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Asphalt Paving vs. Concrete: Best Jobs for Each Paving Material

Asphalt Paving vs. Concrete: Best Jobs for Each Paving Material

Are you in the market for a new driveway and are trying to determine whether you should go with an asphalt driveway or a concrete driveway? The following are some important factors to consider when making your choice. Asphalt Driveways vs. Concrete Driveways Concrete driveways are, in general, one and a half to two times more expensive to install per square foot than asphalt driveways. This also means concrete driveways cost significantly more to repair compared with asphalt driveways. Some paving experts will tell customers that concrete driveways will last longer, but as with all home improvement services, the end results and their longevity has more to do with quality workmanship and materials than anything else. The other factor that will significantly impact the lifespan of any driveway, whether concrete or asphalt, is frequency of maintenance. A properly maintained asphalt driveway can last decades. Here are some other factors to keep in mind when trying to decide whether you want an asphalt driveway or a concrete driveway: It takes seven days of curing before you can drive on a concrete driveway, but you can drive on an asphalt driveway nearly right after it has been applied. When cracks do appear in an asphalt driveway they can be quickly and affordably repaired and resealed while still looking great. Cracks are harder to patch in concrete, are more noticeable and may require invasive, messy and time-consuming methods to fix. Asphalt is elastic enough to expand or contract with changes in temperature or when bearing heavy loads. Concrete driveways are more prone to crack in cold temperatures or under heavy weights. If...
Is It Too Cold to Pave? How Weather Affects Paving

Is It Too Cold to Pave? How Weather Affects Paving

Paving is one type of construction that can be significantly impacted by temperature. What tends to matter more than the actual ambient temperature is the ground temperature and moisture levels. Even if it’s 45 degrees outside in the morning, the ground itself is likely colder from the night before, and its important for the ground to be adequately warm to lay asphalt. Proper compaction requires the asphalt to remain above a certain temperature during the process. If the ground is too cold it will leach the heat out of the asphalt too quickly, which means it may settle before paving crews can finish compacting and smoothing it. Evaporating rainwater also has a cooling effect, which can result in similar complications if a job isn’t scheduled appropriately to minimize these issues. There are ways around low temperatures for small scale jobs, such as filling potholes. Asphalt pavers with infrared paving equipment can utilize heaters and hot boxes to keep the asphalt dry and maintain a suitable temperature throughout the job. This equipment generally can’t be used for larger jobs, like repaving a road or an entire parking lot, because the infrared asphalt heaters don’t cover a large enough area. How Cold Is Too Cold for Asphalt Paving in Seattle? The real issue with temperature is its impact on our ability to properly compact the asphalt before it cools too much. As a rule of thumb a thin, 1.5-inch layer of asphalt needs to be entirely compacted within 16 minutes of its application if the ambient temperature is in the 40 to 45-degree Fahrenheit range. When hot mix asphalt is delivered...
Is Cold Patch or Hot Mix Asphalt Better for Pothole Repair?

Is Cold Patch or Hot Mix Asphalt Better for Pothole Repair?

The winter months can be especially hard on asphalt parking lots, roads and driveways. Nothing weakens and eventually destroy asphalt surfaces quite like the freeze-thaw cycle. Although freezing temperatures aren’t always a huge concern for the Seattle area, we do have enough rain and temperature swings to batter asphalt. When potholes do form, it’s important to fix them fast so they don’t turn into bigger problems. The last thing you want is for someone to be injured or damage their vehicle on your property – and there are few things as jarring and annoying than hitting a pothole when you’re driving. Potholes that are left unaddressed can also spread and result in further damage. The Best Method for Pothole Repair: Cold Patch or Hot Mix Asphalt? Cold patch asphalt is already mixed, which allows these repairs to be performed quickly and simply. This is the most DIY friendly option and it doesn’t take long to apply, but it’s also the less effective and short term of the two methods. To perform cold patch asphalt repair, you just need to get already-mixed asphalt from a local hardware store, pour it into the hole and pack it as much as you can with a tamper. Rest assured, a cold patched pothole will return because this solution doesn’t provide a tight enough seal to prevent future moisture penetration. The other factor that makes cold patch mix a short-term solution is its composition, which isn’t formulated to stand up to the rigors of frequent traffic. Hot mix asphalt repair is the only long-term pothole fix that will prevent the pothole from resurfacing again....
Different Types of Asphalt Pavement

Different Types of Asphalt Pavement

When you’re driving down the highway, you don’t often think about the smooth, durable black stuff underneath your tires. It turns out, there’s a lot more to asphalt pavement than meets the eye. For instance, it’s one of the most widely-used materials in the country – more than 94 percent of American roads are paved with asphalt – and there are many types that cater to different situations.1 If you plan to take on a pavement project such as resurfacing a driveway, review these different types of asphalt so you can be sure you’re getting the best product for the road ahead. Porous Asphalt Porous asphalt is often used to pave parking lots because it reduces standing water after a heavy rainstorm. This style of asphalt is ideal for rainy spots, like the Puget Sound area. When storm water pools on an asphalt surface, it can cause defects, such as potholes, which are dangerous for vehicles and pedestrians. Porous asphalt combats pot holes and other defects by giving standing water a place to go. A layer of permeable asphalt is placed over a reservoir of open-graded stone. Storm water travels through the pavement, into the stone bed and eventually infiltrates the soil. When properly maintained, porous asphalt can last 20 years or more.2 Quiet Pavement Just as its name suggests, quiet pavement is a type of asphalt that reduces traffic noise. Paving a noisy road with a stone-matrix asphalt or open-grade friction has shown to reduce noise levels by up to seven decibels. According to the Asphalt Pavement Alliance, reducing noise levels by even just three decibels is equivalent...
Strange and Surprising Uses for Asphalt

Strange and Surprising Uses for Asphalt

  Although 94 percent of paved roads in the US are covered in asphalt, it has many other uses beyond providing durable and reliable protection for highways and parking lots.1 In fact, many people don’t realize the versatile material offers such a wide variety of surprising and strange potential uses – including some around the home. Here are just a handful of surprising uses for asphalt you may not know about. Graffiti Removal Unfortunately, buildings made of brick or cinderblock are makeshift canvases for graffiti vandals. When a graffiti artist does spray paint a wall, their work is difficult to remove, and the process often requires stripping agents or other heavy chemicals which can damage the building materials. An easy way to minimize the effect a graffiti artist can have on your building is to coat the exterior in black, asphalt-based paint. It won’t stop a vandal from tagging the wall, but if they do, you can quickly cover it up with an additional layer of virtually unnoticeable asphalt paint. Protecting Trees and Wood Liquid asphalt can serve as a bandage for trees with open wounds due to limb removal, insect infestation or any other kind of damage. Simply seal the wound with a coat of liquid asphalt and it will be less vulnerable to additional damage like bacteria or rot. Even wooden structures, such as patios, decks or wooden fences, can be protected from the elements and the effects of old age with a coat of asphalt sealant.  Art Interestingly, asphalt can either protect against artistic expression or encourage it. For example, bitumen, the primary binding agent in...