3 Necessary Asphalt Paving Tips That Improve Quality

A great asphalt pavement service is necessary for long lasting and durable roads or parking lots. A lot of factors can directly influence the quality of the pavement in Minneapolis, MN.

Before you hire a paving service, you need to know the process of paving and what factors affect it the most. 

Learn these paving tips in order to ensure a durable and quality pavement. 

#1: Laying a Quality Mat

Getting a quality asphalt pavement mat depends on a number of factors.

Before laying the mat check the quality of paving material, level of the mixture applied and the paver speed. All of these play an important role in maintaining the pavement quality in Minneapolis, MN.

There are two other factors that greatly affect pavement quality: the consistency of material to the screed and the maintained paving speed. If both of these are closely monitored your pavement mat will be of high quality.  

#2: Maintaining an Quality Head of Material

A low quality supply of head of materials in front of the screed can cause serious initial paving issues in Minneapolis, MN.

Head of material is the paving mix conglomerate which is supplied to the screed for paving. If there is not a steady consistency in the supply material, this can create an uneven surface. 

The amount of material should be the same across the whole pavement region . Your asphalt pavement service in Minneapolis, MN will be in charge of ensuring the material is even so that your pavement is smooth.  

 

#3: Compaction Need To Be Monitored

Your pavement in Minneapolis, MN must be prepared to withstand heavy traffic and a harsh winter This will only happen if the asphalt paving preserves its integrity and strength. This is achieved as long as the asphalt base and its layers are compacted firmly.

If the paving is not done correctly with the required compaction, it can create problems. There are two factors that are most important when it comes to compaction, which are mat temperature and mat thickness. 

 

 

5 Tips for a Long-Lasting Parking Lot

If your job entails managing property with parking lots in Minneapolis, MN, then you know how crazy the climate and traffic can be on those surfaces. If you are staring in dismay at potholes, or pooling after every storm, then following these 5 tips could help relieve at least one of your property managing headaches: 

1. Cleanup Debris or Spills Promptly

Excess dirt, branches, trash or spills should be cleared away as quickly as possible. These can create and widen tiny cracks, turning them into more significant damage. These types of debris can also strip the protective layer of sealcoat off the asphalt, making it increasingly vulnerable to damage in Minneapolis, MN.

2. Regular Sealcoating

Every 2-3 years, depending on how busy your parking lot is, you should schedule time in the late spring or summer to have your parking lot sealcoated. If the finish on the parking lot looks like it has faded, that is a telltale sign that sealcoating is needed. Regular sealcoating fills small cracks to prevent them from becoming larger and provides a necessary amount of climate protection for your parking lot in Minneapolis, MN. This will help it last longer and require fewer repairs.

3. Snowplow Damage

Once winter ends, inspect the surface of your parking lot. Even high-end snow removal crews may not be perfect during heavy snowstorms. Repairing these damaged areas quickly will prevent more expensive maintenance down the line.

4. Standing Water

It may not just be around drains and manhole covers. If you notice standing pools of water anywhere on the parking lot, there is likely a drainage problem that needs to be repaired. Water is one of the worst detractors to your parking lot; it can seep into small cracks and widen them, especially during winter’s freeze-thaw cycle in Minneapolis, MN.

5. Maintain the Paving Budget

Parking lot repairs with any luck will be a rare item in the budget, but make sure to keep funds at the ready, as a precaution; and always budget for normal maintenance. A poorly-maintained parking lot doesn’t just look unappealing but it can become a safety hazard for your property.

 

Pavement Damage To Fix In Spring That Was Caused By Winter

The Midwest freezing and thawing cycle is extremely damaging on pavement in Minneapolis, MN. It’s not just the temperatures that are to blame for springtime potholes. De-icing materials can compromise sealcoating and steadily break down asphalt over time. Below, we talk about some of the specific types of damage that may occur due to higher temperatures and de-icing. 

Heaving

Heaving occurs when water gets underneath the asphalt into the aggregate. When temperatures are cold, water freezes and forces the asphalt to heave upward. The heaving creates gaps that cause additional damage to pavement and the structures of buildings in Minneapolis, MN. Severe heaving can keep doors from opening and closing properly.

Raveling

Raveling happens when pavement thaws and small holes allow water to creep in. Unsealed asphalt absorbs water very easily, similar to a sponge. The water then freezes inside the cracks. Without sealer, the water causes the aggregate mix of little stones and sand to become loose. If you have areas of loose gravel on your driveway then you probably have raveling.

Open Cracking

Open cracks are a sign that water has seeped all the way down into asphalt and that the base underneath is very likely wet. Open cracks are formed by freezing and thawing. These small cracks can eventually evolve into potholes.

Potholes

Potholes typically get immediate attention because they can bust tires and small pets can fall inside of them. Potholes are caused by ice and snow melting as part of our seasonal freezing and thawing cycle in Minneapolis, MN. Water gets into a small hole in the pavement, and as temperatures fall, that water freezes, expands, and causes the pavement to rise. As traffic flows over the raised pavement, the pavement eventually cracks, and a pothole is created.

The Importance of Preserving Pavements

Pavement preservation techniques

There are many different techniques for preserving asphalt pavements in Minneapolis, MN including:

  • crack sealing and crack filling
  • seal treatments
  • slurry seal and microsurfacing

Crack sealing and crack filling

There are two approaches to addressing cracks: crack sealing and crack filling. Crack sealing is the more involved and permanent method. It is intended to keep water and other unwanted material from using the crack as an entrance. Crack sealing is needed when there is movement of the pavement at the crack. Crack filling doesn’t require much prep work and is intended to minimize the amount of water entering the pavement. Both sealing and filling extend pavement life by reducing stripping and fatigue. The earlier you can apply one of these methods, the better chance there will be of extending the pavement life in Minneapolis, MN.

Seal treatments

Sand and scrub seals are sprayed applications of asphalt emulsions followed by using sand or fine chips to cover the asphalt. Scrub seals use a broom or squeegee to force the emulsion into the cracks before the cover material is applied. These sealing operations use the same equipment as chip sealing, with scrub seals needing the addition of a broom mechanism. Sand seals typically add 3 or 4 years of pavement life while scrub seals can add between 4 to 6 years of service.

Chip seals are done by applying liquid asphalt to the pavement surface followed immediately by cover material made of chips. This is followed by subsequent rolling and brooming. Chip seals are a very commonly used preservation technique. If needed, additional applications can be used for additional protection. A cape seal is a combination technique that consists of a single chip seal followed up by a slurry seal. The chip seal provides crack sealing while the slurry seal upgrades the ride quality.

 

Slurry seal and microsurfacing

Slurry seals are a mixture of many different materials. These include well-graded fine aggregate, mineral filler, asphalt emulsion and water. They are used as asphalt surface treatments and the application is usually the thickness of the largest mixture particle. Slurry seals do not increase the structural capacity of a pavement but can help reduce surface damage caused by oxidation, seal unwanted cracks, and improve skid resistance.

Micro-surfacing is a designed mixture of polymer-modified emulsion, aggregate, mineral filler, and water. It is used to fill ruts and improve skid resistance.

 

How to Protect Your Asphalt from Winter Weather

Throughout the entire year, you need to be active about maintaining and protecting your asphalt to ensure your pavement is long-lasting 

It’s not surprising that winter brings challenges to our asphalt pavements in Minneapolis, MN. Though asphalt holds up well in cold temperatures, especially when professionally installed, the freezing/icing, water, and snow that come with it can cause significant damage during the winter season.

We’ve put together a list of 3 tips to protect your asphalt from the weather that winter brings with to help you ensure your pavement is healthy and holds up until the end of winter. 

#1 Sealcoating and Repair

The best measure you can take to protect your asphalt in the winter in Minneapolis, MN is to address cracks and potholes quickly. As water from rain and melted snow creep into your pavement and freezes, these small and cheaply repaired issues can turn into significant repairs. Potholes and cracks are subject to pooling and standing water which will cause these defects to expand during winter.

If possible, it is best to perform these repairs before the temperature starts to drop to prevent as much damage as possible but it’s never too late. 

#2 Remove Debris from Your Asphalt

Debris on your asphalt can be damaging in a couple of ways in Minneapolis, MN.

First, the debris can freeze onto your pavement and cause damage to that area over the course of the winter. Remove debris before the snow begins to build up on your surface to prevent this from happening.

Second, snow removal by plowing or shoveling can be impeded by the debris and lead to further damage to the pavement.

You can ensure that no debris is present by conducting a thorough cleaning before the snow begins to fall. If you have a sizable asphalt pavement such as a parking lot, consider getting a professional cleaning if you don’t have the resources to do it yourself.

#3 Stay on Top of Standing Water

Standing water is asphalt’s biggest threat all year long, but winter weather emphasized the ill effects even more due to freezing.

When you allow water to seep into your pavement and freeze, it creates cracks and potholes. These will continue to get worse the longer the problem is not addressed.

Having healthy pavement, free of cracks and potholes helps prevent water from having a place to pool and cause further damage. If you do notice water pooling, remove it immediately to minimize the damage it will cause to your pavement.

In addition to getting into your pavement and damaging it from the inside, water will also freeze on the surface. Ice on the pavement presents a severe hazard to those who use it. Keeping an eye out for any sort of standing and/or pooling water goes beyond maintenance. It is responsible to do this in order to protect the people who frequent your home or business to protect yourself from liability.

 

Asphalt Driveway Maintenance Basics

Asphalt Driveway Maintenance Basics

An asphalt pavement is the most common material leading into your home. That’s why when you install an asphalt driveway, it’s best to hire a trusted local professional in Minneapolis, MN. However, once the professional is no longer working on the asphalt, it’s still up to the homeowner to be vigilant about maintenance issues with the driveway. With constant use, every day of the year, it’s obvious why a driveway can quickly become damaged. But without proper maintenance, asphalt is at even more risk to damage. Use this maintenance checklist to help you extend the life of your asphalt driveway for years to come.

Visual Inspection

The most important part of  repairing and maintaining asphalt pavement is to know where the damage is. That’s why it’s a good idea to walk up and down the length of your driveway every six months, closely inspecting for blemishes. Keep an eye out for cracks, brittle edges and loose gravel, as these are all signs that your asphalt pavement may be in need of some repairs.

Cracks

Cracks can be fixed in a multitude of ways. Smaller cracks can be repaired using a caulk gun with an asphalt emulsified caulk. Numerous small cracks should not be repaired using caulk as that damage would need to be checked by a professional. Multiple and large cracks can be repaired professionally using a routing and sealing method. This technique involves removing the asphalt down to the aggregate through the length of the crack and replacing it with a sand/asphalt mix.

Applying a Rejuvenator

A rejuvenator can be a reasonably priced solution applied by many asphalt companies. The rejuvenator’s job is to re-strengthen the bond between loosening layers of asphalt and the underlying substrate. Hardened asphalt shrinks away from the underlayment and forms cracks in the asphalts surface as water penetrates below. A rejuvenator softens asphalt enough to help keep a strong bond to the substrate. It can also help to increase skid resistance, especially in the wet and icy conditions of Minneapolis, MN.

Slurry Seal

Many times, when peeling and cracking become too much for a driveway to sustain before total replacement is needed, a slurry seal can be used to extend the life of the driveway. A slurry seal is a mixture of fine aggregates, asphalt emissions and water. The asphalt must be cleaned thoroughly before the seal is applied. A tack coat of wet asphalt emission is applied immediately before the slurry seal is installed to ensure that a proper bond is made. 

Surface Treatment

Once driveways accumulate a series of cracks or other distresses that can be difficult to seal, it’s time to have a surface treatment applied to the asphalt. A surface treatment consists of a tack coat of asphalt followed by graded asphalt with crushed aggregates. Typically it comes in two layers of each, however, it can be applied in one for less damaged asphalt and tighter budgets. Immediately prior to installation, a rubber tire roller should be used to pack layers to prevent future gravel displacement problems.

Asphalt Driveway Fall Maintenance Tips & Checklist

Fall is the best season for asphalt driveway maintenance because it arrives before winter, which is a time when major freezing and thawing occurs. Both freezing and thawing wreak havoc on asphalt driveways in Minneapolis, MN.   

Fall going into winter is a common time of freezing and thawing as temperatures fluctuate between above and below freezing temperatures. Water and moisture will seep into cracks and other openings. Once it freezes, the water turns into ice and expands, which will cause cracking and damage in asphalt driveways in Minneapolis, MN. As winter progresses and the snow starts to fall, these openings collect more and more moisture, eventually leading to more damage.  

 

 

Pressure Washing  

Consistent pressure washing of your asphalt driveway in Minneapolis, MN can remove debris and dirt from the surface. This keeps the debris from collecting and causing further erosion or fading in pits, cracks, holes and other vulnerable spots.  

Inspections & Evaluations 

A quick asphalt driveway inspection in fall can determine if your asphalt driveway requires any maintenance. An evaluation of the surface of your driveway or parking lot can also indicate how much water is pooling in certain areas, and how to fix this to prevent further damage.  

Water pooling is caused both by damage and natural wear-and-tear on asphalt driveways. Poor construction can also cause pooling because an asphalt driveway that is improperly built can create issues with water drainage.  

Unfortunately, if a drainage issue arises as a result of poor construction, it may be necessary to completely replace your asphalt driveway to fully fix the problem.  

The best time to perform an evaluation for water pooling is immediately after it rains. This is when water is most likely to pool and accurately reflect any damage or drainage issues.  

Crack Repair/Patching 

Fall is a time when the weather is favorable to you and your asphalt driveway in Minneapolis, MN. It is the best time to perform repairs on cracks in your asphalt driveway. The summer causes cracks to become smaller and come back together due to the hot weather. However, during the winter months, these cracks expand again. Crack repair during fall avoids these adverse weather conditions and becomes conducive to the longevity and overall health of your asphalt driveway in Minneapolis, MN.  

Sealcoating Asphalt Driveways  

Sealcoating is a simple way to maintain the integrity of your asphalt driveway’s surface. As the name suggests, sealcoating ‘seals’ the top of asphalt, forming an impermeable layer to protect from water damage.

The Value of Paving Your Driveway

The appearance of a driveway is just as important to the curb appeal of a home as any sort of exterior landscaping feature. Cracked or stained driveways in Minneapolis, MN will offer a worse impression of a home even if the lawns are maintained well and the outside of the home has been redone. Therefore it is very important that the right surface is installed.

Concrete Driveways

The biggest problem with concrete driveways is that the mixture is under a large amount of pressure as it cures and this can cause cracks. If not for the expansion joints, strips of material that can accept expanding and contracting pressures, a concrete slab will crack or completely break off and shatter. These joints are placed at three to four foot intervals on the driveway. However, even when taking precautions nature can take over. A build up of water can displace the pad resulting in shifting or breaking. In colder areas of the country, such as Minneapolis, MN, the freeze-thaw cycle can accelerate these problems.

The other two most popular paving materials are concrete paving stones and asphalt. Paving stones come in a variety of colors and patterns. This material has the freedom to move with variations in temperatures. However, repeated use or parking on this type of a surface can cause damage. 

Asphalt Paving

An alternative to concrete and paving stones, asphalt is easier to install and is much more resistant to weather extremes than almost any other surface in Minneapolis, MN. There are two main types of asphalt.

Hot Mix Asphalt: This type of surface is best for cold climates as we have in Minneapolis, MN. It has more flexibility than concrete and will hold its shape better than paving stones. Hot mix asphalt is made up of stone and sand drenched with liquid asphalt cement. Both the sand and gravel is heated prior to being put into the mixture with the hot asphalt cement. The mixture then is delivered to the site while it is hot for easier application and curing. 

Chip Seal: Another asphalt product gaining popularity is the chip seal method. It is similar to the hot mix except that a portion of the asphalt cement is substituted with hot water. This water will evaporate once the mixture is applied so that the driveway material will dry harder. Then the surface of the still-hot asphalt pad is coated with gravel that is pressed into the surface. This makes a harder driveway surface and one that better resists against extreme weather. 

Base: As with concrete and paving stones asphalt paving needs a strong base. This means that the surface has to have any obstructions that could rise up and cause breaks in the surface removed. Tree roots, rocks and rotting wood have to be taken out and filled before the base can be placed. This substrata is compacted with a power roller and then a gravel base is spread out across the base.

Restoring Old Pavement

Sometimes an old driveway is structurally intact but looks bad from staining and cracking. There are sealants designed to re-coat the pavement but make sure to seal the cracks with asphalt cement before applying a sealant.

 

Keeping Your Asphalt Paving Strong in the Summer Heat

Summer is here, and you’re thinking about asphalt paving in Minneapolis, MN. This process is a wise choice if you need a new driveway or an excellent material for a parking lot, but the heat from the summer season can be a significant obstacle for this powerful paving option.

You will need to take steps to ensure that your paving is in the best shape possible this summer. The following maintenance tips help to protect the surface of your pavement and make sure that your pavement has longevity in Minneapolis, MN.

1. Inspecting Your Pavement First

The first step is to inspect your asphalt as much as possible before you start performing any new paving. This includes checking your asphalt for damage, including cracks and bubbles. Damage can quickly spread across your parking lot or driveway and create issues that are difficult to overcome.

Don’t be afraid to perform a thorough and slow inspection. As you inspect, make sure that you pay attention to small signs of damage. These are often harder to spot than more significant problems but can turn into much bigger issues quickly. 

This whole process should take about 1-2 hours depending on the size of your pavement in Minneapolis, MN. 

2.  Consistently Clean Your Pavement

Dirt and other substances can easily affect your asphalt paving. For example, some driveways and parking lots in Minneapolis, MN may end up getting affected by mold, mildew, etc. that can be spread across your pavement and cause damage if not properly maintained. 

For example, mold may work its way in between cracks and cause them to widen those cracks on your pavement as the growth expands. Doing this at least once every week or two will ensure that you get the best results. The cleaning process should include scrubbing and other types of methods to ensure that the pavement in Minneapolis, MN is cleaned as effectively as possible. 

3. Filling and Sealing Any Cracks

Cracks are very common with pavement and can become a bigger issue if you let them spread. This issue is one that can quickly sneak up on you if you aren’t careful about properly repairing cracks as they develop on the surface of your driveway. 

You should seal any cracks that you notice in your asphalt pavement to be sure that they aren’t too severe. You can either repair these cracks yourself or contact a professional in Minneapolis, MN to make sure that your pavement is extremely durable against the summer heat.

Just as importantly, you should sealcoat your asphalt as well. Adding a sealcoat to your driveway every 2-3 years will ensure that it retains its strength under various weather conditions. 

Getting the Help That You Need

As you can see, maintenance on your asphalt is simpler than you may have originally thought. However, you may still want to hire a professional, such as LSC Construction, to do some of this work for you to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible during the hottest summer months in Minneapolis, MN. 

 

Why Summer Is The Best Time For Asphalt Paving

Summer is the perfect season to pave an asphalt driveway or parking lot in Minneapolis, MN. Summertime offers great conditions for refreshing the parking lot of your business. The warm weather, extended hours of sunlight and high overnight temperatures provide the best environment for the asphalt to cure quickly. This makes June, July and August some of the busiest months for asphalt paving contractors in Minneapolis, MN. 

Here are just a few of the factors that make summer the perfect season for hiring asphalt paving contractors in Minneapolis, MN. 

  • Hot and sunny: While you may not enjoy the heat, the warm temperatures are perfect for asphalt paving. Pavement sealer best cures with the help of the warm and sunny conditions common during the summer. The precipitation from colder seasons will slow down the cure time exponentially. 
  • Longer workday: The extended daylight hours give contractors more time to get the job done. This means the entire project will be completed in fewer workdays, which reduces the inconvenience to you and your customers.
  • Cost effective: The longer days make it much easier for asphalt paving contractors in Minneapolis, MN to group multiple jobs into one day. This allows the customer to benefit directly from the savings. The high volume of work means you get the best price during summer. Once the summer ends, contractors will likely be much stricter on prices, as they will need the regular income during the slow season.