Paving Blog | Rochester NY | All County Construction

Asphalt Paving is Both Inviting and Attractive

By | Driveway Paving | No Comments

Your driveway represents the welcome you want to convey to visitors, passersby or prospective buyers in the event of a sale. With asphalt paving, you have the opportunity to boost curb appeal, increase the property value, and make the best impression. Typically, asphalt is less expensive than concrete or other materials.

Advantages of Asphalt Versus Concrete

Asphalt has certain advantages over other surfacing materials. Composed of a mixture of aggregate and petroleum-based liquid cement, asphalt is mixed and placed while it is at least 300 degrees F. With asphalt, it must be applied quickly depending upon the thickness, the outdoor temperature and the season.

Favorable characteristics of asphalt include:

  • Fast set – hardens by cooling rather than curing
  • Strength and durability – less susceptible to salting in winter and able to withstand fluctuations in temperature
  • Flexibility – has flex and give to withstand settling without cracking or breaking
  • Smooth and continuous surfacing – due to flexibility, needs no spacers to allow for expansion or contraction
  • Easily resurfaced – asphalt is easily resurfaced as a DIY project using driveway sealant. You cannot achieve this same convenient resurfacing with concrete.
  • Aesthetics – special asphalt formulations may be colored and imprinted to replicate pavers

Hiring Commercial Paving Companies

Your due diligence is best performed by vetting commercial paving companies before you settle on a contractor. Verify their qualifications by checking references on such criteria as quality of work, timely performance, attention to detail and completion of work. Request evidence of adequate liability coverage and trade association.

A paving company will expect you to obtain competing bids and to get references. Once you have decided on a contractor, expect to see the particulars noted in writing including:

  • Responsibility for grading work
  • Accuracy
  • Compacting of sub-grade and base
  • Measuring compacted thickness
  • Pavement slope and smoothness
  • Payment schedule
  • Guarantee of finished work

Other Areas Considerations for Paving

Some details should remain front of mind as the work on your asphalt paving is done. Due to the surface height, you may need to check your gates for clearance and have foreknowledge of who is responsible for re-hanging as needed. Be prepared to raise any water valves or sewer lines to meet the surrounding asphalt. Ensure surface drainage is addressed properly to prevent ponding or standing water issues on the finished surface.

With the numerous areas of concern such as air and surface temperature, time available for compaction and lift thickness, you are better off initiating contact with a reputable paving company yourself. The unscrupulous fly-by-night visitors who show up unannounced do not have your best interests in mind. Trust your evaluation based upon the proof that can be provided for you to check up on. Too much is contingent upon doing the job right the first time and having the ability to contact the contractor in the event of recourse.

Maintain Drainage and Pavement Quality With Proper Excavation

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If you’re planning a commercial paving project, choosing a paving company with the right excavation expertise is essential. A residential paving project may also require excavating services, depending on the requirements. Adding pavement to your property will affect drainage, which may require digging new trench drains or ditches.

Proper Excavation is the Key to Successful Commercial Paving

Paving services for commercial projects are often selected based on price, but we believe you should consider the long-term value of getting the job done right the first time. Existing pavement may have structural issues because the site was never prepared properly, and it may benefit you to have it completely dug up and done again. Your paving company must take into account the subbase and subsoil conditions when paving, and proper drainage is critical to making your pavement last.

 

Improper grading may also make water flow in unwanted directions, damage vehicles by directing them into steep approach angles, and restrict visibility. If your parking lot is excessively uneven or steep, excavation and filling can make it more level. 

 

A freshly paved and striped parking lot improves the appearance of your business and maximizes your traffic flow and parking capabilities. Your visitors, clients, and employees are safer when the pavement is smooth. Stop lines and crosswalks that are clearly marked also contribute to safety and good traffic flow.

 

Residential Paving May Also Require Some Digging 

A residential paving job may be smaller in scale and lower in traffic, but that doesn’t mean you can take it lightly. Heavy trucks will drive on the pavement from time to time, such as delivery vans and moving vans. Pavement should be rated for the maximum weight that you anticipate driving on the property. 

 

Weather and drainage also play as much of a role in damaging asphalt as the weight of traffic. Drainage on residential lots is sometimes inadequate even before paving is done. Creating channels for rainwater to move away from parking and driveways is necessary to avoid damage to buildings such as your home.

 

Excavation will ensure that rainwater is directed away from buildings on your lot. If you pave a pool deck, for example, drainage around your house is affected. Excavating a trench drain can save your house from severe water damage that can occur even with relatively minor rainfall. 

 

Commercial paving and residential paving increase the value, curb appeal, and usefulness of your property. Paying proper attention to the excavation needs of your project will ensure that you don’t have drainage problems and the new pavement has a long life.

What Is Reclaimed Asphalt Paving?

By | Commercial Paving, Driveway Paving | No Comments

Going green is more than just a trend; it’s an important focus on being more conscious of choices that affect the environment and leaving the world better for the next generation. While you may associate such an attitude with certain people and industries, it’s just as alive in the asphalt business as anywhere else. Producing and using reclaimed asphalt paving is just one example of how All County Construction is doing our part in practicing environmental responsibility.

Why Reclaim Asphalt?

Asphalt may not seem like something that’s recyclable, but it actually makes the top of the list in recycled products in North America. Reusing asphalt paving from removal projects, excavations, and excess orders not only keeps tons of the material out of landfills but also eliminates the need to quarry rock, refine and deliver oil, and produce greenhouse gas emissions for the creation of new asphalt. The environment benefits from this prevention of wasted asphalt paving and precious resources.

The recycled material is also known to last longer than its new counterpart, meaning that production of replacement asphalt, whether new or used, doesn’t need to occur as often. The icing on the cake is that reclaiming asphalt saves cities, businesses, and taxpayers billions of dollars.

What Is the Quality of Reclaimed Asphalt Paving?

If you worry that processing used asphalt diminishes its quality, you can rest assured that it maintains a high level of performance. Of course, the exact composite of each mixture will vary due to the different traits of the source material, such as how many times it had been resurfaced, hold old it is, and where it came from. However quality-control tests ensure the product will be suitable for a specific project, so recycled asphalt can replace virgin asphalt in nearly every case.

How Is Asphalt Paving Reclaimed?

The exact process depends on how the asphalt will be used, but generally, it requires milling a few inches or fully removing existing pavement. The material is then added to a new mix, usually as an aggregate substitute. Sometimes the process occurs at a plant, whereas other times it happens at the construction site.

During our milling and paving projects, we recycle the millings (old blacktop) and add them as aggregate to the new hot asphalt mix. Once we’re finished with a project, we make sure to leave the site clean and free of old rubble. If you’re ready to contribute to the billions saved each year in taxpayer money by reusing reclaimed asphalt paving to its fullest extent, then contact All County Construction to discuss your pavement project.

 

Why Spring Is a Good Time To Lay Asphalt

By | Commercial Paving, Parking Lot Paving | No Comments

When you have a damaged driveway or parking lot, you want to get it fixed right away. However, it may be in your best interest to make sure you get it done during the right time of year. The weather and temperature outside can greatly impact the longevity of your new asphalt. For many residential and commercial properties, the best time to hire paving services is spring. When the sun is out and the flowers are in full bloom, it is also time to repair damaged asphalt.

 

Spring Temperatures Are Ideal for Asphalt

Ultimately, you want to lay down new asphalt when it is roughly 70 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Regardless of which state you live in, the temperature will reach this threshold around springtime or early summertime. It is possible to pave a new driveway when the temperature is colder, but it will require a more complicated approach. Asphalt becomes more difficult to work with when it is colder outside, so the team may have problems during the paving. Higher temperatures may not necessarily impact the asphalt, but it will be harder for the team working for hours on end in the blistering sun.

Ultimately, you do not want the asphalt to thicken before it is laid. In cold temperatures, the asphalt can actually harden when it is still in the machinery. Even if the team can still lay out the asphalt, it can become uneven over the surface area. This will create problems for anyone driving over the structure. You may need to tear out the asphalt within a few years if the foundation is not strong enough.

 

Spring Weather Can Be Perfect for Laying Asphalt

You also want to check what the weather will be like when you plan on laying down new asphalt. Some sun and clouds are good, but you do not want it to rain. Spring occasionally brings showers, so you want to check the weather ahead of time to make sure it will not drizzle during your paving day. The base of the asphalt can become damaged when exposed to excessive levels of moisture. The excess water can also cause the asphalt to cool too quickly. You will be better off waiting until it is a dry spring afternoon.

 

All County Construction will make sure the weather is perfect before laying down your new asphalt. Our team has been working in the New York area for years, so we know when the weather is optimal for us to begin. Contact us to get started.

 

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

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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.