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Thin Asphalt Overlay And Its Benefits

Thin asphalt overlays are defined as asphalt mixes that do not exceed 1.5 inches of thickness. This thin asphalt overlay acts as seal and protection of asphalt layers that can provide immediate and economical solutions to pavements that are still in good condition but needs repair. This can be applied as a thin layer on top of an existing pavement or as part of a mill-and-fill strategy. This may not make your pavement stronger in terms of structure, but it can improve driving conditions and address functional problems. But, this does not only provide a functional benefit but also helps extend the life of a pavement.

The Applications

Thin overlays are also known as “think lifts” as they provide a thin “lift” to the current pavement. Thin lifts are the best solution to roads that are still in good structural condition but needs resurfacing because of cracking, rutting, aging, raveling, minor disintegration, and oxidation. However, this is not the best solutions for roadways that need major reconstruction and rehabilitation.

The Benefits

The application and use of thin overlays have become popular as they can improve driving conditions, maintain surface geometrics, reduce pavement distresses, reduce noise, cost-effective, and provide lasting service. A study conducted by NAPA (National Asphalt Pavement Association) determined that asphalt surfaces last 10 years longer when thin lifts are applied to the base of the layer. Also, concrete pavements last five years longer when covered with a thin asphalt layer. Other benefits of thin lifts are as follows:

  • It lowers the life-cycle costs of asphalt pavements and concrete pavements. It also reduces initial costs.
  • It is durable that it can handle heavy pressure and traffic. This can be applied to high-traffic areas.
  • It is smooth and has a sealed surface.
  • It can restore the ability of a pavement to resist skidding.
  • No noticeable loose stones or binder runoff.
  • It helps minimize dust.
  • It does not need to cure, thus preventing traffic delays.
  • It is recyclable.
  • It can be used in stage construction.
  • It does not require a lot of maintenance.

If your pavement needs minor repair due to cracking and other minor problems on asphalt surfaces, you don’t need to call on the professional to have it fully reconstructed. Instead, you can opt for a more affordable, cost-effective choice. That is having think overlays on top of your still working pavement. Your pavement does not need full reconstruction to look new. It just needs a thin lift to achieve the same results as when you first drove over your pavement the first time it was constructed.

DIY Guide: How To Repair Alligator Cracks

There are different types of pavement problems that you may encounter in this lifetime. You will see some pavements with pot holes, sink holes, spiderweb cracks, and others. One of the most common types of asphalt problem is alligator cracking. You will know your pavement has alligator cracking if you see cracks that are similar to that on the back of a gator. Some would describe it as looking like spider web cracks. If your pavement is showing this type of problem, you should not freak out. Besides calling for professional help to resolve this issue, you can take the DIY route and fix the problem yourself.

The Materials

You will need three ingredients for this process. You will need an alligator asphalt patch, an asphalt sealcoat sealer, and an asphalt squeegee. If an asphalt squeegee is not available, you can always use an asphalt brush. Once you have filled the patches with an alligator patch, you will need to seal it for added protection.

  • Alligator Patch. This is very similar to cold pour crack fillers that you can buy at DIY stores. The difference is that this material has more solid ingredients that get harder when it dries comparing to cold pour crack fillers. This makes this type of patch filler suitable for alligator cracks. You can easily find alligator asphalt patch at DIY stores or lumber stores.
  • Asphalt Squeegees. Squeegees can be used for different purposes, and one of its uses is for patching alligator cracks. This can also be used for applying a sealcoat over your asphalt pavement. When you go to the store to buy one, you will find different varieties of this product. The size of an asphalt squeegee starts from 24 inches. For faster work, you may need something that is bigger than two feet. But, if you are on a tight budget, you can use the smallest asphalt squeegee as it will do the same job as the bigger ones.
  • Asphalt Sealcoat Sealer. This can be bought at different hardware stores. There are different types of driveway sealer that you can choose from. You can either use a coal tar emulsion sealer, asphalt emulsion, oil-based sealer, fast-dry sealer, or acrylic sealer. No matter what sealer you use, you just have to make sure that you’ve done your research and have determined which one best suits your needs.

How Much Alligator Patch Do You Need?

To make sure that you are buying enough or more than enough alligator patch, make sure that you did some serious measurements before you hit the store. You should not need more than one 5-gallon of alligator patch where one gallon can cover a 20 square feet of alligator cracking. Again, it is important to take measurements before you hit the store so you can properly estimate the amount of alligator patch that you need to cover every crack that you have on your pavement.

Repairing

You just need to follow four simple steps to patch alligator cracks on your pavement.

  1. In the middle of the repair area, you can pour a general amount of alligator patch to cover the entire area.
  2. Use the squeegee to spread the patch leaving a layer of an eighth of an inch or a fourth of an inch of alligator patch.
  3. You can pour more alligator patch when you need to.
  4. To balance the entire area, you can spread more alligator patch outside the repair area thinning it out to the areas where there are no cracks to achieve a natural look.

When this is done, you just have to wait until the patch is dry. This can take several hours depending on how thick and deep the patch is. You will know when the patch is dry if it is already hard.

A Buying Guide: Which Asphalt Seal Coater Is Best For You

Giving your asphalt driveway a coating every three years will not only make it last longer, but will also make it look better. A seal coat can help protect your asphalt driveway against the sun, moisture, rain, oil, gasoline, and other materials that can potentially harm and shorten the life-span of your asphalt driveway.

DIY (do-it-yourself) products and materials that you can buy in the supermarkets and handyman stores to fill cracks and seal asphalt driveways are often not as good as the ones used by professional contractors. But, there are products that you can use to achieve the same results as when professional contractors do it. You just have to know which materials to use. Doing so will help you save up to 65% of professional fees.

The options that you can choose from when you visit your local store may be limited. You just have to make the best out of the products that you can buy. When you are out shopping for the best asphalt sealer for you and your asphalt, here are the things that you should consider:

Should You Buy Coal Tar or Asphalt Based Sealers?

Asphalt sealers that you can find in retail stores are often water-based emulsions which can contain water, latex, polymer, clay fillers, additives, asphalt, or coal tar. Asphalt-based sealers are quite popular because it is friendly to the environment. Significant changes and improvement have been made to asphalt-based sealers to make it more durable, more resistant to gas, oil, and ultraviolet rays. But, coal tar is still the best choice when it comes to sealing asphalt driveways. Coal tar sealers are more resistant to oil, gasoline, moisture, and UV rays. The use of coal tar has proven to improve the longevity of asphalt driveways. The only drawback of using this kind of sealer is that it emits high levels of VOC (volatile organic compounds) which can make the air smell foul and is potentially harmful to the environment.

Quality

Judging the quality of coal tar and asphalt-based sealers according to their formulation would be difficult as this information is proprietary. You will not be able to get this information on the label. Thus, making it difficult to determine which one is better in terms of formulation. However, the rule-of-the-thumb says that products that are better in quality come with a long warranty. The longer the warranty a sealer comes with, the better. This way, you and your investment are protected. When buying a sealer, make sure that you check the warranty before paying for it. This will easily be seen on the label.

Coverage And Cost

Asphalt based sealers are a little bit expensive because it emits lesser VOC levels and the process and technology added to improve its performance. Thin coal tar that can cover about 400 square feet usually costs up to $8 per 5-gallon of sealer. Don’t expect this kind of sealer to last for more than one season. Plain sealers, which is a level higher than the previous sealer, costs up to $11. This type of sealers is unsanded which has a more solid texture. This can cover up to 350 square feet of asphalt. The same goes to sealers in the upper end. The heavy-duty sealers can cost up to $20 per 5-gallon of sealer. And depending on the condition of the asphalt driveway, it can cover up to 350 square feet of asphalt.

Buying a sealer really depends on your needs and how exposed your asphalt is to foot and vehicle traffic. For asphalt pavements that do not go through a lot of foot traffic, a low-end sealer can be used. For places that go through a lot of foot and vehicle traffic, it is recommended to use heavy-duty sealers.

Why Sealcoating Asphalt Pavements Is A Must

Business owners face the same struggles and decisions that need to be made. Which investment to invest to? Which investment to let go? What costs to cut? What strategy to focus to? However, your business is not only about what you can do inside the confines of your office. Your business extends to what is outside of your business. It extends up to your parking lot.

If you have allotted a space for every vehicle that your employees own, then having a parking lot that is in superb condition is a must. Ask yourself whether your parking lot is in good condition or not. Will it last for another year or two? If not, have you considered applying a seal coater over it? Doing so would save you and your company more expenses of reconstructing your parking lot.

The decision of having your asphalt seal coated only takes understanding your asphalt needs. Asphalt is made of gravel, sand, stones, combined with cement to keep everything together. As time goes by, these materials break because they are continuously exposed to sun, rain, gas, oil, and other organic or inorganic materials that can damage each material, and thus shorten its lifespan. As it loses its traction, flexibility, and pliability, it will not be able to withstand heavy loads and heavy traffic. To lessen the effects of organic and inorganic materials to asphalt, sealing it must be done.

The Benefits

Sealing your asphalt with a seal coat will give you several benefits. The most obvious benefit that you can enjoy with a seal coated asphalt is that it will make your asphalt look better. In addition, a seal coat can also help prolong its longevity as it helps protect the asphalt layer against any destructive agent that can damage and make it prone to breakage. Besides from enjoying the two benefits mentioned, here are the other things you can enjoy when you seal coat your driveway or parking lot:

  • You and your customer will enjoy better traction when you drive or walk over your parking lot.
  • It will help traffic lines become more visible as an asphalt sealer can make your asphalt look darker.
  • Applying a seal coat on your driveway will make your curb look better.
  • A seal coat can also decrease the damage that organic or inorganic compounds on the asphalt.
  • A sealed asphalt driveway seals away moisture and water, which helps prolong the life and bond of each material.
  • It impedes oxidation, which is the primary agent of asphalt hardening that results to breakage.
  • It protects your investment.

As you can see, you will benefit more with sealcoating your asphalt driveway and parking lot. Having it done is a matter of deciding whether you want it or not.

Asphalt Paving: The Different Colors Of Asphalt

It is commonplace to see asphalt paving in different suburban areas like the streets, driveways, bike trails, highways, and car parks. The reason behind this is that asphalt is made of durable materials and is made to last. It is also resistant to different weather conditions, that is why asphalt is used in road construction, car parks, and private paths. In comparison to concrete, asphalt is a more economical choice. It is cost-effective and is not easily damaged. It is also easy to maintain and repair. However, if your asphalt driveway is poorly maintained, then don’t be surprised if it needs to be removed or replaced years after. Doing so does not require a lot of time and hassle, though. In addition, you can use a recycled asphalt to resurface your driveway.

A traditional asphalt driveway will come in colors black or gray. However, with the advent of technology, it is now possible to find asphalt layers in different colors. This will give you the chance to be playful on your asphalt in terms of appearance and look. You will also have a chance to give your driveway a livelier look as opposed to the plain colors of asphalt. The good news is, your existing asphalt driveway can also be colored according to your choosing and can also be fashioned in different patterns.

 

Your Color Options

Asphalt can also be stamped, just like concrete surfaces. This means that it can also be fashioned in different colors and designed. Though asphalt is made of sand, rocks, and bitumen, which usually produce the darker shade of color, asphalt surfaces can be in different colors using different types of machine.

The different asphalt colors are as follows:

  • Chocolate Brown
  • Sandy Sand
  • Red Rose
  • Pure White
  • Slate Green
  • Pale Terracotta
  • Brown Brick
  • Smokey Grey

 

When Choosing The Color

When choosing the type of color for your asphalt, it is essential that you also consider the color of your home. You don’t want an asphalt that is too bright or too dark for your home. Make sure that it still compliments the entire atmosphere of your house. In addition, you should also consider your plants around your house, the type of community you are situated, and the existing color of your pathways or walkways. The most important thing to remember is that everything should complement each other to provide a harmonious environment for you and for your neighbors.

Other contractors may offer you more color varieties to choose from. The important thing is that you now know that your asphalt can go beyond its black and gray color. Giving your driveway and curb a different look is only a matter of choosing the right color for your driveway. For DIY-ers, you can also make your own asphalt color sealer.

3 Types Of Asphalt Roofing Shingles

If you think that asphalt can only be used in constructing roads and driveways, you have thought wrong. There are other industries that make use of asphalt to support production, like agriculture or aquaculture. In residential purposes, asphalt can also be used on the roof in the form of asphalt roofing shingles.

 

Here are the three different types of asphalt roofing shingles:

 

  1. Strip Shingles. Strip shingles are considered to be the most basic type of roofing shingles that is being sold in the market today. Other types of shingles have been fashioned through this original shingle. This type of roofing is so called because of how it is layered on the roof. It is installed in a single strip (layer). Each shingle is designed to look like a slate. When you look at a roof with strip shingles, you will notice that they appear in flat. This type of roofing material is also made light weight, which is good news to all constructors. As it is the original asphalt roofing shingle, it is the most popular roofing shingle sold in the market. However, with the aid of technology, two other varieties have been made.

 

  1. Dimensional Shingles. This type of roofing shingle is not as flat and is not installed in a single layer. Dimensional shingles, as the name suggests, is dual layered or multi-layered. This creates added protection from natural and environmental elements. It also provides a thicker and richer look to the roofs. Another factor that separates dimensional shingles to strip shingles is the weight. It is heavier compared to its predecessor. And because it is dual or multilayered, it is warrantied to last at least 30 years up to a lifetime. It is for this reason that this type of roofing shingle is now the most popular type that is being sold and used in the industry.

 

  1. Luxury Shingles. This type of shingle is described as laminated. It looks different and functions differently than the traditional dimensional and strip shingles. The look of luxury roofing shingles mimics a natural slate shingle or a natural shake roofing shingle that is found in old-world residential roofs. The advantage of luxury shingles is that it is resistant to impact and has the ability to reflect the sun. These two features are surely to extend the life of the roofing system. It also is able to provide lower energy cost.

 

The next time you plan for a home improvement, especially if you are looking into renovating your roof, make sure that you consider using roofing shingles. Besides its functionality, these types of roofing materials are also made to last. They also offer a different look to your home.

The 3 Main Asphalt Types

 

Asphalt can be the most convenient way to go when you want to smooth out uneven surface or to fill any potholes. However, before you start working your way around asphalt and fixing potholes and other asphalt problems, it is important that you know the different types that you can use for each project. There are three main asphalt materials that you can use that are available in the market today. These are Hot Asphalt, Cold Mix, and UPM (Unique Paving Materials).

Hot-Mix Asphalt

Hot-Mix Asphalt or HMA is typically used by construction crew when paving and patching driveways. This is because it is the easiest type to work with. This type of asphalt is typically delivered to the job site via dump trucks, and they usually come in at 300 to 315°F. This is a permanent solution to any asphalt pavement problem. When you decide to use this to address your driveway issues, then you should remember using it as soon as possible. If it cools down, it will be very difficult for you to spread it over the pothole. When it is completely cooled down, it will be like turning over a boulder or a huge rock.

Cold Mix

If HMA is a permanent fix to an asphalt problem, Cold Mix is a temporary fix as it does not last long as the previous type. This type of asphalt repair mix is used to repair cracks that are more than an inch wide. This is also very suitable to repair potholes in the winter as it does not need warming up. The cold temperature is advantageous for this kind of asphalt. The advantage of using a cold mix is that you don’t have to use expensive asphalt tampers and rollers. You also don’t have to mix it or heat it up before you can start patching holes up or filling cracks in your driveway. You can simply shovel and pour it over the cracks or potholes. Level it up, and you are done.

Unique Paving Materials

Unique Paving Materials or UPM are considered as a cold mix. However, unlike Cold Mix, this is a permanent solution to cracks and potholes on the driveway. This type of material can be used all year round, unlike the previous two options. The temperature of this material can be adjusted as the need arises. This does not also require the same machinery as HMA. It only needs a shovel and the truck tires to compact the material. Once this is done, you can immediately use the newly patched driveway.

The three types of potholes and crack solutions above are the most basic materials that you can use whenever the need arises. You just have to determine which one is most suitable for you. You can either have this done on your own, or you can hire a professional to help seal and patch cracks and holes on your driveways. Either way, the materials will be able to help with your asphalt pavement problems.

A Homeowner’s Guide to Asphalt Pavement Installation

asphalt-pavement-installationEver since it’s development, asphalt has now become the choice material for driveways. Aside from being durable, flexible and easy to maintain and repair; it is also easy to install it over existing driveway surfaces. Although asphalt installation is not exactly a DIY task, homeowners can take part in preparing the site. Asphalt can be poured over a clean and intact existing surface or the site can be excavated to get an aggregate base. Ideally, when it comes to asphalt installation, the site is excavated to put an asphalt base before a top coat of asphalt is placed.

To prepare the site, it is wise to first layout the design of your driveway. If you have any, remove gates or fences that might interfere with the job. This also includes any kind of vegetation like grass, shrubs and other plants in the way. Excavate the site to the correct depth and compact the soil underneath. This is a crucial part of the job and requires a power equipment, something that your asphalt contractor should have. However, small-scale asphalt paving projects should do well with a compacter that you can rent for this specific job.

Before getting started, take a look at the weather first as it plays a crucial role in asphalt laying. An asphalt surface less than 1.5 inches thick will quickly cool and harden when installed at about 70 degrees. For layers 2 inches and above, the optimum temperature for installation is 40 degrees. Another important consideration is moisture. Ensure that the weather has been dry for at least 24 hours so that asphalt can be successfully laid down. Most of the time, it would not take long for an expert contractor to get the job done.

It is important that there is crucial attention to detail to guarantee a good quality job, just like in any kind of project. Once the asphalt has been laid down, the surface will have to be leveled and the edges trimmed. Finally, the whole surface is compacted which is accomplished by roller equipment. This is a very big piece of machinery that your contractor should have. However, if the job is relatively small, you can get by with renting a small roller.

Remember to let the asphalt dry and harden for at least 24 hours before using it. Regularly clean the pavement by sweeping it, and immediately cleaning stains with water and detergent. Every year, seal the asphalt to lengthen its lifespan. If you have any more questions or concerns about asphalt installation, call a reputable asphalt contractor in your area now.

Why is Asphalt a Better Choice than Concrete?

asphalt-vs-concreteYears ago, concrete was the top choice for paving roads and parking lots. Recently, though, we are seeing a shift to asphalt use. But why such shift? Because it has been proven that asphalt is much superior compared to concrete or cement. To better understand why, it helps to know how each of these paving options are made.

Concrete is made with a combination of aggregate and water with cement as its binder. When it dries, it becomes a stiff solid prone to breaking, especially if the surface under it is not smooth. Asphalt is also made with aggregate, but its binder is a dark substance derived from crude oil called bitumen. Bitumen is poured onto the aggregate and is run over with a steamroller. Although asphalt is also very hard and durable, it is flexible enough to accommodate uneven surfaces unlike concrete.

There are still so many advantages asphalt hold over concrete. For one, damaged asphalt is much easily removed and replaced. And because it is a completely recyclable product with a high demand, its materials will not take up valuable limited pace in landfills. Also, compared to concrete, asphalt paving projects are finished faster with less expense. The maintenance and repair of asphalt roads are also much faster and less expensive.

Repairing of small cracks in asphalt walkways and driveways is so easy that even homeowners can do this job all by themselves. It is simple, inexpensive and can further increase the lifespan of your asphalt surface. Even when the damage is significantly bigger, it is still a much faster and cheaper job to fix compared to concrete. To repair concrete, the damaged surface will have to be removed and then replaced, which takes up so much time, money and labor.

When it comes to resurfacing, asphalt would only require that you put a new surface over the old. Those damaged areas will be filled with asphalt and, with the use of a steamroller, will give way to a smooth and even surface. Aside from restoring the pavement’s smoothness, asphalt resurfacing will also make it stronger and more durable than before, offering a more pleasant driving for motorists under high traffic and increased vehicle weights.

So if you are looking to build or improve a walkway or driveway in your home, consider asphalt. Proving time and time again to beat concrete in every aspect, asphalt offers an attractive and long lasting performance with savings on time and money. Contact a paving company area now to help you decide on the right kind of asphalt for you.

How To Choose The Best Asphalt Type For The Job

types-of-asphaltAsphalt is a commonly used type of pavement for many different projects. It’s very versatile in that it can be used in different ways, and of course there are also different types of asphalt. It’s most commonly used for roads, but you also have to think about parking lots, runways at airports and much more.

As mentioned, there are different types of asphalt or ‘mixes’ for the different projects out there. Some projects require that the asphalt help absorb noise, and certain asphalt mixes can also help with water runoff, spraying and splashing when rain has occurred.

The following are helpful tips for selecting the asphalt that should be used for certain projects.

The Perpetual Type

The perpetual type of pavement is layered and often used for roads. Its purpose is geared towards helping the roads to last longer. This type of layered pavement helps to prevent cracking due to its flexible base. Both the bottom and middle layers are permanent, but the top driving surface, while also strong, is going to be replaced every so often. This of course is going to help save time and money when the roads need work. Another cost saving measure is the simple fact that asphalt mixes are recyclable.

The Porous Type

Porous asphalt has advantages when it comes to water because the water drains through the asphalt and into the ground. The porous type of asphalt is good for parking lot projects, and it helps with ground water quality and also storm water management. Porous asphalt may sound like it’s not going to last as long, but it is durable and can be used for multiple types of projects.

The Quiet Type

It was mentioned that there is asphalt that helps with noise absorption or noise pollution. Noise absorption is handled by creating a stone and asphalt mix, half and half. It is a cost efficient strategy that prevents the need for noise barriers. Think about the roads within residential neighborhoods and quiet communities where homeowners don’t want to be dealing with a bunch of noise pollution.

The Warm Mix Type

The warm mix type is used when paving is done in places where the temperatures can be quite cold. This helps get paving projects done more often throughout the year, and it is also an energy efficient and environmentally friendly solution. Compaction is made much easier as well.

The Hot Mix Type

Driveways are the most common type of project where hot mix asphalt is used, and this is mostly because of the finish or appearance. It’s also considered to be a cost efficient, low maintenance and durable solution.

There are always going to be new types of asphalt mixes introduced as technology improves, which will make future projects even easier.

Sealcoating Your Parking Lot Helps Your Own Business

asphalt_roadSealcoating your asphalt can increase the lifespan of your parking lot by years, which means saving you money in the long run. The savings can be upwards of $1000 even for a small car park. If you’re a business owner or a property manager, this is something that you should include in your to-do list. A parking lot is the first thing that your business clients will notice, so it better leave a good impression on them. Hiring a professional sealcoating service to get the job done is the best way to do it.

Everyone knows that these winter months will not be kind to an asphalt parking lot. If it is done correctly, occasional asphalt maintenance can double the life of your parking lot, reduce the likelihood of larger repair issues, and provide a smooth, clean jet-black finish to your parking lot that will enhance your business establishment. You can avoid costly damages like potholes and overlays by sealcoating now.

Parking lots are often subjected to direct sun light for hours on end on a daily basis, especially if it’s warm outside. Sealcoating, when done efficiently, will prevent oxidation and help the asphalt withstand the harsh ultraviolet rays. After a certain period, the asphalt binder, which is usually tar, will harden and this hardening results in a fragile surface that will crack and break. If you have a fracture on the surface of the asphalt, it will enable water to enter inside and weaken it. When the temperature drops down under freezing, the breaks will be worse. Put pressure around those holes (like the weight of a car) and they will easily grow the size of large containers: potholes. Sealcoating protects the top layer of the asphalt and fills in any voids, reducing exposure to air and water and thereby extending the life of your parking lot by providing a protected layer that prevents elements from infiltrating through the asphalt.

We all know that oil and gasoline from automobiles can wreak havoc in your parking lot. Sealcoating your asphalt will prevent these substances from doing damage because a professional-grade sealer contains chemical additives that will easily repel oil and gasoline.

By sealcoating your parking lot, it will last longer and look much better. Furthermore, sealcoating is much less expensive than re-paving. But you need to get this done professionally to ensure that it is done right. Make sure that you hire contractors who are certified experts in this field and don’t be deceived by contractors offering the cheapest service. Cheapest is not always the best.