Guides

When Does Asphalt Need Repair?

Eight signs that your asphalt needs to be repaired.

No business owner looks forward to maintenance. It’s pricey, it gets in the way of the operations of the business, and having a construction crew working on your business isn’t an inviting look for clients. But there are still some telltale signs that your asphalt will need work done. Knowing when to repair is just as important as knowing how to do it. The following symptoms should let you know when to have a paving contractor work on your pavement.

Cracks that grow

Large cracks are an obvious sign that your asphalt paving needs work done, and small cracks can often be ignored. However, small cracks that are quickly growing into large ones are a sign that you need to fix the problem ASAP. If you notice that your pavement has cracks measuring over a quarter of an inch, or are quickly growing, then it’s time to call a paving contractor.

Fading color

Sunlight and frequent vehicle use can discolor your asphalt. If you notice that the paint is wearing off, and the black sheen of your parking lot has become a dull gray, it’s time to get it treated. Color wear is a sign that the pavement is aging, and aging pavement is more susceptible to further damage. As pavement ages, it becomes more porous, letting in water than will expand and contract over time. This results in much bigger problems that you should nip in the bud.

Moisture accumulation

If you notice that water or other liquid builds up on your asphalt doesn’t go away, then it’s time to have it looked at. As we have mentioned before, water is the main source of damage to asphalt. If you notice a lot of water building up on your driveway, parking lot, or other asphalt paving, then it’s time to get a professional. Lack of proper drainage will only lead to bigger problems later on, so you will want to get any drainage issues fixed quickly and effectively.

Crumbling edges

Crumbling edges are another telltale sign of impending asphalt failure. Once the edges start to break away, water gets another pathway into your asphalt. When water gets in, the structural damage starts. Another reason for broken asphalt edges is frequent vehicle use. This is a problem that will only grow worse with time, so if you notice it, it’s best to deal with as soon as possible.

Spider web cracks

Not all cracks simply grow in size. Some fan out from a common point. They start small spread forming a shape like a spider web, these are also known as alligator cracks and need to be dealt with immediately.

Warping

When your asphalt begins to change its surface shape, it means you have bigger problems deep below. Warping, buckling, and deformation are signs of too much vehicle use without maintenance, or water damage. As vehicles put a huge amount of pressure on asphalt, they can expose foundational flaws that need care. Water is another culprit of asphalt deformation. Water accumulation beneath the surface isn’t immediately visible, but as it expands due to temperature changes, it can cause the bumps and lumps to appear in your paving.

Asphalt stains

Paving is typically used by vehicles. And vehicles often leak. Vehicles can leak a variety of solvent liquids onto asphalt, from brake fluid to oil to antifreeze. These liquids are more effective than water and wearing away the surface and making the paving more susceptible to further water damage. They also wear away painting and striping much faster than water. Stains are also simply unsightly and uninviting. Your parking lot is the first thing people usually see when they enter your business, so you want to start with a good impression. Ensure your parking lot is clean, free of stains, and well-painted.

Sinking

Pavement often uses a compacted base of aggregate/crushed stone. If you notice a portion of your parking lot has become lower than the rest, it probably means that this foundation is beginning to give way. This can become a big problem as it’s hard to know what exactly will happen with the rest of your asphalt. Will it continue to sink? Will it eventually break? Will the whole asphalt area also sink and give way? It’s hard to tell from only one sunken area, so definitely get a professional to assess the problem.

What if repairs aren’t enough?

It may be the case that you need to start over from scratch. If you see some signs listed in this article, then it’s too late, and you should skip the repairs and go right to replacement. A good rule of thumb is that if there are multiple signs of failure, completely replacing the asphalt is a good way to go.

If you have any of these problems call a professional

If you have noticed that your business’s driveway or parking lot has any of the problems we have mentioned above, don’t hesitate to let us know. Reliable Paving is an experienced and professional paving contractor who can help you with whatever your asphalt needs are. Our services for the problems listed above include the following:

  • Seal coating. Covering your asphalt with a protective layer to prevent future water damage and damage from the elements is a great way to extend its life.
  • Asphalt repairs of various types. Our repair services include crack sealing, pothole repair, and resurfacing. We also do full asphalt replacement, removing damaged asphalt and replacing it starting with the foundation.
  • Parking lot striping. Repainting your parking lot makes it safer, look better, and is a great time to inspect it for other signs of damage.
  • Pothole repair. We also specialize in various methods of pothole repair. We do everything from quick throw and go repair to full-depth hole replacement to fix larger structural issues. 

Maybe you could use our repair services, or maybe it’s time to simply take out what you already have and start over with new asphalt altogether. Whatever the solution is, Reliable Paving has got you covered.

red volkswagen beetle parked at road side near pedestrian

The Factors Affecting Traffic Noise

How more than pavement surface affects the noise from traffic, and what can be done about it.

We already know that certain types of pavement can decrease traffic noise. But how exactly does it work? What are the effects on the people and environment when traffic makes a huge amount of noise in an area?

One of the most common forms of noise pollution in the US is highway and traffic noise on pavement. There are many costly ways to mitigate it, such as sound barriers. Using a different grade of pavement can also help. Rather than the types of pavement that can help reduce noise, we are going to analyze how the “grind” or texture of the pavement can reduce it, and what the benefits are, especially on highways.

Why is pavement noise important?

Pollution comes into our lives in many ways these days. There is air pollution in every big city. It is especially common in industrial areas where factories belch out smoke, whether in cities or not. Water pollution is another factor in most people’s lives. Anyone who lives in an agricultural area in the US is familiar with the copious amounts of water pollution that wind up in riverways thanks to industrial farming systems. Nowadays, microplastics are also to be found everywhere. Plastic doesn’t break down like other molecules. Instead, it becomes tinier and tiner, until it is microscopic, from which it can get into food, water supplies, and more.

However, one of the most common and annoying forms of pollution that people have to deal with is noise. Noise pollution is a surprisingly big deal. While it may not seem like a serious issue, its serious effects are many. On top of that, little is done about noise pollution, as highways are getting bigger and roadways are continuing to get built everywhere.

What is the effect of pavement noise on people?

According to an Acousticstoday.org study, more than 45 million Americans live within 300 feet of a major transportation facility. These facilities also include large highways that contribute to noise. In addition to interference with daily activities such as speech, the noise has been shown to have adverse health effects.

Health effects

Health effects of overly loud pavement noise include the following:

  • Heart disease
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Cognitive impairment in children

The World Health Organization concluded that at least 1 million healthy life years are lost in Western Europe each year due to the effects of pavement noise on the population there.

This is only the effect on people, not also the effect on wildlife and the nearby environment.

What effects pavement noise?

Besides the obvious creation of it from tires on the asphalt paving, there are several other important factors.

Vehicles

  • Vehicle type. Four-seat cars are the most common, but of course large shipping trucks and other vehicles alsoe contribute to highway noise pollution.
  • Vehicle volume. The sheer amount of vehicles on the road makes a huge difference.
  • Highways are louder because the faster one goes, the more noise a vehicle makes.
  • Pavement type. The grind/course of the pavement makes a big difference as well.

Sound propogation

  • Site geometry. Echoes of nearby buildings, walls, and more can worsen or dampen pavement noise.
  • Ever wondered what those walls by the side of the highway are for? They are to decrease the noise to nearby communities.
  • Ground effects. The landscape can increase or decrease car noise on the asphalt.
  • Again, differences in the air and weather can also improve or worsen pavement noise.

Receivers of sound

  • Human reception. If a highway is going through a desert, there aren’t people to hear it nearby, so pavement noise is much less of a problem.
  • Wildlife and the environment. This noise can seriously disrupt the nearby ecology.

Read this long form study on pavement noise, to learn more about what affects asphalt paving/vehicle noise.

 

Tire contact with pavement is the biggest contributor to pavement noise

No, it’s not the sound of horns honking on car engines, but the sound of tires making contact with pavement that is the biggest factor in creating road noise on highways. Roads are paved in different ways, on low-speed streets, it matters less because the cars and pavement simply aren’t as moving as fast in relation to one another. What about highways though?

There are 3 types of common surface textures for pavement

According to a technical study from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the following pavement courses (textures) are the most common:

Transverse tine

This is created by dragging a metal rake sideways across pavement. It was discontinued in the 1980s due to the noise levels.

Burlap drag

Used for lower speed streets and roads. This is made by dragging a moistened burlap sack over the pavement surface. This is less important because it is not used on highways.

Diamond grind

Diamond coated saw blades are used to saw off small irregularities in the pavement surface. They also create grooves in the surface for traction. This method was originally developed to improve car handling on aging pavement, but it was discovered to significantly decrease noise levels as well.

Ultimately, it was discovered that the innovative diamond grind was far more effective at not only rejeuvenating old roadways for better car handling, but also for reducing highway noise.

So what have we learned?

We’ve learned that pavement can make a big impact on the noise coming from traffic. Not only that, but the environment and buildings in the area do as well. If you want to decrease your pavement noise, or figure out what you can do to make your place of business or home less bothered by a nearby roadway, let us know.

Reliable Paving is an experienced and professional group of paving contractors who are thrilled to help you in your paving needs. Do you need repairs, restriping, or new pavement? Maybe you just want to learn how to decrease noise and make your place of work more peaceful? Either way, we are ready to help you, we have the experience, team size, and skills to make your asphalt-related goals a reality.

Asphalt Maintenance Tips for Spring

How to ensure your pavement enters the spring and summer months in the best condition.

As winter finally lets its icy grip off of the nation (in most parts any way, some places are still having snowstorms), it’s time to check on your pavement. Winter in general is a colder, wetter time of the year, and that wreaks havoc on asphalt and paving. Water gets in cracks, feezes and expands, as we have noted before. Additionally, winter storms leave all kinds of debris on your parking lot and driveway that are a danger to motorists and pedestrians. Finally, now that the asphalt paving is clear, it’s as good a time as any to do some basic inspection work. Let’s look at the ways that you can make absolutely sure that your pavement is healthy going into the year.

Look, then leap

First of all, perform an inspection. The first thing you should do before major parking lot maintenance is an inspection. This will help you figure out what areas really need repairs and improvement, and where you are doing well. The best way to do this is to hire a professional paving service to take a look at your lot. They will notice things like small cracks that may not seem like a big deal, but that can lead to massive problems down the line. A professional paving contractor will also be able to advise you on the best course of action for how to repair your small problems so they don’t become serious hazards, and how to perform large maintenance projects/repairs if you need it.

Spring-cleaning

Winter usually leaves pavement covered in all kinds of debris. If you live somewhere with winter snow and ice, you may think it’s all over when it melts. Well, the water may not be on the surface anymore, but what about your drainage systems? Are they full? Is debris like tree branches blocking your paving from fully draining? Additionally, if there was snow and ice on your lot, it may have been salted to prevent too much frozen water accumulation. Well, the water melts in the spring, but the salt remains, and it needs to get cleaned up. A deep cleanse will also rid the lot of overgrown plants, garbage left by people, dried leaves, and gravel. Getting rid of the foreign bodies from your paving makes the lot look beter and makes it safer for those who will use it.

A good cleaning job will not only make your lot safer, and lessen future damage, but it will also make your business look more inviting.

Seal coating

Now that your pavement is clear of debris, and you can really see what it’s like, it’s time to get it protected for future inclement weather. Spring and summer storms are definitely a thing, so you want to make sure that your pavement is ready for all the water that will hit its surface. If you live in the West or South, where the sun is intense, seal coating is also a big benefit because it helps prevent damage by UV rays. UV rays may not do much over short periods, but over time, and in big quantities, they will damage just about any surface they fall on.

Seal coating is a big benefit because it makes your parking lot and/or driveway look better and extends the life. Whether you do it in the spring, summer, or fall, seal coating is somehting you should do regularly to ensure you get the most out of your pavement.

Repair potholes and cracks

Once everything has been inspected and cleaned, it’s time for repairs. There are a few different damage repair methods that you can use, from hot or cold fillling to deep repair. This is where having a professional paving contractor will really help you. You will be able to ascertain from the type of damage exactly what you need done- will a simple seal or filling get the job done? Or will you need a full on replacement of the damaged part of your parking lot?

During this time, be prepared for good and bad news. Sometimes, a repair can be done easily, with cheaper recycled asphalt. Sometimes, you will find new, worse problems, such as tree roots growing into the pavement or serious damage that necessitates deep repairs. Either way, a professional will be able to help you decide on the best methods and most cost-effective solutions to repair the damage to your paving.

Repaint

When the asphalt is repaired, inspected, seal coated, and looking almost back to normal again, it’s time to paint. Asphalt painting, such as directional arrows and parking lot lines also get worn away during the harsh winter months. You don’t have to simply repaint, you can also change the lines if you have noticed bottlenecks or unsafe places in your lot. After the winter lets up is the time to make the painted changes you wish to see in your parking lot.

Restriping your parking lot makes it safer for drivers, makes in better follow regulations, makes your business look better.

Have your asphalt paving maintenance done by certified professionals

You want your asphalt to work and look the best, so get it treated by the best. At Reliable Paving, we are highly experienced and professional paving contractors. Our services include striping (painting), seal coating, asphalt repair, and of course, inspection. We value your time as much as you do, so we will do our best to provide unrelentingly good service as we treat your pavement. If you think it’s the time to make changes, we can also do speed bump installation and ADA compliance to absolutely ensure your parking lot/driveway is as safe as it can be. Let us know today how we can help you, and we can get your spring pavement cleaning on the road.

Pavement Advice for the Freezing Cold

How to handle unusually cold weather when you are on the pavement, and what to do about your asphalt when the weather subsides.

Texas has had some wild weather these last few weeks. The Lone Star State is known for its sprawling deserts and plains, as well as extreme heat waves blowing in out of Mexico and the Pacific. This winter though, things have been a bit different. Much of the state is seeing, or has seen record cold, as in record-breaking cold. Some places were colder than they have been in 30 years, while others broke records from more than a century ago. Check out this BayNews9 article for a full list of broken temperature records. Needless to say, it has caught a lot of people off-guard. Windchill dipped places like Houston and San Antonio into 11F and 9F respectively. Other places dropped into negative double digits thanks to the wind chill.

The energy grid in Texas has seen a large failure, with a dip of 46,000 megawatts (that’s 46 gigawatts) of production. This left people and businesses unable to act in the freezing weather. Everything from deliveries being delayed to frozen pipes bursting to rolling blackouts hit during this time.

We can’t help with everything happening in Texas, but we can help you keep safe on the roads, and help you figure out what to do after.

Staying safe on frozen asphalt

Asphalt paving is famously slick in the winter time in cold climates. Ice clings to it and snow gets impacted into it, leaving it slippery and dangerous for pedestrians and commuters. Fortunately, it’s not all bad, as people living in the midwest deal with it yearly, more or less without serious problems. A few pieces of simple advice will go a long way.

Go slower

This probably is a no-brainer for you but it’s still worth a mention.

  • Go even slower when on a slope. Your breaks will not work as well driving downhill on an icy hill.
  • Increase your follow distance to 3 times what is normally is. We’ve all seen videos of big pile ups on the roadways in blizzards. Increasing your follow distance is how that sort of thing can be prevented.
  • Go especially slow when there are pedestrians around. Not only do you need to be more careful, but they can slip on the ice too.

It’s not all bad though, thanks to the weight of a car, you are less likely to slip in one going at low speeds than you are on foot.

What to do if you start skidding

  • Don’t keep your foot on the brake, try pumping it, or easing off.
  • Get your steering wheel going in the direction of the skid, so you are ready to move when you regain control.
  • Going slowly in the first place helps prevent skidding.
  • When you do brake, brake gently, this helps decrease your momentum in a way that won’t lead to sliding.

Keep your lights, windshield, roof, and windows clean

  • Other people need to see your lights.
  • Hopefully, we don’t have to explain why you need to keep your front and back windshields clear.
    • Make sure that you clear them both off fully! A small 10×10 inch window in the front is not enough.
  • Keep your windows clear for the same reason as your windshield.
  • Clear off your rooof so that if you stop suddenly or if heavy wind occurs you won’t have roof snow falling and blocking your windshield.

Keep a shovel, matts, and/or 2 by 4s in your car

  • This is for digging out of deep/slippery snow. Matts or 2 by 4s under the tires will help you get some traction.
  • The shovel will be useful for digging out yourself and others. It doesn’t have to be a big one, a hand shovel will work just fine.

Stay at least 200 feet behind snow plows

  • Give snow plows and sanding/salting trucks their distance. Not only might they stop suddenly, but the amound of snow they kick up could be a hazard to you.
  • Do not pass them unless they are pulled over and stopped.

Be extra careful on bridges, overpasses, and ramps

  • These areas often freeze first, and will have ice before other parts of the road will.
  • These areas are often curvy and on inclines, making slipping more disastrous. Exercise caution.

Watch out for black ice

Many people have heard of this phenomenom, not many know what it is though. It is the product of snow/ice initially freezing in place, then unfreezing over the cycle of a day, and refreezing at night. This happens again and again throughout the winter. On the road, it becomes a mix of oil from cars and pavement and refrozen ice.

  • It’s harder to see and often much more slippery than normal snow and ice.
  • It can be lurking under new snow, making the surface even more dangerous.

Keep some emergency precautions in your car

In case you get stranded, keep a blanket, heater, some food, and water in your car so you don’t freeze while waiting for help.

What to look for when the weather subsides

When the freezing weather turns to spring, your pavement will be in dire straights. You will be dealing with wear and tear the likes of which you haven’t seen in Texas in a long time.

Expect the following:

  • Existing problems/faults will be worse. Cracks and potholes will be bigger and deeper thanks to water getting inside and expanding when it froze.
  • Asphalt paving will become uneven as that subsurface water expands in the cold.
  • Parking lot marking wearing off. You can expect the salt, sand, and winter weather to have an effect on paint too. Parking lines, handicapped signs, and pretty much everything painted on asphalt will be harder to see.

If you need your asphalt repaired, come to us! Reliable Paving is an experienced team of paving contractors ready to help you and your business recover from this winter. Contact us today to let us know how we can help you get your pavement ready for spring weather.

 

Paving a Road From Start to Finish

5 Steps

Many people think that asphalt paving is a simple process: pour it and let it harden. It’s actually not nearly that simple, but it doesn’t need to be overly complex either.

Whatever needs paving, there will be the same basic steps in each paving project. Maybe you are a commercial developer working on a new lot, or a city street nearby needs paving, whatever the circumstances, we can give you a detailed outline of how the project should look. This can serve you in several ways: you can make sure your paving contractor is doing the job right, you can also communicate more effectively by asking the right questions through each part of the process. Finally, if it’s a small project, you might get the knowledge you need to do one or more of the steps without any outside help.

Planning

This is an often overlooked step. You, the business owner or developer, will need to ensure you have the following:

  • Approval for the city for paving the area you choose.
  • Environmental issues with the area need to be addressed, such as drainage.
  • The location needs to be clearly defined. If it is a busy thoroughfare, there will need to be some kind of alternate route for people to get around it. Even if it isn’t a place that sees a lot of traffic, there will need to be alternate routes around the location for pedestrians and commuters.
  • The goal of the project should be clearly defined. What are you paving? What is its function? Is it a road, driveway, or parking lot? Is the space being paved for vehicles, pedestrians, cars, cyclists, or heavy machinery? Who is using it, the public or some private individuals? How much use will it see? This is a difficult thing to figure, as many variables need to be considered. Ultimately, you need to know how much use it will get, what kind of use it will be, and who will be using the new paved area.
  • What is the timeline of the project? How long will it take from breaking ground until it can be used?
  • What is the budget?

Preparation and Excavation

The difficulty of this step varies significantly according to what was there before. Was the site location another road? It may be easier to prepare. Was the site an old building that needs to be torn down? Well, there will be a lot more work. You should also check what is under the site to make sure the new paving can handle the load from use.

During this process, grading and sloping of the site is also incredibly important. This determines drainage. Water is the main factor in asphalt/concrete damage, so ensuring that your site will have proper drainage will save a lot of repairs, money, and headaches later on.

Finally, the ground to be built upon will have to be compacted. This is a technical process that usually involves special equipment and skill. It’s something you will almost certainly need a professional paving contractor to perform.

Building the sub base

Now that the ground beneath is ready, it’s time to lay a sub base. This is the material upon which the actual pavement will lie. It can vary from compacted soil and loose rocks in home/residential construction to much more complex layers of increasingly-small aggregate. Aggregate is a combination of small rocks, crushed rocks, and stones that. In many roads, the sub base layers has 4 layers.

  • Bottom layer: compacted soil, also called sub grade.
  • Layer 2: Sub base aggregate material. This can be loose rocks or stones compacted tightly.
  • Layer 3: Base course. Usually a finer aggregate material than the sub base, like sand.
  • Layer 4: Paver base. This final base before the pavement usually is the finest aggregate. Rock is finely crushed into a powder that the pavement can lay smoothly upon.

Laying the asphalt

During this process, paving contractors will use heavy equipment to pour hot mix asphalt onto the top layer of the sub base. Asphalt, unlike the other layers, is not just an aggregate material. It also includes a binder, which is usually made from petroleum. The petroleum binder makes up a tiny portion of the asphalt, usually around 5%. As you may have guessed from the name, the binder is essentially the “glue” that holds the asphalt together as one contiguous piece.

After pouring, the asphalt will be leveled and compacted after pouring. Additionally, joiners will be built to connect the asphalt to other pavement. Roads connect to other roads, driveways, sidewalks, etc. Special attention should be paid to ensure transitions are smooth.

Finally, asphalt will be checked for final smoothness. The contractor will make sure there aren’t bumps or small build-ups, and a roller truck or some other piece of heavy equipment will fully flatten the new paving.

Despite its use of petrochemicals, asphalt does not actually have a terribly powerful environmental impact. It is one of the most recycled materials, and it sequesters vast amounts of carbon dioxide.

Hardening

Once the asphalt is poured in the right location, all you have to do is wait. It may be safe to walk on once it has cooled and hardened initially, in the first few days after pouring. Complete hardening may take weeks or up to a month, depending on the ambient temperature.

When this part of the process is done, the asphalt is good to go.

Pave your projects the right way

At Reliable Paving, we know what we are good at. We ensure total care and proper procedure during every stage of the paving process. Not only do we take care to do our best work, but we communicate proactively and are present to answer questions, and provide recommendations throughout each step of paving. If you want a project done well, to exacting standards, and reliably, then don’t hesitate to contact us today and get the best paving you can.

Parking Lot Safety In the Winter

Regardless of where you are in the US, winter is usually a colder, wetter season. This poses various risks for safety on just about any type of pavement.

Whether you live in the Southern US, where winter is mild but wet, or the North, where freezing temperatures and feet of snow can grind life to a halt, winter poses its own unique set of challenges. One of the biggest challenges paving contractors face is handling winter damage and preparing asphalt for bad weather. At Reliable Paving, we are experts on how winter weather affects asphalt paving. We’ve seen it all, from water damage to potholes to frost heave. We’ve compiled a set of guidelines to make it easier to handle winter weather, both this year and next.

What to do before winter

You can prepare for the oncoming inclement weather and low light in advance. It will help you deal with winter’s other challenges.

Inspect your lot

Walk around the parking lot. Check out the premises. Look for various things that are out of order. Look for areas that can be improved.

  • Check for debris that is on the lot. Things already cluttering the lot will only be more problematic under a covering of snow and ice. Clear up what you can.
    • If you notice certain areas always seem to collect debris, it may be worth upgrading your drainage system. Another idea would be to do more frequent maintenance/cleaning to remove detritus.
  • Check for areas where visibility is bad. Things like faded signs, light-up signs whose lights no longer work, faded lot striping, etc. make it harder to get around the lot. When people are confused and don’t know where to go, they are more distracted. Distracted drivers are more prone to accidents.
    • Legally, you don’t want someone possibly suing you because they were hit by a driver who couldn’t see where he/she was going because of damaged signage.
  • Look for existing damage. Cracks, potholes, depressions, uneven ground, and more are usually attributable to liquids getting inside the pavement. The number one reason that parking lots get damaged is liquids inside the paving. When any liquid, but especially water, gets inside of asphalt or concrete, it expands and contracts as the temperature changes. Asphalt and concrete are not particularly flexible, so that’s where the damage really happens. This problem is exacerbated by winter’s freezing temperatures. Small cracks now can lead to big structural damage later on.
    • Patch up your potholes and cracks before winter starts. A lot of paving work can only be done when the temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degree Celsius). This means that even autumn isn’t a good season for repairs in many places.

Protect your parking with preventative maintenance

  • Sealcoat your parking lot. This is something you should do every few years anyway. Not only will it prevent damage from water, but it also protects from one of the most damaging things in nature – UV light from the sun. Sealcoating prevents the pavement from turning gray and developing cracks, a sign of oxidation (more commonly known as rust). Most paving is already sealed from water to a certain extent. But, a parking lot is different, from striping paint to leaking car fluids, parking lots are hit by many strong solvents. Dripping brake fluid, oil, and the like can easily build up and cause damage, especially when a leaky car is parked overnight or longer. Sealcoating is your solution to this. It protects you from water, UV, and leaks from various cars. A good sealcoating, combined with maintenance, can make your lot last 20 to 30 years.
    • How often should I sealcoat? You should do it every 2-4 years. But this depends on your location. In places with harsher climates, freezing weather, more intense sun and/or precipitation, every 2 years might be best. In dry, cool locations with moderate climates, every 4 years will suffice.

What to do during the winter

  • Stay on top of cleaning and clearing. Winter is a time for storms, snow, and heavy wind. Things like tree branches will blow into your lot, and it’s up to you to make sure they don’t stay there. Debris in a parking area is dangerous because it can cause flat tires, other car damage, and pedestrians can trip over it. It’s all made worse if it snows over the existing debris. Don’t forget to have a snow plow company on-call if it snows by you. On top of clearing snow, you should have some kind of salt or other mechanism to clear ice and prevent slippage.
  • Make sure your lot is well-lit. Winter is darker, and when snow/debris covers the lot, stripes may not be visible. Inspect the lot frequently to make sure your lights are working, things are clearly visible, and any lit signs are still lit. Clearly-lit signs are also a legal requirement in many lots. Not only is it more dangerous for pedestrians and motorists to not have them, but you also risk legal action.
  • You may need to change the traffic flow in the parking area. Nobody wants cars skidding around on ice/snow, so you may need to put some entry only/exit only signs up to have a clear and simple flow of traffic in the parking lot.

Winter isn’t the only time maintenance is important

At Reliable Paving we are experts on all kinds of ways to take care of your asphalt, concrete, and paving of any kind. Whether it’s pothole repair, laying new asphalt altogether, or crack sealing, we are ready. Our 35+ years in the industry combined with our large, professional team means that no project is too big for us to complete on-budget, and on-time. Visit our website and take a look at our services and past projects, and if you think we fit the bill, send us a message today. We look forward to providing you with the best paving and asphalt work that money can buy.

Reliable Paving Company Update

2020 Has been an historic year. From wildfires to a pandemic to mass protests and civil unrest, a lot has happened. Despite the tumultuous craziness of this year, Reliable Paving has striven to be a bastion of stability and of course, reliability.

So, to begin this new year, we would like to look at some of our accomplishments, company ethos and culture, and our capabilities. Looking at our present and past, we can get an even better idea of what the future is in store for us.

A bit of company history

We started in 1984 with a simple idea that the best asphalt and pavement maintenance meant preventative maintenance. We worked on not just performing the best asphalt paving for our clients, but keeping them well-informed so they can make the best choices.

As we approach four decades in business, we continue to offer the best craftsmanship with a strong emphasis on customer-first priorities.

Our Service Method

Our service method can be summed up in two words: relentless cooperation. Paving projects require an enormous amount of troubleshooting, detailed planning, and the ability to work as a team and to integrate and work with other teams. Our team provides the project management to keep everyone accountable and work on time and on budget.

Our services include:

  • Quick responses to bids.
  • Managers assigned to each job.
  • Attending all meetings.
  • Being committed to cooperation with your staff and all other contractors.
  • Your managers and owners are guaranteed access to our Senior VP. of Sales.
  • You, your managers, and owners are encouraged to take an active role in every part of the construction process.
  • A licensed engineer on-site to guarantee quality control.

We aren’t just another paving contractor company, we strive not only to give you the best quality results, but also the best service possible. Like we said, relentless cooperation is the name of our game. If you are curious about what working with us is like, and want to try before you buy, contact us here for a free estimate on your project.

Company Culture

Reliable Commercial started out as a family business, and it remains a family business. We have grown to be a large company, with over 200 employees over time. Nonetheless, wee make sure that each person working for us knows they are part of a bigger picture, a working part of a much larger whole.

Our services

Asphalt paving

The vast majority of paved surfaces in this country are made of asphalt. Asphalt is 100% recyclable, in fact, it is one of the most recycled materials in the US, and 81% of asphalt is recycled. Our asphalt paving services include hot mix, cold mix, porous asphalt, and course graded asphalt.

Asphalt repairs

If you want your asphalt to last, it will eventually need to be maintained. Our services include crack filling, pothole repair, and resurfacing. Resurfacing is when a new layer is poured over the existing asphalt surface, which not only makes it look new, but makes it last longer. If you really want your asphalt to stand the test of time, you should consider sealcoating. Sealcoating is the process of weather-proofing the surface of asphalt so water can not get inside between the aggregate.

Concrete repairs

Concrete, unlike asphalt is often used in industrial situations. This means it is often subject to extreme heat, cold, corrosion, and stress. As it ages, it cracks, blazes, and blisters. These signs of age can range from inconvenient to dangerous. We pride ourselves in meeting and exceeding all industry safety standards when it comes to repairing your concrete.

 Sealcoating

On top of asphalt sealcoating, we also offer various other sealcoating services.

  • Concrete sealcoating
  • Blacktop sealcoating
  • Pavement Sealcoating

Sealcoated surfaces are safe to drive on just 2-3 days after the coating, and they are protected for years afterwards.

Striping

Ensure your lot is clearly-marked, ADA compliant, and nice looking – make sure its stripes and markings are clear and bright. We have established a process to perform parking lot striping while using as little space and time as possible. That way, your business can continue as we do ours.

Crack sealing

We perform crack sealing on pavement, concrete, asphalt, and blacktop. Crack sealing can be a small task or a big one, untreated cracks lead to asphalt disintegration and distortion if left untreated. We treat cracks before they become big problems.

ADA compliance

We will help your organization avoid fines and legal troubles with our nuanced understanding of the Americans with Disabilities Act. We provide consulting services for your business to help ensure ADA as well as our work with parking lot striping and marking.

Speed bump installation

We provide speed bump installs for parking lots and driveways. Perfect for keeping traffic safe at your business place.

Our accomplishments

All Storage Paving Project

We performed the massive paving project for the All Storage Fort Worth McCart. For pictures and an idea of the massive size of the project we took on, visit the web page for the storage facility. This behemoth of concrete and asphalt is a testament to the nearly 40 years of experience and our highly-skilled ant amazing crew.

Projects in 2021

Now that we are turning the leaf of a new year, you may be thinking about your own projects. Do you have a parking lot that needs resurfacing? Perhaps you are opening a business that will need a driveway and parking. Whatever your paving related needs, Reliable Paving has you covered. We would be happy to relentlessly serve you and ensure that you put the best foot forward with the projects you start this year. Contact us today, and we can get started with whatever asphalt, paving, and/or concrete project you have in mind.

Must Ask Questions For Any Paving Contractor

Find out what the right questions to ask are, and what the right answers to those questions are.

Heading into the new year, you might have some overdue asphalt paving needs. Well, let the new year be a time to make the changes you want to see in your life. If you are anxious, or unsure about where to start, we have made a convenient list of questions you should ask any paving company before you hire them. Follow this handy guide, and you will be confident and ready to start the projects you need done.

This guide is designed to help you choose the best asphalt paving contractor for the job.

How long have you been in business?

This question is something you should ask just about any contractor before you have a big job done. This is the general litmus test of how good a company is at what it does. It helps you get a clear impression of how successful they maybe with your project. Would you order a product from an Amazon or Ebay seller with no previous good reviews?

Ideally, a good paving company should have at least 2+ years of experience in your area. That indicates that their product has enough quality to continue selling.

What services do you provide?

This question gets a bit technical in the answer, but it’s important. The services provided by a company lets you know how long your paving job will last. Now the answer depends on what you need done, for example, if you just want something paved, you should look for a company that does paving and sealcoating. If you need something repaired, you should find out what kind of repairs are offered.

Paving and sealcoating

Any paving job should be followed by sealcoating. Sealcoating is the preservation of the pavement by coating the top level with a weather-proof binder. This determines whether you will need your pavement worked on every several years or every several months. If a company does not offer sealcoating, it should make give you pause.

Repairs and pothole filling

The answer to the question “What kind of paving repair do you perform?” might get a little technical, but it boils down to some important results. There is patching, removal and replacement, milling, full-depth repair, crack filling, and more. You are looking for an answer that includes as many methods as possible. Why? Because the more methods a company has to repair asphalt the more knowledgeable they are, and the better the repairs they are capable of. Long story short, there is absolutely a right and wrong way to fix asphalt problems. You don’t just want a hole filled in, you might need a whole section replaced, and you need to know that the company you are hiring is capable of the best repair job possible.

How much do your services cost?

This question has a lot of different answers, but the answer you are looking for is a question in return. Any company worth its salt should need to know a few things before they can give you a cost estimate. So here are the kind of things that a company should ask before they deliver a quote:

  • What is the area to be paved/repaired?
  • What kind of/amount of traffic will there be in this area?
  • What is the location/climate of the area?

After these questions, you will want to ask some follow-up inquiries yourself. They will help you ascertain the costs to a better degree. Questions you should ask to follow up:

  • What materials will you use? (this is a big determiner of cost)
  • What is the complexity of the project? This is a difficult question to answer objectively, but it can really help you get the hang of costs.

Make sure to ask this questions of a few different companies. It will give you an idea of the general cost for the services you are requesting. It will also let you know a bit about the company’s level of professionalism — some companies will claim that a complex project is very simple because they have limited experience in the field and don’t know the job’s full depth.

Is the company licensed and insured?

Ask this question right away to avoid wasting your time on unlicensed companies. You absolutely want a company that is insured, so that you don’t wind up paying an arm and a leg in settlements if someone gets injured working on your property. If the company can’t answer what licenses or insurance they have immediately, they are probably stalling and hoping you forget you asked.

Who will be working on my driveway?

Make sure that the company you hire will actually have its own employees working on your driveway. This will save you time and money, and avoid companies that just pick up a paycheck by acting as middlemen and finding other contractors to do the work. It’s best to hire a company that has the skills to work on your asphalt itself.

Find a company with a good portfolio

Of course one of the best ways to perform due diligence is to figure out what work the company has done in the past. Luckily, Reliable Paving has what you are looking for. Not only do we have a history of doing quality work, but our 35 years of experience and large team mean no project is out of our capabilities. We also provide a host of different paving services, from crack sealing to sealcoating to ADA compliance. If you have been dragging your feet on getting some much-needed paving or asphalt repair, now’s the time to act. Ring in the new year by getting that job done instead of letting it hang over your head. Contact us today and see how Reliable Paving can help. Start off the new year the right way, and get your paving job done.

Best wishes, and happy 2021!

How To Deal With Tree Roots Growing Under Asphalt

Just about anyone who has a driveway, parking lot, or uses a sidewalk is familiar with how tree roots can destroy asphalt paving. Tree roots can grow tens of feet away from the trees, and of course, they grow underground. Now asphalt is famous for being pretty tough, it takes a lot of punishment – that’s why it’s used as a surface for multi-ton vehicles to drive on. However, they are particularly susceptible to damage from below. Frost heave, expanding and contracting earth, and of course, tree roots, are very dangerous to asphalt.

If there is a tree growing near your driveway or parking lot, it’s a pretty good bet that it’s roots will get under your paving eventually. It can start simply, with the pavement becoming uneven. After some time, the dirt that the pavement is built on can buckle, like a small fault line, and cause the pavement serious damage. The pavement itself can collapse or develop enormous cracks from tree routes.

Fortunately, we are here to let you know the several ways in which pavement-destroying roots can be handled. Handling this problem can help the survival of your tree, and of course of your paving.

Plan ahead

Don’t pave by trees

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The best way to avoid tree root damage to your pavement is to simply not put the pavement nearby trees. This surefire method will 100% guarantee that no tree roots will damage your property. 

However, that’s not always a great option. Maybe you want a shaded patio. Maybe your house already has trees on it and your driveway is just going to have to deal with roots. Either way, simply not building nearby trees isn’t always an option.

Don’t pave by young trees

If you have a lot of tall old growth trees on your property or business, it’s actually safer to build by them than it is by younger trees. The older trees have much slower growth, and they usually have an established root system. This means that there won’t be quick-growing roots breaking up your pavement over the course of a few years. Paving nearby young trees is much riskier. Small trees may seem harmless at first, but they grow quickly. A root system that starts small can get bigger and work its way under your asphalt in just a few years. Once the roots are underneath, they will continue to grow and do damage. 

Use a smart drainage system

Most asphalt paving is built on a very slight incline so that water doesn’t build up on top of it. Tree roots also have a tendency to seek out where water goes. If you are building your blacktop by trees, make it so that the incline goes towards them, that way the roots will go to where the most water is. If the incline is going down in the opposite direction of the trees, then the tree roots will cross under your pavement in order to get to the earth with the most moisture. Use a drainage system that will hopefully result in trees roots not crisscrossing beneath the paving.

Know how trees grow roots

Do your homework about trees. Know that roots can grow to the crown edge (diameter of the top branches/foliage), and plant trees an appropriate distance from your pavement or put your pavement the correct distance from your trees. 

Another option is to plant trees that don’t have surface-level roots, or trees that have smaller root systems that stay deep underground. 

Root removal

Digging and cutting

OK, so the root is becoming a problem and needs to go. What can be done about it? Manual root removal is the process of digging out the tree root and cutting it. It can be done with a shovel and a chainsaw or ax. Another option would be getting a gas-powered auger, digger, or small excavators. Most excavators you have seen are probably for construction sites, but small ones for trail building are perfect for root removal. 

Copper sulfate

The chemical way to remove damaging tree roots is copper sulfate. Copper sulfate is a toxic chemical however, so unlike digging and chopping the root yourself, you will want to have a professional apply this one. 

Although it is a dangerous and toxic chemical, copper sulfate is used because it does not travel far along the tree root. This prevents it from reaching the whole tree or other roots, and only kills the offending part of the root. 

Be careful with use of copper sulfate though, as overuse can contaminate the environment. Copper sulfate is a heavy metal that is toxic to microorganisms that treat sewage water.

Building a Barrier

After the root that’s been hurting your pavement has been handled, it’s time to set up some defenses. A root barrier can be established between the pavement and the tree. These barriers be physical, made from sheet metal, or some other substance that simply prevents the root from coming in. They can also be softer materials soaked in copper sulfate to create a chemical barrier. Of course, root barriers don’t always work, as persistent roots will definitely find a way over time.

Know what to do to keep the roots at bay

In general, in life, as well as paving, have a plan. If you have had to deal with root damage before, then be prepared for it again on your pavement. There is no substitute for regular maintenance and inspection. If you suspect tree roots are causing your pavement troubles, then that’s all the more reason to engage in preventative maintenance. Fortunately, Reliable Paving is here for you. We are paving contractors with over 35 years of experience, and we know how to install, rebuilt, repair, and maintain asphalt of all kinds. If you think tree roots are causing your parking lot some problems, contact us today, and we will see what we can do.

Dealing With Winter Asphalt Damage

Winter is a tough time of the year on asphalt pavement. Not only are the usual problems of water seepage still an issue, but the changing temperatures can cause all sorts of damage. The most wonderful time of the year can be great in plenty of other ways, but your asphalt will pay the price. Here is a list of ways that you can assess, prevent, and repair the specific types of damage your asphalt will be facing in the winter. In particular, the Midwest is known for it’s bad winter roads. When the weather can go from a pleasant 60-70 degrees down to sub-freezing in a week or two, asphalt is in for a world of hurt.

The freeze/thaw cycle

The changing temperatures of winter can have a lasting effect on asphalt. Paving will often have some liquids that seep into them any time of year, these can come from rain, leaking cars, and more, but in winter the changing temperatures make them much more volatile. 

The process is very simple. During a thaw cycle, liquid water can seek into the body of asphalt paving. It gets in small cracks in the binder and and for the most part isn’t too dangerous. However, when the weather cools, the water expands. This expanding water forces the asphalt apart, pushing against it, causing rutting, cracks, and potholes. The cycle continues, and the water becomes liquid again when the weather warms. This process can even happen in the same day. Once the water is liquid, it seeps further into the asphalt, on account of the cracks it made bigger when freezing. When the temperature drops again, the water expands, making deeper cracks bigger and destroying more of the pavement. This cycle can occur daily, weekly, and/or monthly over the winter months, adding up to huge damages inside the asphalt. 

Dealing with the freeze/thaw cycle

Set up a drainage system

One of the best ways to have a simple drainage system is to make sure that your asphalt is set at a slight slope. The slope lets gravity do the work for you. Water can simply follow the slope down and not accumulate on top of the asphalt, where it seeps into it causing damage. Other drainage systems, like drain tile piping, can help ensure that water doesn’t build up on top of your asphalt and damage it. Learn more about proper asphalt drainage from this article

Crack sealing / seal coating

You’ve probably heard of asphalt seal coating. Seal coating is the process of putting a layer of weather-resistant material on top of your asphalt. It can extend the life of the pavement by decades, and prevents costly repairs in the future. Sealing cracks is another great option, as it prevents small problems (the existing cracks) from getting much, much worse. In general, you should be doing crack sealing at least once every year or two, as an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Sealing cracks has the added bonus of preventing water seepage into the pavement subgrade. If water does get into the lower sections, a total replacement of the asphalt might be the only repair solution.

Frost heave

If asphalt already has seepage issues, or the ground beneath it has a high water content, it may be subject to frost heave. Frost heave occurs when the water in the lower layers of asphalt or in the ground below it freezes and expands. Just like in asphalt that has water freezing and expanding, Frost heave results in major damage and causes big changes in the level of the parking lot. Entire sections can rise inches or feet above others, resulting in a more dangerous lot and significant damage. 

Dealing with frost heave

Clear standing water

Do your best to keep your pavement clear of standing water. Make sure your drainage is adequate, and clear off snow and ice that builds up on the asphalt during the winter. 

Re-set the asphalt

In cases with intense damage, it may be necessary to heat the asphalt so it is workable again, and then lay it. This helps you start “fresh” with a  new layer of asphalt that does not have water in it or below it. 

Snow

Snow poses various threats to your asphalt. One is that previously seen bits of debris will become invisible when snow is on the ground. Another is that snow often necessitates plowing, which can be harmful to your asphalt as well. 

Dealing with snow

Use a quality snow-removal surface

If you need to have a parking lot or road plowed, make sure that the plow isn’t going to damage your pavement. Do so by checking whether the plow is coated in polyurethane or rubber, rather than only steel. Of course, make sure to use a licensed and reputable snow-removal service.

Use salt sparingly

Salt is a classic for snow removal. However, the salt can mix with melted water and create more solvency that will do damage to your lot. Additionally, the saltwater runoff can be harmful to the local environment. A good option is to use salt mixed with sand if necessary, or to avoid salt altogether if possible. 

Ensure your asphalt stands up to the winter

If your asphalt looks like it needs some work before winter weather hits, let Reliable Paving help you. We can inspect your lot for damage, fix existing damage, and take preventative measures. Whether you just want your lot checked to make sure it can handle the winter, or you need last year’s winter damage fixed, we can certainly help. Perhaps your lot needs to be repaved altogether. Either way, Reliable’s team of over 200 people and 35 years of experience means that we know how to handle paving in the winter. Let a paving contractor do the work for you, contact Reliable Paving today.