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Parking Lot Line Striping and ADA Compliance Project in PA

When it comes to asphalt parking lots, property owners not only need to worry about keeping their asphalt pavement in good condition but also ADA compliant. The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures that citizens of all levels of mobility can access public buildings. The way to get your parking lot up to code with the ADA is to contact your trusted local paving company because they have the right equipment for line striping.

To help a local business with their old parking lot in Scranton PA, Associated Paving Contractors performed parking lot line striping. Our ADA compliance services are second to none, ensuring that your asphalt parking lot is safe for all drivers. For the Scranton PA parking lot project, the experienced APCON crew put together several different parking lots paving services. First, we performed asphalt repair services to fill cracks and fix potholes. Next, we applied asphalt sealcoating to seal in the repairs and create a protective layer to slow down pavement deterioration.

Finally, we performed parking lot line striping services. Using technologically advanced pavement marking equipment, we applied quality traffic paint to the prepared asphalt surface. Not only did we create parking spaces, but we also applied loading zone stripes and handicapped parking symbols. These pavement markings make the parking lot ADA-compliant, ensuring that parking is accessible to all and that the property owner is free from liability.

If you need to bring your asphalt parking lot back to good condition or are curious if your parking is ADA-compliant, contact Associated Paving Contractors today.

Friday DIY Day

Creativity can be found everywhere… even in solid concrete.

For those of you who like to perform do-it-yourself projects at home, check out this interesting article on how to “Jazz up that Plain Old Concrete,” (UPDATE: our apologies… this link has been deactivated because the site it linked to seemeed to be having problems) which includes great tips on transforming some run-of-the-mill concrete into something a little more eye catching.  The article also includes a variety of other handy tips for around the house.

Do you have any cool DIY tips?  We’d love to hear them, feel free to share!

From all of us here at APCON, have a great Friday and enjoy your weekend.

PS– Got a concrete project in mind?  Contact APCON at 215-672-8000 or email us and we would be happy to talk to you about it.

Let’s Give ‘Em Something to Chalk About

There is no limit to the simple creativity that abounds when it comes to the classic “art” of drawing with chalk on asphalt.  It’s easy, it’s cheap, and the creations only last until the next rain, so there’s no big mess to worry about.  As a result, kids love to draw on pavement, and, heck, so do many adults for that matter!

To celebrate the timeless joy of drawing in the streets, folks in Vancouver made a quasi-event out of this stress-relieving activity by hosting the aptly named “Chalkupy Vancouver.”  You can also check out the since re-named Play with Chalk Day Facebook page.  (Apparently “Chalkupy Vancouver” threw some people off so the name was revised.)

Judging by the chalk filled street, it looks like people young and old had a great time with it… and that’s what it’s all about.

Different Types of Asphalt Pavement Distresses — and What You Can Do About Them

Over time, asphalt pavements deteriorate because of age, traffic repetition, climate changes, drainage issues, poor construction, and several other reasons. In order to perform the right kind of repairs, you need to know what type of pavement distress you are dealing with.

As commercial asphalt contractors, we’ve seen and repaired our fair share of cracks and pavement deteriorations. That’s why we wanted to provide a quick guide on the different pavement distresses your commercial property may be experiencing and what you can do to fix the problem.

Fatigue Cracking

Also known as alligator cracking, fatigue cracking is the cracks that form on asphalt pavement that resemble the pattern on the skin of alligators. Fatigue cracks develop because of load-related issues, such as repeated traffic. These cracks often form where the wheels of vehicles frequently drive. The pavement is susceptible to fatigue cracking if it has a weak base course or subgrade or is laid too thinly.

Longitudinal Cracking

Unlike fatigue cracks, longitudinal cracking does not form because of load-related problems. These parallel cracks down the road’s centerline are caused by poorly constructed joints, shrinking asphalt layers, or cracks in the underlying pavement layer.

Edge Cracking

Edge cracking is a type of longitudinal cracking that occurs near the outer edge of the pavement. These cracks appear because there is not enough support on the pavement edge.

Reflection Cracking

Reflection cracks form on the pavement surface over joints or cracks in the underlying concrete pavement. They may also develop because the old pavement shifts underneath.

Block Cracking

These cracks are usually large and rectangular. They are caused by the shrinkage of the asphalt pavement due to temperature changes. Because of the environmental impact, block cracks can even form on roads that are not often used.

Slippage Cracking

Slippage cracking occurs when the asphalt pavement is low-strength or has not been adequately bonded with the other pavement layers. These crescent-shaped cracks form when drivers turn or brake.

Transverse Cracking

Like longitudinal cracks, transverse cracks are not related to load issues. Instead, they are often caused by the shrinkage of the asphalt. However, they may also be formed by reflection from another crack. Transverse cracking can be found perpendicular to the centerline of the road or drive.

Raveling

Raveling is the deterioration of aggregate particles in the asphalt cement from a poor-quality mixture. It occurs because of frequent traffic.

Potholes

Every driver has come across a pothole at some point in their life. These bowl-like holes in the road or driveway are caused by the continued deterioration of another type of asphalt pavement distress.

Depressions

A pavement distress caused by a failing underlying pavement layer is depression. These pavement flaws are localized low spots in the pavement. They are especially noticeable when it rains, and these depressions fill with water.

Rutting

Rutting is a type of pavement distress that forms in the wheel paths of the road or drive. It is a depression caused by the consolidation of the pavement layers or subgrade. Rutting is most commonly the result of weak asphalt mixtures or an insufficient pavement layer thickness.

Shoving

Caused by excessive amounts of fine aggregate, too much or too soft asphalt, or a weak granular base, shoving is the formation of ripples in the pavement. It is sometimes called wash-boarding.

Patching

Pavement distress may occur when pavements are patched. If the pavement is not compacted correctly or the underlying pavement is in poor condition, patching distress will likely arise with time.

Upheaval

The opposite of a depression is an upheaval. This type of pavement distress is characterized by the upward movement of one spot of the pavement. It is caused by the swelling of the subgrade.

Polished Aggregate

This type of distress is considered a skidding hazard because the aggregate is worn down into a smooth finish. These spots will need to have their roughness restored to protect the safety of drivers.

Bleeding

Another skidding hazard is bleeding. This occurs when too much asphalt reaches the pavement’s surface and reduces its skid resistance. The pavement mixture may have been made with too much asphalt, or the sealcoat may not have been properly applied.

What to Do with Asphalt Pavement Distress

Despite their quick and economical construction, asphalt pavements are still high quality and last a long time. However, they are still susceptible to some distresses, especially if proper construction isn’t done or suitable materials are not used. By understanding the various types of asphalt pavement distresses, you can take the right steps in repairing the pavement and extending its service life.

Commercial paving contractors can help you determine if the damage on your property needs small repairs or patching, hot asphalt patching, sealcoating, or repaving. They can also help answer questions like “can you lay asphalt on top of concrete?” so you can have a pavement solution that will serve your company well.

Get in touch with our team today to discuss asphalt pavement repairs and preventative maintenance!

How Does the Summer Heat Affect Asphalt?

Everything in the way of the sun’s rays will interact with it in some way. Lighter colored surfaces will reflect the heat, while darker colored surfaces, such as asphalt, will absorb the heat. Heat absorption causes the surface temperature of asphalt to rise, and you may even be able to see heat waves above the surface. Over time, heat absorption can lead to soft spots in your asphalt paving, leading to even more significant problems down the road.

Types of Asphalt Damage Caused by Heat

Some of these problems can include:

  • Asphalt Raveling: Asphalt raveling begins with surface damage and permeates the asphalt aggregate and soil. It can happen when heat causes inadequate compaction or the binder and aggregate separate.
  • Asphalt Tracking: Asphalt is meant to handle high temperatures, but prolonged exposure to heat and sun can still cause soft spots. Asphalt tracking occurs when small amounts of asphalt are so hot that they adhere to tires, shoes, and anything else that touches its surface.
  • Asphalt Cracking: Without proper maintenance and installation, newer asphalt can crack under extreme heat and pressure. Asphalt cracking is most common in high-traffic areas.
  • Asphalt Oxidation: UV rays can break down the binding oils on the surface of asphalt and lead to oxidation. Oxidation usually precedes raveling and cracking.

Prevent Asphalt Heat Damage with Maintenance

You can’t stop the sun from shining, but you can learn to prolong the life of your asphalt pavement with proper maintenance. Asphalt maintenance is multi-faceted, and it is best left to the experts.

If you notice cracks and other signs of damage, act quickly to repair them before they can spread. Sealcoating is among the best ways to protect your asphalt from damage year-round, including heat damage. Your paving contractor will be able to recommend the best asphalt maintenance plan for you, but generally, you can expect to apply a fresh seal coat every 2-3 years.

If you feel that your asphalt is too far gone to save, your paving contractor will be able to recommend the best methods of repair and replacement. Newer asphalt mixes are made with solar reflectance index (SRI) in mind. The higher the SRI of your chosen asphalt, the better it will be able to withstand the summer’s heat.

For more information about asphalt milling, paving, and repairs, get in touch with our team today.

What’s the Difference Between Blacktop and Asphalt?

When looking to pave your surfaces, it’s not always easy to choose the right material for the job, especially with the several available options. Asphalt and blacktop are terms used interchangeably in the paving industry, as these materials perform the same function. However, there are significant differences between the two.

Asphalt and blacktop are both made from the same two ingredients: crushed stone and bitumen. Bitumen is a dark material made from petroleum distillation and is used to hold the crushed stones together. Once bitumen has been added to crushed stone, the mixture is heated to over 250 degrees to form blacktop or asphalt. Asphalt and blacktop surfaces will then be pre-mixed, poured, and are ready for use about two days after being poured.

How Are Blacktop and Asphalt Made?

The primary difference between these two materials lies in how the ingredients are mixed:

How Blacktop Is Made

Despite being asphalt, blacktop is made from a different mixture. The mixture is more stone than bitumen and is heated to about 300 degrees. Blacktop roads have a sparkle on the surface due to the crushed stone and last quite long because of the higher temperature to which the mixture is heated.

How Asphalt Is Made

Asphalt does not contain as much natural crushed stone as blacktop. The mixture is heated at 250 degrees to make it strong and durable. Asphalt produces a smooth and quiet surface for vehicles to drive on, making for safer travel and reducing wear and tear on vehicles. This surface is much easier to maintain, especially during the winter months.

What Are the Different Uses for Blacktop and Asphalt?

Blacktop and asphalt have varying uses:

Uses of Blacktop

Blacktop is commonly used in areas that do not experience high traffic or have a high weight load because it is not as durable as commercial hot-mix asphalt. Blacktop is used on residential roads, parking lots, driveways, and playgrounds.

Uses of Asphalt

Asphalt is both flexible and water-resistant, making it ideal for use on major highways, airport runways, commercial parking lots, and other areas that see heavy traffic. Provided regular maintenance is performed, asphalt can last for more than 20 years. However, you should ensure asphalt is sealed to extend its life.

In short, both asphalt and blacktop can be called tarmac. These two materials are durable, safe, and can be used for paving various high-traffic areas. At Associated Paving Contractors, Inc., we not only help you choose the right paving material but also do quality paving work. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our commercial asphalt paving and sealcoating services.

Why You Should Consider Eco-Friendly Options for Your Next Commercial Paving Project

For decades, asphalt, blacktop, and concrete paving have served as catch-all solutions for our roadways, sidewalks, parking lots, and playgrounds. The popularity of these solutions has been for good reason; they work! But as the industry thought leaders turn their attention to the future of sustainability, paving companies have shifted to include eco-friendly solutions in their list of available paving materials.

Benefits of Recycled Asphalt and Concrete

Recycling asphalt and concrete is part of the industry effort to minimize the unnecessary waste in landfills. The benefits of using recycled asphalt and concrete are multifaceted. Recycled asphalt and concrete’s many benefits extend across environmental, economic, and quality priorities for pavement companies.

Some of the environmental benefits of using recycled asphalt and cement include:

  • Recycling reduces the amount of new oil necessary to process new asphalt.
  • Less construction waste is produced since the asphalt and concrete are ultimately recycled.
  • The byproducts of asphalt pavement, such as mineral particles, can also help conserve natural resources.

The economic benefits of using recycled asphalt and cement can include:

  • Taxpayers can save money with recycled materials.
  • Recycled asphalt allows contractors and their customers to save on energy costs, material costs, and transportation costs.
  • Asphalt is recyclable multiple times.

In addition to the economic and environmental benefits of recycled asphalt and concrete, there are also several benefits for the quality of the asphalt:

  • Recycled asphalt has stronger resistance to cracking due to mineral fillers and organic fibers.
  • Recycled asphalt is less susceptible to rutting.
  • Using recycled materials reduces the demand for new asphalt, which decreases the need for virgin asphalt. Recycled asphalt is ultimately more robust and requires less repairs than new asphalt.
  • Recycled asphalt has improved stiffness when compared to new asphalt.

Associated Paving Contractors, Inc. Crushes and Screens Our Own Asphalt

Some paving companies outsource their milling and screening processes to other plants. We take our commitment to green initiatives seriously, and we do this by crushing and screening all of our own recycled asphalt.

By pulverizing and screening our own recycled asphalt, we’re dedicated to providing eco-friendly, high-quality paving solutions. Our in-house recycling process has three main benefits:

  • It’s faster when you don’t have to outsource to another plant.
  • It saves money and labor costs because the base layer does not need to be excavated.
  • Recycled materials account for most of the materials, so additional materials don’t need to be produced and brought to the worksite.

For more information about our green initiativesreach out to our team today!

Bollard Installation for Your Commercial Property: What You Need to Know

Our team understands that commercial property owners are always looking for ways to make their facility and parking lot safer, more efficient, and better-protected. One excellent solution that delivers on all fronts is bollard installation.

What Are Safety Bollards?

Bollards are metal or plastic pillars installed on commercial properties to protect pedestrians and buildings from unwanted traffic, incorrectly parked vehicles, and other inconveniences. Safety bollards can increase the safety and functionality of your commercial property in a few ways.

There are a few different types of bollards:

  • Removable bollards: Removable bollards serve the purpose of creating visual barriers around temporary work zones. Removable bollards are often seen on highways and roadways to alert drivers and pedestrians of closed lanes, roadwork, detours, and closed exits.
  • Collapsible bollards: Collapsible bollards may be used in similar ways to removable bollards, but collapsible bollards are permanently built into the ground. Collapsible bollards are able to be raised and lowered into the ground based on when they are needed. This type of bollard is common in parks or places that hold public service equipment. 
  • Fixed bollards: Fixed bollards are most common in high-traffic parking lots such as those at shopping centers and government buildings. These types of bollards are installed as permanent fixtures that cannot easily be removed.

The Benefits of Safety Bollards

Safety bollards enhance the functionality of your commercial property while also protecting the individuals that use it. Proponents of safety bollards believe that they have endless potential to benefit the community.

Some of these benefits may include:

  • Adding visual interest to your property: Bollards can be functional and decorative. Decorative bollards are great for adding a creative and visually interesting aspect to your property’s exterior.
  • Protect your storefront: Every day, approximately 60 vehicles are driven through retail storefronts. Bollards can protect your storefront from accidental or purposeful drivers plowing through the front of your building. Bollards can also reduce theft.
  • Protect drivers and pedestrians: Bollards can designate specific areas for pedestrians and drivers to avoid confusion and unfortunate accidents on your commercial property.
  • Bring light to poorly lit areas: Safety bollards create additional installation opportunities for lighting solutions. Well-lit areas are less likely to be burglarized. Reflective bollards can also increase the safe use of your property in the nighttime or early morning hours.
  • Control the flow of traffic: Removable bollards are great for creating lanes and diverting the flow of traffic at sporting events, graduations, school pick-ups, worship services, and more.
  • Restrict access to unwanted areas: Safety bollards are frequently used to prevent access to specific areas that the general public is not allowed, such as at concerts and crime scenes.

What to Consider Before You Begin the Installation Process

There are a few key factors to consider before installing safety bollards at your commercial property. Some of these factors may include:

  • Legal requirements: Local governments will have their own set of codes and ordinances stipulating the guidelines safety bollards must adhere to. Contact your local Building Code Department for more information regarding your municipality’s specific bollard codes.
  • Site plans: The architect that drew up the site plans for your commercial property may have allotted specific locations for bollards.
  • Spacing: Bollards must be ADA-compliant, which means the space between them must be able to accommodate a wheelchair or motorized chair. The spacing between your bollards will depend on the function they will serve.

For more information about bollard installation and commercial asphalt paving, contact our team today!

The Art of Maintaining a Parking Lot

If you’re the owner of an asphalt parking lot, you often trace your thoughts along a plain of flatness. However, if you are, you probably also need to upkeep its flatness, beauty, and sheen, so you’d be wise give our commercial concrete contractors near Philadelphia a call. However, here are some things you can do to keep it looking great all on your own.

Keep It Clean

Though it may seem obvious to some, the cleanliness of your parking lot is essential if you wish to please the public. Debris doesn’t only mean rocks, leaves, dirt, and all the all-natural sorts. We keep an eye out for any stray and sharpened nails—the tire busters that they be. Accumulations of dirt and water, aside from soaking socks, form makeshift ponds, giving way to potholes. Solid as asphalt may feel, it slowly softens, submerged in large bodies of water. Don’t forget about the trash that collects, either. As you’re sweeping, make a habit of scanning for any concrete imperfections, necessitating a commercial paving. Montgomery County, PA and the surrounding areas appreciates our professionalism, so rest assured we will be there to help keep your property clean and sturdy!

Root out the Weeds

We often pose the question: would you permit a jungle of weeds to flourish near your tiled swimming pool? Do not underestimate the havoc that weeds can unleash underground, as their roots shove, forcing themselves up to the surface. You’re left with a parking lot riddled with cracks, and an infestation of green. Consult your local home department store, or any gardening store for a human and pet-friendly weed killer.

Beware of Dripping Oils

Beautiful as your parking lot may be, it’s likely to succumb to dripping oils, grazed as it is by automobiles and their engines. Oil, aside from leaving an ugly, greasy residue, pools like all liquids, wrecking its own havoc. Parking lots gradually give way to oil damage, their integrity, and coating, dissolving day by day. The sooner you catch this, the sooner you can repair or reseal your lot. A sealcoating comes with a certain charm. With a crew like ours, Associated Paving Contractors, Inc., we can guarantee your lot will be looking brand new after we’ve trailed over.

Why You Should Go Asphalt Over Concrete

These days, the vast majority of driveways that you encounter are either lined in asphalt or concrete. As experienced commercial concrete and asphalt contractors of the Philadelphia area, we’re inclined to say a few words on this subject. Chances are, if you’ve never invested in your driveway, it’s probably concrete. Now a question naturally follows: “Can I simply lay asphalt over concrete?”  The short answer is: “Yes!” The longer answer is, in fact, a question: “What’s your driveway elevation like?”

The Problem with Overlaying

Now, assuming that your driveway has the elevation that allows for asphalt to be layered over concrete, we have to talk about site preparation. Because concrete is strengthened by laying a thicker slab, some contractors overlook the ground and bedrock itself. If the earth beneath your driveway tends to shift or sink, laying asphalt over concrete may not be that prudent.

If digging into the bedrock isn’t done, an asphalt-concrete driveway may prove too unstable to handle any weight or excessive usage. Any expansion joints deep within the concrete will rear themselves as cracks in the asphalt, ruining your newly paved driveway. In some cases, shifts underground can even cause cracks across the surface of the driveway.

The Pros of Pure Asphalt

Now that we’re starting from scratch, no concrete, there’s plenty of advantages to asphalt driveways. Unlike concrete driveways, asphalt can be laid in one to two days max. If it’s not too cold outside, your driveway will be ready for driving a mere two days after that. With a concrete paving, you’re looking at a minimum of two weeks before you can start utilizing it.

Durability and Longevity

As a paving material, asphalt has the inherent advantage of not flaking. We in the trade call this phenomenon “spalling”—and we can assure you that it’s no fun. If concrete isn’t mixed or prepared properly, surface flaking can easily occur. On the occasion that a crack appears on an asphalt driveway, repairing the crack is relatively simple. Any home retailers you visit are likely to carry crack sealants. While you could do this sort of preventative maintenance yourself, you do have a friend in the Associated Paving Contractors of Bucks County, PA (as well as surrounding areas). Whether it’s roll-off dumpster rentals or asphalt driveways, we pave, repair, and do it all!

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