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.

A Guide To Laying Pavers And Paving Stone

asphalt-paving-stonesYou should always dry lay your patio first, before you get to work, this isn’t a difficult feat but simply involves laying the paving out exactly as you want it to be when you’ve completed the job. Size and layout are big factors to look out for, but the most crucial step here is to make sure you won’t be short of paving slabs!

The First Step: Layout Of The Patio Foundations

For foundation mix and paving you should allow 150mm. When laying directly beside the house the completed patio needs to be a minimum of 150mm depth from the damp proof course. In practicality, this calls for you to dig a 300mm minimum depth below the damp proof course.

A fall of 1 in 60 is required to eliminate the problem of water gathering on the paving, this means one centimetre of fall is required for every 60 centimetres of width. For example, a 50mm (5cm) would be required for a patio which is 3m wide.

The Second Step: Foundation Base Preparation

A concrete mix of 1 part cement to 6 parts all-in-one ballast will create a firm foundation. You want the mixture to just bind and no more, so mix and add enough water to reach this consistency. Next, to a depth of 75mm, get the whole area covered, using a shovel to level the surface. Use a length of wood, or simply your boots, to trample the surface down.

The Third Step: Preparing The Mortar

You want the whole slab, not just the corners, to be supported, so lay the paving slab on a full mortar bed. The mortar mix should consist of 1 part cement and 6 parts sharp sand. Add just enough water to create a damp and malleable mixture, without allowing it to become runny.

The Fourth Step: Time To Lay The Paving

In order to guide the line and level of the paving you need two taut string lines set up. One of the lines should run from side to side, while the other runs the length of the patio, make sure one of the lines has the drainage fall. Begin the process at a corner, gradually working your way out. Use the mortar to create an area that is a little bigger than the planned paving slab, it should also be an adequate height to allow you to tap the flag down to reach the right level. Next, being very careful not to catch any of the corners, lift the slab and lower it into place.

Now begin to tap it down using a rubber mallet. Use your imagination to create diagonals halfway from the middle of the paving slab and the corner, this is the spot you want to hit with the mallet aiming for a firm, yet not too strong, strike. Do this for each corner, Tapping each point in turn and continue the process until the flag has nestled down and is sitting at the correct level. Use a spirit level to check that the paving is level and also ensure that you have a fall, once these factors are confirmed, continue with the rest of the paving, when necessary leaving joints. Once all of the patio has been completed, it needs 24 hours to fully harden, hence it is important for no one to walk on the paving.

The Fifth Step: Time To Get The Paving Jointed

Create a smooth, but not sloppy, consistency using 1 part cement and 3 parts soft building sand. If you want to make life a little easier use a plasticiser.

Next it’s time to trowel the mortar into each joint, make sure you press it down, if it seems necessary use a pointing bar to smooth it out. This step calls for extra caution to make sure you don’t get any mortar on the paving slab. It is possible to scrape mortar off the slab, but you should wait a few hours until it has begun to harden.

Check that the mortar has fully hardened, then give the patio a thorough brushing – all that’s left to do after that is give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!

Why Asphalt Seal Coating is Important

asphalt_repair_workAsphalt seal coating is essential because even though asphalt has great waterproofing and adhesive properties, it has some flaws to its chemical makeup which allows salts, chemical substances and weather elements to penetrate and destroy the asphalt molecules. As these molecules are destroyed, asphalt will shed a great deal of its original properties, such as waterproofing and binding. The first visual sign of this is a change in color from black to brown to gray. As asphalt is really a byproduct of petroleum distillation processes, it is easily dissolved by other materials that are also derived from petroleum. This is because these individual substances come from the same source, and have a tendency to bind when they are mix together. Consequently, oil and gasoline can dissolve asphalt effortlessly because they have similar chemical compositions.

This is normally an issue in off-street, low traffic pavements such as driveways, parking lots or minor streets, where oil and gasoline have a chance to sit and soak in the asphalt. Asphalt seal coating can resist these substances and prevent them from interacting, and as a result, extend the life of the asphalt and stop the need for excessive, pricey repairs and patching. If your asphalt does need to be repaired, make sure to do it rapidly as no seal coating can shield the asphalt from water and other components once the surface has cracked. Although cracks are easy to repair, they do have a tendency to come back. It is better and cheaper to patch and fill them as soon as possible than to wait and allow more damage to occur and have to re-lay the whole area, which is definitely more expensive.

However, contrary to popular belief, asphalt doesn’t need to be re-coated yearly. Re-coating too frequently can trigger issues, like peeling at about the ten year mark. You also need to be cautious and wise when choosing a contractor to do the job of asphalt seal coating. Customers are not usually aware of the process, and unscrupulous service providers are taking advantage of them. Common practices consist of diluting the sealant, making it completely ineffective. Be sure that you’re hiring a company that has a good reputation, certified and trustworthy.

Paving Blocks Uses

Worker leveling fresh asphalt on a road buildingPaving blocks are nothing new and have been used for driveways since the time of the Romans. The very first highways, built on the isle of Crete, were constructed using paving blocks. Rome is lined with smooth roads built using trimmed stones. But as old as it is, the Roman method is still commonly used today for paving anything – from roads to sidewalks.

Working with paving blocks is done by interlocking stones. This concept started in the Netherlands, and is still being used for laying bricks today. The blocks are made of clay or concrete and set in sand. They are generally stronger than paving or asphalt and are simple to repair and maintain. They may even withstand earthquakes.

Benefits of using paving blocks instead of asphalt are numerous. They are available in many colors and patterns which can be easily mixed and matched, making it is easy to create a unique, beautiful design. Your driveway is the first thing people see when they come to your home. When laid with paving stones, it definitely will stand out. If done properly, they will hold much longer and will require less maintenance.

Other paving materials include clay-based bricks, stamped cement and cobblestone. You can also do it yourself, although the best way is to leave the laying and installation to professionals. Paving prevents the asphalt from splitting and prevents unwanted changes in the road surface that occur because of being exposed to the elements.

The Things You Need to Know About an Asphalt Paver

Construction Worker during Asphalting Road WorksWe’ve been riding on smooth and paved roads today because of the help of many construction machines that made a lot of things possible for us. It made driving to far away locations easier and more comfortable. Asphalt is the main material commonly used in paved highways. This is an inexpensive building material that is easy to use and quick to apply because it dries up very easily. Asphalt paving is very durable and can withstand all weather conditions and heavy loader vehicles and trucks. The machine used to lay the asphalt properly is an asphalt paver.

The asphalt paving machine is used to mix, compact and apply asphalt uniformly in roads, parking lots, and other paved areas. This is an important equipment that allows contractors to build the highways and lanes which we have today. The asphalt paver is usually attached to the back of a dump truck but there are already self-propelled pavers that do not need to be towed by a truck. For more paving related articles visit estates paving.

The 2 key aspects of the self-propelled concrete paver is the tractor and the screed. The tractor mainly is made up of the generator, and it is used to propel the paving machine forward and to distribute the asphalt. The screed has a thickness gauge control and is used to level and control the layer of the asphalt. It also has a wheeled roller to compress the pavement as asphalt is laid on the road.

Before the actual laying of the asphalt, the paver must be filled with asphalt. The tractor will then move the paver forward and the asphalt will be pushed toward the back in a feeder conveyor while the augers will be spreading the asphalt to the width needed for the job. The heated screed will begin leveling and compacting the asphalt, making sure that the layer is evenly distributed on the surface. Sometimes a roller is need to compact the asphalt more.

The asphalt paving machine is made mostly of metal and the mainframe is constructed from premium high quality metal plates. The tractor and screed are built as a stand alone unit and they must be installed properly to function well. A concrete paver finisher is sometimes used to complete the paving process and manufacturers include this part with every self-propelled pavers they make.

The asphalt paver is a very important machine in the building and the completion of pavement and streets. The paving machine must be of high quality and durable in order to function properly for a long time. This machine is an essential part in any road construction company.


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.