WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING A TYPICAL OVERLAY?
- Cleaning the existing parking lot of any loose gravel, dirt, grass, or other debris.
- Repairing any areas where the existing base may have failed.
- Leveling of areas where the existing base has not failed, but where the surface may be damaged or holding water.
- Installation of a tack coat.
- Installation of the new asphalt surface.
CAN MY BUSINESS REMAIN OPEN DURING CONSTRUCTION?
In most cases yes, however, the primary determinants are the size of the parking lot and the number of available parking spaces. We work with property mangers and business owners on a daily basis and fully understand the importance of maintaining operations. We have paved fast food establishments, convenience stores, nursing homes, and one of the busiest post offices in Baton Rouge all without interrupting service. Please, give us a call and we will be more than happy to discuss possible alternatives to fit your needs.
WHEN CAN I PARK ON THE NEW ASPHALT SURFACE?
Typically one can park on the new asphalt surface the following day. However this may change depending on the time of year and thickness of the asphalt. We recommend that you consult your paving professional before allowing vehicles to park or drive on the new asphalt surface.
WHAT IS HOT PLANT MIX ASPHALT (HPMA)?
Asphalt is a mix of aggregate (crushed stone, limestone, gravel, sand etc…) and asphalt cement (a refined petroleum product). The aggregate and asphalt cement is mixed and heated to approximately 300 degrees at a local asphalt plant where it is loaded in trucks for delivery to the job site.
WHAT IS A TACK COAT?
A tack coat is often referred to as “Fresh Oil”. This is the “Glue” which bonds the new asphalt surface to the existing asphalt or concrete surface. It consists of emulsified asphalt and water, is a brownish black color and is very sticky.
WILL TACK OR “FRESH OIL” HURT MY VEHICLE AND HOW DO I REMOVE IT?
Tack will not hurt your vehicle and can be removed with a “Bug and Tar Remover” available at most auto part stores.
WHAT IS A PRIME COAT?
A prime coat is used primarily during new construction. Like a tack coat, a prime coat acts as the “Glue” which bonds the new asphalt to the new base. However unlike tack, prime also acts as a moisture barrier to prevent moisture from penetrating into and weakening the new base as well as preventing moisture from escaping from the new base, once optimal moisture and compaction is achieved.
WHAT KIND OF BASE DOES ASPHALT REQUIRE?
Asphalt is only as good as the base on which it is placed. Asphalt is considered a flexible pavement and alone has minimal strength. We recommend either a soil cement base or a 610 limestone base. Gravel, due to its tendency to slide and dirt, due to its tendency to turn to mud are not considered acceptable bases.
WHAT IS LIME STABILIZATION?
Lime stabilization is the process used to precondition heavy clay soils for soil cement stabilization or as a base for concrete paving. Lime is spread on the surface of the soil at a rate determined by a testing lab and mixed into the soil using a soil stabilizer (basically a large garden tiller). The soil is repeatedly mixed until it breaks down to a point where it can be adequately compacted.
WHAT IS SOIL CEMENT STABILIZATION?
Soil Cement stabilization is the process used to create a soil cement base. Soil cement is basically a weak concrete which is created by mixing the existing dirt, portland cement, and water. The portland cement is spread on the surface of the prepared soil at a rate determined by a testing lab, and is then mixed with the soil and water. The resulting mixture is then compacted and allowed to cure. The result is a weak concrete, created using dirt, rather than sand and gravel found in typical concrete mixes. The majority of the asphalt streets in the Baton Rouge area are constructed with a soil cement base.
SHOULD I USE LIMESTONE OR SOIL CEMENT FOR A BASE?
Both are excellent bases for asphalt paving. However, there are several key factors which need to be considered when deciding on the best base for your needs. Several key factors include the existing soil conditions, the amount of fill required, structural and engineering requirements, and the size of the area to be paved.
HOW THICK DOES THE BASE NEED TO BE?
The base thickness will depend greatly on the intended use of the surface. For example, a highway will need a thicker base than a church parking lot. A typical asphalt base can range anywhere from six to twelve inches thick.
HOW THICK DOES THE ASPHALT NEED TO BE?
This again will depend on the intended use of the surface. A typical parking lot overlay is 1 ½ inches thick, while typical new construction is 2 to 4 inches thick. Asphalt thickness can vary throughout a single parking lot depending on the intended use of certain areas. For example parking bays may be one thickness, drives another thickness and the truck loading dock yet another thickness.
DO YOU EVER HAVE “LEFTOVER” OR “EXTRA” ASPHALT?
Seldom do we have “Leftover” or “Extra” asphalt. A reputable contractor can usually estimate a job to within 1 to 2 tons. If we do have “Leftover” asphalt it is usually to cold to be considered usable. If someone knocks on your door and offers you “Leftover” asphalt be VERY suspicious of a scam
WHAT TYPE OF MAINTENANCE IS REQUIRED?
There are three basic maintenance items required to insure that you get the most out of your new asphalt surface.
- Keep the parking lot swept and clean of loose gravel. Every time a vehicle twist and turns on loose gravel it creates a sand paper effect which causes more aggregate to break loose and further deteriorate the asphalt surface.
- Keep cracks filled with an asphalt crack sealer. Moisture is the number one cause of base failures and anything that can be done to prevent water from percolating to the base will extend the life of the asphalt.
- Apply an asphalt seal coat to the entire parking lot every few years to seal any small cracks, reduce the sun’s damaging oxidation effect, and to protect the asphalt from any automobile fluids which may drip on the asphalt surface.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “LEVELING” AND “REPAIRING” A POTHOLE?
Leveling a pothole is just that, the pothole is filled with asphalt and leveled to finish flush with the existing surface. In cases where the base has not failed this is usually all that is required. In cases where the base has failed leveling is often used to provide a temporary patch, however the area will continue to fail because the underlying base failure has not been corrected.
Repairing a pothole is when the underlying base failure is corrected. Repairs usually consist of excavating the area to stable ground (typically 6 to 8 inches) and filling the area with full depth hot plant mix asphalt. The asphalt is placed in two lifts, compacting the first before placing the second and then finishing flush with the existing surface.
WHAT IS “REFLECTIVE CRACKING”?
Reflective cracking occurs when cracks or joints in the underlying surface or base reflect through to the new asphalt surface. In most cases reflective cracking should not be a concern, however, they should be filled with an asphalt crack sealer to prevent any moisture from penetrating to the base. Reflective cracking is most obvious when a concrete parking lot is overlaid. Since asphalt does not prevent the natural expansion and contraction of concrete joints and stress fractures will eventually reflect through to the new asphalt surface. There are several products on the market which have been developed to help minimize reflective cracking, and we would be more than happy to discuss them with you.