FAQ Paving and Sealcoating
FAQ (Informational Purposes Only)
FAQ (Informational Purposes Only)
Q: What services are offered?
A: Asphalt Paving, New Parking Lot Paving, New Driveway Paving, Grading, Milling, Excavating, Landscaping, Crack Joint Sealing, Asphalt Seal Coating, Striping and Trucking, etc,. See our Services Page as well for more detail.
Q: What is Hot Mix Asphalt?
A: Also known as blacktop - known in our industry as asphalt pavement or hot mix pavement. Asphalt is an engineered mixture of aggregates. There are two basic ingredients in hot mix asphalt. The first is the aggregates (crushed stone, gravel and sand) and the second is asphalt cement (AC) - the black liquid that holds the pavement together. Mix the two ingredients and you get Hot Mix Asphalt.
Q: What is the difference between Binder and Topcoat?
A: Binder (also known as basecoat) and Topcoat are types of asphalt paving material, made from hot asphalt cement and aggregate. Depending on the specified use the percentages and sizes of aggregate vary. Typically a “Binder” Course also known as the load bearing coarse contains mostly 3/4” aggregate (The stone in the asphalt is larger), and is applied first at a thickness, depending on the application. “Finish” or “Top” coat contains mainly 3/8” Aggregate (the smooth topcoat that you see on most asphalt surfaces) for a smoother finish and is applied over the binder; its thickness is engineered, dependent on job specs.
Q: How soon can I drive on my new driveway?
A: We generally recommend that you wait 48 hours before driving on a new driveway; however the duration does vary depending on the time of year, how much sunlight your driveway is exposed to, as well as other factors.
Q: How long does a new asphalt driveway take to cure?
A: In order for driveway to fully harden the Asphalt Cement needs to cure. This typically takes about a year. During the first year your new driveway may be come soft or tender on very warm days. This is normal. Care should be used on these days. For example don’t turn the steering wheel of a car without the car moving, also be aware that a jack stand, or even a bicycle kickstand could make an impression.
Q: Why do some parts of my driveway have a slightly different texture?
A: Most driveways are paved by a paving machine. However due to the size of the paving machine certain areas such as in front of garages, walkways or along walls are spread and raked by hand. These areas may have a slightly different texture as a result of hand tools. This is normal and as the driveway ages, these areas will become less noticeable.
Q: What equipment is used to install hot mix asphalt?
A: A few examples are as followed: A milling machine is typically used to remove the surface material of existing pavement and the area is cleaned of loose debris on an overlay project. Distributor tanks are used to apply prime coats and/or tack coats. Dump trucks are used to transport hot mix asphalt material from the plant to the paving site and a heavy duty machine paver is used to pave a smooth pre-compacted mat. Then asphalt compactors/rollers with a vibration, are used to densify the material.
Q: What is a prime coat and what is its purpose?
A: Prime coat is an application of low viscosity asphalt to a stone base course in preparation to asphalt pavement.
The prime coat is used to harden the base course and to provide adhesion between the base course and the asphalt pavement.
Q: Why is a tack coat needed?
A: A tack coat is used on an overlay/resurface project, it is used to form a bond between an existing surface and the overlying course.
Q: What is an overlay?
A: An overlay is the resurfacing of existing pavement. Existing asphalt or concrete pavements can be overlaid with hot mix asphalt with excellent results. Before paving, existing pavement should be checked for any repairs needed, cleaned of all loose debris and tacked for successful adhesion.
Q: How thick do you lay the asphalt?
A: Asphalt thickness is engineered. Asphalt is generally 2-3" thick, however it can be as thick as 4"+ depending on what kind of stresses you will put on the pavement. Pavement that is 3+" or thicker should be installed in multiple lifts/layers. (If your job is a "Spec Job", we must follow plans/specs.)
Q: Is asphalt less expensive than concrete?
A: There have been numerous studies which have shown that asphalt pavements have a lower life cycle cost. The initial cost of asphalt pavement construction is usually less than concrete. But, in addition to construction cost, an increasingly important factor is construction time. More area can be covered with asphalt pavement than with concrete in a period of time. Also, asphalt repairs are less expensive.
Q: What are the advantages of asphalt over concrete?
A: Asphalt is more cost effective than concrete, also less expensive to repair. It usually does not need to be removed, it can easily be resurfaced. Asphalt is designed to flex with slight settlements. See our asphalt paving advantages page.
Q: Is asphalt pavement high maintenance?
A: All pavements require maintenance. Preventive maintenance is the less expensive, early detection and repair of minor defects, before major corrective action is necessary. A parking lot is an investment, as is a building, just as a building must be maintained, so must a parking lot/area.
Q: Why should asphalt pavement be sealed?
A: Asphalt is a porous material, susceptible to oxidation from the sun and damage from water penetrating beneath the surface of the asphalt. Also chemicals such as gasoline, diesel fuel, oil, antifreeze and even salt. Asphalt pavement will also ravel away after time. Seal coating not only makes your pavement look new, it protects it from oxidation as well as petroleum spills. Seal coating extends the life and protects your investment in your new pavement.
General Blacktop Paving, LLC
Northeastern Pennsylvania & North Jersey
Main Office: (570) 420-9299
South Florida: (561) 242-9800
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