As a pavement ages and maintenance has been the rule more than the exception, patching is sometimes the most cost advantageous solution to a long term problem. There are basically two kinds of patching: skim or (paver) patching & pot hole patching. Both methods are considered short term solutions to a long term problem.
Skim patching is usually performed with the paving machine and the edges are blended in, or "feathered," as much as possible. Patching is usually subject to edge raveling which is caused by snow plows hitting the edge of the thin asphalt.
A benefit of timely asphalt patching is the prevention of more expensive repairs in the future. Also, creating a safer environment results in fewer accidents and reduced liability.