Sunday, May 29, 2016

More Than Just Price - Choosing a Paving Contractor to Install Your Driveway


Paving an asphalt driveway may seem like a simple task to some people. Basically you just get a couple of companies out of the phone book to give you an estimate and then pick the cheapest one right? Well, not if you're concerned about the craftsmanship or making sure you get what you pay for. This is the number one mistake people make when choosing a contractor. Before you call any company do some research first. Information is readily available 24 hours a day on the web. Stay away from people that knock on your door. You will never ever get a good job from someone telling you he has an extra load of asphalt from a job up the street. These people are called travelers and never deliver on what they promise. There is plenty of info on the web regarding these types of people.

Try to zero in on companies that specialize in residential asphalt drives. Commercial contractors excel in putting down lots of asphalt really fast, but usually fall short of a homeowner's expectations when it comes to details. Review a company's website, check them against the BBB or other reporting agencies, and compare your notes about your research. When you look at their website, be sure to pay really close attention to the details you find both in the content and in the pictures on the site. You want to see what kind of work they are capable of, and you want to be confident they fully know what they are doing. You'll also be able to make sure they have adequate equipment if they have good pictures. Once you have 1-3 good companies with a clean history and a good reputation now is the time to talk to them and request a bid. Always get a written proposal. This makes sure both parties' expectations are clear and known. It also helps protect you if a legal matter ensues.

When reviewing the bids pay close attention to the entire proposal; including the letterhead that it's composed on. Sloppiness or inadequacies on paper now may be what you'll get on your asphalt driveway too. Be sure that everything you expect from your paving project is included in the scope. Make sure you understand everything that is taking place. Be sure you understand how the job will be scheduled, how thick the driveway will be after the asphalt is compacted, how much rock will be installed prior to paving, and the dimensions or square footage. Signing a contract means you have accepted what is in writing. If something is left out, make sure you get an amended contract.

Before you sign a contract you should take some time and use good judgment to compare the estimates. Price should never be your number one concern. We'll discuss price in a moment. Take an opportunity to ask a contractor for referrals that best match the design of your job. Some companies keep a cheat sheet of their best referrals, but you should insist they provide you with 1-2 jobs nearby that best match your own asphalt driveway. You want this because you should be inclined to physically investigate what kind of work they do. Ask about jobs they might be doing in the area so you can personally witness them while in action.

How do you know what to look for when looking at a referral driveway that a company has already completed? Here are a few great tips that will bring you up to an educated level.

· Check all the transitional areas such as sidewalks, garage floors, and streets. These should all be flush, with no bump, and should have the proper thickness. Without these details you will see water problems, or unraveling of the asphalt. These symptoms only get worse as time goes on.

· Streaking or pock marks are a good indicator of a thin surface. This happens when there is not enough material to encapsulate the larger stones while paving. The larger stones will tumble and cause imperfections in the surface, or "mat".

· Seams and joints should be flush with each other, and barely visible (if at all) to an untrained eye. Seams and joints that are severely visible or are not evenly matched will fail prematurely.

· Exposed edges of the perimeter should be properly constructed. This is where most companies sink or swim. You should pay most of your attention here. Stand back and carefully look at the edges from a distant point of view. You should observe several aspects: The edges should be either in a perfectly straight line, or consistently "flowing" with the turns. The edges should be properly shaped, beveled, or tamped in a consistent looking 60 degree angle. The edges should be compacted properly without looking "squashed" from the top. Without these characteristics you will have problems later and it just doesn't look as good as it should.

· If you look at the job after a rainstorm, be sure there is no considerable ponding, or puddling of water. If you do see water spots you can quickly deduce if they are too deep by measuring them with a coin placed flat in the water. The water should not be deeper than the coin.

· Last but not least, if the driveway was paved recently look for trash or debris left behind. This will indicate the level of cleanliness the crew is at.

You should really focus on the importance of inspecting past jobs by the company before spending your own money on having your asphalt driveway paved. By printing out this guide you can take it with you to create a checklist to write notes and comparisons on. Once you have done this, talk to the home owner and ask how their experience was with the firm. If you are diligent about researching your contractors prior to hiring them, you nearly eliminate the chance of getting a bad asphalt driveway. It's your money, be sure it's well spent.

Certainly ask your contractor about asphalt prices. Since early 2008 prices have gone up and down every month (typically up). Most paving contractors will not absorb a price increase. You and your contractor need to be in agreement with what will happen in the case of rising material costs.

Since we are on the topic of price now, let's explore a few matters. There are a few ways of eliminating contractors before price. Be sure they are completely aware of your expectations. Have they presented you with a solution that gives you the absolute best return on investment? Does their reputation meet what you are looking for? If you have done your homework and still are lucky enough to have several contractors to choose from, price now becomes an important focus. Ask about available discounts. Typically, discounts are usually for cash payment, multiple jobs done at once (i.e. neighbor also needs a driveway), senior citizen, or repeat work. Also inquire about getting free or discounted maintenance packages once they have completed your driveway. Ask about including other options such as crack barrier or curbing at a lesser amount. Before asking a contractor to directly drop his price, be aware of several things. If you have found a very good contractor, chances are they are very passionate about their work and may feel a bit insulted if asked to match another company's price. If you ask them to match a price and they feel as though their competition is as good as they are, a price reduction might be made to try to satisfy you. Be very considerate when asking for a direct reduction. These days it's very expensive and stressful to operate a successful paving operation. The last thing you want to do is cause your contractor stress that may influence how your driveway is constructed.


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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Should I Sealcoat My Asphalt?


There is a saying that goes something like this "your asphalt should not be sealcoated because it needs to breath". I can't tell you how many times I heard this misinformed opinion in my travels as an asphalt maintenance contractor.

To the "nay sayers" benefit, I will acknowledge that there is some truth to the statement above. New asphalt should not be sealcoated in the first 90 days to 6 months. The reason is because new asphalt goes through a curing phase in which chemicals are released from the asphalt. A tell tale sign that asphalt is still going through this phase is that there should be a rainbowish hue to water when the asphalt is wet. This is the water and the chemicals still mixing.

After the curing process has completed, it is time to sealcoat your asphalt. If asphalt is not sealed it will oxidize and begin to fade. Have you ever noticed how the color of new asphalt changes from black to brown to grey to white? My friend, this is the direct effects of sun light, water, and other external conditions.

Only sealcoating will protect your asphalt from the degradation caused by oxidation. If asphalt becomes oxidized it now loses some of its' flexibility properties, which can result in cracking. Another major benefit of sealcoating is the protection from gasoline and oil. Unfortunately, gasoline, oil and the chemicals in the asphalt binder (holds the stone together) are all petroleum based products. Why should that matter? Well, being that these are from the same source in the earth, they have a natural tendency to bond together. The result of this bonding is the oil and gasoline deteriorates the asphalt binder. Once the asphalt binder is deteriorated that stone starts to release from the surface. Next time you visit a highly populated parking lot, take a notice to the condition of the asphalt that has been heavily soiled with oil.

So the next time someone tells you that you shouldn't sealcoat your asphalt, please point them to this article at ezine.com. If they choose to ignore you, let them deal with the high cost of replacing their asphalt or paying more for crack repair.


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Monday, May 23, 2016

Parking Lot Maintenance 101


Preventative parking lot maintenance is an ideal solution to control deterioration of a facilities parking area and protect a facilities investment. It's also the most cost-effective solution to maximize the life of the pavement while minimizing risk.

Keeping up with parking lot maintenance means as soon as a pavement first shows signs of wear and tear such as cracking and raveling, or deterioration of the pavement surface it is important to take the necessary steps to mitigate risk.

A commercial facilities parking area promotes a positive image of the company. It also improves curb appeal and protects your investment.

Some of the more common parking area maintenance services that commercial facility maintenance companies provide are:

· Seal coating helps protect asphalt from the harmful effects of the weather as well as petroleum-based products like gasoline and oil. Commercial grade coal-tar emulsion base sealer, which meets and exceeds RP-355e specifications, is idea.

· Striping a parking lot enables a facility to direct traffic safely and efficiently. Using latex striping paint will guarantee a professional look in which the sealer does not bleed through.

· Asphalt repairs are necessary over time as newly applied asphalt surfaces begin to wear and break down as they are repeatedly exposed to elements such as water, sunlight and chemicals. The liquid asphalt that binds the materials together begins to lose its natural resistance to water, allow it to penetrate beneath the surface. Once this occurs the pavement can quickly fall prey to a number of different types of deterioration including cracks and potholes. Asphalt pavement repairs and prevention will increase the longevity of any asphalt surface.

· Asphalt overlays are popular approaches to pavement preservation because of their ability to provide improved ride quality, maintain surface geometrics, reduce noise levels, reduce pavement distress, reduce life cycle costa and provide long-lasting service.

· Traffic coating protects wearing surfaces like concrete or plywood from vehicular and pedestrian traffic abrasion, and in the case of concrete, protection from freeze-thaw damage and chloride induced corrosion with its destructive force on reinforcing steel. Where decks are elevated, these coatings provide excellent waterproofing for the occupied space below.


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Friday, May 20, 2016

How to Keep Asphalt From Deteriorating: Sealcoating Your Paved Driveway or Parking Lot Can Help


When you're spending the money to have your driveway or parking lot professionally paved, you don't want the asphalt to deteriorate any sooner than necessary. Sealcoat the surface to protect your walking and driving areas from wear and tear.

Have you noticed cracks or holes forming in your asphalt driveway or parking lot, thanks to years of car and foot traffic? Or are you laying down new pavement and want to make it last as long as possible? Professional pavers employ a process known as sealcoating to lengthen the life of an asphalt surface. Sealcoating will not only make your driveway or parking lot more durable but will also help it maintain its clean, smooth look in the face of repeated use. Contact a paving contractor in your area to discuss whether sealcoating is right for your new or existing asphalt surface.

How It Works

As tough as it is, asphalt can be damaged by sun exposure, excessive rain, ice, and temperature changes. Years of gasoline and oil drippings from cars can also cause surface deterioration. Not only will deteriorating asphalt fade from a crisp black to an ugly gray, but it can also become rough and crack open-and water accumulating in pavement cracks or holes can lead to further damage. Sealcoating a pavement area approximately 60 days after the initial asphalt application will protect it from weather and car fluid damage in the years ahead, lengthening the overall life of your paving. Driveway sealer is composed of a coal-tar emulsion, sometimes fortified with rubber or silica sand for increased durability. A paving contractor will apply sealer either by brush or by spraying it over the area; the method may depend upon the size of the area to be sealed, or upon the individual contractor's preference.

Repair and Resealing

If you want to seal a driveway or parking lot that is several years old and has already begun to deteriorate, the paving contractor must first repair the damaged asphalt. This may involve filling any holes or cracks in the pavement, as well as smoothing out rough areas. It's also a good idea to clean up any oil stains before applying sealcoating, as once they're sealed in, those stains are permanent. In general, you should apply a new coat of driveway sealer every two to three years. Resealing and minor repairs will almost always be less expensive than having to completely replace the pavement.

Benefits

Having a sealed driveway or parking lot surface has benefits far beyond the money saved on re-paving. For starters, the smooth, sealed finish will be easier to clean than cracked, stained asphalt, enabling you to keep your property looking its best. Even more importantly, sealed pavement is safer to walk and drive on. Large cracks and holes can pose a tripping hazard for individuals of all ages. Meanwhile, brittle, deteriorating asphalt can form potholes, which can prove hazardous to drivers. Properly maintaining your driveway or parking lot area by sealcoating the asphalt will protect both your investment and the individuals who use the space. Contact a parking lot or driveway paving specialist near you to learn more about your sealcoating options.


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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Enjoy a Safe Driveway or Parking Lot by Hiring Expert Paving Contractors!


A safe parking lot or driveway is an essential first step to creating a welcoming atmosphere at any home or business. Prevent person injuries and property damage by hiring a professional paving contractor to perform effective, long-lasting pavement repairs, resurfacing, and more.

Potholed, crumbled, or cracked parking lots and driveways don't just give off a poor impression. They can deter customers from your business, create neighborhood eyesores, pose physical threats to people and vehicles, and even result in damage to your buildings due to poor drainage. If you have damaged pavement on your property or need a new parking lot or driveway, call your local paving contractors today. These professionals have the experience and know-how to provide you with attractive, safe craftsmanship that will serve you well for years to come.

How do paving contractors promote safety?

Correctable and preventable problems such as potholes, cracks, and dips can cause broken ankles, scraped knees, or worse. Your paving contractor is available to provide a variety of parking lot and driveway paving and repairs, such as filling in potholes, sealing cracks, installing block edges to prevent crumbling, and more. Replacement driveway or parking lot paving is also an option if your current pavement is irreparably damaged. These professionals will only use quality materials and tools to ensure a sleek look and continued performance season after season.

Your paving professional will begin by ensuring that the construction area is even and stable. Your terrain will be then be examined in order to determine the proper grade for your pavement. This encourages water to drain away from your property, which helps prevent water damage and puddles. The base stone will then be laid, bound with asphalt binder, and then sealed with a smooth top coat.
After proper pavement installation, your paving contractor can then provide additional safety features and services, including:

  • Sign installation and pavement painting - Arrows, signs, parking lines, and other accessories and details are essential for an orderly parking lot. These features help prevent accidents, distinguish handicap reserved spaces, and more!
  • Speed bumps - Discourage speeding on your property with strong, effective speed bumps.
  • Prevent vehicular damage - Potholes and other deterioration are often the culprit behind popped tires and damaged suspensions. Prompt driveway and parking lot repairs can protect cars as well as people.

Installing and servicing reliable driveways and parking lots comes from years of experience and expert knowledge. Using a professional paving company is necessary if you want to enjoy quality work that can stand up to time, traffic, and the elements. If you want to help prevent vehicle accidents, remove safety hazards, or just are sick of having grass grow in the cracks of your driveway, don't settle for amateur work. Call your local paving professionals today.


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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Is Your Parking Lot in Need of Repair? Call Vaca Vet Striping!

We understand the importance of quality asphalt maintenance and the importance of leaving a lasting impression to prospective tenants, home buyers, customers and the general public.

Vaca Vet Striping has over 30 years experience doing business as ACE Paving Company, with a General Engineering Class A Contractor's License #389714. We strive to provide quality work and great service at an affordable cost. V.V.S. provides services in Solano, Napa, Yolo and Sacramento counties. Our services include city, county, and state roads, highways, airports, commercial parking lots, driveways and racetracks.

Sealcoating - Striping - Crack Sealing - Asphalt Paving
Curb Painting - ADA Handicap - Pothole Repairs - Asphalt Overlay 


Before

After

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Strong Foundation For Any Pavement - Asphalt Paving


Most homes have driveways which would require durable pavement. At home, the residential infrastructures which include the drive way pavement can enhance the security, beauty and aesthetic appeal of the whole property. Many pavement contractors offer different kinds of paving services. These services include construction of driveways, parking areas, cubs as well as patching services.

Most homes are never complete without driveways. In America where most people are driving their own vehicles, the residential area requires a specific path for the cars or vans. Because of this necessity, paving had become an essential requirement under home construction. You can never ignore the need to pave your driveway.

Paving had made its importance be recognized in all sectors, be it residential, commercial or industrial. At home, the residential infrastructures which include the drive way pavement can enhance the security, beauty and aesthetic appeal of the whole property. It may not occur to you but then - the pavement contribute to the beautification of the building, not to mention the additional value. As driveways are usually found in the frontal area of most buildings, you will realize that aside from providing a space where the vehicle runs, this sort of pavement adds charm to the whole structure.

To accomplish the herculean task of rendering professional paving services, many contractors are now in this business. Many pavement contractors offer different kinds of paving services. These services include construction of driveways, parking areas, cubs as well as patching services.

On drive way foundation

Construction of drive ways is a very significant activity that is performed in residential, commercial and industrial establishments. Professional contractors will ensure that they have created beautiful, impressive, sturdy and rock solid pavements. These firms build the area with concrete or stone or asphalt and other materials. The choice of materials can be a decision of the building owner but in many cases, there are suggestions that the asphalt paving is more beneficial. Aside from the actual construction, these professionals also render cleaning, maintenance and repair services.

Building of parking areas and lots

A bigger contract for these professional asphalt or concrete pavers can involve huge parking areas and parking lots. As these areas will be used for more heavy duty activities, these are expected to be ultra sturdy. Thus, your efficient contractor is obligated to use only the finest and highest quality materials. The goal is for the longevity of the parking area and this can only be done by reliable contracting companies.

Curb construction and repair

Your curb can affect the look of your residence or commercial establishment. Damaged curb can be an eyesore that will repel customers for commercial establishment customers. The effect is the same for residential buildings - where people will hardly appreciate the beauty and fa├žade of your home when you curb is damaged.

Patching Services

Another service rendered by the paving contractors is patching service. These patching services can be construction or repair of parks, speed bumps, curbs and even parking areas, driveways and walkways. Topnotch professional paving service providers can offer high quality repairs and patching techniques that can restore the durability and quality of the park, bump, curb, parking area, walkway and driveway.

Look around your property and check if there are any pavements that need repair. Or perhaps, there is a sparse area to be paved and done with. And before you accomplish the contract, be sure that you have evaluated the kind of pavement that is needed. And have you ever compared asphalt paving to other materials? Remember that for many property owners who ever had used asphalt paving attest to the durability, beauty and cost effectiveness of this material.


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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Asphalt Installation - Understand the Process Before You Choose a Paving Company


If you're thinking about getting asphalt installed, either as a driveway or something else, knowing how it's installed is important. Not only will it help you know what to expect during the installation, but you will understand where your hard earned money is going. Here is some information on asphalt installation to help you understand the process before you choose a paving company.

The Stone Layer

Typically, asphalt installation begins with the company putting down a layer of stone or gravel. Many contractors use crushed gravel as it is the least expensive base to use for the asphalt. If you want the best sort of underlay for your asphalt, you can request a larger stone - however, be prepared as it may cost you more. Once the stone layer has been put in, the contractor will move on to the pouring the asphalt.

Pouring the Asphalt

Generally, after the stone has been selected and placed where it is needed, the contractors will pour the asphalt. You may notice that the gravel extends a few inches past where the asphalt is poured. This is good - if the asphalt made it to the sides of the gravel to the dirt or grass, it can easily break off at the sides as there is nothing supporting it. This will make your driveway look terrible!

Leveling

After the asphalt is poured, you will notice your contractor using a machine to straighten or level the surface of the driveway. This is to make sure everything is perfectly level and that there are no bumps or areas that are higher or lower than the rest of the asphalt. When this is finished, your asphalt only needs to cool and set up and you will have a brand new driveway. The time it takes to finish your driveway depends on how large it is and many other variables. Your contractor will discuss this with you before the job is started.


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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Why Paving Contractors Choose Asphalt



Among the available materials for paving roads and driveways, asphalt has been the choice of many paving contractor for the many advantages it has over other materials like concrete. There are a lot of asphalt solutions for urban, suburban or rural roads that can greatly be useful in coping with the stresses of heavy traffic.

The advantage of asphalt starts from its being cost-efficient. It is usually about 30 to 40 percent cheaper than concrete. Cost is an important factor in any project, of course for a project to push through the total costing must fit within the client's budget.

Next, the laying of asphalt only takes 1 to 2 days to complete whereas concrete takes several days longer. There is also a big difference in the time of usability of asphalt and concrete. Asphalt paving can already be used after 2 to 4 days depending on the time of year when the paving is laid, for example it cures or hardens faster in the Spring and Fall and takes longer in the Summer as the summer heat causes it to melt, while concrete paving may only be used after 7 days after it is placed. Concrete may takes less time to harden if a high early mix which is quite expensive.

General road maintenance is important to lengthen the life of the road structure that is why paving contractors prefer asphalt over concrete. When repair and maintenance is needed, asphalt can be easily opened and can be placed back quickly thereby the flow of traffic is not affected. It is also significantly cheaper in contrast to the cost of the material used in concrete which is higher.

When it comes to spalling, asphalt unlike concrete does not flake on the surface. The flaking of the concrete is primarily caused by the improper setting up of the material, too much water that is mixed in the concrete and the salt that is added to it.

Cracking is also a big issue for paving contractors. While concrete needs central joints to prevent it from cracking, asphalt is highly flexible which means that the pavement is less likely to split up or break. Also, asphalt is 100% recyclable thus using it instead of concrete may preserve non-renewable natural resources.

Noise both on the inside and outside of the vehicle can be greatly reduced when asphalt is used for paving. In fact, among all the traditional road surfaces asphalt roads have been proven to have the lowest noise level. What's more the recent development of porous asphalts has reduced the noise level even further.

Paving contractors has favored the use of asphalt for the past years for so many reasons which include like its higher level of skid resistance and versatility that have all been proven to contribute to the safety of the our roads. And with the continuing improvements in asphalt paving, it will remain the material of choice of many paving contractors for the years to come.


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Monday, May 2, 2016

Parking Lot Striping Makes a Good First Impression


Your parking lot is one of the first things that customers, clients, and visitors see when they enter your facility. The color contrast of a freshly striped lot is attractive and gives the impression that the property owner cares about maintenance.

A well-striped parking area guides people around the lot safely. Crosswalks, loading-zone markings, stop bars, and properly marked pickup areas for customers or vehicle boarding, let pedestrians know where they should walk, when to give right-of-way to traffic, and areas to avoid.

To help preserve or improve the flow of traffic on a parking lot, a professional striping contractor will re-stripe or lay out new markings based on the customer's blueprints or their own design.

Maximize Space!

As a property owner you know that your parking lot is very valuable, usually comprising at least half of your square footage. A Professional Striping Contractor focuses on getting as many cars as possible into your lot to maintain cost-effectiveness. Brand new striping and the right layout will help meet this goal.

Re-striping should be done every one to two years; depending on the amount of traffic and wear and tear from weather and other factors. The process is simple, but must be done by a professional striping contractor for the best results.

First, the empty parking lot must be cleaned and checked for any major damage such as cracks, potholes or sunken areas. A good striping contractor will also check for water damage. Next, chalk lines will be used to ensure the final painted lines will be clean and straight.

The lines have to be as bright as possible. Not only for people who will be parking, but striping also serves to direct lot traffic to ensure safety of drivers and pedestrians. Drivers must easily see where they are supposed to go at all times. Also, having bright yellow speed bumps on your lot, makes it safer for pedestrians as well as drivers.

Generally, the number of parking spaces on the lot is used to determine how many handicapped spaces are required by law. Proper signs must also be displayed on the parking lot as well. Crosswalks, loading zones, and pick-up and drop-off areas should be bright and clear.

A professional striping contractor uses high quality paint and a walk behind style striping machine. The quality of the paint ensures greater life expectancy of the clean look and the striping machine gets the painted lines to be approximately 6 millimeters when dry.

That brings us to the final stage of striping. Barricades are used to keep other drivers from entering the parking lot until it is completely dry. The lines cannot be driven on until the paint has had time to fully dry (at-least 30 minutes).

Striping is a great way to keep a parking lot looking new and professional. Customers always appreciate a well designed and striped parking area. It's the first thing they see when visiting your property, so you want to create a positive overall first impression.


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