If you’re driving down the road and hit a pothole, you’ll usually curse and pray that no damage has come to your car. Year after year, you might get frustrated as your city ignores potholes and cracks that could potentially be dangerous to drive on and cause damage to your vehicle. You may wonder why the city never does anything about them and how long can this keep going on before citizens take up arms and protect the city’s lacking empathy.

Here’s What to Know About Paving in Cold Weather

However, in many places across the US, asphalt repairs and paving projects can’t take place during the winter. Why? Because it’s cold. Some forms of asphalt, many that have to do with the creation and upkeep of roads, can’t be mixed, set or sealed during winter because of the cold and snow. Certain types of asphalt, most notably the hot mix asphalt, can’t be set in winter because of the temperatures needed to set it properly.

If you live in an area that sees cold or snow, this is why winter can be one of the most frustrating times to drive locally. You’ll see parking lots, streets and driveways in dire need of replacement and repair. They get worse during the winter, especially as people have to drive over them to get to and fro. It may be frustrating, but there’s really nothing the city can do until the spring. That’s why when the weather warms up and the cold is behind a place, you’ll see asphalt companies just about everywhere.

If you live in an area that’s prone to cold, snow and bad weather during winter, do what you can to avoid areas you know are damaged. This will save you time and frustration having to put your vehicle in the shop. Potholes can be especially damaging to cars, even causing accidents. If you can avoid them, do so at all costs. If you can’t, do your best to avoid them by turning to the side or switching lanes. Until the spring is here, the best you can do is avoid potholes and cracks in the asphalt roads you drive on every day.

Asphalt driveways are becoming a popular way to save money, have a unique look and quickly repair damage over time. As more home and building owners turn away from the more traditional concrete driveways, the cost of an asphalt driveway has gone up. Let’s break down the factors that go into an asphalt driveway cost estimate and what you can do to save money.

What to Know About Asphalt Driveway Cost

As with all home improvement projects and construction, labor is what will cost the most when it comes to having an asphalt driveway. Depending on the company you go with, labor can cost more than materials and other factors that may come up. It’s important before you agree to a particular company doing your asphalt driveway that you price shop, get estimates and choose the company that feels right for you.

Other factors included in the overall asphalt driveway cost can be:

  • Permits
  • Asphalt
  • Loading and removal
  • Breaking up your previous driveway
  • Hauling away what made up your previous driveway
  • Weather-related costs
  • Sealing

When getting an estimate, you’ll need to factor in the following:

  • Land clearing and tree removal
  • Grading
  • Cost of asphalt

Depending on your home or land, you may need it cleared or trees removed. This can be costly and is usually charged by the hour and based on the work to be completed. If you need a tree removed, this can include the costs of cutting the tree itself and stump removal. Check with your company to see what prices they offer and what services they provide when it comes to land clearing and removal. You may need to get a separate company for those services before proceeding.

Grading may be necessary, too. You can get an estimate for this and it’s relatively cheap to do but must be completed before laying the asphalt.

Asphalt prices will vary depending on the type of year, the asphalt used and how much you need. Most companies will lock in the price once you sign on the dotted line, so keep that in mind when negotiating prices with various asphalt companies.

As you can see, you’re not just paying for asphalt when comparing an asphalt driveway cost between companies.

Choosing asphalt for your driveway or other surface is a great choice. Asphalt is affordable, nearly 100% recyclable, and durable to take what you can throw at it. Like many other things around your home, your asphalt will need proper maintenance to help keep strong and looking good for decades. One of the primary maintenance components of asphalt has to do with resealing it. Let’s look at what resealing asphalt entails, and if it is something you can take care of yourself.

Can You Reseal an Asphalt Driveway Yourself?

The process of resealing asphalt is mandatory if you want your asphalt to have its longest possible life. Sealing is the process of adding a topcoat of a sealing material to the top of your asphalt to help protect the asphalt from damage from sun and water as well as providing additional friction for vehicles and other objects to grab onto. The type of sealant used depends on the qualities you want from it as well as the type of asphalt you have. Popular asphalt sealants include refined coal tar emulsion and asphalt emulsions.

The good news is that yes, you can reseal your asphalt yourself if you want to, or you can hire a professional asphalt company to do the job for you. To give you an idea if you should take on the job of resealing your asphalt, let’s look at some of the steps involved.

  • The clean. You don’t want to seal on top of a dirty asphalt surface full of debris, so you will have to clean the asphalt first. This involves using a combination of wire brushes, hoses, or pressure washers to rid your asphalt surface of all dirt and debris.
  • The repairs. Before sealing your asphalt you should make repairs to your asphalt. These repairs include filling in cracks, holes, and cleaning up oil spots. Sealing can’t cover repairs, so take care of the repair before sealing.
  • The mix and match. You must find the right type of sealant for your asphalt. You will also need to mix the sealant with a certain amount of other materials like sand, but these directions are usually included in the bag.
  • The application. Professionals use a combination of pumps, squeegees and other tools to apply the sealant. You don’t have to have the equipment that the professionals have, but you must have the right tools to apply the sealant in a consistent and precise method.

These are the basic steps you will need to take on if you want to reseal your asphalt yourself. If this looks like a bit much, we recommend calling on a professional asphalt company to help you. Asphalt companies have the tools and experience to seal your asphalt the right way and keep it looking good for years.

After buying a home, you have a handful of projects you want to tackle. Remodeling parts of your home are high on the list of every homeowner. It’s just a matter of figuring out what you want and how to go about getting it done. When it comes to the kitchen, this is often one of the most expensive and involved remodels a house goes through. That remodel often includes new countertops and figuring out what type to install. Asphalt countertops are just one such option, here’s what you need to know about them.

So, Are Asphalt Countertops Right for You?

Asphalt countertops, similar to concrete countertops, offer an alternative to the countertops you’re used to seeing at Home Depot or Lowes. In fact, asphalt and concrete countertops sometimes offer more options and varieties for homeowners, which is why their installation is growing in popularity. You can get different color options resulting in a unique look and feel for your kitchen.

For those homes looking to maintain a rustic charm to them, the creativity you can get out of asphalt countertops can’t be rivaled. They can be customized color and look-wise to get the feel you want to your kitchen and home. If you’re looking for something out of the box, different, and unique, consider asphalt countertops for your home.

When working with an asphalt or concrete contractor, they’ll be able to help you get the look and feel you desire. Let them know what you’re looking for, what you’ve found, and ask for their input on whether it’s possible. If not, they’ll be able to offer an alternative solution to using asphalt or concrete to get the perfect countertops. By working with a contractor instead of doing it yourself, you’ll get the right look and feel for your home and kitchen with your countertop installation.

If you drive a car, it’s likely that you’ve had to replace the tires on your car from time to time over the life of the vehicle. With four tires on every car, and replacements happening every day, it’s no surprise that experts suggest approximately 290 million tires are disposed of every year. Even worse, nearly 20% of them, or 55 million old tires are illegally dumped in landfills, private property, or left on the side of the road.

In 2016, and age of economic interest and planet-minded millennials, rubberized asphalt is a feasible solution to the plethora of used tires that continues to grow annually. If old tires are not recycled and reused, their existence becomes a threat to the earth, the quality of human life, and the likelihood of running out of resources in the future.

The use of tires in asphalt began as a way to eliminate piles of scrap tires. Today, it’s a roadway finishing solution that provides a longer life for the asphalt, a smoother and quieter drive for those on the roads, and a safer surface for cars and tires.

Why Use Rubberized Asphalt Over Traditional Materials?

For decades, asphalt surfaces composed of recycled tire crumbles have shown to improve skid resistance, the quality of automobile riding, the lifespan of the pavement and reduced pavement noise levels. Phoenix, Arizona is responsible for originally pioneering the use of rubberized asphalt in the 1960’s because of its durability. In the years that followed, it became increasingly popular for its ability to reduce road noise. Rubber-modified asphalt holds more elasticity, making it less brittle and prone to cracking.

Where Can Rubberized Asphalt be Found?

In 2003, the Arizona Department of Transportation began a three-year, $34 million project called the Quiet Pavement Pilot Program. In partnership with the Federal Highway Administration, the program was designed to determine whether or not sound walls could be replaced by rubberized asphalt to reduce noise on busy roadways. After one year, it was determined that rubber-modified asphalt did, in fact, result in quieter highways.

Arizona spearheaded the widely popular use of rubberized asphalt, which can now be found on major roadways in the states of California, Texas, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, as well as across the world in Brussels and Belgium. Projects similar to that of Arizona’s 2003 Quiet Pavement Pilot Program are currently underway in both Bellevue and Kirkland, Washington, as well as a number of local roads in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

If you’re like most homeowners, maintaining the value and appearance of your home is one of your top priorities. It’s likely that your home is the greatest investment you’ll ever make, so caring for it and making it your own is one of the many perks of home ownership. When it comes to home improvement projects, one of the most common places that homeowners overlook is repairing or replacing their driveway.

So, When is It Time for a New Driveway?

Over time, concrete and asphalt become worn, cracked and settled. It’s a natural occurrence that happens as a result of soils shifting beneath the pavement and creating voids that leave concrete vulnerable to falling, sinking and breaking. When this happens, it’s important that you have your driveway repaired or replaced because if you let it go without fixing, it’s likely that the cracks will spread, other slabs will sink, and your driveways foundation will not provide the best surface to drive or park your car on.

When it becomes time for a new driveway, a professional concrete contractor will be able to provide you with solutions for whether you should replace the driveway or just a slab. In addition to their solutions for your home, they will provide you with options for maintaining or increasing the value of your home with a specific driveway material.

Asphalt pavement is a durable and popular solution when it’s time for a new driveway. Asphalt is easy to install and with proper maintenance, is shown to last for years. Its weather-resistant properties make it more dependable than concrete and can enhance the curb appeal and overall impression that your house makes.

Another option for your new driveway is concrete. Its durability does not live up to that of asphalt, but it’s popularity, appearance, and a wide variety of uses serve as serious factors to consider when determining the best driveway material for you. Laying concrete is easy, and unlike asphalt, does not depend as heavily on outside temperature, making it a better option for those looking to get things done right away during a season that may not be optimal for asphalt.

No matter what you decide for materials, the best way to determine whether or not it’s time for a new driveway is to work with a trusted concrete professional to evaluate your driveways existing conditions and work together to improve the value and appearance of your home.

Since the 1960’s, recycled rubber from scrap tires have been used by the paving industry as a component of asphalt mixtures. Rubberized asphalt is an environmentally friendly, high-performance alternative to traditional paving materials.

Why Use a Rubberized Asphalt Mixture?

Cracks and potholes in asphalt are caused by traffic loads, fluctuating temperatures, and shifting materials beneath the asphalt surface. Pavements made from rubberized asphalt have shown to resist cracking better than traditional payments made from conventional asphalt mixtures. The recycled tires add a greater element of elasticity, which is the major reducer of pavement cracking.

Rubberized asphalt is proven to increase the life of the pavement, and improve safety with skid resistance, making maintenance easier and less regular. Roads paved with conventional asphalt require maintenance to be performed generally every 3-5 years. The crack-resistant properties of rubber-modified asphalt require maintenance after a much longer service life, driving maintenance costs down, and increased all-around safety.

In addition to its elasticity, longevity, safety features and cost-effective resources, rubberized asphalt is environmentally friendly. California is believed to produce more than 40 million wasted tires annually, most of which end up in landfills. A two-inch-thick paved road uses roughly 2,000 scrap tires per lane mile. Diverting waste tires from landfills or illegal disposal is a true form of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” making rubber-modified asphalt a huge promoter of the environment.

The use of rubberized asphalt has grown at a rate of about 10% annually for the past 10 years. Wider acceptance and greater education has led to more state departments of transportation and city municipalities to adopt the use of the recycled product. In 2003, the Arizona Department of Transportation began a three-year, $34 million project to resurface 115 miles of Phoenix area roadways with rubber-modified asphalt.

Until recently, recycled rubber has not been used in low-volume rubberized asphalt applications such as parking lots and driveways. Innovative technologies and a growing market demand have begun making the safer, greener, crack resistant product more feasible for smaller projects.

In California, Calaveras County officials are requiring a full environmental impact report be prepared before operation begins at a proposed hot asphalt batch plant near Valley Springs at Hogan Quarry. Led by the Calaveras County Air Pollution Control District, the report will include more than the effect on air pollution, and encompass other potential impacts of the plant, such as increased traffic.

Measuring the Impact of Asphalt Plant in California and Beyond

Earlier this year, both the Calaveras County Planning Commission and the County Board of Supervisors had decided that the owners of the asphalt plant would not have to obtain a conditional use permit. Issued by the planning department, a conditional use permit would have prompted a department review of the plant’s environmental impacts. As a result of community members urging for an environmental impact report, the county’s leaders are now proceeding with a full analysis of the plant’s potential impact.

Questions about the regulation and operation of the plant has triggered more than a year of public debate, multiple decision appeals by the planning commission, and a strong push by neighbors of the proposed plant to resist the plan. Despite the opposition of the community, the board of supervisors voted in February to reject an appeal by neighbors of the plant. Rejection of the appeal allows the owners of the proposed asphalt plant to move forward without conditional permits.

Thought the plant is not required to hold conditional permits, the owners still must obtain an “authority to construct,” a document from the Calaveras County Air Pollution Control District, which evaluates the potential impacts of such asphalt plant.

In 2015, county officials indicated that the planning department considers the full scope of project impacts, while the air pollution control district is generally concerned with air pollution. At the end of March, air district officials had not yet determined whether they would conduct an initial study of environmental issues, which has people concerned about the seriousness of the “required” environmental impact report.

When you’re walking or driving, you often take for granted the streets and roadways you’re using. You may hit a pothole here or there, curse when you do it, then continue on your way. If you’re walking, you may have to detour around some particular obstacle, but in the end you still get to where you’re going. The road surface you’re walking or driving on can affect you in more ways than you know. Here’s why road surface matters.

Road Surface Always Matters

There are two primary road surfaces used: Asphalt and concrete. You’ll typically find the latter making up sidewalks and other pedestrian walkways. Asphalt is mostly used for roads and highways, although sometimes you’ll find concrete used for specific projects. Since asphalt holds up better long-term than concrete for highways and roads, that’s why it’s used more frequently.

When asphalt or concrete as road surfaces has issues, such as breaks, cracks or holes, this can cause a bumpy ride for those going to and fro. Everyone driving has eventually hit a pot hole. Most of the time, you might be startled but you make it away just fine. Every once in a while, especially in bad weather, if you hit a pot hole suddenly, you may do significant damage to your vehicle. This can lead to costly repairs and in some cases can total your car.

As a pedestrian, again in bad weather, if you don’t notice a hole or particularly bad crack, you may hurt yourself by spraining an ankle or other part of your foot. While this may not seem like such a big deal, if you’ve never tripped on concrete before, you don’t know how much you want to avoid this.

The road surface you drive or walk on matters because of the condition it is in. Not every city or state focuses on replacing asphalt or concrete as quickly as we’d like, so when you notice issues that are effecting your day-to-day life, you want to reach out to the city or state and report them. You’d be surprised at what this can do for getting repairs done quicker, especially when multiple people are reporting issues and incidents that have occurred.

The Department of Transportation (DoT), and its state subsidiaries across the nation, are responsible for helping to keep roads up to standard. When they’re not up to standard, that can cause issues on the road, such as damage to vehicles, car accidents, and even death. By staying on top of asphalt issues, they can avoid potentially hazardous conditions year-round.

When DoT’s fall behind on road inspections and projects are delayed because of it, they scramble to get roads up to par. If they don’t, then this can cause longer term issues that impact drivers and commutes nationwide. If they can stay on top of the issues, they rarely have to rush to get things done. Unfortunately, every state plays this game differently, and some do it better than others. For those that can’t keep up on road projects, it’s often the drivers that pay the price.

Normally, when highways and public roads need to be repaved or repaired, communities approach their city councils and state boards to get the job done. From there, they reach out to asphalt companies – normally ones they’ve done business with before – to take on the work. Depending on the scope of the job, and the time of year, this can start rather quickly and be done just as quickly. It all depends on the timing. Since many cities and states wait until the last possible minute to get this work done, it can cause havoc with the drivers who still have to get to and from work every day.

While DoT’s across the country struggle to find the right way and timing to do asphalt projects, it doesn’t always work out in the benefit of either party. When roads are closed or detoured for a long period of time, this can cause issues for drivers just trying to get to and from. That’s why all asphalt projects should be started at the right time of year and not when it can’t wait any longer.