parking lot

Parking Lot Maintenance for Lots that Receive Heavy Use

There are plenty of reasons to keep your parking areas well-maintained. First, you don’t want anyone’s car damaged if they use your lot. And second, the parking lot is often the first part of the business that a client experiences. A well-maintained parking lot reinforces the ideas of professionalism and quality. And third, well-kept asphalt degrades far slower and requires less expensive repair.

The level of use your lot receives complicates the maintenance of your asphalt. Places like grocery stores and restaurants have it easier, because they can do maintenance during closing hours. However, the case is not the same for airports, hospitals, and places that are used constantly—every day of the year. 

 

The Basics of Parking Lot Maintenance

Immediately after building your parking lot, start a maintenance routine

Keeping your lot maintained helps it in many ways. It saves money by being safer. A safe lot won’t have liability issues of customers injuring themselves or damaging their vehicles. It improves customer opinion of your business; a degraded and poorly maintained lot will give customers a negative impression before they even enter the building. And finally, a well-maintained lot won’t get seriously damaged as quickly, so you won’t have to fork over more money for serious repairs later on.

When your asphalt is installed, have it sealcoated 3-6 months later. A good plan for future parking lot maintenance is crack-filling and sealcoating every 3-5 years. You will want the lot treated more often depending on usage and weather conditions in your area.

Here is a good routine maintenance plan from Washington State University. 

Practice frequent visual inspections

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Set up a routine schedule for taking a look at your parking lot. Small problems like cracks, oil/gasoline stains, and standing water can be identified early that way. Cracks can be filled, chemicals removed, and drains cleaned in order to prevent much bigger future problems.

Keep it clean

Dirt and debris can cause few serious problems. They can damage cars and then asphalt when cars drive over them. Debris and garbage can be dangerous to people using the parking lot—broken glass, rusty metal, etc. can severely injure people. Dirt and debris can also block drains, causing damage and water build-up. 

Remove oil and gasoline immediately

These chemicals cause serious damage, so the sooner you deal with them, the better. Solvents like gasoline break down the binder that glues the asphalt together. The binder is the most expensive part of asphalt, and the hardest to repair. If you keep it in good condition, your pavement will last much longer.

Fill/seal cracks

Simply put: small cracks can lead to big ones. If you deal with the small cracks immediately, you solve two problems. Sealing small cracks prevents them from radiating out and creating more cracks (and, eventually, potholes). Sealing the small cracks also prevents water from getting in them and turning them into big cracks.

Clean out drains

Cleaning the drains around your parking lot helps get water out of there. Water is the main force of degradation and erosion in parking lots, and in nature. Even if you don’t live in a place with freezing temperatures, water can cause serious damage. Small amounts of water get into cracks, and then expands when the temperature drops. In a place that freezes, this can cause huge cracks to form overnight. In arid climates, where the temperature changes a lot according to time of day, this causes a huge amount of wear and tear on your lot.

Reroute traffic after maintenance

In order to ensure that your repairs can set, make sure to block of the area that was just worked on. This can be as easy as setting up some orange cones, or even blocking off a whole section of a parking lot.

If you want an in-depth manual for parking lot maintenance, look here.

 

How to Perform Maintenance on Parking Lots that are Used Heavily

The rules change quite a bit when your lot needs to be used 24/7/365. However, a few guidelines can significantly help you maintain a constantly used parking lot.

Routine visual inspections are more important

Because you won’t be able to shut the whole lot down, inspection is of utmost importance. Having one or several people inspect the lot doesn’t cut down on parking space or business, and it helps find problems faster. 

Fix small problems first

Fixing small cracks, cleaning, and removing gas/oil drippings goes a long way to preventing expensive and time-consuming repairs. A simple filling and sealing of a small crack means you don’t have to do a deep pavement repair. Smaller repairs can take days and hours, while larger repairs will take days and/or months. Fixing the surface is far easier than the foundation. Cleaning junk off a blacktop’s surface is easier than pulling it out of drains.

Build more space than you need

When you first build your lot, make sure to build more parking space than you think you will need. You build more space so that you can alternate which spaces are used according to repairs and maintenance.  If you have twice as much parking space as your business can accommodate, you can shut down half of your lot for repairs and still do 100% business. Having more space to work with also makes it easier to do routine work like cleaning and inspection.

Routine is important

Sticking with a maintenance routine is key. On top of reacting to damage as it appears, regular maintenance will help prevent non-visible damage. Things like sealcoating and cleaning help increase the pavement’s lifespan and prevents deeper damage later on.

 

Ready to Start Working on your Parking Lot?

Get in touch with Reliable Paving. Reliable paving is the Texas paving contractor that provides high-quality, professional service at affordable prices. Our services include asphalt paving, maintenance, repairs, striping, sealcoating, and much more. Whether you want your customers to have a good impression of your business from the moment they park, or you just want to repair your parking lot, Reliable Paving is the option for you. 

 

Asphalt Sealcoating machine

Why Should You Sealcoat Your Asphalt?

There are several ways to extend the life of your asphalt, and sealcoating is one of the best. Sealcoating is when you cover the surface of your asphalt with a sealer that fills in small cracks and prevents future wear and tear. This type of maintenance can help any asphalt installation—whether a driveway, or parking lot—last for 30 years or more. And not only does it help your asphalt last longer, it makes it look more attractive by giving it a new blacktop sheen.

 

What is an Asphalt Sealcoat?

An asphalt sealcoat is a solution that covers the top of pavement in order to protect it. Asphalt is made of aggregate (rocks and small stones) and binder (the glue that holds it all together). The sealcoat enables the binder to continue doing what it does by preventing the elements from getting at it. Think about it like “finishing” a piece of wood with enamel/surface sealant. 

The sealcoat is essentially a protector for the asphalt itself. It provides a weatherproof barrier that is the first line of defense against the elements. As time goes on and damage is accrued, the seal is what takes that damage rather than the asphalt.

There are different types of asphalt sealcoat available, and some older solutions are in fact banned due to the danger they pose. Make sure to get the right paving contractor so that you don’t wind up with dangerous chemicals on your property.

 

When is a Good Time to Sealcoat your Asphalt?

It’s smart to sealcoat your asphalt as soon as you see signs that it’s showing damage. It can also be done as a preventative measure before damage takes hold so that the life of the asphalt is prolonged. 

Here’s how you know when to sealcoat:

  1. If your pavement is showing early signs of damage.
  2. If your asphalt is installed in a place with strong weather that will invariably damage it.
  3. If you wish to extend your asphalt’s life.
  4. If you want the asphalt to look new while also preventing signs of decay.
  5. Your asphalt is six months to one-year-old.

 

How Does Asphalt get Damaged?

Asphalt gets damaged in all kinds of different ways, mostly by extreme weather. Asphalt is also damaged by the heavy vehicles that drive over it, making weather damage worse.

Sun Damage

UV (ultraviolet) light from the sun destroys all things over time. People and animals get this damage in the form of sunburn and skin cancer. Plants are damaged by overexposure to the sun and become dried-up and withered. Objects and inorganic things also get sun damage; bleaching and general decomposition happen over time. Asphalt is no exception.

Water Damage

Water damage is one of the main ways that small problems in asphalt become big problems. Little cracks frequently open up over time due to UV and automobile traffic. These small cracks let water in, and as water expands and contracts with temperature changes, the cracks become bigger. Water that seeps into cracks and freezes is one of the main ways that erosion happens. The water in tiny cracks in rock expands when it freezes, and that can even break boulders off of mountains with time. Asphalt receives the same kind of damage from water.

Another type of water damage is oxidation. This is more commonly called rust. When water interacts with iron over a long period, the iron starts to break down and cause rust. This can even happen with the small rocks and pebbles in asphalt, which contain trace amounts of iron. 

Chemical Damage

It may sound unlikely, but most asphalt will get some chemical damage over time. Driveways and parking lots will get especially damaged because parked cars will sometimes leak diesel, gasoline, and oil. These compounds are even more solvent than water and can cause more damage in shorter time. Sealcoating guards against these spills, preventing staining and damage to the top pavement layer.

Read more about how sealcoating works and what it protects against here.

 

What Other Reasons Are There to Sealcoat?

It Saves Money

A well-maintained asphalt road, driveway, or parking lot costs less over time. This is because extensive repair isn’t required. Filling small cracks with a sealer prevents things from getting in them and making those cracks worse. Weatherproofing pavement makes it last longer and take less damage over time. 

Simply put, if you sealcoat, you will have fewer big problems down the road.

 

It Prevents Plant Growth

As pavement cracks apart, weeds like dandelions and grass can start to grow through it. This might not do too much harm to the asphalt, but it is an eyesore, especially for asphalt paving in commercial spaces. Sealcoating doesn’t just make the driveway look shiny and new, it also stops sure signs of decay in their tracks.

 

It is Easier to Clean

The protective layer of a sealcoating makes the surface of asphalt less craggy and porous. This means it’s easier to clean because material doesn’t get into the little holes and cracks that develop on asphalt’s surface. The coating’s surface protection also means that, if you need to do a vigorous clean of the pavement with pressurized water or a cleaning solution, you don’t have to worry about damaging the pavement, as the sealcoat will be the first line of defense.

 

Should You Sealcoat Your Pavement?

If you answered yes to any of the questions posed before, then the answer is that you probably should get your asphalt sealcoated. To prevent damage, extend the life of your asphalt, and save costs down the line, then sealcoating your asphalt is the right choice. 

If you don’t know where to start, or if you don’t have the time to sealcoat your pavement yourself, contact Reliable Paving today. Our team is composed of experienced, professional paving contractors that can help you chose the right sealcoating job for your needs. Reliable Paving’s asphalt paving knowledge is second-to-none, and our services run the spectrum from sealcoating to repair to installation. Start the conversation today.

detour sign due to pothole

The Right and Wrong Way to Repair Potholes

Just about every road gets potholes at some point. Whether it’s from age, bad weather, or the road was paved poorly to begin with, potholes show up. But, how are they repaired? As with most things in life, they can be fixed the right way (and become lasting improvements on the road) or the wrong way, meaning they quickly open up again. Repairing potholes quickly and correctly is important because it prevents further degradation of the road.

How exactly do potholes form?

Potholes are caused by water. Water seeps into the areas underneath the road, and then it expands and contracts with changing temperatures, even in places with stable weather. In places with extreme weather, this problem is exacerbated.

As the water expands and contracts, vehicles continue to drive over the road. This eventually wears down the weak piece of road, causing it to open. Thus, a pothole is formed.

When can potholes not be repaired?

Small hairline cracks that are one-eighth an inch or less can’t be filled with asphalt, and they are usually safely ignored. However, if an area is covered in a large network of these cracks, then a surface seal can be used over the area. The surface seal must be fluid enough to seep into the cracks and securely bind them.

How can potholes be repaired?

The wrong way

It seems easy enough just fill in the open hole in the road or parking lot with new asphalt, right? This actually is just a temporary stopgap. The pothole will almost certainly reappear, and the area between the old asphalt and new asphalt will become the weakest part of the road.

The fast and easy way to fill in a pothole with asphalt is commonly used by less-experienced and less-professional workers. It’s common to see these types of repairs in developing areas or poverty-stricken regions that can’t afford proper workers, equipment, or training.

The right way

To properly repair a pothole, there are several steps that must be followed. And different procedures are followed depending on the size of the crack or pothole.

Clean The pothole

The pothole can easily be cleaned by hand with simple tools like shovels and rakes. First, small pieces of stone, asphalt, and other debris must be removed. Afterwards, high pressure water, high pressure air, sandblasting, or a wire cleaner can be used to clean out fine materials. The cleaning process ensures that the adhesive used will bind the filler to the road properly, and that the filler won’t simply break apart or come in the near future.

Measure the pothole

After cleaning, the crack or pothole must be measured for depth and length. This gives a good idea of how much material will be needed for the repair, and if other equipment besides asphalt can be used in the pothole.

Repairing cracks

In order to conserve sealant, a backer rod is often places in the cracks. The rod simply reinforces the structure and enables repairers to use less asphalt for filling in the crack. The backer rod should be non-compressible, non-shrinking, and non-absorbent, and have a higher melting temperature than the asphalt used to fill in the crack.

Filling in the crack

After the crack is cleaned and prepared, it’s sealed with liquid asphalt. Various types of equipment can be used for pouring the asphalt (depending on the size of the crack). The filler should fill the crack from the top to the bottom, but should be about one quarter to one eighth of an inch lower than the surface of the crack. Completely filling in the crack prevents air bubbles from forming and weakening the newly-filled crack.

Patching a large pothole

Quick repair

A quick repair is a surface-level patch that is often temporary. Asphalt is poured on the pothole and the surface is leveled. This prevents further destruction of the road, but will not last long.

Full repair

The full repair of a pothole is a much more intensive process. The entire surface area of the pavement must be removed before the patching process begins. Deep patching removes the top four inches or more of asphalt so the hole can be repaired, while full-depth patching removes the entire area of pavement to start from the ground up. Full depth patching can be used for concrete and pavement, while deep patching is used only on asphalt.

Full-depth patching may even require removal of the surface below the pavement (the sub-grade), and may require drainage. Full-depth patching requires not only repair equipment but also excavation tools, as the pavement is removed (about one foot deep or more) and is cut out in square shapes. So, if you have seen square or rectangular holes in the road, the pavement was probably undergoing a full-depth patch.

The full-depth patch should be filled with a dense, hot-mix asphalt. A well-filled full-depth patch will be slightly overfilled as there will be some compaction thanks to traffic.

For more in-depth information on pothole repair, check here.

If you are interested in U.S. government procedures and policies regarding repair of potholes in asphalt paved surfaces, look here.

Is it urgent?

When it comes to sealing cracks and patching potholes, it’s important to nip the problems in the bud. Once the paved area gets to a significantly poor condition, it’s no longer viable to repair, and it’s better to remove it and replace everything.

Getting potholes filled

If you have potholes on your property that you need filled, you probably want it done properly. This ensures one-time fixes that won’t require additional visits from contractors. Be sure to hire a professional paving contractor with a proven record. If you happen to be looking for one, look no further than Reliable Paving. Our high-quality asphalt paving work will ensure that you get the best service for your job.

How to Hire the Best Paving Contractor

Businesses face plenty of challenges. One of the biggest challenges is always deciding on who to use as a contractor when paving work has to be done. There are plenty of ways to pick out a good choice, from seeking a colleague’s recommendation to jumping on Google for a quick search.

The question will often boil down to this: do you want the cheapest serviceable work, or do you want to pay for quality? Is there a better way to ensure getting the best bang for your buck?

Choosing the right asphalt paving company for your business

Paving is a pretty specific, specialized industry. You should look for the right traits in a company to make your choice of paving contractor.

There are a few special things to look at when you make your decision, including:

  • Reviews
  • Licenses
  • Equipment
  • Workers
  • And previous work and company history

Reviews

Thanks to the internet, reviews are one of the easiest things to find. Yelp, Google, Yellow Pages, Amazon, the Better Business Bureau…the list goes on. A search on your choice of directory or search engine should get you what you want.

What to look for in reviews?

Remember, look for the average review, not the outliers. There will always be someone out there with an ax to grind. Maybe some client had a bad day and decided to take it out on the company they hired. Maybe the customer is always difficult, and uses online reviews as an outlet. Don’t get too bothered by the worst reviews.

Look at the vast majority of reviews, and look at the best reviews, too. What did the people who got the best service have to say? If an overwhelming majority of the reviews are positive (for example, 80%, a 4-star average or higher), then the company probably has good customer service and does good work.

Also, be aware that some companies will fill a site with fake reviews to look better online. This is an instant red flag, and without a doubt, you should avoid companies that fake their feedback.

Finally, be sure to check the dates of the reviews. Companies change over the years; they can go from bad to quite good…or vice versa.

Licenses

Insurance

Paving companies—and construction companies at large—often save a few dollars by skimping on the required (or prudent) insurance. The low price may look great to the end consumer, but your risk is greater. If any accidents happen, then your business’s insurance will be what covers damages. This could lead to a vast increase in premiums down the road. There could also be legal fallout.

You should look for a paving company that has general liability and worker’s compensation insurance. That way, any accident should be covered, whether it results in material or personal damage. They should also have insurance on all commercial vehicles for paving equipment, and an insurance umbrella policy.

How do you find out if the company has insurance? Ask them.

Professional licenses

Professional licenses are a strong guarantee of professionalism. A proper paving company should have business and contractor licenses. This helps you ensure that the workers are trained professionals, and it shows that the business is legitimate.

When vetting a company, be sure to ask what licenses they have.

Equipment

Obviously, you want to hire a company with good equipment. If you can, visit the company headquarters. What does the equipment look like? Is it old or in bad condition? You can ask about the makes and models of their vehicles as well, including what year they were built.

Do a little research and check out the average lifespan of their paving equipment. Find out when the paving vehicles become unreliable. Check out the online reviews again too, look for a lot of complaints from customers about old or damaged equipment.

Workers

You would prefer to hire a company that uses reliable workers. There are a few ways to check out how good the workers at a company are:

  1. Check online reviews again. See what other customers had to say about the employees. Were the workers helpful? Did they do a good job? Did they go above and beyond?
  2. Look at websites for rating employers, too. Glassdoor and Indeed are two of the biggest, but there are many. Use your favorite search engine to find worker reviews. What have current and former employers said? Did they like the managers? Did they think they were fair and were dedicated to good work? How did they feel about their coworkers? What was the climate at work like? If you see huge number of complaints from employees about it being a bad work place, then you can guess that the workers there don’t have high morale.
  3. Finally, ask about the longevity of employees when you are vetting companies. If many workers have been at the company for a long time, it’s a good sign. It means the company invests in its workers to improve them. It also means that workers like the company, so they stay. A company that treats its workers well and has high retention rate is usually more professional and has good employee morale.

Previous work and company history

Commercial paving companies often take big jobs, like airports, stadiums, and large entertainment venues. If the company did work on things like airports or other government property, then their work is public record. You can even go to these public places and see their work for yourself.

Looking back at a company’s history, you can see how long they’ve been in business. Usually, the longer a company has been in business, the higher the standards, and the better work you can expect.

How is Asphalt Made

Even though you see it just about everywhere, most people don’t think a whole lot about asphalt. Everyone knows that roads, parking lots, and sidewalks are made from asphalt, but what else is? Airport runways, tennis courts, bike paths, coating for pipes, roof coating, and even the undercarriages of vehicles use asphalt. Some lesser-known uses for asphalt include capsules for radioactive waste, sealant on batteries, and waterproof covering for fabrics. Its most-common use, however, is for road surfaces, as about 85% of asphalt is used in road building.

The word itself comes from the Greek ásphaltos, which roughly means to stop something from falling down. The oldest known use of asphalt is in the 5th century BC, lining a basket for holding crops. It has been used to line baths and even to caulk ships, and ancient North Americans used it to attach heads to arrows and spears.

But what is asphalt and how exactly is this surprisingly present substance made?

What is asphalt?

Asphalt, known also as bitumen, is a sticky, black, semi-solid form of petroleum (oil). It can be found naturally in oil deposits. Places like the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, the Dead Sea in Israel, and other large pits can contain natural asphalt.

Most asphalt today, though, is refined from crude oil.

Asphalt is used as the glue to bind together small, rocky pieces of what is usually gravel or small stones. This is usually known as pavement.

Asphalt is commonly used in roads, but it is also a waterproofing and sealing agent.

Manufactured Asphalt

Most asphalt is made according to what it’s required to do—that is, the process is different whether the final product is road pavement, airport tarmac, or pipe coating. There are some similarities in how all asphalt is made, though.

Distillation

Step one of making asphalt is distilling crude oil. This means that the crude oil is separated into different parts, usually with chemicals or heat. The separated parts become various things; gasoline, kerosene, diesel, and other oil products. The heavy compounds left over from the distilling process make “topped” (distilled) crude oil for heating gas and other products like asphalt.

Cutting Back

Asphalt may be blended with other agents to create asphalt for different uses. The blending process, called “cutting,” varies according to the cutting agent. Whatever cutting agent determines how light the asphalt is, how easy it is to change its form it is, it’s melting temperature, and how quickly it sets (hardens).

Emulsifying

Asphalt can also be emulsified, which means that small droplets of one liquid become dispersed throughout another liquid (that’s a very simple definition, mind you—if you are curious about emulsifying in depth, look here). Asphalt may be emulsified by water, clay, soap, vegetable oils, and more. Some common emulsions are vinaigrette and homogenized milk. The emulsifying process lets asphalt be sent through tubes, or sprayed.

Crushing and Filtering

Hardened asphalt is sometimes pulverized and then filtered until the tiny granules are the same size. When mixed with oil and aggregate (the small pieces of rock and gravel), asphalt can be used for pavement construction.

Air Injection

If the asphalt will be used as a coating, it is often treated with air. Heated asphalt is pumped with air until air bubbles form in it. This process makes asphalt that can stay in a liquid state even at low temperatures.

Paving Asphalt

In the United States, asphalt and pavement are often used interchangeably. However, asphalt actually only makes up about 4-5% of pavement weight, and is by-far, it is the highest-cost part of road paving materials. Asphalt has more than tripled in price since 2002, now costing more than 610 dollars per ton. For more information on asphalt’s usage in highways and costs, check here.

There are a few main types of asphalt used in paving, and they go by the simple names: hot mix, warm mix, and cold mix.

Hot Mix Asphalt

Hot mix asphalt is most likely what you see all around you. Odds are high that this is the asphalt used in paving projects on the streets and highways.

Hot mix asphalt is made by heating asphalt to between 300 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It is then poured at that temperature. Hot mix asphalt repels water and is strongly weather resistant, hence its popularity. Finally, it also sets quickly, so it can only be poured on days that are over 40 degrees.

Warm Mix Asphalt

Using fewer fossil fuels and a lower temperature (200-250 degrees) than hot mix, warm mix is used in less construction, but is can be used in more situations as well. It cools more slowly, so can be poured in colder climates, and it is also easier to ship. Warm mix asphalt is generally cheaper than hot mix asphalt.

Cold Mix Asphalt

Cold mix asphalt is the cheapest of the three, but has a much narrower range of use. It is usually used for repairing the other two types of mixes. It fills cracks and potholes, and is more of a stopgap measure than a permanent solution. Cold mix does not last as long as the other two mixes.

Aggregates

Pavement is actually made up of about 95% aggregates. So one of the final steps in making asphalt is to mix in sand, gravel, and stone. For detailed information on how asphalt is used, what it’s future could be, and how it’s made, check out this article, too.

Getting the Highest Quality Asphalt Services

The educated buyer will want a paving contractor that not only provides a range of paving services, but also ensures quality and legal compliance. Seal coating, asphalt paving, asphalt repairs, crack sealing, and more are all some of the top-quality services offered by Reliable Paving, based out of Arlington, Texas.

Our high-quality equipment and well-trained staff can guarantee you the best asphalt and paving-related services for your dollar. To get the best paving you can, contact us at Reliable Paving today and we will get right in touch.

Noise and Road Pavement Types

Traffic noise is an environmental issue and is even called “pollution,” and for good reason. It might not belch soot into the air or contaminate water sources, but in urban areas it’s critical to take it into account so people can live comfortably (without suffocating in the thunderous noise coming in from roads outside).

The combination tire speed and pavement type is what determines traffic noise. Tire-pavement noise is made worse with rolling, slipping, or dragging tires against pavement, especially when vehicles are moving at a higher speed. Other factors that affect tire-pavement noise including the type of vehicle, temperature, weather, the age of the pavement surface, and the surface type itself.

While most of these factors can’t be controlled, the one factor you have control over is the pavement surface type. You’re able (and empowered) to strategically choose a surface to reduce noise. Using traffic noise on a typical highway as our baseline (which ranges from 55 to 80 decibels of volume), we analyzed the different types of pavement and their noise levels to help you choose the best pavement for your project.

 

Open Graded Friction Course

Open-graded friction course (OGFC) is the quietest pavement surface, producing even less noise than conventional HMA and PCC surfaces. Its noise production is estimated to 69-77 dB(A).

OGFC uses small holes (or “air voids”) in the pavement to provide a sound-absorbing negative texture. OGFC can be made with conventional liquid asphalt or with polymer-modified asphalt, including rubberized asphalt. Rubberized OGFC typically uses finely- ground rubber that’s been recycled from tires in order to change the asphalt binder in the mixture.

Because they have air voids, these OGFC varieties differ from a more conventional, densely-graded hot mix asphalt (HMA) in several key ways. For one, OGFC air voids start from 10 to 22% and usually see a little decrease over pavement life. And because of those air voids, the surface is also referred to as “porous asphalt.” These air voids absorb a large amount of noise generated by the friction of the tires and the surface itself.

 

Hot Mix Asphalt

Hot mix asphalt (HMA) can generate a noise production equivalent to 72-79.5 dB(A). HMA is made by heating aggregates to decrease the viscosity of the binding agents and make the whole mix more fluid. Then, it’s dried to remove any moisture.

HMA air void structure generally ranges from 6 to 7%. Anything above 10% gives the asphalt a shorter life. On the other hand, even if hot mix asphalt isn’t the quietest, it is considered as the most durable type of pavement—which is why it’s generally used for highways and high roads. Asphalt is weather resistant and can efficiently stand up to wind, heat, freezes, and floods. Its heat absorption, in fact, has the capacity to melt snow and ice faster than any other type of paving material.

 

Stone Matrix Asphalt

Stone matrix asphalt (SMA) is popular because of its durability and resistance. It’s considered to be a great option for high-traffic areas, including highways and interstates, as well as busy intersections. This pavement type is a gap-graded HMA originally developed in Europe.

Since this material allows less elasticity but greater resistance, it’s noisier than the two mentioned above. However, used in the right situations, it’s more cost-effective and has greater resistance over the years. Even the quietest pavement type will get noisy when it gets filled with cracks and potholes.

 

Portland Cement Concrete

Portland cement concrete (PCC) is, once again, a degree less “quiet” than the pavement types above since it generates approximately 76-85 dB(A) in traffic noise. It’s commonly made from materials like limestone, shells, and chalk or marl combined with shale, clay, slate, blast furnace slag, silica sand, or iron ore.

The difference in noise levels between HMA and PCC surfaces is a little more dramatic when PCC is grooved or tined, too (which is commonly done to improve skid resistance). However, if the surface is diamond ground, it becomes equal to HMA as far as noise reduction.

Additionally, Portland cement concrete is more economical than other pavement materials.

 

Composite

Composite is not usually used to pave roads on its own. It’s actually a mix of asphalt and concrete and it is used as a repair material for pavement maintenance. It’s often seen as an asphalt overlay for damaged areas, such as to fill cracks and potholes.

 

Depending on the location of your project, always take the road noise into consideration when choosing your pavement type. Other priorities like resistance, durability, elasticity, and aesthetic will help you make your final decision.

Though traffic noise is produced by many different factors, the pavement type has a big impact on the end noise perceived by those who live or work in the zone. Without a doubt, OGFC is the best option for areas where traffic noise reduction is of the utmost importance. However, its longevity is less than other paving options, usually needing to be repaired or repaved every 9-10 years.

Hot mix asphalt is another popular go-to since it still helps reduce traffic noise and usually lasts 12-15 years before requiring repair.

Which pavement type makes sense for your roads or parking lot? Get a free quote from Reliable Paving today.

dimly lit parking lot

Top 8 Tips to Keep Your Parking Lot in Good Shape

At Reliable Paving, we’ll be able to help you out no matter the state of your parking lot.

That said, it’s more important to us to save you money and make your life easier. We strongly advise performing regular general maintenance on your parking lot to extend its longevity as much as possible.

“That sounds expensive,” you think. Or maybe you think it sounds complicated. But it’s not. A clean and flawless parking lot is on the other side of these 8 tips. Not only will your lot stay in better condition longer, but the look of your overall property will benefit.

Here are our top 8 tips to maintain your parking lot in brag-worthy condition.

 

1. Seal-coat your parking lot

Asphalt deterioration is unavoidable. However, it can definitely be slowed down. Have your asphalt seal-coated between three and six months of its initial installation. Seal-coating for asphalt is where a professional paving company applies an overlay on the actual pavement. Not only does this give your asphalt a slick and flawless look, it also acts as a protective shell.

There are many factors in the regular deterioration of asphalt, including the sun, brutal temperature changes, tree roots crawling under—the list goes on. And all of these have the consequence of reducing the elasticity of the asphalt, allowing water to get in. With water filtration, cracks form, and cracks lead to potholes. Seal-coating your asphalt is an investment that results in savings later in repair and even accidents. Seal-coal your asphalt every three to five years for maximum protection.

Check out our seal coating service to get a free quote for your parking lot.

 

2. Perform efficient and regular clean-up

Removing dirt, leaves and debris from your parking lot on a schedule you can stick to will improve its physical aspect, prevent damage in the long term, and create an optimally safe space for the people using the space. By regularly cleaning up, you enable optimal water drainage, too, minimizing standing water on your lot along with the damage it causes.

 

3. Maintain proper drainage

Speaking of drainage issues, it’s your responsibility to the longevity and condition of your parking lot to make sure that drainage is working right. Proper drainage allows water to channel out of your parking lot, because standing water will allow moisture to seep into the asphalt and promote faster deterioration. Drainage directly affects your parking lot’s lifespan.

 

4. Repair cracks regularly

As soon as you note a crack on your parking lot, get it sealed. The longer you wait to have cracks repaired, the bigger the cracks will become. It’s simple science. By waiting, you face the risk of any one crack turning into a pothole. Not only do you save later by having a crack quickly sealed, you also preserve the natural elasticity of your parking lot. Moreover, cracks make your parking lot look ugly and unkempt, and they present a certain safety risk for pedestrians. Believe us—you would rather call a crack sealing professional now than rack up medical bills or complaints.

Check out our crack sealing service to get a free quote.

 

5. Look at the calendar—and repave if it’s been 10+ years

If you didn’t pay enough attention to the cracks in your parking lot in the past, and the state of your lot has gotten pretty bad, you might want to consider repaving. You might observe asphalt crumble in places. If this is the case, the only possible course is to repave. For any lots 10+ years out from their last reconstruction, the asphalt’s loss of elasticity will require this no matter the state of the surface.

Check out our asphalt paving to get a free quote for your parking lot.

 

6. Ensure a well-illuminated space

Hazards become exponentially more dangerous where there isn’t enough light, and that goes for your parking lot, too. Again, for safety reasons, make sure your parking lot is well-illuminated for visitors to the property. Lighting also helps in theft-prevention by allowing your security cameras to cover the whole area with usable footage in the case of a problem.

 

7. Regularly re-stripe when the paint fades

To make sure the users of your parking lot use it correctly when they park their vehicles, make sure your parking lot striping is clearly visible. Moreover, you should also make sure your parking lot is fully ADA compliant. That way, you enable an easier access to your facility to anyone who wishes to use it and avoid steep non-compliance fees later.

Check out our parking lot restriping service to get a free quote for your parking lot.

 

8. Invest in an efficient landscape

Consider adding design and landscaping features to your parking lot for better performance, too. Adding trees, plants and bushes around the edges or in raised curbs across the lot can add color and make it a more natural space for pedestrians to enjoy. In addition to the boosted appearance, landscaping also helps prevent soil erosion, reduce storm water damage, and reduce carbon dioxide in the area.

 

Maintaining your parking lot is a basic tenant of good property ownership. Not only is guaranteeing the security of the pedestrians using your parking lot your duty, but if you want to make the most out of your investment, this maintenance is in your own best interest. Pay close and regular attention to the state of your parking lot, starting with an inspection today. And if you do find something worth fixing, you know who to turn to. We’ll get you started with a free quote, just click below.

Asphalt & Concrete Team Members

We are looking for skilled and non-skilled asphalt and concrete team members.

Qualifications:

  • Regularly exposed to weather conditions (heat and cold)
  • Regularly required to bend, kneel, stand, squat, stoop, walk, climb, lift, push, pull, reach with hands at, below and above shoulder level.

Positions available:

  • Licensed drivers
  • General labor
  • Concrete finishers
  • Asphalt rakers
  • Shovel men
  • Paving machine operators

Details:

  • Good pay
  • Paid health benefits

 

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Assistant CAD Technician

Our ever-growing construction business is in immediate need of an experienced assistant CAD technician.

Requirements:

  • Experience in rough and detailed scale, structural, site and civil plans
  • Must be able to continuously update as-builts, revise for construction, and make change orders based on client’s needs
  • Work closely with project managers
  • Create and compile presentation concept boards
  • Produce and edit renderings
  • Ability to work under deadlines and in a team-oriented environment
  • Quality-check all drawings for detail information, dimensions, lines, text, scales and revision updates
  • Combine drawings from different sources into a consolidated drawing with consistent scales, fonts, line weights and blocks
  • Verify all drawings for delivery to clients and approval of engineers
  • Strong written and verbal English communication skills
  • Work with clients/engineers when needed

Details:

  • Above-average market pay rate
  • Paid health insurance
  • Bi-lingual a plus
  • Great working environment

 

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Assistant Construction Superintendent

We have an immediate opening for an experienced assistant construction superintendent with a strong background in concrete and/or asphalt paving for small to medium-sized projects.

The following qualifications are MANDATORY:

  • Organization/scheduling skills
  • Clean driving record
  • Read and understand blueprints
  • Instruct and direct others
  • Ability to complete paperwork
  • Work as a team member
  • STRONG understanding of concrete preparation and construction

Details:

  • Bi-lingual a plus
  • Above-average market pay
  • Paid health insurance

 

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