Types of Paving Materials

5 Popular Landscape Paving Materials

Imagine waking up to a scenic landscape in front of your house. It is a place where you enjoy your first cup of coffee for the day, soaking up the sun. To reap the benefits of a beautiful landscape, you need to invest time, effort and find the right paving materials. A well-done landscape not only increases the curb appeal of your house but also increases its overall value. The outdoor design of the house is the first impression-setter for potential homebuyers. Having a beautiful front yard makes your home more inviting and attractive. If you have been planning to redo your landscape paving, then this guide will give you a brief on the types of paving materials best suited for your front yard:

1) Brick

Brick is a classic choice and works well for all climates. Its warm, red color gives it a distinct, raw look. Brick is considered to be very good for hardscapes as well. Hence, it is used while decking with other paving materials. To maintain a brick pavement, you need to watch out for mold and get rid of it as early as possible. If there are areas which are displaced, then rectify it with sand.

2) Asphalt

Apart from being an excellent paving material for driveways, asphalt is also a popular landscape paving option. It is a made with a by-product of crushed rock and petroleum known as bitumen. Asphalt is relatively easy to install and comes with hassle-free maintenance. You just need to ensure that you clean it regularly and get it resealed once every 3-4 years. The only downside to using an asphalt pavement is that it tends to get damaged at extremely high temperatures.

3) Concrete

Concrete is one of the most commonly used paving material for landscapes. It is highly versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes. It is one of the most budget-friendly and durable materials to use. You can use precast concrete, cast-in-place concrete, stamped and polished concrete to make your landscape unique and stylish. If you are looking for an easy to maintain option, then you should certainly opt for concrete.

4) Granite

If you live in a cold region, then granite is an excellent option for you. It is a durable stone and can stand the test of time. This sustainable paving material will transport your front yard into a rustic, countryside landscape. However, a downside of using granite for your paving is that it is slightly expensive when compared to other options listed here and needs regular maintenance.

These were a few types of paving materials that you can use for your dream landscape. If you are still unsure about what is best for your garden, then reach out to us. Our experts at Blacktop Paving will be happy to help you.

Driveway Repair

5 Elements That Are Damaging Your Driveway

A damaged driveway can affect your property value and building a new one does not necessarily solve that problem – if it gets damaged again. Why does your driveway keep getting damaged? Chances are that poor quality materials were used to construct it. Is your driveway covered with potholes? Or you can see hefty divots all around? If yes then you definitely need a driveway repair.

There are certain elements that may be damaging your driveway, forcing your to repair your driveway or reconstruct it completely.

1. Heavy Vehicles

Parking of heavy vehicles such as trucks and trolleys at the same place for a long time leads to compacting of the asphalt. The deterioration is more visible in areas where heavy vehicles either slow down or stop. Cracks and depressions are not only a sign of weakness, but also leads to various other problems such as puddling of water which further deteriorate the asphalt.

2. Tree Roots

Tree roots are a major area of concern while building an asphalt road. Tree roots are always in search of water and nutrients which are necessary for its growth. They often extend upto 50 feet from the trunk due to which they lift and crack the pavement.

Additionally, having trees around a driveway adds aesthetic value and you do not want to cut the tree. However, the tree roots could damage your driveway. This is why hiring an experienced contractor who takes such things into account will be able to help.

3.  Sunlight

Sunlight is one of the major causes of asphalt deterioration. A new driveway is jet black but after prolonged usage it turns grey, which indicates that it has undergone oxidation. UV rays act as catalysts as they speed up the oxidation process, thus weakening the binding which holds all the aggregates such as rock and sand – leading to asphalt deterioration.

4. Fuel and Oil

Oil and other types of vehicular fluids are a major cause of asphalt deterioration. They penetrate the surface and cause extensive softening, which leads to cracking and formation of crevices in the affected region. The longer you leave asphalt exposed to oil and other fuels, the higher the driveway repair cost will be.

5. Snow and Water

Standing water is a major cause of asphalt damage. Puddling of water softens the aggregates of the asphalt which results in its premature aging. On the other hand, snow can also not be neglected. A huge amount of snow can create pressure which leads to cracks, crevices and hefty divots thereby further deteriorating the asphalt. If snow and water is not taken care of, it often leads to potholes.

Keep an eye out for these elements affecting your driveway. Hiring an experienced paving contractor, such as Blacktop Paving, who provide both commercial as well as residential services such as asphalt paving, sandblasting and snow removal can be of great help.

Paving Experts

Tips To Maintain Your Newly Paved Office Driveway

Your commercial driveway is the path that makes the drive to your office or its parking lot safe and easy. It is also one of the very first things people notice about your commercial space. Hence, it is crucial to maintain your office driveway properly.

Even if your driveway is newly paved, it may still break down due to improper use. This is because similar to any other aspect of your commercial property, your driveway also requires regular upkeep to ensure that it is safe and free of any cracks or potholes. The better the care and maintenance you give your driveway, the longer it lasts. It is highly recommended to conduct a routine check for your pavement at the end of each season.

Here are a few new driveway care and maintenance tips to keep your office pavement flawless:

1) Prevent Oil and Gasoline Spills

Although an oil or gasoline spill is never a good event for your pavement, it is especially harmful for an asphalt driveway. This is because asphalt is an oil-based material and a gasoline or oil spill may dissolve the surface of your driveway and lead to its discoloration and fading. Hence, it is important to avoid any such spills on your commercial driveway. If by any chance the accident does happen, immediately call a professional contractor to get it cleaned and repaired efficiently.

2) Fill in the Cracks

Cracks may develop on your driveway due to the movement of its base or its subsoil level during the freezing months. These movements usually result from the seepage of water under the driveway due to snow formation. Once the water seeps in your pavement, it remains stagnant there for a longer period of time giving rise to cracks. If you notice the appearance of cracks or holes in your pavement, call a professional to inspect your driveway and measure the depth of these cracks to fill them appropriately.

3) Remove the Snow

Snow removal should be prompt, thorough and timely. Failure to do this can lead to serious damages like cracks and potholes on your driveway. This is because, if the snow is not cleaned on time, it melts and the cold water then percolated into the base of your driveway, giving rise to cracks. Get the snow shoveled by a professional regularly during the winter months to avoid the formation of cracks and potholes in your driveway.

4) Seal it Timely

Using a quality seal coat will not only increase the life of your driveway but also enhance its appearance. The seal also makes sure that your driveway is locked with the materials properly keeping the dust particles and cracks at bay. It is recommended to seal coat your pavement every 3 years to keep your newly paved driveway well maintained.

Keep these new driveway care and maintenance tips in mind to make sure the drive to your office is easy and comfortable. If you notice any discoloration or cracks, consult our paving experts to repair and maintain your commercial property today.

Concrete Driveway Repair Contractors

Make your Concrete Driveway More Durable

A well-maintained driveway enhances your home’s curb appeal. Concrete is a preferred choice of many homeowners for their driveways. It not only adds to the aesthetics of your house but is a cost-effective and durable option. Apart from this, concrete is also considered a zero maintenance product, making it a popular choice for driveways. Although this is true, your concrete driveway is exposed to damage by sunlight, chemicals, and traffic. Considering this, concrete driveway maintenance is vital to ensure it lasts long. Here are a few concrete driveway maintenance tips that will ensure you have a strong and lasting driveway.

Clean it Regularly

Cleaning your concrete driveway on a regular basis is the easiest way to maintain it. Dust, debris, oil and grease stains, fertilizers, etc can all damage your concrete driveway. Sweep it on a regular basis to keep it free of dust and grime. Any oil and grease stains or spilled fertilizers must be removed immediately. Water it with the use of a power washer occasionally to free your driveway of any damaging particles. Regular cleaning will enhance the lifespan of your driveway and your home’s aesthetics.

Use a Concrete Sealer and Repair Cracks Immediately

Sealants are applied to the concrete to protect it from external damage. These sealants prevent water, dust, oil, etc from seeping in the surface and damaging your concrete driveway. However, your driveway is also exposed to traffic and changing weather conditions. The freeze-thaw cycle during winters can wear off the sealer and cause cracks and potholes. To prevent this, reseal the surface periodically depending on the usage. Any cracks that are seen must also be repaired immediately to prevent water from entering the surface and deteriorating the driveway.

Prevent using Sharp Objects

Sharp objects like shovels with metal blades can chip away the concrete driveway surface. These minor chips when exposed to more abuse due to shoveling, traffic, snow, ice, and chemicals widen to form cracks and potholes. This can cause further damage and shorten the lifespan of your concrete driveway. Prevent this by exercising caution while shoveling snow. Hiring a professional snow removal service will be beneficial in preventing surface damage.

Avoid Salt and De-Icers

Usage of salt and de-icing chemicals to melt ice is common during Canadian winters. But, what homeowners don’t realize is the damage caused on your driveway by use of these products. Salt and de-icers eat away the surface and deteriorate it. They can also enter the surface forcing a free-thaw cycle, resulting in cracks and potholes on your driveway surface. It is recommended to use sand for traction during winters or call a professional snow and ice removal service to help preserve the concrete surface.

Irrespective of the durability of a driveway paving material, maintenance is vital to retain its aesthetics and make it last long. Implementing these concrete driveway maintenance tips will help you retain its durability and save you from costly repairs. While you can do this yourself, consulting a professional paving service for concrete driveway maintenance will prove highly beneficial.

Asphalt Driveway Paving

5 Signs your Driveway needs Repaving

Confused about your driveway maintenance?

Well, here’s a list of 5 easy signs your driveway needs repaving.

Although driveways are the most neglected part of a property, it is essential to conduct a regular maintenance as it is the entrance to your home. Just as the interior of your house is well decorated to attract attention, the exterior too deserves the same. A well-furnished driveway not only creates a good first impression, but also adds value to the house.

Here are 5 easy signs your driveway needs repaving:

  1. Weather Conditions

Homes located in extreme climatic conditions should be cautious about indentations and marks to their driveway as they are caused due to the heating of asphalt which makes it soft.

  1. Multiple Potholes

A common sign of aging asphalt are potholes, caused by the wear and tear from traffic. This is caused due to the expansion and contractions of the ground beneath the asphalt which weakens and cracks due to the vehicles. The appearance of one pothole may  indicate a weak spot in the paving, but if you spot multiple potholes at a time, it suggests the surface is no longer capable of supporting vehicle traffic and needs to be repaved immediately.

  1. Water Pooling

Asphalt is a porous material and when installed accurately, it should be able to filter the water down into the ground surface. However, if you’ve noticed water pooling or streams of water just rolling off your driveway, then it’s a clear indication that the surface is failing. Drainage issues can quickly escalate and cause extensive damage to your property, which can be immediately avoided.

  1. Unevenness

Once your driveway begins to look uneven in places with bumps here and there, it is a clear sign that the surface beneath your paving is unstable and has caused structural damage which needs to be replaced.

  1. The Life Span

Asphalt driveways have a life span of 12 to 35 years, provided it’s well maintained. It has the least initial investment as well as the highest level of maintenance. After the initial installation takes place, seal coating of the asphalt in every 3 years ought to be done or else it’ll crack.

So, to those of you who are keen on maintaining your driveway, fear no more, we are at your door. Blacktop Paving can provide services in repaving and maintaining a driveway.

Residential Concrete

Why a Concrete Driveway is Perfect for Commercial Locations?

Your driveway can make or break the look and functionality of your commercial property. It is one of the first parts that people encounter while entering your property and is also the most used. Hence, it is natural to want an aesthetic and durable material for your commercial driveway.

Different materials like asphalt, concrete, and pavers are used for commercial driveways. Concrete driveway has been the most preferred option since years for homes as well as commercial properties. This is because it offers several benefits in terms of cost, longevity, and looks. Let us look at a few reasons why concrete driveway is the perfect option for your commercial property.

Durability

Your commercial driveway is prone to a continuous flow of traffic, footfalls, and weather changes. Concrete is known for its tough and long-lasting qualities. Its strength makes it one of the most popular materials for commercial locations. It can bear harsh weather conditions, heavy loads and still look good after years. When installed properly, concrete driveways can last up to 30 years or more with low chances of cracks and potholes. The durable nature of concrete makes it the best option for your commercial driveway.

Low-maintenance

Concrete is the most popular options for home and commercial driveways because of its low maintenance quality. Regular sweeping and occasional use of a power washer are more than enough to keep your concrete driveway free of dirt, debris, and spills. When installed, a protective sealant is applied to your driveway surface that prevents it from wear and tear due to water, traffic, and stains. In case of staining and minor wear and tear, you can invest in a protective sealant to keep it looking strong and shiny for years.

Appealing Aesthetics

The smooth and polished look of your concrete driveway enhances the curb appeal of your commercial property. Moreover, you can also invest in decorative concrete to increase your property’s aesthetic appeal. Concrete offers you limitless design options like stamped, acid-etched, stained concrete and more. With technology advancements, today, you can also get any color, pattern, and texture of your choice. This makes it suitable for any landscape and offers your commercial property an aesthetically pleasing look.

Affordable

One of the major benefits of concrete is that it offers a cost-effective solution for high traffic areas. While you may have to incur costs initially, the durable and low-maintenance nature of concrete offers considerable savings over time. The versatility in design, durability and low maintenance at an affordable price makes concrete the best option for your commercial driveway.

All these benefits offered by a concrete driveway show why it is the best choice for commercial locations. Installation plays a vital role in allowing you to reap benefits offered by concrete. A badly installed concrete driveway can ruin your property’s appearance and lead to costly repairs time and again. It is preferable to hire a professional paving company to help you gain the maximum benefit from your concrete driveway.

Concrete Driveway Repair Contractors

Is it Time to Repair or Replace your Driveway?

Driveways are something people take notice of only when they are damaged. Often after winters, people find their driveways in a bad shape due to the freeze-thaw cycle. Apart from winters, there are several other reasons like age, traffic, use of chemicals, etc. that can deteriorate your driveway. While concrete is one of the most durable materials, it is still prone to degradation. Although minor surface cracks are a common scene, large cracks leave you to contemplate over whether to repair or replace your driveway. In most cases, people prefer repairs as it is the most cost-effective way, but there are times when replacement is the only option. Before arriving at a decision, you must consider these factors to make the best suitable choice.

Driveway Cracking

Cracking is a natural occurrence on any concrete driveway. Long, thin lines eventually start appearing as your driveway ages. However, not all cracks call for replacement. Most often repair is the best option when dealing with hairline surface breaks. Although, sometimes these breaks may not indicate the damage underneath.

To determine repair or replacement you can test the width of the crack. If the crack is smaller than a quarter inch wide, filling it with a patching material and resurfacing or resealing will fix the issue. However, if the crack is wider that a quarter inch then replacement is the best solution. While patching can temporarily fix it, replacement will eventually be needed. In the case of spiderweb cracks, resembling an extremely damaged driveway, you will need replacement.

Age of your Driveway

People tend to invest in concrete because of its durable and lasting nature. However, whatever the material used, driveways are prone to deterioration with aging. Concrete usually has a life of about 30 years. If you notice damage at or near this time, replacement is usually the solution, especially if the frequency of the damage is high.

Potholes

Potholes occur as a result of expansion and contraction cycle occurring underneath the surface of your driveway. They are most likely to occur during winters but can occur even otherwise. Minor cracks through which water seeps can force a freeze-thaw cycle forming potholes. The additional traffic and weather abuse can cause these potholes to damage your driveway. Fixing a pothole depends on how big it is. Huge potholes may call for a full replacement, while if noticed at an early stage you can save the expense through repairs.

While you cannot prevent naturally occurring forces like weather and aging, you can take measures to protect and retain your driveway’s longevity and appearance. Giving it time to cure when installed, regular cleaning, resealing every few years, and attending minor cracks are a few ways in which you can maintain your driveway. While the above-mentioned tips can help you analyze whether to repair or replace your driveway, it is best to consult a professional paving service to arrive at the best solution for your driveway’s condition.

Edmonton Driveway Paving

Best Type of Gravel for your Driveway

Being a vital part of your home’s exterior, a well-constructed driveway can enhance the aesthetics of your property. Different types of materials like asphalt, concrete, pavers, and gravel are used for constructing a driveway. As one of the most affordable options, gravel driveways can add a charm to your home’s aesthetics. There are different types of gravels available to choose from. The choice of gravel can affect the installation and longevity of your driveway. Hence, choosing the right type of gravel is vital for a strong and durable surface. Being aware of the different types of gravel in relation to the installation process can help you select the best type of gravel for your driveway.

Which Type of Gravel Should be Chosen?

Gravel driveways are composed of different layers. Each layer comprises of different sized gravels and serves its own purpose. You need to make sure each layer has the appropriate type of gravel for good installation and durability.

  • The first layer or foundation, which is a 4-inch layer, must consist of baseball sized rocks. These rocks form a strong foundation as they provide good drainage and prevent smaller rocks from disappearing into the soil.

  • Over the base, you must place another 3-4-inch layer of golf ball sized rocks. These smaller gravels serve similar functions as the ones in the base. They also fit well against the larger gravels in the foundation, forming a strong base for a driveway.

  • The top layer must consist of another 4-inch layer of marble-sized rocks that may vary in color depending on the type of stone.

It is best to use machine crushed stone rather than round rock for each layer of your gravel driveway. The machine crushed stone, usually has an angular shape that locks together to form a strong surface. Round rocks usually slip, creating an unstable surface. For the top layer, you can find a variety of gravels to choose from that can enhance the aesthetics of your property. Some of the different types include:

Crushed Stone

This is a type of material that closely represents a typical gravel driveway. Crushed stones are sized to ideally suit the construction and surfacing of your residential driveway. They can be comprised of limestone, granite, or trap rock depending on the quarry. The blend of gray and white shades makes these stones perfect for any landscape.

Pea Gravel

One of the most popular types, pea gravel is used for a number of residential driveways. These gravels feature a variety of colors like tan, brown, white, gray, green, blue, and red, and are typically small, smooth, and round in appearance. Their aesthetically pleasing qualities, in terms of texture and colors, make them one of the most popular choices.

White Marble Chips

Unlike their name, marble chips are not necessarily white but can add a touch of elegance to your property. This type, consist of streaks of gray combined with white to add to their visual appeal. Their shimmery and sparkling appearance reflect sunlight and prevent the property from being overheated.

While choosing the right type of gravel for your driveway is important, proper installation is equally vital. Hence, it is best to consult a professional paving company to guide you on the best type of gravel for a lasting and aesthetically pleasing driveway.

Concrete Companies Edmonton Alberta

How to Maintain your Concrete Driveway

Concrete driveways are common features in many homes. Concrete is often favored because of the several benefits it offers. They not only enhance your home’s curb appeal but are also a cost-effective, low maintenance, and durable option. However, once you have a concrete driveway installed, it is up to you to ensure it lasts long. Over the years, the weather, sunlight, and traffic can take a toll on your concrete driveway. Hence in order to retain its appeal and longevity, you need to maintain your concrete driveway. Implementing these tips will ensure your concrete driveway retains its aesthetics and durability for years.

Keep it Clean

One of the easiest ways to keep your concrete strong and attractive is to clean it regularly. Use a simple power washer to remove any dirt and debris buildup. Any stains from grease, oil or gas must be cleaned immediately. While sealants do protect your concrete driveway from staining, it only does so if they are removed immediately. If not cleaned, the stains can cause discoloration and unattractive patches. Hence, to retain your driveway’s appealing aesthetics, you must clean it regularly.

Reseal your Driveway as Required

When your concrete driveway is installed, a sealant is applied after the concrete is set in order to protect it. Concrete sealers help preserve the surface of your driveway by preventing water from getting into the surface and damaging it. However, even the best sealant will gradually wear down due to traffic and time. Hence, you will need to reseal your driveway surface to maintain its durability. Typically, you must reseal your driveway every three to five years, but it also depends on the usage.

Repair Small Cracks

Small cracks can occur due to certain naturally occurring forces as well as traffic and weather abuse. If left unrepaired, these cracks can eventually widen and weaken your concrete surface. This may lead to costly repairs and replacement. In order to avoid this, it is best to use concrete patching products to repair small cracks.

Avoid Salt and Deicers

Chemical deicers and salt can eat away your concrete surface and cause it to deteriorate. Using salt and deicers to melt ice during winters can cause the concrete surface to spall off. It can also get into cracks and joints, forcing a freeze-thaw cycle that could further damage your driveway by widening the cracks. To retain your driveway, it is preferable to use sand to maintain traction during winter.

Exercise Caution while Shoveling

You must implement caution while shoveling and plowing your driveway during winters. It is best to avoid sharp equipment, like shovels that have metal blades, which can scratch your concrete driveway. Even if you use a snow blower, make sure you raise the blades high enough to avoid scraping your driveway. In spite of exercising caution, there are chances you accidently damage your driveway. Hence, it is best to hire a snow removal service to ensure your driveway is clear of snow without any damage being caused to your driveway.

Implementing these tips can help you retain your driveway’s aesthetics and strength and enhance its longevity. While you can maintain your concrete driveway with these basic tasks, consulting a professional concrete paving company is preferable for the best results.