concrete paving

Benefits of Concrete Paving

Someone suggested the idea of concrete paving to you and even showed you a couple pictures. Looks good doesn’t it (picture below if you haven’t see one before)?

You want to get it done. But just before you finalize your decision, you want to check the advantages of concrete paving. Well here you go.

Strength

Concrete paved roads are able to withstand abuse and last for generations. They are manufactured in a steel mold under exacting factory conditions and tight dimensional tolerances. This results in a product which is many times stronger than regularly poured concrete and is more durable than black asphalt. In addition, these paving units allow for expansion and contraction without producing surface cracks unlike monolithic concrete surfaces and stamped surfaces

Low Cost Overall

The cost of concrete pavers is much less compared to any other concrete product as they are manufactured using machines unlike other products which are naturally produced. They are also less expensive than clay pavers, granite pavers and sandstone pavers. When considering maintenance and replacement costs, concrete pavers offer an economical long-term alternative to other types of paving options.

Versatility

If you are looking at commercial applications, or even if you are looking for residential applications, concrete pavers are an ideal choice. Driveways, parking lots, promenades, sidewalks, pool decks, patios, streets, golf cart paths and even roof gardens, you name it and you can use concrete paving.

Variety of Shapes and Colors

Concrete pavers come in different types of colors and shapes. This is one of the benefits of concrete paving blocks. They are manufactured to look like naturally occurring paving material. Some of the different styles include stone like pavers, clay-brick like pavers. Light colored patios present a cooler surface around patios and pool decks. Also bear in mind, designing a custom look is made easy by the many shapes and patterns and also the colors of concrete pavers.

Maintenance

The cost of maintaining pavers is less and they also offer low life-cycle costs than any other paving product. They are easily maintained by regular sweeping and occasional rinsing. In case there are tough stains present, pressure washing with appropriate cleaning solutions or a simple spot cleaning treatment with a brush and solvent water will do the trick. Pavers can also be repaired by lifting the affected area, re-grading, re-compacting the base and bedding sand and reinstalling the same pavers. Even though it is an expensive procedure, it does not leave any unsightly repair patches. Concrete pavers also provide a functional and easy way to carry out maintenance or repairs to underground utilities.

Weather Resistant

Concrete pavers can be used in any kind of climate and moreover they can be walked on immediately upon compaction. Cracking is not an issue with these interlocking units due to the joints in between pavers. This system moves in unison with earth’s usual tendency to swell and contract and this is what makes it a system for the long term.

If you are planning to repair or construct a new driveway, concrete paving is the way to go. Contact professional concrete pavers in Edmonton today so you don’t have to wait any more.

Repairing oil spots

Repairing Oil Spots at the Parking Lot

Due to oil spills or accidents, patches could develop on your driveway. To remove oil stains from asphalt, you could use the following methods.

Here is our pick of ideas that you could make the best use of to get rid of that any oil stain from your asphalt.

Use kitty litter

Kitty litter is a highly effective method to remove oil stains from asphalt. It is because kitty litter is extremely absorbent. You do not want the expensive, clumping kind. You want the inexpensive kind that happens to be super absorbent. Use a generous amount and spread the litter all over the stain. Once you have finished crushing the litter with your shoes, replace the oil with elbow grease. Using a concentrated detergent and a stiff brush, scrub the area in a circular motion. Be vigorous where the oil is, and then continue scrubbing beyond the spill with a lighter touch.

Soap and water

If you come across a fresh oil spot, emulsify it with a mixture of liquid soap and water. This will keep the oil from drying and staining the asphalt. The soap surrounds small droplets of grease and does not allow it to congeal into a solid. Although this will not completely clean the stains, it will make the process easier.

Baking soda

This measure will be effective with fresh stains. Baking soda is great for absorbing excess oil. Sprinkle baking soda onto the oil stain and scrub it all with a stiff brush. Allow the baking soda to sit for a half hour and then rinse it away with a hose.

Coca cola

Before trying out expensive means to remove oil stains from asphalt, pour a generous amount of coca-cola on the asphalt and let it sit overnight. But, before you do so, ensure you have wiped excessive oil if any. After you let the soda sit overnight on the asphalt, clean it with a cloth. As mentioned earlier, it is not the most effective way but it is economical and quick to do.

Steam pressure washing

This is one of the most effective ways of washing away oil stains. The heat of the steam will liquefy the oil as the pressure whisks it away.

Use a product

Sweep the area to be cleaned and treated free from dirt and debris, and make sure the surface is dry before applying the product and apply it only after. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding how much to use, and for how much time it needs to sit. Spread it out over the stain. Rinse it and you will have cleaned the spot. Some products require rinsing, some just rinse away with rain and time. Use whichever method your product calls for.

Stubborn stains may require additional applications of product, or maybe a totally different approach. Nothing is quite as frustrating when you notice a big oil stain on your asphalt when you enter your driveway. Use the above methods to get rid of the stain, and contact a professional if you need any assistance.

spoils asphalt paving

What Spoils Asphalt Paving?

Does your asphalt driveway show signs of weathering? It is time you figure out what you might be doing wrong and what is causing you to carry out asphalt road repair so often.

Here are the causes as to why an asphalt driveway gets spoiled.

Oxidation

Freshly poured asphalt has a black charcoal color and it tends to flex under varying traffic loads. Ensure you avoid the former. Exposure to oxygen causes color to fade on asphalt from black charcoal to gray. Additionally as the asphalt cement is broken down, your asphalt loses its flexibility and will begin to crack under vehicle pressure.

Excessive Sun Exposure

An uncontrollable factor for asphalt deterioration is sun exposure. Sun exposure accelerates oxidation, which limits the asphalt’s ability to hold its structure together. While it is not always possible to protect the asphalt surface from sunlight, if you want to, you can always apply seal-coating to regularly on your driveway, although we recommend you not to because it has quite a few disadvantages.

Heavy Vehicles

Heavy vehicles are a common source of parking lot cracks. The only thing you can do is minimize heavy traffic on your asphalt or you could check with your contractor and apply thicker asphalt on the heavy traffic path in your driveway. Random fact > Did you know that the weight of a garbage truck is equivalent to 2000 cars? That’s a lot of weight for a asphalt driveway.

Poor Drainage

If your parking lot is affected by a poor drainage system or damaged pipes, it likely has areas of surface water that are threatening its condition. If water seeps through to the foundation of the asphalt, it weakens the base layer and greatly increases the chances to form potholes, crumbling and cracking. Depending on the damage, you may have to make a lot of repairs on your driveway. Therefore, it is important that you have a proper drainage system and that you keep up with your parking lot maintenance needs.

Fuel and Oil Spills

Fuel and similar corrosive substances destroy your asphalt if you allow it to build up on your asphalt. You can find that depressions form in these areas. This can be easily avoided with routine inspections and cleaning for spills (if any) on your driveway.

Tree Roots

If you have a tree or many trees growing around your driveways, it is possible that the roots growing below the surface can uproot the concrete and cause considerable damage. To avoid this from happening, get a root barrier installed.

To avoid asphalt paving repair, take care of the above points so that you can avoid long term and considerable damage to your driveway. Get in touch with professionals who will help you spot the signs of asphalt deterioration and help you with driveway maintenance and asphalt road repair if necessary.

parking lot

Get Rid Of Puddles In Your Parking Lot

Puddles in a parking lot showcase the broken window theory. It’s a sign that the parking lot is not a good condition. This is reason enough for to get it fixed. Still want more reasons? Puddles in your parking lot leads to degradation of the parking lot asphalt eventually causing pot holes.

You need to inform the concerned authorities to get it fixed straight away. Only if the parking lot is cleaned, it will be a lot easier to avoid these problems. A few more reasons why parking lot cleaning is necessary:

Keep your outsides clean to keep your insides clean

The foot traffic into your building carries dirt and dust from your parking lot which in turn gets trapped in the carpets inside the building. If your parking lot is clean, you can reduce the amount of debris tracked into your building by keeping your parking lot clean. A clean parking lot also encourages visitors to be careful when it comes to throwing away trash.

Save money long term pavement repairs

Without regular sweeping or power washing, dirt, garbage and other debris slowly breaks down into your pavement and shortens its lifespan and increases your need for service. As the cost of such a service greatly exceeds the cost of routine sweeping, businesses can save lots by keeping their parking lots clean.

Good first impression and attracts clients/customers

The truth is, we do not typically think about such issues when we drive to a place of business. That is, unless the lot is dirty or untidy. An unkempt lot may indicate that the business doesn’t value itself, or its patrons. On the same token, an attractive parking lot that is clean and free of garbage, oil slicks and debris, tells customers that you take pride in your business, the environment and the surrounding area. Customers/clients do pay attention to where they spend their hard-earned dollars.

Prevents erosion

When pavement does not get cleaned regularly, silt and debris build up, and can wear on the surface. Dirt, sand, garbage and other particles are abrasive to surfaces and can cause premature deterioration. Hence it is always better to sweep your parking lot and take proper care so as to prevent erosion.

Prevents rodent entry

Last but not least, a clean parking lot that is free of garbage, deters rodents and other pests from gathering and establishing territory. Rodents usually breed in unhealthy environments. Rats and mice are difficult to get rid of once they start setting up in certain areas. Also, if a client walking into your building sees a rat nibbling on a leftover apple it is certainly not going to create a pleasing image in his mind.

You don’t want to lose business just because someone saw litter and rodents around it in your parking lot. It’s always better to take precautions than learn it the hard way. Get your parking lot cleaned today!

asphalt paving

Common Mistakes When It Comes To Asphalt Paving

Trying to pave your asphalt driveway by yourself? Stop yourself right there. Unless you want to fall victim to common paving errors and waste money, it is best to consult a professional.

So what is that the experienced professional would do differently from you? Here are the common paving errors we avoid when it comes to asphalt paving.

Poor Planning

It is as simple as it sounds. Sit down with the professional you have hired and plan and design how you want the road to be. Far too many homeowners make the mistake of rushing when it comes to paving. They fail to consider that, unlike something like a small plant; a paved area is a relatively permanent outdoor feature.Planning a walk or patio is a bit less involved, simply because the size is generally much smaller. Regardless of which individual project you’re planning, simply planning it will avoid one of the biggest potential paving mistakes.

Compromising On Quality

Whether you’re paving with concrete, asphalt, tar or gravel, it’s important to know that these materials come in different mixtures and different qualities. Budget contractors often use cheaper materials in order to offer lower estimates, but this may end up costing you in the long term. Ask your contractor about the materials/mixtures they will use for your surface. It’s a mistake to think that lower quality materials will yield the same results as high quality materials. Avoid sacrificing quality for cost.

Choosing The Wrong Kind Of Material

Your climate and locality are deciding factors on which type of pavement will serve you best for years to come. Concrete, asphalt, tar-and-chip mixtures, gravel and pre-made pavers are the most common materials used when paving. Your particular project and the needs of your household should be your guide when choosing between these materials. A professional will be able to assist you in these matters.

Paving With Cold Mix Asphalt And Such Blunders

There are plenty of horror stories on the internet about people who hire disreputable companies to lay asphalt, only to have it break up within the year. This could be due to a very low quality mixture, or using a cold asphalt mix (which is used as a temporary measure to fill pot holes) instead of a hot mix (the industry standard for new asphalt surfaces).

Allowing For Too Little Space

It is advisable you allocate sufficient space for parking and maneuvering on your driveway. In the end, the design of your driveway will depend on the space that is already available in your yard and more importantly on your design. Ensure that, when you are consulting with a professional designer, you get your plan right and also avoid allocating too much space as well. Balance it.

Again, we would like to suggest you avoid a DIY scenario where you will end up making a lot of common paving errors. Ensure you contact a professional if and when you are planning to get your driveway paved.

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.

Age
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: https://www.flickr.com/photos/positionmktg/6813652356

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.

Durability

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.

Durability

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.