stained concrete

How Can You Maintain Stained Concrete

When the subject of maintaining a concrete driveway is brought up, it usually raises eyebrows. A concrete driveway is usually a long lasting product without maintenance.

You won’t need to do a concrete driveway repair if you maintain your concrete properly.

Clean and Reapply Sealer
Cleaning your concrete driveway on occasion and keeping it sealed are the best measures you can take to keep it looking its best. How often do you clean and reseal will depend on the weather conditions the concrete is exposed to and the amount of vehicle traffic it receives. Generally, you should reseal a concrete driveway every two years or so, or when the finish begins to show wear. Good commercial sealers are available from concrete material suppliers and hardware stores. Or ask your contractor for recommendations. Always apply the sealer according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Clean It
Clean concrete surface immediately after a spill to minimize any discoloration or damage. This includes fertilizers, leaves, grass clippings, bark molds and tire marks. Clean with a 28-day biodegradable cleaner and rinse thoroughly. This should be done at least every month to keep the surface appearance at its best.

Prevent Dust From Settling
Eliminate dusting (chalking or powder at the surface of a concrete slab). A common problem in box warehouse stores with concrete flooring is dust. To prevent dust on an untreated concrete slab, use a penetrating, compliant hardener densifier to eliminate dusting and extend the life of the floor.

Don’t Use Deicing Chemicals
Using deicers, on your concrete driveway in the winter, can cause surface damage. Primarily, it can cause scaling and spalling by forcing the thawing and refreezing of moisture. Products containing ammonium nitrates and ammonium sulphates are especially harmful because they will actually deteriorate the concrete chemically. Rock salt (sodium chloride) or calcium chloride will do less damage, but they can harm vegetation and corrode metal. Avoid the use of any deicers the first winter after driveway placement, since new concrete is more susceptible to the harmful effects of salt. As an alternative, you could use sand for traction.

Remove Stains
While a sealer will help to protect concrete from stain absorption, it’s still a good idea to remove oil, gasoline, grease and other spills as soon as possible. If the concrete does discolor, pressure washing and certain cleaning chemicals will remove most stains.

Properly maintaining a concrete driveway can extend the life and beauty of your concrete. The cleaning method does vary slightly depending on the type of concrete you are working with. If you want to increase the longevity of your concrete flooring or driveway, contact a professional who will help you begin your concrete driveway repair today.

repave your driveway

When Should You Repave Your Driveway

If you are confused whether or not you should go for a driveway repaving, you have come to the right place. Driveway repair and maintenance should be done regularly to increase the lifespan of your driveway.

One should consider asphalt driveway repaving when they start experiencing the following signs of distress on their driveway:

Large Holes
If your driveway has a lot of large holes, it is a clear cut sign that you should go for driveway repair. Large holes can lead to automobile damage or personal injury accidents. Similarly, a misstep over the hole on foot may lead to a broken ankle. Apart from personal injuries or damage to your automobiles, large holes in your driveway increase the chance of further damage to the asphalt or concrete. If water is allowed to collect in the hole, then more cracks will form beneath the surface.

Driveways may need to be replaced after every 20-30 years, but it entirely depends on their condition. Even if no visible damage has occurred, the environment will take a toll on its foundation and the driveway will start to corrode. This breaking down of the pavement will eventually show through the surface of the pavement.

Multiple Cracks And Holes
Multiple cracks and holes along your driveway are called ‘alligator skin’. Alligator skin is the most common sign that a driveway needs to be repaved. Once repaved, the cracks and small holes will be filled and will no longer spread. If driveway repaving is not done quickly, the small cracks and holes will become larger and continue to multiply. Eventually, they will form large holes and full driveway replacement will be needed. Professional contractors advise that a driveway should be repaved every 5-10 years to prevent the holes and cracks from becoming too large.

Pavement Erosion
If your driveway looks like it is crumbling or has sections of the pavement that are eroding away, it is time you repaved your driveway. Not only is this unsightly, but it can make a task of walking, driving or parking on your pavement. This will worsen gradually if not looked into soon enough.

Bricks Or Cobblestones Missing
There are definitely times when driveway repaving makes more sense than repairing it. If you’ve noticed any of the above signs, repairing your surface is unlikely to produce the results you desire. Repaving will provide you with the appearance and functionality you desire, which will help you avoid costly repairs for some time to come.

If all these signs are evident, just don’t think twice and get your driveway repaved so that small issues don’t turn into bigger problems and cost you more. Consult a professional today to get the job done.

asphalt driveway

How Do You Best Take Care Of Your Newly Made Asphalt Driveway

So your new asphalt driveway is in place and you have no knowledge about how to care for it. Asphalt driveway problems can be kept at bay by taking care of a few things.

To avoid faster asphalt deterioration, take a look at the following ideas:

The First 14 Days

The first two weeks of your new driveway are the most critical. This is when your driveway is most vulnerable. Do not drive on it for 3-5 days after it is has been done. You should wait up to 14 days before parking on your new driveway. And when you start parking, only park on it during a cool part of the day; preferably early morning or evening.

The Next 100 Days

Asphalt is oil based and hence takes a while to cure, especially during the summer heat. Special precautions must be taken during this period and during the entire first season with your new driveway. During these 100 days, do not park your car on the asphalt on the hottest part of the day and avoid turning your steering wheel when your car has been parked. Never allow heavy trucks such as garbage trucks (and of the sort) on your driveway during these 100 days. If your driveway is installed in the fall, curing will stop when the weather turns cold, then will resume in the spring.

Once the total 114 day period is done, to ensure the long life and durability of the driveway, take care of the following things.

Prevent Oil And Gasoline Spills

As mentioned earlier, asphalt is an oil-based material. Gasoline and oil spills can dissolve the surface of the driveway and cause asphalt deterioration. Avoid spilling or leaking these materials on your driveway. Even if there is a spill or leak by accident, clean it up by using absorbent materials so that the damage is minimized.

Protect Driveway Edges

Avoid driving on your driveway since they are bound to crack and crumble over time. Edges are the weakest part of your driveway since they lack side support. Build up the soil near the sides of your driveway with topsoil to approximately one inch from the top of the driveway. This allows room for sod growth and water drainage, and will also support the edges and enhance the appearance after the grass is grown.

Prevent Weed And Grass Growth Through Cracks

Sometimes, large plants or trees located near the edge of the driveway will push through. Vegetation like weeds and grass are able to push through asphalt. At times, you can kill these plants on the spot but at times you may have to uproot the whole thing for a long-term solution.

Avoid going for ‘crack filling’ or ‘seal coating’. Fixing the root cause of the problem is a better approach than band-aid fixes like patching over top. Fixing the base course and replacing failed asphalt would be the way to go. Consult professionals like Blacktop Paving if you need any help with your asphalt driveway problems.

Image source:

Asphalt repair

5 Asphalt Repair Tips

Asphalt driveways and pathways are highly durable but sometimes intense weather and improper maintenance can take a toll on them causing cracks and potholes. Repairing the asphalt driveway in time is essential and can be done using different asphalt repair methods. Here are 5 key asphalt crack repair tips that you should know about.

Pay Attention To The Details

If your asphalt driveway is well-maintained at all times, the asphalt driveway repair will always be minute. Small cracks and holes in the driveway should be paid attention to and fixed using asphalt crack repair immediately. Neglecting the smaller issues in your driveway can cause much bigger and serious damage to your asphalt driveway in the future. Nipping the smallest of cracks in the bud prevents bigger cracks from forming and escalating further. If you notice small cracks and holes, tend to them immediately and fill them up using crack-fill or patching asphalt repair methods.

Pay attention to the details

Remove And Replace

If the damage to your driveway is too big to be simply patched up and repaired, it might be time to remove the damaged section and replace it completely. This will ensure that your driveway remains reliably strong for the coming years and can withstand strong weather better. When removing the damaged area, be sure to cut it out completely and replace the entire section, along with the subgrade. Ensure suitable subgrade preparation and stabilization procedures have been employed while replacing the subgrade. After replacing it with fresh new asphalt allow for sufficient time for it to set before you resume use of the driveway.

Consider An Overlay

If you have tiny cracks and damages throughout the surface of the driveway, filling the cracks or replacing the entire driveway might not be a viable option. In this case, consider having an overlay set over your driveway. This can solve the problem of the damaged surface and delay expensive asphalt driveway repair by many years. An overlay can add years of life to your asphalt driveway before it is time for a total replacement.

Get The Edge Right

Water damage can cause separation of the driveway lines from the surrounding structures such as gutters, sidewalks, and other edges. These gaps open the door to more water damage and are a huge walking hazard as well. They need to be attended to immediately and fixed using suitable asphalt repair methods.

Get the edge right

Smooth Finish

For your asphalt driveway to be functional, the finishing touches matter most. Ensure you devote sufficient attention to the details such as line painting, lot sweeping, and markings required for a spotless finish. Once these finishing touches have been added, your driveway is ready for years of tough use.

Be it commercial or residential driveways, these repair tips are highly valuable and must be kept in mind while undertaking asphalt driveway repair. Consult a professional blacktop paving service for guidance regarding the most appropriate asphalt repair methods for your driveway.

concrete or asphalt

Should Your Parking Lot Be Concrete Or Asphalt?

Deciding between asphalt and concrete for your parking lot is a tricky question as both seem to be an ideal choice of material. However, you have seen concrete as well as asphalt parking lots and wonder what the difference is between the two materials. We have listed the differences between both here so you can do a comparative analysis of asphalt vs concrete parking lot as well as a cost comparison between concrete and asphalt and decide on one, or not.

Concrete Cost

Concrete costs about $3 to $10 per square foot. The initial cost of concrete is higher than asphalt by 35%. However, the cost comparison between concrete and asphalt revealed that concrete costs 18-35% less on the total cost of ownership in the long term.


Concrete has a life expectancy of about 20-40 years after the first installation with the average life expectancy being 25.7 years before the first repair is needed. After initial repairs, the concrete parking lot can last for 10-20 years depending on the maintenance and upkeep.

Cost of reconstruction and repairs

Concrete reconstruction costs tend to be 35% higher than the reconstruction costs of asphalt. When the concrete paving has reached the end of its lifespan, it needs to be completely removed and replaced, which adds to the cost of reconstruction.

Cracks in concrete are harder to repair as patching is easily visible. Other repairing solutions will have to be employed which are more expensive.

Weather Impact

Concrete is inherently rigid once it sets and thus cracks are formed more easily. Extreme fluctuations in weather can crack the rigid structure of the concrete parking lot.

Asphalt Cost

Asphalt costs start at $1 and go up to $5 per square foot. Asphalt costs 35% less than concrete and repairs are comparatively low due to overlays available for Asphalt. Overlays allow for the surface of the asphalt parking lot to be replenished with resurfacing layers which increase its lifespan.


Asphalt has the life expectancy of 15-18 years but can also serve well for 20 years with the right maintenance. Asphalt is easier to maintain and easier to work with as well.

Cost of reconstruction and repairs

The cost of reconstructing asphalt parking lots is low as they can simply be patched up and repaired using crack sealing and filling procedures. If the damage is higher, overlays can be used to solve the problem and total replacement is not required.

Therefore, the cost comparison between concrete and asphalt points to asphalt as the lower and more cost effective option.

Weather impact

In terms of withstanding the weather, asphalt is the obvious choice as it shrinks and expands as per the changes in temperature and does not crack easily.

Which one should you choose?

On close analysis of asphalt vs concrete parking lot, it is clear that both materials have their set of advantages and disadvantages. However, you can get the best of both worlds and do not need to pick only one. How? Well, by using both asphalt and concrete in a single parking lot system to utilize each material’s benefits together. Consider applying asphalt for the majority surface of your parking lot: low-cost up front, and easily striped for visibility. Then utilize the more rigid concrete for loading areas, access drives, sidewalks, drainages, and curbs, taking advantage of its durability for multiple uses.

We hope that the asphalt vs concrete parking lot question will not haunt you after reading this article. Go ahead and choose both or either according to your preferences for your parking lot. Be sure to hire contractors skilled in both concrete and asphalt paving to work on your parking lot project.

patch resurface or replace your road

Should You Patch, Resurface Or Replace Your Road

When your driveway starts to show signs of wear and tear you think about patching it up and just fixing the issues that are visible on the surface. But, band-aid fixes aren’t going to make your problems go away.

To elaborate on that, if the problems are really minor, only then will patching work. If you try to fix huge cracks in your driveway without thinking about what the root cause of the problem is, it will only frustrate you, because new issues will

arise as soon as you’ve eliminated the old ones. Unless you’re on a tight budget and replacing the entire driveway is getting costly, we would suggest you replace your driveway.

So how do you tell that you need to replace your driveway? Here are the tell-tale signs.

Large Cracks

The most obvious way to tell that your asphalt needs to be replaced is that it has numerous large cracks. Patching or repairing such damage only delays the inevitable and means you have to address the same problem later—perhaps even in the same year.

Sinking And Misalignment

Misaligned or sinking slabs can cause costly damages to your car or truck. If the slabs of your driveway are sinking and becoming misaligned, you should replace them immediately, or the problem will only worsen.

Crumbling And Pitting

Patching up the holes in your driveway costs you and leaves the problem temporarily solved only for the problem to resurface in a short span of time. If the concrete is crumbling or pitting, it means your driveway has seen its last days and should be replaced with a new pour.

Driveway Hasn’t Been Resealed Regularly

Asphalt driveways need to be resealed regularly every 2-3 years to prevent cracking and breaking around the edges. While sealants are relatively affordable, many homeowners are short on time and forget about doing the required maintenance. If yours has been neglected over the years, the cracks and breakage could be extensive and the whole driveway might need replacement.

Poor Condition Of Base Under Driveway

For example, in areas with clay soil, your driveway is prone to shifting and moving. If you know what kind of base is under your driveway, take that into consideration. In areas where soil is particularly unstable, a geo-textile fabric may need to be put in place. These materials are durable and strong, providing a better base for the asphalt that will be laid over the top.

Age Of The Driveway

The older your driveway is, the lesser basic repairs will help. Asphalt and concrete become more prone to cracking as they age, so if yours is nearing the end of the average lifespan, it’s time to consider replacing it. In the end, the extra effort spent in upkeep isn’t worth it.

If your driveway is exhibiting some of the above signs, you should replace your driveway which will save you a lot of trouble in the long run. Always consult a professional when it comes to matters of driveway repair and if you need to get any work done.

How Blacktop is Paving Success in Our Community

At Blacktop Paving it is our belief that any success we realize needs to be shared with our community. As we have grown we have continued to expand on our civic involvement both with real hands on commitment as well as monetary donations. Our primary focus has been on our Youth. Whether through a specific program or through our hiring process we have sought to help youth to gain the skills they need to be successful citizens. All of the employees of Blacktop are a part of us giving back, and they draw a huge sense of pride in doing so.

Career Opportunities

In the Community

Finalist for the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award

2009 – Present: The Stars Program
As an active participant in the pre-employment program run by the Youth Emergency Shelter Society Blacktop Paving has attended job fairs and brought 6 youth in on job placements. These youth have been mentored in good work ethic and have learned numerous job skills.

2010: Youth Power Career Event
Blacktop Paving had an active role in the planning of a large-scale career event for our community’s youth providing both sponsorship as well as a planning committee member who also MC’d the event.

2009-Present: Human Resources Committee – Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association
Blacktop Paving has had an active member on the ARHCA’s human resources committee, seeking to better understand the needs of employers and employees.

Free snow removal for the parking lot at a Kids for Cancer House in Edmonton.

2010: Ride to Conquer Cancer
Blacktop Paving has sponsored riders to compete the annual ride to Conquer Cancer in southern Alberta.

2010-Present: Clansmen Rugby Club
Blacktop Paving has been a sponsor of a local sports club, providing concrete and gravel work at no cost. We have also provided staff the needed time off work to volunteer as coaches for both the Clansmen Rugby Club as well as several local high schools.

2010-Present: Youth Emergency Shelter Society
Blacktop has chosen YESS as their primary outlet for charitable donations. It is our belief that we need to give back to the community. At our recent Christmas party in November of 2011 our employees raised over $2000 in support of YESS which the company tripled in donation.

2009-Present: Stan Daniels Healing Center
Blacktop is a firm believer in second chances, and has worked with the Stan Daniels Healing Center to provide viable work for individuals exiting the penal system as well as those on day parole.

2008: Women Building Futures
As part of the Women Building Future’s Heavy Equipment Operators course Blacktop hosted the entire class on one of our jobsites. We provided course training and curriculum to the women, exposing them to the base and asphalt laydown aspects of Equipment operation

Blacktop donated to the Gordie Howe Hockey game for Alzheimer’s Disease