Though you may think of an asphalt parking lot as a big dump of asphalt pavement, there’s much more to it than that. Like many other building materials asphalt is a complex material that needs regular care and maintenance to keep it strong, solid, and free of cracks and issues.

One of the best things you can do to keep your asphalt in good shape is having it sealed as necessary. Sealing the asphalt helps refresh its waterproofing abilities, keeps issues like cracks and potholes from ruining your lot, and makes your lot look beautiful.

While it’s a good idea to seal your asphalt lot, there are better times than others for this chore. Many asphalt low owners are tempted to seal their lots before the cold of winter unleashes itself on their spaces but that may not be the best idea. Let’s learn why seal-coating your asphalt at the end of the season isn’t always smart.

How Resealing Works

Sealing is a liquid coat that goes over an existing asphalt lot to help extend its useful life. If you’re at home, look for a can of paint, or another type of coating and read the can. Does it have temperature limits on when you should and shouldn’t paint? Sealing is the same way. The compounds and components of asphalt sealant have conditions where it will be at its most effective and conditions where it won’t take as well. You must follow these recommendations, or you’re wasting sealant and money.

Temperature

You need both an even, warm air temperature and ground temperature for sealing to be effective. Warm temperatures and direct sunlight help a sealant dry correctly and remain on top of the asphalt. Colder temperatures can cause delays in drying times and could force you to close your lot for multiple hours, or even days at a time. Again, you need a great air and ground temperature. It won’t be helpful applying sealant in 60 degrees air temperature when the ground is still frozen from the morning. Different sealant formulations will have recommendations on their ideal application temperature.

Adverse Weather

Adverse weather and unpredictable weather is likely right before winter, and that could ruin your sealant application. The longer the sealant hangs out on top of your asphalt before drying (the colder it is), the more likely a weather event could ruin your sealer. Even a light rain ruins sealer that hasn’t dried yet. Morning frost? Kiss your new coat goodbye. Pay special attention not only to the weather during the day of application but the day before and the days following application. End-season may not always have several nice days for proper resealing.

Talking to an Asphalt Contractor

A local asphalt contractor is your best friend if you’re looking to get your asphalt sealed before the snow and ice comes. They can look at the forecast and your situation and determine if your lot is ready for resealing or if you need to wait it out until Spring. Be aware – many lot owners call in for resealing at the end of the warm season so get your lot in line before it’s too late.

Sealing your blacktop is one of the best things you can do for your asphalt, but only if conditions allow for it. Both temperature and other climate conditions must be ideal and per the sealer’s specifications, so be wary trying to apply quickly before the cold comes. You can speak with a local asphalt company to help determine if your lot is a good candidate for resealing or if your lot needs to wait for warmer temperatures. Listen to your asphalt company for the best resealing job.

Many roads, driveways, and parking lots across the US are paved with asphalt. Asphalt has been a popular paving option for decades because it’s easy to install, affordable, and can last for several years. Asphalt is strong and lasts most multiple decades, but there is a surprising enemy out there to the useful life of your asphalt – standing water.

Your heart may not skip a beat when you find a puddle or clogged drain in your lot and while a puddle overnight won’t wreck your lot – they can be a sign of bigger problems to come. Something needs to be done when you find water on your blacktop.

What You Should Do About Standing Water on Your Asphalt

Let’s learn why standing water is your asphalt’s enemy and could be a bigger concern than you first thought, how to find the cause of standing water, and what you can do about it.

What’s the Big Deal About a Few Puddles?

By its very nature asphalt is waterproof. Asphalt’s natural waterproofing properties make it useful for several applications including roofing, plumbing, and of course paving. Asphalt retains this waterproofing ability for most of its useful life, but the sun’s radiation and other elements can slowly wear down the chemical bonds that keep asphalt waterproof allowing moisture to penetrate.

A few minor water infiltrations aren’t a big deal at first, but any water penetration will only get worse with time. If moisture gets underneath your asphalt and freezes and thaws, it could wrestle entire portions of your lot from where they should be. Standing water has plenty of time to infiltrate your paving material and must be dealt with quickly to prevent further (and more expensive) damage.

Causes of Standing Water

There are three primary causes of standing water:

  • Bad Drainage: One of the more common causes of standing or pooling water in your lot. All moisture should be drained off the lot efficiently so if you have water pooling – you have a problem. You will need Enright Companies to assist you in creating proper slopes and channels, so water drains away and doesn’t cause damage to your lot.
  • Damage:  Damaged areas like ruts, cracks, and potholes will naturally collect water which can make these spots of damage worse. When the damage is dry, have it cleaned and patched to keep it from collecting water in the future. Standing water from damage to asphalt can also be a hazard to pedestrians and vehicles.
  • Bad Installation: Though rare, a bad installation can cause you standing water headaches. Improper compaction or poor grading can keep water stagnant when it should be draining away or can cause small depressions that turn into impromptu bird baths. Poor installation should be addressed by a paving professional.

Taking Care of Causes

Once you know the root of standing water, you can take care of it. This might include regrading a lot or adding new drainage, patching any potholes or divots that want to collect water, or even having a lot resurfaced. Your best ally in keeping standing water away is a reputable asphalt contractor that can identify problem areas and keep them from causing issues.

A small puddle may not be an apparent sign of danger, but it’s hazardous to both your asphalt and those driving and walking on it. To properly fix standing water on your lot first identify the issue and fix the cause so it won’t bother you again. We can help you fix these issues to keep your safe and dry.

If you manage or own a large building or shopping center, you own the parking lot outside of it, too. Asphalt is popular for parking lots due to its affordability, easy installation, and low maintenance. Maintenance is easy on asphalt lots, but that doesn’t mean its non-existent.

There are two things you want your asphalt lot to be: Safe and well-maintained. The good news is that the two go together so by keeping your asphalt well maintained on multiple levels will also keep it safer. Let’s learn more about what’s involved in keeping your parking lot safe.

6 Ways to Keep Your Asphalt Parking Lot Safe

Make Sure Your Asphalt is Maintained

You must keep the physical condition of your asphalt well maintained to keep your lot safe. Cracks, potholes, divots, and other damage can make your parking lot a trap for busted tires, misaligned vehicles, and rolled ankles for pedestrians. These could even lead to lawsuits. You should regularly walk and inspect your lot to look for any damage or deficiencies that could harm those who use the lot or their vehicles.

Keep Things Bright and Orderly

It’s important to keep the asphalt that makes up your lot in good working order, but it’s also important to keep that parking lot orderly with bright and marked spaces and zones. A parking lot with faded parking stripes or faded lane markers will increase the likelihood of accidents and people parking wherever they want to. Regularly inspect your lot’s lines and markings and repaint them as necessary. An orderly parking lot is a safe parking lot, and you can keep things orderly with easy to read lot markings and bright striping.

Getting Matched with an Asphalt Maintenance Company

Keeping your parking lot safe is mostly about proper maintenance and proper maintenance is taken care of by a great asphalt company. Find a highly-rated local asphalt company to assist you in keeping your asphalt lot well-maintained. This includes regular inspection, fixing any issues, and keeping issues from happening to begin with.

Resealing and Repaving

After a point, regular maintenance simply won’t be enough to keep your lot safe and well-maintained though there are some ways to prolong your lot’s serviceable life. Having your asphalt resealed every few years is an excellent way to add extra years to any lot but even resealing won’t keep an asphalt lot alive forever. If you have your lot regularly inspected, your asphalt company should be able to tell when your lot’s life is over, and its time considers resurfacing.

Try to Keep Pedestrians Where They Should Be

Pedestrians shouldn’t be wandering all over your lot. To keep both pedestrians and others safe your lot should direct the flow of foot traffic into safe outlets and alleys. This may include pedestrian crosswalks, walking lanes along parking lanes, and hazards lines meant to keep pedestrians away. A proper, natural flow of people keeps everyone safe and directs them where you want them to go without them even realizing it.

Consider Signage and Extra Precautions

Signs let the world knows what’s happening and they’re useful for keeping drivers and pedestrians safe in a parking lot. You can use signs like NO ACCESS, directional signs, signs warning of pedestrian crossings, and even speed limit signs to help keep your parking lot a place where people park and not a place where ambulances frequent.

Keeping your asphalt parking lot well-maintained and safe keeps visitors of that lot happy and ready to come back. Keep your markings bright and organized, keep your lot well maintained, and direct pedestrian traffic to help establish a safe lot. A safe lot is an efficient and comfortable lot which always means better things to those who use it.

Many modern roads are constructed from versatile asphalt. Asphalt is easy to pour, quick to set and is 100 percent recyclable making this one petroleum product that’s environmentally friendly. There are many useful aspects to asphalt, but it isn’t perfect. One of the most common asphalt issues experienced nationwide is the dreaded pothole.

Potholes are a major pain in the tailpipe, and they can rattle both your car and your wallet. How bad can potholes affect your vehicle? Here’s what you should be looking out for if you live in a pothole-filled neighborhood.

5 Ways Potholes Destroy Your Car

Body

The lower your car’s frame, the more likely a pothole can damage it. Low profile racing-style vehicles or cars that have been lowered past their stock level and clear the asphalt are the most susceptible. Cars with low bodies can have damage to wheel wells, fenders, bumpers, and even chases damage from potholes.

Exhaust

Most potholes can’t reach into your car’s inner workings, but deeper ones can. This could be major trouble for your vehicle’s exhaust. Deep potholes can jostle your exhaust or even peel off your muffler. You may only receive minor dents or punctures, but these can cause issues with your vehicle. You can notice a loose or jarred exhaust by rattling underneath the vehicle.

Suspension and Alignment

Your suspension can be affected by potholes. Your suspicion wants to keep your ride comfortable and on the straight and narrow. Potholes, depending on their nastiness, can wage war on your vehicle’s suspension by jarring components that keep your car’s suspension in working order or breaking them altogether.

This can misalign the vehicle or affect components in your suspension system. You’ll usually be able to feel suspension issues right away after hitting a pothole, the car may handle differently, or you might now have to turn the wheel more severely to align correctly. You should have any suspension and alignment issues addressed immediately to avoid further damage to your vehicle.

Tires

Potholes can impact tires. Many of us have found ourselves pulled over with a flat and a jack after hitting a nasty pothole. Potholes have sharp walls that can impact tires causing flats, busts, or small ruptures that lead to slowly-deflating tires. If you hit a nasty pothole, you should find somewhere safe to pull over and check your tires.

Frustrated Drivers

Potholes can compound other problems. Drivers who hit potholes aren’t happy about it, so they’ll take a different street to avoid potholes in the future. It won’t only be one driver that takes this route but several, and before long you can have a bottleneck of frustrated drivers jamming up the one pothole-free road. It’s never good to have frustrated drivers on the road who are more likely to drive aggressively and cause accidents.

Fixing Asphalt Potholes

Any potholes on city streets should be reported to the city or your local jurisdiction. A city can’t do anything about a pothole until they’re aware of the issue. So make them aware immediately. If you’re a private road owner who needs a pothole patched, you should hire a reputable asphalt company to help you with the issue. Most asphalt patches are quick fixes, but they do take time.

Though asphalt is an excellent paving material, it can experience potholes. Potholes can damage vehicles in several different ways from bumper to bumper, so drivers and parking lot owners alike should pay attention if they pop up. Alert your city to any potholes so they can get the issue addressed immediately. No one likes potholes, but asphalt’s natural properties make them easy and quick to fix for a high-quality driving surface.

The appeal of grass makes sense. It’s soft on the feet, looks pretty, and provides a place for children and pets to play. The grass isn’t very practical. You can’t store anything on top of the grass, you can’t park vehicles on it, and you can’t use it when you need a hard or level surface. If those are your needs grass isn’t very suitable – but concrete is.

For several reasons, you may decide you want to rip up grass and put in concrete to give your more area for vehicles, workspace, or other options. If you cut the grass down and schlep concrete over it, you will not get a very good finished product. Let’s learn the proper way to replace grass with concrete.

What to Consider When You Replace Sod with Concrete

Your first step is to kill the grass as dead as dead can be. Failure to completely kill the grass can have serious consequences on your future paving job and may negate the whole job. You can utilize commercial lawn killer for quick results, but if you have time on your hands, you can kill off your grass in a more environmentally-friendly manner by covering the grass with dark tarps for several weeks.

Once you’re certain the grass is dead, you can remove all the dead grass. Dig deep to ensure you’ve pulled up all the roots. If you have a lot of lawn, consider a sod cutter or renting a machine.

After you’ve ripped up the grass, you need to prepare the site. Depending on the job this could include adding new fill soil and re-sloping the area. Regardless of where you’re adding concrete, you want a smooth, level area for install whenever possible. This is best accomplished by a professional.

After the site has been prepped by a professional, you’re ready to pour. Enright Asphalt knows exactly how to tackle a job in your local environment. You can install your concrete if you have an extensive paving knowledge and the job isn’t too large.

Voila! What was once grass is now concrete. If any of the parts of this job are outside of your comfort range don’t put it all on yourself – Enright Asphalt is here to help. We will put our local knowledge and expertise to give you a great final looking product. Now you have all the concrete you need.

Living life would be dull if we didn’t mess up now and then. Humans may be the smartest monkeys, and we may have all the grace of a ballerina in certain circumstances, but we may have the grace of a Neanderthal in others. We all spill our drinks, knocking over cans of paint, and exhibit other forms of clumsiness.

Some situations are more comical than others, like stepping in cement. Any reasonable adult knows that they aren’t going to get stuck forever if they step in cement, but you if you find yourself and your feet stuck in cement, you should take care to get yourself out of the situation the right way because it may not be as funny as it seems – let’s learn how.

So, What Do You Do If Your Feet Are Stuck in Cement?

The situation may be funny – but it may also be dangerous. Cement is mostly harmless in powder form but once mixed with water cement can form caustic substances that are no good for the human body. If you find yourself stuck in cement, you need to get out as soon as possible to avoid chemical burns.

Try yanking yourself up, to begin with, most concrete and cement is very shallow, and you should have no issues hoisting yourself out. If you can’t draw your feet straight out of the cement, try to sit down and distribute your body weight to allow yourself to pluck the foot or shoe out. Ask for help nearby if needed, you could be in a bad situation.

Once you’re out of the cement, check for direct exposure to your skin. You may not feel it right away, but time is important when it comes to chemical burns. Rinse off and scrub the area with cool water or something acidic such as vinegar or fruit juice if it’s available. This will help negate the basic formula of the cement. Seek medical attention immediately if you have received any burns, even if they look minor.

You should stay away from wet cement whenever possible, but accidents do happen. If you find you’ve stepped in cement, slowly pull yourself up and avoid contact between your skin and the cement whenever possible. If your bare skin has been exposed to wet cement take immediate action and call for medical attention if necessary. Stepping in cement can be funny, but it may also be dangerous.

It’s still popular today, but asphalt has been used for centuries. Asphalt, also known as bitumen, is a naturally occurring substance, it just gets doctored up and enhanced before it ends up on your parking lots or highways.

It seems strange that there are advances in asphalt every day, but just because a building material is ancient, doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. We’ve seen these types of improvements with enhanced binders, substrate, and now we could even have asphalt that fixes itself.

Scientists from the University of Delft recently told media outlets that they are currently working on developing self-repairing asphalt for use on highways, driveways, parking lots, and more. The new formulation of asphalt would use a combination of material technology to “heal” itself through induction heating and other methods.

Small cracks and divots in asphalt can quickly turn to large fissures and damaging potholes, but self-healing asphalt would fill in any gaps or divots before the asphalt has a chance to become further damaged. The research and materials could save utility companies and government operations possibly millions if not billions of dollars by avoiding having to send out a team for repairs and maintenance altogether.

Self-healing asphalt seems like something out of science fiction but what if I told you this new type of asphalt could also be made to charge electrical vehicles? While conducting their research, scientists at the University of Delft found an added benefit to the new formulation – the reinforcement steel fibers and natural bacteria could be utilized to charge the vehicle. So far it’s only while a vehicle is stopped and parked on top of the specialized asphalt, but it is an amazing stride in technology nonetheless.

So when will see self-healing asphalt on highways? Unfortunately, not anytime soon. The research team faces many challenges to make the concept a reality, including wireless charging systems for vehicles, how to trigger enough heat to kick-start the repair, and of course funding. We likely won’t see self-healing or charging asphalt on our roads anytime soon, but the advances on the horizon are setting us up for an incredible self-healing and car-charging superhighway.

Asphalt is one heck of material. Its versatility, practicality, and ease-of-use have had asphalt in use by people for centuries, and that same asphalt that past generations used is still in use today. How? Because not only does asphalt hold the preceding qualities, it is also extreme recyclable.

Recycling asphalt is so important that Kentucky recently made grants available to Kentucky counties to utilize recycled tires and their asphalt contents for local projects, Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Charles G. Snavely announced recently.

The counties can request the grants for either recycled tires and asphalt meant for use as chip-seal or recycled tires and asphalt meant for thin asphalt overlay applications. Counties can request can apply for the funding to be granted 24,000 yards of the chip-seal, or 12,000 yards of the asphalt overlay. The two types of asphalt can be utilized for several different purposes including roadway and parking lot repair, maintenance, and construction.

Applicants who are allowed the grants must complete an equivalent asphalt project utilizing standard asphalt funded by themselves.

The grants are not just a gift to Kentucky counties, but also an ongoing test to compare standard asphalt against asphalt that utilizes recycled tire materials. The recycled tire asphalt differs from standard asphalt in that crumb derived from shredded rubber tires is added to the mix instead of another standard substrate like gravel.

Current research points to numerous benefits to utilizing recycled tires in asphalt mixes. It can reduce overall asphalt cost, help recycle thousands of pounds of old tires, increase road life, provide skid protection, and reduce road noise. Many recycled-tire modified asphalt proponents believe the tire-fortified version is better than the “real” thing.

The funding for the grant comes from the Kentucky Waste Tire Trust Fund, which receives $1 for every new tire sold in the state of Kentucky. The fund works to recycle and reuse old tires and develop markets for those recycled materials and also hosts waste tire collection events, waste tire cleanup, and grants for counties to manage their waste tires.

Kentucky’s experiment could have positive results not only for the state but for the entire country.

If you live in the colder climates of the US, chances are you get two feelings when it’s about to snow. The first feeling is excitement, who doesn’t like freshly fallen snow?! But the second feeling that quickly follows that is one of dread, when that snow falls, you have to shovel it, and prep your property.

There are some things you can do to properly prep for upcoming winter weather, including putting salt out. If you’ve just moved to a colder climate you probably see your neighbors tossing out salt and wander if you should be doing the same. How does salt even work with snow?

So, Should I Salt Before It Snows?

To avoid slips, falls, and other dangers, you should be putting salt out before any significant weather winter events. Let’s learn why.

Purpose of Salt in Snow

The salt is not for the snow itself, but for ice. Snow can fall as light and fluffy flakes, but between the weight of itself and foot traffic, that light fluffy snow gets packed down to slippery and dangerous ice. Salt and other anti-freezing agents help to remove the dangers of ice for both you and your neighbors.

How Salt Works on Snow and Ice

The most used form of salt to deice in the US is common rock salt, sodium chloride. Yes, this is the same salt that’s on your dinner table, but with much larger granules. The chemical compound sodium chloride lowers the freezing point in water, so snow melt never has the chance to turn into ice unless its bitterly cold.

Other Agents

Rock salt is the most popular but it can damage concrete over time, and pets aren’t a big fan. There are several other pet-friendly deicing agents out there that will be safe for both your concrete, asphalt, and pets. You can ask for recommendations for your particular sidewalk or driveway material at your local home improvement store.

If you want to avoid salt or chemical agents altogether you can always put down sand or kitty litter. These two products will not help to keep ice from forming like rock salt and other deicing agents can, but it can provide traction for slippery walkways.

If you see snow and ice in the forecast, it’s better to act before it starts falling. Always salt, or otherwise use a deicing agent to keep your walkable areas from freezing over and becoming a hazard. You’ll thank us when you don’t get a bill from the ER.

If you live in the colder portions of the country, you likely dread the time when Winter is around the corner. Sure, the snow is beautiful, the fire in your house is cozy, but you know eventually you are going to have to walk out into the freezing cold to shovel your car, driveway, and sidewalks.

If your region sees more than a few inches of snow a year, chances are high that your area is full of snow removal services. So how do you know when you need a snow removal service and when should you put the shovel down? Let’s review some situations when hiring a snow removal company is your best bet.

How to Hire a Snow Removal Company the Right Way

When the Job is Too Big

Shoveling a small driveway and front sidewalk is not a big deal for most people, but what if you have a sprawling property with a long driveway? If you live on a property that needs copious amounts of snow removal after a dump, you should consider a snow removal service. It can be difficult to pay someone for a job that you can do yourself, so let’s get to that point.

When the Effort Outweighs the Cost

Think how long it takes to shovel snow off your property. One hour? Four hours? If basic economics has taught us anything it’s that time is money, so every minute you waste on snow removal is a minute that could be better spent elsewhere. It may take you 3 hours to shovel your driveway or sidewalks, where it may only take a snow removal service with specialized equipment 30 minutes. Get some estimates for your property and weigh the cost vs effort saved. Most of the time you will find that the cost is more than worth the effort it covers.

When You Don’t Want to Shovel Anymore Damn Snow

If you’re feeling tired, and you just don’t want to shovel snow anymore, don’t! Snow removal services are often less expensive than you may think and can complete the job quickly and efficiently. If you have a little bit of disposable income, hire a snow removal service and dispose of that income!

If the job is too big, the effort is too much, or you plain don’t want to shovel anymore, talk to a snow removal service. Get a quote from Enright Asphalt that’s the right fit for your property or business today.