Paving Blog | Rochester NY | All County Construction

What Causes Concrete To Crack?

By | Driveway Care | No Comments

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.

How to Decide If Stamped Concrete or Paver Bricks Are Best for You

By | Commercial Paving, Stamped Concrete | No Comments

It’s not every day that you go shopping for a driveway, patio or walkway. You’ve seen stamped concrete and paver bricks. You have no idea how to choose between them. The one fact you do know is that you will live with the choice for a long time.
Start with what you know. There are boring natural-color grooved pavement slabs everywhere. You’ve seen decorative paver bricks on walkways, patios and driveways. Sometimes you see them on city streets.

You are looking for a surface that is beautiful, durable and affordable. This comparison will help you choose between stamped concrete surfaces and paver bricks.

Your New Surface Must Be Beautiful and Stay That Way

When you are out, take a close look at all the paver and natural stone surfaces you encounter. You may get a surprise. You will discover that many of those are stamped pavement rather than separate, assembled bricks. Pavers no longer corner the market on beauty.

Paver bricks come in a wide variety of patterns and colors. You can create any design you wish with the available shapes and colors. Stamped surfaces can create the same color and pattern effects as paver bricks. Also, they can imitate the randomness of shape and color that one gets from natural stone. Cobblestone and flagstone patterns are two common choices.

The durability of the Appearance is What Counts Most

How your surface looks depends on its installation and subsequent care. Broken or missing sections, puddles, uneven surfaces and weeds detract from its beauty.
Paver bricks are very durable, though a lot of that depends on site preparation. Weeds between the pavers detract from the look unless you think it adds character.
Stamped surfaces are also durable but can crack in time. However, control joints can invite a section to fracture someplace out of sight.

Nothing Else Matters If It Is Not Affordable

Whenever making a large purchase, the final decision often hinges on the cost. If you get bids for paver bricks and stamped concrete surfaces, expect the cost difference to be significant. Several factors contribute to these. Paver brick installation is labor-intensive.

Proper site preparation starts with excavation and a concrete border. Next come layers of fabric, Class II Road Base and sand. Finally, workers install the paver bricks on the sand.
Stamped surfaces require somewhat less labor, excavation and bed preparation. Most of the effort comes from stamping and giving it the expected look.

It’s Time to Have the Pavement You Always Wanted

All County Construction is ready to help. We can exceed all your residential and commercial pavement requirements. Contact us today for a free estimate using our online contact form.

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

By | Driveway Care | No Comments

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

By | Driveway Care | No Comments

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.

Common Damages to Stamped Concrete

By | Uncategorized | No Comments
Stamped concrete is a wonderful way to brighten any patio, walkway, or driveway, but many factors can cause imperfections in your stamped concrete. Usually, the best way to repair a stamped concrete imperfection is to prevent it in the first place through expert installation, but natural wear and tear can distort even the best-laid concrete.
— At All County, we’ve seen how stamped concrete can deteriorate. This post outlines some of the most common damages we’ve encountered.

 

Puddling

Over time, some areas of the concrete may form a depression. Water can collect in this dip in what professionals refer to as a “bird bath.”
This most often happens during the installation process when contractors step on the concrete before it hardens. The experts at All County know what precautions to take during the installation to ensure no puddling develops.

Shallow Impressions

This issue is specific to stamped concrete because it is decorative in nature. Ideally, you want deep impressions within the concrete that allow you to see each individual stone. However, due to a variety of reasons, the concrete can become too hard too fast, which does not allow the embedding to show.
Workers may be able to correct this problem simply by creating the grout lines by hand, but at All County, we have a preventive approach to this issue.

Ridges

When two stamp mats come together, some of the soft concrete can come between them. This is a normal process, and workers will be able to smooth everything out at the end. However, in the event the workers fail to smooth out the area, you will be left with a ridge between the two mats. It is vital to correct this problem promptly because homeowners can be seriously hurt if they step on the ridge barefoot.

Cracks

This problem happens with all kinds of concrete. At one point or another, your concrete can crack even if the installation went perfectly.
Ideally, the team you hire will incorporate control joints into the concrete. Since it is an inevitability that the concrete will crack over time, the workers will direct it to crack in a space that is not visible. For stamped concrete, the team will use a power saw to cut between the spaces. This allows the concrete to crack beneath the surface, ensuring it looks better for longer. Some people worry about water getting into the cracks, but this problem does not usually cause any major damages.

 

Prevent All This With the Right Team

The professionals at All County Construction are proficient at installing stamped concrete and are skilled with handling random flagstone, grand ashlar slate, and London cobble. With our team, you can be confident that you will not have to worry about the most common types of damage occurring with your new concrete any time soon. Contact us today to learn more.

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.

parking lot paving

6 Reasons Why Asphalt Milling Is Preferred for a Parking Lot

By | Parking Lot Paving | No Comments

There are many reasons why commercial property owners prefer asphalt for their parking lots. You can speak to our experts about the finer details of the process, but here are some of the general benefits you get when asphalt milling is done to prepare your parking lot for newer materials.  

1.) You Increase the Property’s Value

Since the parking lot is the first thing most customers will see about your business, you want to make a great first impression. Asphalt is resilient, and it increases the overall property value by up to five percent. Read More