Understanding Asphalt & Driveway Paving
Most asphalt is created using a complex combination of hydrocarbon/tar based binders with aggregates such as crushed stone of various sizes and sand. When it is made at the asphalt plant the “mix” is combined in a large hopper and heated to more than 350 degrees. This extremely hot mix is transported by truck to your job site and must be paved in a timely manner, rolled and then allowed to cool and set before it is ready for use. After asphalt is installed it very slowly begins to lose the essential oils and hydrocarbon binders that hold the aggregate together. While this is a slow process, over time it can usually lead to brittle asphalt, a dulling and gray surface area, as well as cracks and other possible asphalt problems. In addition to this loss of essential oils and therefore flexibility, there are sunlight/UVA rays, gas/oil drips, snow plowing, weathering and the constant weight of vehicles degrading the integrity of the asphalt. No asphalt lasts forever but through proper care and maintenance you can be assured you will get the most out of your driveway or parking lot!
Innovative Solutions for our Connecticut and New York Clients
Asphalt is a petroleum based product used for driveways, parking lots, roads, cart or walking paths, and any project that requires a smooth surface cars, trucks, and foot traffic. Asphalt is flexible and “gives” during the harsh weather conditions experienced here in New England. It is easily and inexpensively maintained and is aesthetically pleasing.
Asphalt paving prices vary upon many factors; such as size of project, depth of asphalt, and the amount of base preparation needed for the project. We are proud to offer free estimates, just give us a call!
For asphalt parking lots and driveways, we usually recommend sealing new asphalt around a year and a half after installation. Sealer should be reapplied approximately every 2-3 years after that. Cracks and holes should be dealt with as they present themselves.
Your new roadway is viable right after it has been rolled. However, for parking areas such as parking lots and driveways we recommend not having any parked vehicles for 2-3 days.
We recommend that newly paved asphalt is sealed within 1-2 years after install. Sealer will fill in any areas that remain porous, and will establish the beginning of a regular maintenance cycle. Unfortunately, most people are reactionary, rather than preventative with regard to asphalt maintenance and wait to seal until after damage has already occurred.
The proper application of a quality pavement sealer by Asphalt Repair Solutions will extend the service life and reduce maintenance costs of asphalt pavements. Sealing protects pavements from the destructive effects of water, sunlight, oxidation, gasoline, motor oils and many other chemicals and solvents. In addition, it provides a distinctive new-looking surface that is easy to clean. By properly sealing your pavement, you can significantly slow down the aging process, and at a fraction of the cost of repaving.
The typical season for asphalt sealing in Connecticut runs from late May through mid September. Temperatures for the day are preferred to be between 50 and 80 degrees and it cannot rain for a several day period.
Drying times can vary quite widely based on a few factors (in decreasing order of importance). (1) Air temperature (2) Direct sunlight (3) Asphalt temperature (4) Wind. The sealer is a water-based product and, just like paint, will dry when all the water evaporates out. Sealers applied in direct sunlight on a 90-degree day can dry almost instantly. Sealer applied in the shade when temperatures are less than 60 degrees can take 8 plus hours to dry. Under most circumstances, if applied in the morning, sealer will take 4-6 plus hours to dry.
A typical application will last roughly 2-3 years. Much depends on the customer preference regarding how fresh they want it to look. Factors that will affect how quickly the sealer wears are traffic volume, the “elements” and the original asphalt condition. Well-maintained asphalt that is sealed frequently will hold the seal longer.
All non-grass edges and any hard-to-reach areas will be applied by hand using specialized brushes. The remainder of the surface area will be applied with a combination of spray and/or squeegee application. Any imperfections in the “wet” appearance of the sealer, such as brush strokes will be scarcely noticeable once it has dried.
Factors that will affect our prices are: units (i.e. square feet, lineal feet, etc.), condition of the asphalt, how much prep work may be required, and obstacles that will affect workflow, such as carports, curb stops, etc. When seal coating, asphalt in relatively good condition does not require nearly as much material and can be completed at a much lower cost, while older, “thirstier” asphalt, can require much more material.
For the same reason wood is painted, asphalt should be sealed. Without protection, the elements of rain, sun and snow will penetrate, oxidize and deteriorate asphalt. When your pavement is new, it is flexible. That is one of the reasons asphalt is used in cold weather climates — it has the ability to flex when the ground freezes. Over time, an unprotected surface becomes more brittle due to the harmful effects of nature, and when it has lost its flexibility, it cracks. Once cracking begins, water can penetrate to the sub-base, leading to wider deterioration of the pavement surface. Water penetration is the number one reason for pavement failure.