Category Archives: Driveway Care

What Causes Concrete To Crack?

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A freshly poured concrete slab can be a beautiful sight to see. When cracks begin to mar the smooth surface, the aesthetic value may take a big plunge. In addition, excessive cracks can make the pavement unstable and hazardous. Knowing the causes behind cement cracks may help you avoid them the next time you have your slab redone.

Temperature Fluctuations and Concrete

Most concrete surfaces are laid outside, which leaves them vulnerable to weather influences. Conditions of high heat and humidity can cause the material to expand. Cracks form when the surface has nowhere else to go. On the opposite end of the spectrum, cool, dry air can cause what’s called plastic shrinkage. The contraction of the cement results in breakage.

You may have cracked concrete if the weather was below freezing when the pavement was originally poured. For optimum results, you should avoid having concrete installed in cold weather conditions.

Installation Errors while Laying Concrete

Pouring concrete is a science; there are various conditions that may cause the surface to break if not handled properly. There are three stages in the process where mistakes may occur:

  • Prepping
  • Mixing
  • Drying
    • Because it’s impossible to control expansion and contraction from weather and air conditions, cracking may be inevitable. To prevent the fractures from appearing in random, unappealing places, your cement expert should install control joints prior to pouring the pavement. This encourages the concrete to split in inconspicuous locations.

      Excess moisture or improper temperatures during the mixing phase can lead to an unstable end product. Additionally, if the surface is dried too quickly, cracks may form as a result.

      Improper installation can doom your pavement before you’ve even had a chance to enjoy it. Our team at All County Construction is well-trained to avoid mistakes like these during your installation process.

      Weight Burdens on Pavement

      Not all concrete is designed to support all weight limits. There’s a difference between a sidewalk intended for pedestrians, bicycles, and strollers versus a parking lot that must support several vehicles at once. Overloading the surface can lead to excess pressure, causing the pavement to crack.

      Adjustments can be made during the preparation of the cement to strengthen its load capacity. Make sure your installation team is well aware of your weight requirements before the job begins.

      Let All County Construction assist you in your upcoming cement project. Our professional team gets the job done right the first time and accounts for all aspects specific to your personal needs. Request your free estimate to begin your concrete job as soon as possible.

The Good and Bad Sides of Salting Your Pavement This Winter.

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Temperatures have dropped, which means that another cold Upstate New York winter is here. When snow and ice start blowing in from Lake Ontario, it’s only a matter of time before roadways and parking lots become un-drivable, which is why many municipalities and business owners treat the asphalt with salt. If you’re responsible for the upkeep of a parking lot, you might be wondering if you should consider salting your pavement before the first flakes fall. Here’s a look at the bad and good sides of this technique so you can make an informed decision.

 

How Salt Works

 

Road salt is a compound known as halite, which is the unrefined form of the seasoning you have on your dinner table. When dissolved in water, it lowers the liquid’s freezing temperature, which means it needs to be much colder to create ice. By spraying a mixture of water and halite on pavement, you can prevent it from freezing over and creating dangerous conditions.

 

The Benefits of Salting

The application of rock salt is one of the most common anti-icing techniques used today, as it provides a number of distinct benefits:

  • Road salt is extremely affordable when compared with other chemical agents.
  • Halite does not cause asphalt deterioration or potholes.
  • Salts can be laid down in a brine solution before the storm arrives, which allows workers to be proactive.

Drawbacks of Salt Application

While there are many benefits that come with salting, it’s important to understand that halite has its limitations and negative consequences:

  • Unlike asphalt, concrete surfaces will deteriorate due to the salt’s acidity.
  • Salt loses its effectiveness if the temperature is too cold or the surface freezes quickly, as it requires liquid water to work properly.
  • Chemical runoff from road salt can have a negative impact on plants, animals, and underground aquifers.
  • Prolonged exposure to halite can cause vehicles to rust prematurely.

Make the Right Choice

Now you know about the pros and cons of salting your pavement, you’ll be better prepared to make the decision on how to stay safe this winter. No matter if you choose to salt your parking lot or use another technique, you could still end up with potholes and other damage from Mother Nature’s wrath.

When it’s time to repair damages or completely repave your driveway or parking lot, turn to the experts at All County Construction.

 

To schedule an appointment for a free estimate, contact us online or call our office at 315-589-8661 today.

Caring for Your Concrete Driveway in the Winter Months

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Plummeting temperatures will soon be upon us, and you need to take measures to protect the concrete driveway for your residential or commercial property. Here are a few solid tips on maintaining the structure of your driveway this winter season.

Respond to Stains As Quickly As Possible

We understand that a stain on your driveway isn’t the end of the world, but stains of grease, oil, gasoline, and other such liquids can be unsightly, and allowing them to linger can ruin the overall image of your company’s exterior. If you’re a homeowner, a stained driveway can negatively impact your home’s resale value and its visual aesthetic, too. Take care of spills and drips with a pressure washer, degreaser, or even dishwasher detergent and a quality brush.

Seal Your Driveway

To get as much use out of your concrete driveway as possible, look into sealing it. We recommend sealing your driveway every two years. However, you should consider the overall climate as well as how much you use your driveway to evaluate how often you should seal your driveway. If you want to enjoy the best results, have a professional take care of the sealing and resealing.

Refrain From Using De-icers on Your Driveway

Before you use de-icing chemicals to get rid of snow and ice on your driveway, know that they can damage concrete. Ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate are especially harmful because they eat their way into concrete. While you can use calcium chloride or rock salt as an alternative, there’s a chance you can accidentally harm nearby plants by doing so. Your best bet is to keep things simple and sprinkle sand so wheels have the proper traction required to move over the concrete.

Take It Easy

Concrete is a pretty durable material, which means it should be able to stand up to significant damage, right? The truth is you shouldn’t subject concrete to more damage or wear than absolutely necessary. This is especially true for fresher concrete. Large and heavy vehicles, like those used for moving or construction, can harm concrete driveways for residential properties.

For more tips on taking great care of your concrete driveway, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at All County Paving. We are also ready to accept requests for driveway sealing or paving for the warmer months. Contact us or give us a call at 315-589-8661.

What Causes Asphalt Paving to Deteriorate?

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Have you ever wondered why most government-sponsored road construction involves asphalt paving? The simple answer is that the material has a reputation of being one of the most durable solutions to building roadways to last and withstand daily use.

Even so, improper installation can sometimes thwart the best-laid plans, and the wear and tear of environmental conditions over time has an impact on even the toughest substances.

Mistakes Made in Asphalt Construction.

Asphalt pavement can last a long time if proper steps are taken to prepare the space and correctly lay the materials.

 

During this process, a number of mistakes can be made that would affect the longevity of the road :

  • The base underneath the pavement is not compacted appropriately.
  • There is poor drainage to protect the surface from water exposure.
  • The temperature of the asphalt is not compatible with the application.
  • Compaction is overdone or underdone when the asphalt is laid.

Any combination of these scenarios would yield less than desirable results for the lifespan of a newly paved road. It’s important that the asphalt is installed and maintained properly to avoid premature deterioration when exposed to the elements.

 

Typical Ways Asphalt Pavement Deteriorates

It’s completely natural for asphalt paving to weaken over time. Sunlight, rainwater, and the chemicals associated with vehicles that use the roadway all compound to break down the binding agent within the material and allow penetration of moisture, both from the surface and beneath the road. In just a few years, visible decline in the condition of the pavement can occur, especially when it has not been well cared for as smaller issues arise.

 

  • Distortion of the roadway Occurs with poor construction, which creates ruts and depressions, among other issues, in the foundation and the surface.
  • Cracking of the asphalt Can happen both due to installation errors as well as natural and man-made erosion, including the yearly freezing and thawing of the material.
  • Disintegration, such as potholes – Develops due to exposure to water, as well as spills of oil and gasoline onto the road by passing vehicles.

Solutions for Proper Installation and Repair

It is imperative to properly seal asphalt pavement within months of its installation to avoid major deterioration that shortens the expected lifetime of the road. Before sealant can be considered, however, the initial preparations of the ground and construction of the pavement surface must be handled with care by experienced professionals.

Contact us today to let All County Construction handle any asphalt paving and repair needs, so you can be sure the job is done right.