Asphalt Contractor Magazine Florida

One of the most affordable and convenient methods for small-scale asphalt mending projects is to use a cold patch mix. Many property owners will tell you that this approach saves money, Asphalt Contractor Magazine in Florida and can reduce the amount of labor required for the job, making it a great solution for small holes in parking lots, walkways, streets, and driveways. However, the process of cold asphalt patching can be accelerated with the right application techniques, saving property owners some time too! Customers, clients, guests, and occupants can use the pavement in the same day!

Continue reading to learn some great tips on how you can shorten the amount of time it takes for the cold patch asphalt mix to harden, and drastically cut down on turnaround time, from project start to finish.

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Ease of Use

The primary reason why this product is the go-to choice for small hole repairs in asphalt pavements is the ease of installation. There is no long, extended process of preparing or mixing materials. Instead, the air does most of the work. You simply pour the mix directly into the hole, compact it with simple manual tools (metal tamper or piece of lumber), and leave it to air dry. The mix turns into a permanent surface patch after extended contact with air.

The drying process, also known as curing, is very important to establishing a solid, stable surface that lasts a long time. If you want a permanent repair for your asphalt, you need to make sure the entire process is done correctly. If you want to speed up the curing stage of your pavement repair project, you can try a few recommended tips.

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Use Gravel

You can use gravel to create a more dense space within the hole, which may help to establish lasting strength. Just fill the hole with gravel, little by little, while using your compacting tools to compress the gravel with each layer. Do not fill the hole all the way to the top; be sure to leave 2 inches of space below the surface line for your cold patch mix.

Pouring Your Mix

As you pour your mix, exceed the surface line by half an inch. This means that your mix should go over the top of the hole by a ½ inch. Then use your compacting tools to compress your material down until it is properly flattened. You may need to repeat this step two or three times to get a proper fill.

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Expedited Drying

Asphalt cold patch mix cures by having contact with air. You can speed up the drying process by using hair dryers or commercial paint dryers. If you are going to use a hair dryer, you will need to manually operate it in a steady, sweeping motion to ensure even curing. The material is near dry when you cannot easily press into the surface with your hand.

Large-Scale Pavement Repair

For large-scale pavement repair jobs, you need a professional paving company. They have the training, equipment, and resources to provide dependable work in a convenient time frame. Be sure to choose a company that is licensed, bonded, and insured, and retains decades of experience in the road construction industry.

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Homeowners often try to decide if they should replace their driveway with asphalt or concrete. It is not always an easy decision; especially when you consider the cost that is involved in such a large renovation project. This article specifically addresses the pros and cons of installing an asphalt driveway versus a concrete driveway.

Concrete Driveway:

Pros:

  • Appearance; concrete just looks better. It is the standard for even the most expensive homes.
  • No annual maintenance; Once initially sealed, concrete doesn't require any annual maintenance
  • Lasts much longer; Concrete should last 20 years or more if installed correctly.
  • Concrete can be stained/stamped to look like brick, slate, or stone for a rich look
  • Concrete is versatile in how it is placed and designed. Curves, color, finish, and textures add versatility to the appearance of concrete.
  • Concrete adds value to your home. People just associate concrete with being the best money can buy.
  • It's concrete! I'm a mason and I'm biased!

Cons:

  • Concrete is more expensive: The initial cost of installing a concrete driveway is slightly more than the cost of installing an asphalt driveway. Initially that is.
  • Prone to cracking: This is a big one. Concrete cracks. It's what concrete does. It is rigid and when pressure from the ground below exerts its powerful forces against the concrete, the concrete cracks. However, how bad it cracks and where is often up to the mason that installed it. With proper base preparation and proper expansion cutting, cracks should be hidden and kept to a minimum.
  • Concrete is susceptible to road de-icer which could ruin surface finishes. It is true that in the northern climates where roads are treated with salt or other road de-icer, the finish on your concrete can be damaged by road de-icer IF it is not properly sealed with a premium penetrating sealer.

Asphalt Driveway:

Pros:

  • Cheaper initial cost. If you need paving material on your driveway and you don't have the money for concrete, asphalt can be an excellent alternative. It is certainly better than dirt, mud or stone.

Cons:

  • Asphalt must be re-sealed once a year. You either have to pay someone or you have to do it yourself; either way, this is the worst part of owning an asphalt driveway. If you skip sealing your driveway, it will degrade much more quickly and cost you even more.
  • Asphalt wears out faster. No matter if you seal it or not, asphalt just crumbles, cracks, and sinks with vehicle weight. It is not as durable as concrete.
  • Asphalt soaks up oil and gas. Asphalt is susceptible to oil and gas spills/leaks from your car. Every place you park your car, there will be stains.
  • Asphalt is Dirty; with a capital "D". Asphalt is just plain dirty. Walk around on your asphalt driveway and then look at the bottom of your shoes. Yuck. The binder used to keep asphalt together is made with tar. When you seal the cracks in asphalt, you use tar. Tar sticks to everything; including you. Then you track that into your house.
  • Asphalt costs more: Wait. Didn't I say it was cheaper? Yes, but only initially. In the long run, asphalt is going to cost you more because of having to replace it when it wears out. Not to mention it cost money to seal it every year. It is just not made to last as long as concrete. This con just crossed out the only "pro" for asphalt.

There are many factors to consider as you think about which type of driveway to install. It is easy to see, concrete is initially more expensive, but will outperform and therefore outlast asphalt every time; making concrete the cost effective solution. Maintenance free concrete will not only add immediate beauty and value to your home, it will be a permanent driveway solution that adds beauty and value to your home for decades to come.

Hiring a Good Paving Contractor

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You're looking at your asphalt driveway and it appears to be in rough shape. What should you do? Will some repair work do the trick? Should the driveway be resurfaced, or does the whole thing need to be ripped up and redone from scratch?

Perhaps the best thing to do is to consult a few asphalt paving contractors and get their opinions, and (often free) estimates. This article can give you a general idea of what's going on, what to look for in an asphalt paving contractor, and what to include in your contract.

Maintenance is good medicine, but it's not foolproof

Asphalt driveways don't remain smooth and black forever. You can take steps to maintain your driveway by sealing and protecting it, but often the effects of heat, ultra-violet rays, and substances such as salt, oil, gas and grease take their toll. And if those don't get you, then cracking and water penetration eventually will.

Your driveway may be corroded, worn out, or have cracks, which could all warrant a resurfacing job if the condition is severe enough. As a general guide, if repairs are needed on more than 25 percent of the surface, it is more cost-effective to do a hot mix asphalt resurfacing job over the entire driveway.

Say no to cracks!

Asphalt pavement is hard and brittle, and as a result, cracks will develop over time. Ranging from hairline to an inch wide or more, cracks are your driveway's worst enemy because they let water in. In colder climates, freeze-thaw cycles can be very destructive, and can wreak havoc on your driveway if water penetrates the cracks, then expands as it turns to ice. And even in warmer climates, water penetration can cause serious damage. The larger the crack, the more serious the problem, and the sooner it needs to be fixed. Cracks that are left un-repaired will lead to serious deterioration of the pavement and even to the base layers, requiring complete replacement of the driveway - sooner rather than later in colder climates.

Can it be fixed or do you need a new driveway?

Whether you'll need to rip out your existing driveway and install a new one, or if you can get away with resurfacing - or even some patchwork and crack-filling - depends largely on the condition of the base layers, or foundation. However, if cracking covers 3/4 of the driveway, the surface is too far gone to repair. The root of the problems may come from lower down, and a complete overhaul should be considered.

If your driveway has been resurfaced several times with hot mix asphalt and keeps deteriorating prematurely, it is likely a problem with the foundation, and you should consider installing a whole new driveway. Likewise, if there are areas that have depressions or mounds, they should be completely reconstructed from the base. If you have several of these areas, a new driveway might make sense.

Various factors may cause premature wear

Although a properly installed asphalt driveway can last 15 to 20, even 25 years if properly maintained, extreme weather conditions, extra-heavy loads and shortcuts taken during construction can all cause premature wear and failure.

Beware of "traveling contractor" scams

Beware of any asphalt paving contractor who rings your doorbell and claims to have some "leftover materials" from another job, and if you agree to the work "right now," you'll get an amazing discount. If this happens to you, call the police. It is a scam. Reputable contractors calculate the materials they need very carefully, and any small amount left over from a job would never be enough to complete an entire new job. If these con artists do any work at all before taking off with your money, it will most definitely be shoddy.

Tips for hiring an asphalt paving contractor

It is best to deal with registered, bonded, adequately insured and licensed (where companies. Many reputable paving contractors also belong to trade associations, such as the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), the National Pavement Contractors Association (NPCA), or various state-specific associations.

When hiring a contractor to resurface or install a new asphalt driveway, always get a list of references and check them. Ask references about the quality of the contractor's work, their attention to details, and if the work was competed on time. You can even go and inspect previous work.

What to include in the contract

Once you decide on an Asphalt Paving Contractor, consider these points when drawing up a contract:

Clarify who is responsible for re-hanging gates or other doors, if needed, due to raised pavement levels.

Who will raise any water valves or sewer inlets to meet the asphalt around them - you, a plumber, or someone else? Who pays?

Specify that the surface must be graded to provide proper drainage.

For new installations, specify that the sub grade will be compacted before the base layer is applied.

Specify how many layers are included in the job, a description of the materials that will be used for each layer (sub-base, base and asphalt), and the thickness of each layer when compacted. Two separate layers, or lifts, of asphalt is preferred, totaling at least 3 and preferably 4 inches. Sub-base and base should be at least 6 inches each, comprised of limestone rocks with 3-to-4-inch diameter and 2-to-3-inch diameter, respectively.

Include the payment schedule and a guarantee of the finished product.

Determine whether a building permit is required, and specify that it is the contractor's responsibility to obtain one on your behalf, if needed.

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Asphalt Contractor Magazine Florida

Asphalt Contractor Magazine Florida