have a look.

The labor shortage will continue

The biggest problem currently plaguing the asphalt maintenance and paving industry is the manpower shortage. Speak with any business owner, and they will tell you why it is difficult to recruit employees. And finding the proper individuals will remain difficult in 2022-23. However, there are steps you can take to lessen the impact of a labor shortage.

Making the most of your paving maintenance equipment with preventive upkeep, and increasing employee productivity with the right software can lessen its effects.

Asphalt maintenance & paving construction worker hard at work
Asphalt construction workers are hard at work

Contractors will have to rely more than ever on automation and technology to complete the work as long as the labor scarcity in the paving and construction industry persists.

There are still contradicting reports of a US recession. However, a downturn in the economy is unlikely to make the labor shortage for paving maintenance contractor employment in the country any better. Contractors must, therefore, accept the task and devise ways to complete it as effectively as they can. A focus on fleet fuel efficiency and improved equipment and property measurement technologies should be helpful.

Supply chain issues and inflation disrupt the asphalt maintenance and paving industry

Manufacturers, suppliers, and customers have a difficult few months ahead. While consumers and businesses are faced with shortages of semiconductors, steel, and other materials, supermarket shelves bare of domestic staples have become a regular sight after the pandemic.

It didn't take long for the asphalt maintenance and paving business to feel the effects of supply chain interruptions. This year, businesses coped with a crack filler shortage. And line-marking paint is still in limited supply in many places right now.

An industrial port that supplies market materials in Spain
An industrial port that supplies market materials in Spain

Besides, as if dealing with supply chain problems wasn't difficult enough, inflation is causing costs to soar. In 2022, prices will undoubtedly increase, and no one can predict when they will stabilize.

Prices are high nationwide due to supply chain issues, energy costs, labor shortages, etc. The first is the supply chain problems that arose last summer. While certain bottlenecks have lessened, the problems have not yet been totally resolved. This results in greater expenses that are passed on to paving maintenance companies.

Hiring gig workers will be the norm

Finding skilled workers to fill open positions is a continuous problem in all businesses. However, contractors should consider a variety of sources when looking for employees, including boosting their team with temporary workers.

Workers recruited on a temporary or gig basis are hired in a different manner than those you personally hire. Staffing firms and online labor marketplaces can be used to find these workers for your business. Regardless of the method of hiring, temporary workers offer advantages that could continue to advance the job completion goal.

  • When a customer requests additional labor or if a crew member needs to take time off due to an emergency, send in these types of people.
  • When you recruit temporary workers, you can typically anticipate that they will execute a variety of tasks for you. And, based on their varying experience, they provide advantages in terms of operations.

Once more, the business should consider the advantages and disadvantages of hiring temporary staff as well as how doing so will impact the organization as a whole. This is just one strategy to address the labor shortage that some businesses may find to be an effective substitute.

Increasing demand for paving maintenance

Demand for seal coating and crack repair services increased this year. This spring and summer, HOAs have been signing up for seal coating and crack repair to enhance the beauty of their properties with lovely paved areas and walkways. 

A person whose legs are visible is sealing asphalt driveway sealcoating with filled cracks
Sealcoating on a driveway with cracks

But not just that. Increasing construction activity across the US, particularly in urban areas has led to a rise in paving maintenance jobs. This has also received the government’s emphasis on infrastructure development.

Paving maintenance technologies will attract investment

The challenging environment facing the asphalt maintenance and paving industry has offered a setting for creativity and innovation.

Traditionally, spreadsheets were used to plan out the majority of paving jobs. Even though this serves the purpose, it isn't always effective, especially for bigger projects. The productivity of a project can be greatly improved by using business management software rather than attempting to do everything manually.

For example, the adoption of the following new tech in the asphalt paving maintenance industry is inevitable:

a) 3D paving control systems

Providing an even and smooth surface is critical, but doing so isn't always simple when the existing surface is rough and uneven. 3D paving control systems are helping paving contractors quickly match the planned design without laying down an initial leveling course.

b) Nanotechnology

The paving industry is starting to see the impact of nanotechnology in a number of applications. Paver-mounted thermal profiling (PMTP) installations help with quality control, including temperature monitoring and the repair of minor cracks.

c) Autonomous motor

Additionally, self-driving or autonomous vehicles are currently all the rage, but they can be used for more than just commuting in the morning. A variety of businesses, like asphalt maintenance and paving, are starting to see the value and viability of autonomous cars.

Launched at Bauma 2019, BOMAG's  ROBOMAG BW154, a fully autonomous tandem roller for asphalt compaction.
As seen at Bauma 2019, BOMAG's ROBOMAG BW154 is a fully autonomous tandem roller built for asphalt compaction. Credits: ForConstructionPros

d) Automated asphalt maintenance and paving site measurements

When working with asphalt maintenance and paving contractors, our team at Attentive.ai frequently heard that the time and resources spent getting to the site and manually measuring areas for paving job estimates is a significant time waster. With Automeasure, BDs and estimators can easily reduce the amount of time spent on laborious manual chores like measuring sites for services like car park seal coating, line stripes, sweeping, asphalt repairing, crack sealing, etc.

Additional Read: Winning Paving Maintenance Bids With Automated Site Measurements

To this end, Attentive.ai offers a first-of-its-kind platform for automatically measuring properties for paving maintenance contractors

With AutoMeasure, paving professionals get fully automated site measurements for aspects like asphalt area, crack length, and parking stall striping length, thanks to AI. Both commercial and residential pavement contractors would benefit from using this technology.

Paving asphalt sitemap with measurements on Attentive.ai
Paving asphalt sitemap with measurements on Attentive.ai

And that’s just the beginning. Soon, you'll be able to obtain estimates from accurate property measurements generated automatically and create automated winning asphalt paving and maintenance proposals.

Additional Read: What Does A Winning Paving Maintenance Proposal Look Like?

Impact of regulatory changes on the industry

Due to regulatory concerns on multiple fronts, the paving maintenance sector may experience difficulties in the upcoming years.

Since insurers no longer discriminate premiums by gender, an industry with a majority of male workers in their 20s and 30s may incur greater costs. Federal budgets are strengthening protection for whistle-blowers, making it even more vital for paving maintenance businesses to attend to safety initiatives.

Asphalt and paving maintenance businesses can suffer due to a rising push to ban or restrict the use of refined coal tar sealants. Besides, paving contractors may have to decide between trying to keep outdated equipment operational and investing in new equipment that complies with the new emissions regulations.

Long-term legislation and innovation will cause sustainability practices to change even more. But paving maintenance businesses that adopt early will draw clients who want to collaborate with partners who have a track record of success.

Summing up

By staying current with industry trends, reaching targets and making predictions about your paving business are easier. Contractors have an advantage over the competition and improve results and outcomes in the future if they can spot hidden opportunities by observing industry trends.

In the future decades, climate change will be an even more discussed topic leading to industry-wide changes. Paving maintenance companies can take action right away to make their operations more sustainable. This will help them deal with labor shortages and adopt new-age technologies to improve efficiency.

We know how hectic it is to own an asphalt maintenance and paving company. The management of the business and your on-site staff requires substantial consideration and time.

Allow Attentive.ai to take care of your problems and offer you quick & accurate automated measurements. The less time you and your team have to spend measuring the serviceable land, the more time you have to work on increasing your revenues!

Sign up with Attentive.ai today & measure your first two sites for free. Feel the power of automation to take your paving business to the next level.


What is the outlook for the paving industry?

The paving industry is projected to grow significantly, with an expected increase to $321.5 million by 2027. Despite challenges like labor shortages and supply chain issues, advancements in technology and increased demand for maintenance suggest a positive outlook for the industry.

Is asphalt paving recession proof?

No industry is completely recession-proof, but asphalt paving has shown resilience due to its essential role in infrastructure and ongoing maintenance needs. However, labor shortages and economic downturns can still impact growth and profitability.

What is the latest technology in asphalt?

The latest technologies in asphalt maintenance & paving include 3D paving control systems for creating smoother surfaces, nanotechnology for better quality control, autonomous paving machinery, and automated site measurement tools like Attentive.ai's Automeasure, which leverages AI for efficiency.