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.


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 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!

Concrete VS Asphalt – Their Pros and Cons

asphalt-or-concrete-drivewayDeciding on which materials to use on the driveway is a big decision that many homeowners have to make, whether to use concrete or asphalt. There are other material options for the driveway, but asphalt and concrete are the most common. Whichever you choose between the two, there will always be pros and cons.

There are considerations that you have to take into account when it comes to choosing between concrete and asphalt. These are climate factors, appearance, cost and also maintenance. Your budget is a major factor in your decision. Asphalt is cheaper and affordable to install as it leaves a smooth surface that is easy to repair. Asphalt is a popular choice for homeowners especially those with kids and adults who love to play basketball in the driveway. On the other hand, concrete is more expensive. If it cracks, the cracks will stand out and can cause major damage.

Even if concrete is a longer lasting option as it can go up to 30 years, asphalt costs are considerably less and gives a greater value for your money. Concrete has reduced needs for maintenance and repair compared to asphalt. Concrete driveways have attractive surface and showcase fine edges that look great on your property.

Asphalt expands with the changing temperatures. This factor enables it to maintain its integrity through summer, storms and snow removal is easier. Concrete driveways will eventually crack even in the warmer climates and it may suffer damage if you use a wrong de-icing product. When you decide which materials to use on your driveways, you need to consider the climate of the place you live in.

Asphalt overall shelf life is lower than concrete and it is difficult to get the same quality of clean, precise edges. When plants grow they can easily break asphalt driveways and without proper repair and maintenance they can deteriorate quickly. But they can be re-layered and does not need to be replaced. Concrete driveways can also have cracks and you cannot add a topcoat to existing concrete.

Both concrete and asphalt can be tinted and made to look very pleasing.

Concrete vs asphalt debate continues and homeowners and professionals have their own opinions on which material is the best to use. In most cases, the choice depends on personal preference. Most homeowners weigh the upfront cost which asphalt wins. On the other hand long lasting life, concrete wins out. So the homeowners just have to decide based on these factors.

Tips in Choosing the Right Paving Stones

asphalt repairPaving is the art of covering or laying a walkway or a road with items like tiles, bricks, stones, concrete, etc. Paving bricks are often used in pathways and driveways in homes, workplaces and apartments. Generally, people think that having a concrete floor rather than paving stones in the parking area is the best way to go. However, doing the latter will probably be better in the long run because paving stones are stronger compared to concrete. Aside from being strong, they’re also capable of enhancing the beauty of the space. They come in different designs, patterns, shapes, textures, sizes, colors and even various makes.

Normally, they are grouped into two major categories: composite material and quarried stone. Quarried stone is dug up from the ground and then shaped by crushing, splitting and cutting. Examples are slate and granite. Composite materials are processed and then shaped while they are soft, then dried or baked. Precast concrete and brick are composite materials.

When it comes to vehicle parking areas and driveways, brick and concrete variants are extensively used. Concrete variants are made with the help of cement and brick variant is made out of clay. When installing these paving stones in the driveway, particularly in offices, the building owner should be careful when choosing the right paving material. This is the first thing that is noticed by their clients when they visit the workplace. It is important that they create a good first impression.

Other factors like climate, drainage facility in the driveway, budget as well as the time allotted for maintenance must also be considered when selecting the proper kind of paving stones. You will find also interlocking pavers and as the name suggests, these are developed in such a way that one piece will stop the other from moving. This kind is made out of concrete or cement.

When it comes to big shopping malls, where there’s a large quantity of foot traffic, granite variants could be the ideal choice. Granite variants, aside from being durable and sturdy, can sure improve the look of the entire mall and give it a more elegant and attractive appearance.