Tag Archives: asphalt
When it comes to commercial parking lots, a well-paved and maintained parking lot has a greater impact on the customer experience than you may realize. Parking lots are the first thing that your customer sees when entering your business. You want to make a great first impression because you never get a second chance to make it right.
If your asphalt parking lot is filled with cracks, potholes, unsightly striping and other signs of deterioration, this could drive away potential business before they even make it through the door. Being proactive with having a parking lot maintenance plan allows you to be ahead of the damage and improve the safety and curb appeal of your commercial parking area.
Commercial Parking Lots: 4 Things You Should Know
Just like the human body, asphalt grows weak over time, and without a preventative maintenance plan it can lead to serious damage and potential liabilities. The most effective approach in parking lot maintenance is being proactive rather than reactive. Don’t wait until the damage is done to fix it. Services like sealcoating not only make your parking lot appear new but help fight against the oxidation from the sun and damage from traffic. Having a parking lot maintenance plan in place will help keep your parking lot safe and fresh year after year.
Repairs and Maintenance
Some repairs are unavoidable, even when a parking lot maintenance plan is in place. The best way to avoid trip hazards and automobile damage is to walk your parking lot quarterly. Check to see if there are new cracks or potholes, uneven surfaces and proper drainage. If any of these arise, contact your trusted preventative maintenance partner to assess the damages and get started on the repairs.
We all want parking lots to look aesthetically pleasing, but are they compliant with the law? ADA Compliance ensures that parking lots with 20 parking spaces or more, have at least one designated area for those with disabilities.
Always make sure that you are following the accessibility regulations to avoid fines and to ensure you are providing a safe parking lot for your customers that require handicap spaces.
Are the parking spots on your lot clearly defined? Do they have enough space in between them? Providing comfortable distance between parking spaces is essential in decreasing the risk of liabilities and providing safety for your patrons. Clearly defined parking spaces create a seamless appearance and experience for your customers. Up-keeping on your line striping helps the flow of your lot and the safety for everyone traveling through.
If you are looking to create the best first impression, contact American Asphalt Company for your complimentary parking lot assessment. American Asphalt Company is New Jersey asphalt manufacturer, commercial asphalt paving and parking lot maintenance company. With three asphalt plants in the South Jersey area, and two commercial parking lot maintenance and paving locations in New Jersey, American Asphalt is your full service asphalt company.
Stamped asphalt crosswalks and entrances can instantly enhance the appearance of your commercial or residential property. The stamping process is achieved by re-heating new or existing asphalt with an infrared process and using a steel cable template to imprint a pattern in the asphalt. A plate compactor is then used to press the pattern into the asphalt. After stamping, a polymer modified color coating is applied to the surface. A variety of patterns and colors are available. Commonly seen in South Jersey are both traditional brick and diagonal herringbone patterns, which are typically painted in a vibrant red color. This feature is a cost-effective way to increase the curb appeal of any property.
The Benefits of Stamped Asphalt Include:
• Aesthetics – Choose a pattern and color that complement your space. With numerous patterns and colors available, stamped asphalt crosswalks or entrances can provide an immediate upgrade to your property.
• Fast Installation – A crosswalk can typically be installed in just a few hours, which means minimum disruption to tenants, clients and residents. The area can be re-opened to traffic in a relatively short amount of time.
• Lower Installation Costs – Initial installation is less expensive than traditional brick or stone pavers. While traditional pavers are installed individually, the stamping process happens much more quickly, making it less labor-intensive.
• Lower Overall Maintenance Costs – stamped asphalt can last for years and is easily re-coated. The surface also resists changes in temperature better than pavers, which are prone to shifting during freeze-thaw cycles. There is also no need to remove vegetation that typically grows through the cracks of traditional brick.
• Safer Alternative – The paint adds a skid-resistant texture to the surface of the asphalt, so it is not slick when wet.
• Extend Asphalt Life – When exposed to the elements, asphalt dries out and cracks. The color coating applied after stamping protects the asphalt from harmful UV rays.
Let’s look at the best practices for proper asphalt parking lot maintenance. The four most precious assets associated with a commercial building; the roof, the HVAC system, the elevator (if there is one), and the parking lot. The parking lot is the first impression of your company to your employees; as well as, your client base. A decision as to do business with a company or not…often comes right in the parking lot. The expected useful life of a parking lot (that was properly constructed) should be 15-20 years providing proper maintenance has been applied.
Proper Asphalt Parking Lot Maintenance Includes:
• Seal coating every two years
• Crack sealing as soon as they appear, and before they widen/worsen.
• New striping for safe navigation by pedestrians and motorists.
• Proper signage
• Pothole repairs as soon as they appear.
• Inlet repair at the first sign of failure
• Water should never be standing in a parking lot- find/remediate the root cause. Pavement failure is often the result of standing water and the subsequent freeze-thaw cycles. Small untreated cracks eventually turn into potholes which cause the pavement to fail. Once this or alligatoring occurs, there is no course of action other than costly reconstruction.
Best Practices for Proper Asphalt Parking Lot Maintenance fall into 3 Categories
1. Must do: Consisting of concerns revolving around property and personal liabilities. Some potential hazards include raised sidewalk, broken curb, potholes, large cracks, alligatored areas, and failing inlets.
2. Should do: Consisting of preventative maintenance measures that will provide life cycle cost savings by “getting ahead” of tomorrows problems today. These include crack sealing, seal coating and small repairs.
3. Could do: When the budget permits, reconstructing the area earlier is better than later. Costly base repairs can often be avoided if milling and paving are performed early.
When it comes to applying asphalt sealant, pavement maintenance contractors have several options to offer property managers. They can employ any of the following:
• a spray system
• a piece of ride-on equipment with squeegee and/or spray application options
• a squeegee or a broom to apply material by hand
So, which asphalt sealant option is the best choice for the job? According to manufacturers, the decision hinges on several variables including application, material being used, personal preference, and budget.
Squeegee and Spray Asphalt Sealant Applications:
Both the squeegee and spray methods have their own set of advantages. The pressure from the squeegee application method allows the asphalt sealant to fill any cracks which help to create a high quality bond with the surface of the pavement. In contrast, the spray method lends itself to better control of how much material is being used, and a more precise application process. Oftentimes, spraying asphalt sealant is misunderstood if the operator ‘thins’ the material, or uses a low spread rate to apply it to the surface. When managed properly, both the squeegee and spray methods can lay sufficient asphalt sealant for the customer’s needs.
TWO ARE BETTER THAN ONE:
Property owners and managers may know that when seeking a pricing estimate for their asphalt sealant needs, they will generally be given a price for one application type. However, the best of both sealant worlds includes using both the squeegee and spray sealant applications together. Sealcoating application is dependent upon weather conditions; requiring a temperature of over 50°F in order to be applied. If conditions are ideal, the contractor will apply the initial base coat. Utilizing the squeegee machine, pavement sealer is poured on top of the asphalt and is pressed into all of the pores before removing excess material. The first coat generally takes one to two hours of dry time before spray coating the second application. Applying the squeegee method first creates the proper
bond to the asphalt, but can leave behind pin holes and other slight imperfections. Spraying on a second coat of asphalt sealant will help to fill those holes, allowing the surface to have a cleaner appearance by eliminating squeegee marks and any blotches. Once the second sealcoat has been applied, the area requires 24 hours of drying time before resuming use of the surface.
While one coat of asphalt sealant leaves the parking lot, or street nicely covered, the second coat will help to keep out water, leaving a longer lasting application. Plus, spray coating the second layer uses less material and takes about half the time to apply than the initial coat.
When considering the long-term value, employing both sealcoating methods for a total of two coats is the best option for longer-lasting results. Used in conjunction, the two methods will yield a longer lasting result as opposed to the typical two spray coat applications. Starting the maintenance process within three years of the initial paving installation is important in order to preserve, and protect your asphalt. Repeating the sealcoating application every five years can beautify and extend the life of your asphalt as long as 30 years. While the initial investment for the squeegee and spray coat application costs more than other methods, it will ultimately give you a better return on your investment in asphalt maintenance.
For more information, contact:
Is it better to use a sprayer or a squeegee to apply sealcoating? The debate began as soon as the first mechanical sprayer was invented. There is no definitive answer — an experienced, conscientious sealcoating professional can obtain quality results using either method or a combination of the two methods. Each has its own advantages and potential drawbacks.
How to Apply Sealcoating: Squeegee vs. Spray – Advantages and Disadvantages
• Squeegee applications typically produce a better bond between the pavement’s surface and the sealant. The pressure exerted by the squeegee forces the sealant into surface cracks and voids, creating a bond that is of higher quality while often yielding a smoother appearance.
• Sprayers provide better control of the amount of sealant used, making the application process more precise.
• Squeegee machines take a little longer than sprayers, but hand squeegees are the most timeconsuming.
On many jobs, it will take twice as long for workers to apply sealcoating by hand. Because weather conditions play a significant role in drying time, if the weather is cool, the crew may not have time to apply the second coat on the same day.
• Spray methods usually work better if the pavement is smooth and free from surface voids. As already noted, if there are voids, the sealant can be forced into them with a squeegee, but if there are no voids, the squeegee may glide too easily over the surface and leave too little sealant behind.
• Squeegees can leave behind too much sealant if the surface of the pavement is coarse. This can
lead to patches that take longer to cure as well as a finished surface that is less attractive.
Apply Sealcoating with a Combination Method
Many contractors find that they obtain better results if they apply the first coat by hand around buildings and sidewalks, use a squeegee machine or hand tools to apply the balance of the first coat and then use the spray method for the second coat. The squeegee method creates the superior bond, but it can leave slight imperfections such as tiny holes. These minor flaws can be eliminated when the spray method is used for the second coat.
Other Considerations When You Apply Sealcoating
Many problems reported for the different methods are due to an inexperienced operator or unethical contractor rather than the result of the method chosen. For example, a novice worker might leave behind noticeable lines when using a hand squeegee, a disreputable contractor might order the sealant to be thinned excessively or an inexperienced operator might set the spray rate too low. Your best bet is to find a reputable, experienced sealcoating professional and then trust his judgment on the best method or methods to use for your project.
For more information, contact:
Dave Sulkin VP of Sales and Marketing: American Asphalt Company, Inc.
Phone: (856) 456-2899 Ext #226
Fax: (856) 456-4398
We are often approached about whether or not coal tar based parking lot sealcoating is toxic. There have been several articles written condemning these sealants stating they are hazardous and should not be used. We are going to try to dispel these myths for you.
Parking lot sealcoating applies a protective coating that works much like paint protects wood, metal and other surfaces. The tar based parking lot sealcoating applied to the pavement surface protects the asphalt binder from degradation caused by sunlight, chemical attack and water intrusion. Seal coating provides an added benefit because it is formulated to also provide wear resistance to vehicular traffic.
We use coal tar based pavement sealers to sealcoat parking lots. These sealers are made from a selectively refined fraction of crude oil. Recent claims describing sealers as “toxic waste” have been circulating online and in the press.
Why do some people claim parking lot sealcoating is toxic?
These sealants are under scrutiny because they contain PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons). However, PAHs are everywhere. Sources include grilled, roasted, baked and fried foods, as well as bread, cereal, grain and certain vegetables. The USDA allows over-the-counter-sales of shampoos and ointments that contain coal tar to treat dandruff, eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.
Neither OSHA nor the EPA classifies coal tar-based sealants as being hazardous. Independent studies have repeatedly concluded that coal-tar sealants pose little risk to health or the environment, particularly because they are INSOLUBLE in water, which means living organisms can’t easily absorb them.
There is no scientific data that these products are hazardous or carcinogenic and we are confident that our employees are not at risk during the application process.
Driveways and especially large retail parking lots are capital investments that increase the value and
functionality of a property. Proper maintenance can extend the life of asphalt surfaces by as much as 300 percent. Sealcoating is still the best way to protect Pavement and is certainly a safe way to do it.
For more information, visit the PCTC (Pavement Coating technology council) website at www.pavementcouncil.org