Asphalt Frequently Asked Questions
Asphalt, also known as pavement or blacktop, is a combination of stone, sand, stone dust and liquid asphalt. The aggregate is first heated through a large dryer and then the liquid is added. Mix designs are the formulas that define the types and ratios of the materials used. There are a multitude of mix designs, based on the type of project being done. For example, highways typically have a base course with much of a higher concentration of larger stone to provide strength for heavier vehicles and a considerable amount of daily traffic.
When asphalt is first installed, the mixture is fresh and has very rich black color. The liquid content in the material is typically about 5 percent of the asphaltic mix. Over time, natural elements like the sun’s UV rays cause the asphalt to fade. Traffic will also wear the surface course of the asphalt.
Regularly maintaining your parking lot is the best way to protect the asphalt. American Asphalt provides services like sealcoating and crack sealing to help prevent asphalt damage and erosion. When the asphalt becomes grey, it does not have the proper protective coat to absorb the sun’s UV rays. Seal coating not only beautifies the parking lot by restoring the rich dark color but it helps create a barrier to protect against the elements listed above. Crack sealing aids in the prevention of water seeping into the cracks in the asphalt. When water invades the cracks and reaches the sub base, the surface will deteriorate, creating larger cracks and potholes.
Asphalt is the most cost-effective product to be placed not only in parking lots but highways, driveways, and roadways too. The cost to maintain asphalt is affordable and can save thousands over the years. Asphalt is 100% recyclable. When the existing asphalt pavement is milled or removed, the existing material can be recycled by being put back into the new asphalt pavement. This is called RAP, also known as reclaimed asphalt pavement.
Asphalt is typically black; however, there are multiple paint colors and different types of paint that can color the area. American Asphalt provides line striping and stamped asphalt, both of which use durable paint on top of the asphalt surface. Stamped asphalt is an excellent way to add a decorative piece to your parking lot and can be applied to both new and existing asphalt.
More About Asphalt
Your parking lot is a huge investment. You want to be confident that you are choosing the right type of services for your asphalt pavement. Asphalt paving and asphalt maintenance (such as sealcoating) are two vastly different solutions for your parking lot. It is important to have a trusted contractor who can evaluate your lot for the best course of action.
Asphalt Paving is when the existing asphalt pavement surface is removed and replaced or when a layer of asphalt is added to the top of the already existing asphalt; also known as an overlay. When parking lots have deteriorated asphalt like large potholes and alligator cracking, it is best to replace the asphalt surface. Asphalt patching, pothole repairs and overlays are a few procedures that are cost effective solutions when repairing a parking lot; however, some asphalt pavement surfaces require a complete renovation. A complete repave includes removing the existing asphalt with a mill machine and replacing it with new hot mix asphalt.
Sealcoating is a service that should be a part of your routine parking lot maintenance plan and should be applied to existing asphalt every 3-5 years. If your parking lot has been recently repaved, the sealcoat application should be applied within 90 days to 1 year. Sealcoating will help extend the life of the asphalt surface by preventing oxidation caused by the sun and degradation from UV rays damage and traffic. There are two ways that sealcoat can be applied: spray or squeegee. Consult your trusted contractor to evaluate your lot and determine which application is best, based on the existing conditions.
If you are looking at your parking lot and notice any type of damage or deterioration, contact American Asphalt Company for a complimentary assessment of your lot.
The benefit to using asphalt is because it is 100 percent recyclable. Asphalt milling is the environmentally friendly process, which removes the asphalt that is already present on the ground. When asphalt has large cracks and potholes, it is best to utilize the asphalt milling process. Asphalt milling machines are given a specified depth, thickness and slope to repair and fix these issues.
Asphalt milling is typically operated to remove degraded pavement and improve drainage. Milling does not always have to be for large projects or an entire parking lot, this procedure can be performed for asphalt patches and overlays as well. Milling the asphalt provides aids in the profile for new asphalt to be laid, allowing it to have long lasting results.
American Asphalt Company not only provides parking lot maintenance services, we also provide milling and paving services, as well as, manufacture the asphalt. The benefit that is not always seen, is that because we are a one stop shop (Manufacture, Parking Lot Maintenance and Pave), we can bring the extra millings back to our plants and reutilize those millings in the asphalt that we create. That is how asphalt is 100% recyclable. Utilizing the millings in the production of new asphalt is called Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement, also known as RAP.
If you are looking for an asphalt company that can service you for years and do it RIGHT, contact American Asphalt for all of your manufacturing, paving and parking lot maintenance needs.
What if you could get the road open faster and save money on your paving project? Do you really even need to close a road? Take the EZ Street® Asphalt option to minimize closures and open roads faster! EZ Street® Asphalt has a 25-year track record of showing potholes who’s boss. That’s why it’s in use around the world, from the Yukon to the Outback.
EZ Street® Asphalt also does things that you thought were impossible:
- Used strategically, it can eliminate road closures.
- It’s instantly ready for traffic.
- It’s workable in any weather.
- It always stays in the hole.
- It always saves money.
- It even works in water.
And...it’s guaranteed permanent.
EZ Street® Asphalt works as easily as cold patch, but it performs like hot mix. It’s available in loose bulk, 50 pound bags, or in bulk sacks. Three guys with a truck and a shovel can throw and go, making a potholed road safe without ever closing it. And as soon as EZ Street® is compacted, it’s ready for traffic. Vehicles driving over the repair provide further compaction, making the repair even better. And, unlike with cold mix, nobody ever has to visit those patches again as EZ Street® repairs are guaranteed to outlast the surrounding pavement.
Follow these installation procedures to achieve optimum results with your EZ Street® Asphalt Installation procedure to achieve optimum results:
- Excavate entire failed pavement surface and unstable base material (including any “alligator” cracked areas).
- Clean foreign debris from the area to be patched utilizing a broom or compressed air.
- Compact sub-grade thoroughly to achieve a firm foundation. The preferred mode of base compaction would be a vibratory compactor plate or steel wheel roller; for small potholes, a hand tamp is acceptable.
- Apply EZ Street® material in maximum two inch (2") lifts.
- Compact EZ Street® after each lift utilizing vibratory compactor plate or steel wheel roller.
- Final EZ Street® lift should be placed approximately ¾-1" higher than the desired finished surface level prior to compaction allowing for optimal compaction and secondary compaction as a result of traffic flow.
Evidence shows that using EZ Street® Asphalt in place of the traditional cold patch/hot mix model can save 50 percent or more. In order to convince you of its effectiveness, we offer you a free bag to try out on a pothole of your choice. Contact us at 856-372-0897 and we’ll arrange delivery.
While first impressions are important when it comes to your commercial parking lot, providing safety for pedestrians and motorists are just as crucial. Neglecting your asphalt parking lot could cause potential liabilities. Leaving unrepaired cracks and potholes can cause damage to vehicles and potential tripping hazards for pedestrians. Faded parking spaces and lack of signage can potentially cause vehicular accidents.
Why Asphalt Pavement Maintenance is Important
Once an asphalt parking lot is installed, it is recommended that the pavement should be sealcoated every three to five years and crackfilled annually. Pavement maintenance is important because it is cost-effective and less expensive than replacing an entire parking lot due to neglect.
How Asphalt Deteriorates Over Time
Asphalt integrity is constantly being impacted by the environment in which it is placed. UV rays, rock salt, and heavily trafficked areas are all culprits in damaging the asphalt pavement. Oxidation and freeze-thaw cycles over time cause the asphalt composition to break down. Minute cracks are formed once the surface is dry, loosening the aggregate and allowing water to seep beneath the surface. Vehicular oil leaks often accelerate the degradation.
Without performing routine sealcoating and crack filling maintenance, asphalt pavement surfaces become gray, dry, and eventually filled with potholes and cracks. Thus, the importance of having a parking lot maintenance plan in place is critical to protect your investment and to avoid potential liabilities.
How to Maintain Your Asphalt Parking Lot
Though asphalt degradation is unavoidable, it can be mitigated with a pavement maintenance plan. The best way to keep on top of your parking lot is to inspect the parking lot every few months to assess the condition by simply walking your parking lot. Look for cracks, potholes, gray surfaces, faded stripes, and puddled water.
If something doesn’t look right, contact American Asphalt Company. Our estimators will walk the parking lot and determine what services should be performed to your asphalt pavement and follow up with a complimentary parking lot evaluation geared towards your needs and budget.
American Asphalt Company is the leading asphalt contractor in the New Jersey area. Our three locations in West Collingswood Heights, Burlington and Scotch Plains handle all aspects of paving projects for general contractors, property managers, builders, and other commercial customers. Our recently acquired Tri-State Asphalt Inc. company completes paving, crack filling, line striping, repairs, and seal coating services for customers in North Jersey at its three locations. American Asphalt Company is the one-stop-shop for all of your asphalt needs. Contact us today for a complimentary parking lot assessment (856) 456-2899.