Asphalt Paving 101: Caring for Your Parking Lot

Rose Paving / February 21, 2020

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At Rose Paving, we deal with asphalt every day, so to be frank, we are the asphalt parking lot paving experts. Our expert technicians work on asphalt paving year-round, ensuring the highest levels of maintenance and prolonging the life of your asphalt. But what makes asphalt paving such a great option for commercial, residential and institutional properties? Let’s take a closer look at what asphalt really is.

Why is Asphalt Paving such a Good Choice?

Asphalt is great for a number of reasons. It’s quick to install, improves aesthetic appeal, and is durable enough to last years with the right maintenance. When you look a little deeper, you’ll discover that asphalt paving is also good for the environment, makes driving easier, and is better for your budget than other paving materials.

  • Asphalt improves safety standards: Asphalt is better at managing water than other materials. Because of its composition, it provides better drainage, keeping walkways and driving spaces free from slippery standing water. Not only that, the dark color of asphalt paving helps snow and ice to melt much more quickly, avoiding hazards for pedestrians and cars alike.
  • Asphalt improves water drainage: Whether the asphalt is more porous (creating a better drainage system for parking lots and walkways) or laid in a particular way (to redirect water to areas better suited to proper drainage), it overall improves the way water drains away.
  • Asphalt is better for your budget: As one of the most widely-used paving products, asphalt is considerably cheaper than other materials. The ingredients are easy to get a hold of, and large quantities can be made quickly. It’s cost-efficient to install as, depending on the kind of asphalt, it can be ready to drive or walk on the same day. This reduces wait time for you, so you can go about your day much sooner.
  • Asphalt is a ‘quiet’ option: Due to its nature, asphalt paving essentially absorbs road and foot noise, making it a quieter option for high-traffic areas.
  • Asphalt is durable: The long-lasting quality of asphalt means that, with the right maintenance, it can last more than 20 years before it needs to be re-laid. For heavy use areas, this is an incredible amount of time. As long as you’re dedicated to correct maintenance, its lifespan is lengthened considerably.
  • Asphalt can be recycled 100%: In America, asphalt is the single most recycled product — isn’t that amazing? Not only is this great for the environment as it reduces the number of raw materials needed in the creation process, it’s also better for the asphalt, too. Did you know that asphalt becomes stronger, more durable, and better quality when it’s recycled? Mixing old and new asphalt together creates a better product, and at Rose Paving we want to do what’s best for you and for the environment.

What are the Different Types of Asphalt?

You may think asphalt is just asphalt, but in reality, there are hundreds of different potential mixes that can be created by tweaking the ingredient blends. Customizing asphalt mixes is something we do here at Rose Paving. Our mixes are designed to ensure longevity, durability, and the best quality walking and driving surfaces. Generally, asphalt mixes fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Porous Asphalt: The name ‘porous’ comes from the fact that there are tiny holes in the asphalt which allow for water to drain away, giving you an environmentally sound way to deal with rainwater. The water travels through the asphalt and into the ground, where it is naturally cleansed. Porous asphalt is environmentally friendly, and using it for your commercial or residential property can even result in a tax break for you.
  2. Cold Mix Asphalt: Most commonly used for potholes and other temporary repairs, cold mix asphalt stays soft even in the coldest temperatures. It can be mixed at any time of year, which is what makes it such a great choice for quick, necessary repairs.
  3. Hot Mix Asphalt: Hot Mix is the most commonly used asphalt type, and it needs to be mixed and poured at a temperature between 300-350°F. Hot Mix is also combined with other materials, like sand and fine stones, to improve traction. It’s used most often on highways and high-traffic roads, like the interstate.
  4. Warm Mix Asphalt: Warm Mix is manufactured and poured between 200-250°F. It’s less costly to make than Hot Mix but requires more binding materials to help it pour and spread at a significantly lower temperature.

How Does Asphalt get Damaged?

As soon as the asphalt is poured, it starts to age. From constant traffic (foot or vehicle) to the baking sun in summer, and snow and ice in winter, it is bombarded by the elements and use. Over time, the heat and cold and traffic affect the asphalt, and it starts to deteriorate, as all things do. Asphalt paving shows signs of damage and weakness in different ways.

  • Cracks: Asphalt paving can crack in different patterns, depending on the stress it’s under. Alligator or fatigue cracking is one of the most common, often caused by an overloaded surface or a problem with the underlying base. Other kinds of cracks include edge cracks, block cracking, and slippage cracks, which can resemble stretch marks.
  • Potholes: Potholes are a natural effect of the wear and tear asphalt goes through on a daily basis. They tend to appear in winter and spring as water goes through a continuous cycle of freezing and melting, causing the asphalt to expand and contract repeatedly.
  • Base Failure: This damage is one of the most labor-intensive to repair, as a fault in the base means the entire top layer must be stripped away. Base failure is often the result of poor drainage, lack of support, or poor installation.

How Can Asphalt be Repaired?

At Rose Paving, we have a variety of ways to repair and maintain asphalt to ensure durability and long life, even with heavy daily use. Some of the ways we take care of your asphalt as a part of our dedicated maintenance plans are as follows:

  •  Sealcoating: A sealcoat is a layer of protection applied to the top of your asphalt in the warmer months of the year, once every 3-5 years. This layer protects your asphalt from retaining too much water, baking in the sun, absorbing damaging oils, and from general wear and tear. It also gives your asphalt a dark, sleek finish for that aesthetic appeal.
  • Crack Filling: We use hot sealant to fill in any cracks that appear in your asphalt — and the sooner you take care of a crack, the better. Even if it seems small, the reality is a crack will only get bigger, so it’s best to have it filled as soon as possible. Our sealant adheres to your asphalt and protects your asphalt from water and other elements causing further weakness.
  • Infrared Repair: Used as an intermediate solution to pavement failure, in which existing asphalt is heated and sprayed with a rejuvenator, then re-laid. It’s not a permanent repair, but it will improve the quality of your asphalt paving for up to 2 years until further repairs can take place.
  • Resurfacing: After appropriate preparation, tack coat is applied to bond new and old asphalt together. Hot asphalt is applied, and then compacted by a multi-ton vibratory roller to ensure proper adherence.

At Rose Paving, we take pride in careful repair and maintenance of your asphalt paving. We want you to have the best experience and the best result, so we work with you and your budget to create an outcome everyone is happy with. Get in touch with us today to find out what we can do for you.