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Frequently Asked Questions

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Asphalt FAQs

The full list of chemicals in asphalt is incredibly complex. Naturally occurring asphalts have been used for thousands of years around the world in various applications.Modern asphalt materials are made by processing crude petroleum in several steps. Liquid asphalt is mixed with aggregate such as crushed rock and sand to create asphalt concrete.

Asphalt goes by various other names:

  • Bitumen.
  • Blacktop.
  • Hot mix.
  • Macadam.
  • Pitch.
  • Plant mix.
  • Tarmac.

While asphalt contained tar at one time, this is no longer the case. Most asphalt today consists of recycled pavement and shingles along with various industrial waste products such as ground rubber, steel, and glass.

No. Some of the confusion around this stems from the fact that tar was used to pave roads until the 1970s. The word "tarmac," which has become a synonym for "asphalt," contributes to the problem.Asphalt is a petroleum product, while tar is a coal product. Both form naturally from decayed organic material over an extremely long time. However, the asphalt used for industrial applications today is synthetic.

Absolutely. In fact, asphalt is the number-one recycled material in the United States. A responsible asphalt company, Heiberger Paving recycles tens of thousands of tons of asphalt millings every year.The company's two milling machines pulverize old asphalt into smaller aggregate. In most cases, this material is hauled back to the asphalt plant. A percentage of the aggregate is used to produce new asphalt. Millings can also be reused as a sub-base for parking lots.

 

Asphalt Maintenance FAQs

It can take up to one year for asphalt to cure fully. During this time:

  • Park in a different spot every day to balance the pressure.
  • Avoid driving or parking along the edges, which are weaker and prone to cracking.
  • Use plywood to distribute weight under jack stands and vehicles that are driven infrequently.
  • Place a drip pan under vehicles that leak oil or other fluids.
  • Take care with kickstands, high heels, and other narrow objects that are under high pressure—particularly in summer, when asphalt softens.
  • Use a hose to water your pavement on hot, sunny days.
  • Apply the first sealcoat after about a year.

Many of the tips listed above for new asphalt apply to older asphalt as well. If you are diligent, you can extend the life of your pavement beyond its normal expectancy of about 15 years to 25 or even 30.

Additionally, be sure to contact a professional for regular asphalt paving maintenance. Sealcoating should be applied every two to three years for best results. You should also call your asphalt expert at the first signs of cracking or depressions.

 

Sealcoating FAQs

Sealcoating is not an extra layer of asphalt. Sealers typically consist of an acrylic or asphalt emulsion combined with polymers, sand, clay, water, and other additives.

No, but Heiberger Paving can repair some types of cracks before applying the sealer. Crack-filler is a hot, rubberized compound that is injected into isolated linear cracks measuring at least 1/8 inch wide.

Filled cracks do not necessarily disappear. The repair is primarily functional, not cosmetic. Filler prevents water from doing further damage to the asphalt. The material may settle, resulting in an uneven surface, but the filler is still effective at keeping water out unless the crack reopens.

Alligator or spiderweb cracking, which looks just as you would imagine, is typically a structural problem. Such cracking requires new asphalt and cannot be addressed with sealer or standard crack-filler.

Give new asphalt about a year to cure. Seal the surface for the first time after that year has passed. Then apply sealcoating every two to three years for the life of the pavement. Note that asphalt sealing must be done in mild-to-warm temperatures and on a dry day.

Do not park on a freshly sealed lot or drive for 24 to 72 hours. It is essential to keep the barricade in place until the sealer has cured. Your paving professional can give you a more specific timeframe based on the weather and other factors.

You should be able to walk on the surface soon after it is dry, but be careful in very hot weather. Check the soles of your shoes for residue during the first day or so.

 

Blacktop FAQs:

Pavement cracking in the Mid-West is inevitable. Departments of Transportation spend billions of dollars studying, chasing, filling, and sealing cracks trying to find the ultimate prevention. The fact is, the freeze and thaw of Winter causes excessive ground movement. Asphalt is a flexible pavement, but cannot stretch enough to compensate for the heaving. The most cost effective maintenance item you can do for your pavement is to seal the cracks to keep moisture from destroying the stone base below the surface.

Resurfacing your pavement means installing another layer of bituminous asphalt on top of your existing pavement, typically 1½” thick. In most cases we grind (or remove) existing asphalt where the new surface meets existing surfaces, such as concrete. We call these “butt joints”. Butt Joints allow the pavement thickness to continue all the way to the edges, and avoids “feathering” or thinning down the asphalt to meet those connections.

There are cases where your entire pavement must be either milled down or completely removed to accommodate the new surface and achieve proper elevations.

Most deteriorated areas require complete removal of the surface to repair the stone base. In extreme cases, we must completely remove and restore the stone base to properly support the new asphalt surface. We refer to this as “re-base”.

In many cases, getting rid of ponding is one of the most difficult thing to accomplish. Surrounding elevations, structures, and curbs complicate trying to provide positive water flow. Ponding areas usually can be corrected by resurfacing, cutting out, or re-heating the pavement to lower high areas and fill low areas.

The most inexpensive way to get a new looking surface is to have professionals apply tar emulsion or asphalt emulsion seal coat material. Correct products, quantity of sand or additives, or number of coats is dependent upon the current condition of your pavement. Our professionals will visually inspect and recommend the best solution for your pavement.

Grass, vegetation, and topsoil are not suitable base to be under asphalt surfaces. All organic material must be removed to solid clay subbase dirt. The dirt should be compacted, and a minimum of 6-8” of Type #304 stone base installed. We recommend a minimum of 1 ½” of 402 intermediate asphalt and 1 ½” of 404 surface layer asphalt over new pavement areas. Uses for vehicles heavier than automobiles require thicker specifications.

 

Sports Sufraces: Tennis & Basketball Courts

Yes! In most cases, proper cleaning, grinding, or treating your surface before applying our acrylic coating process will give you a new tennis court playing surface. Even minor low areas can be filled and leveled!

Our experts will determine the best solution for restoring your tennis court. Sometimes a new layer of asphalt is essential. For heavily cracked tennis courts, if surrounding elevations permit, we can install a “limestone dust overlay.” A thin layer of stone dust is placed between the existing surface and new asphalt paving to prevent reflective cracking. In extreme cases, the entire asphalt surface must be removed to expose and repair the existing stone base before new asphalt is installed.

As thermal conditions change, due to different colors absorbing sunlight heat at different rates, and stripes on tennis courts are an extra layer of paint, the most obvious flexing point is at the edge of the stripe.

Leaning or heaved net posts cannot be straightened. They must be removed and replaced and imbedded in specially designed concrete foundations.

 

Sports Sufraces: Running Tracks

A latex track surface is made up of granules or strings of rubber held together with a liquid latex binder. Typically the surface is made up of multiple layers of rubber and latex to achieve a thickness of at least 3/8”. Longevity is about 8-10 years.

A Urethane surface is much more complex. Varieties of urethane surfaces include paving a “base mat” only, spraying a “structural spray” surface, or even installing a “full pour” surface. In any case, urethane is the best. All of the premier tracks in the world are some form of urethane systems. Longevity is 15-20+ years. The downside is that high end surfaces can cost over $250,000!

In most cases, “bubbling” of the surface course is caused by trapped underground water. When the rubber can no longer “breathe”, the moisture gets between the asphalt and the surface and de-laminates it.

Yes, you can patch the bad areas of a track by cutting them out and replacing them. Unfortunately, they look like patches in your track.

 

Sports Paving Maintenance

Water is the biggest foe of your court or track. Be sure to dry the surface after a rainstorm or cleaning. Make a note of any puddles and call Heiberger Paving for advice. When watering adjacent grassy areas, take care not to soak the edges of the surface.

Sweep tracks and courts regularly and especially when leaves, tree needles, and other debris accumulate. Clean the surface about once a month to remove animal droppings, dirt, mold, and mildew. Call Heiberger Paving and ask about the proper cleaning solution for your particular surface.

 

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