Frequently Asked Questions
Learn more about the common questions we receive about asphalt construction, bids, and the difference Eaton Asphalt can provide. Still have a question that our Asphalt FAQ doesn’t answer? Don’t hesitate to contact us today.
Questions For Your Next Asphalt Project
We understand that everyone is cost conscience, and finding ways to reduce costs is paramount. However, many times choosing the contractor with the lowest price results in poor quality materials and service. These problems can quickly eliminate any cost savings, and many times will cost more money down the road. We know that an asphalt lot is a significant investment that is made with years of service life in mind, don’t gamble with your investment, keep the following in mind when reviewing your bids. At Eaton Asphalt, we always strive to be very competitive when pricing projects. With multiple plants and owning specialized equipment we leverage our resources to provide the absolute best price possible and yes, many times we are the lowest bid, but sometimes we also find out that we have landed in the middle. As the consumer it is your responsibility to make sure your asphalt bid prices are comparing similar products and services.
- Are apples and apples being compared?
- Asphalt can be made with a variety of mixes, as you can imagine the mix for a parking lot would differ greatly from one used on a highway. Be sure that all contractors are offering similar packages with the same depth for base and surface.
- Is the scope of work the same?
- Ensure that all contractors are bidding on the same area with all site work and preparation included in their bids. If some contractors are including time and resources for preparing the site and a low bid is not this should be a red flag.
- The specifications?
- Be sure all contractors have indicated similar quantities and depths for the asphalt. Contractors should be able to provide you with a specific quantity from their takeoff and explain the crew, equipment, and materials.
- What type of equipment are the bidders using?
- One issue with smaller contractors is the access to specialized heavy equipment that can be critical to the longevity of your parking lot. Compaction of the asphalt is crucial to removing air voids and ensuring it is durable and long lasting. While you may save money with smaller or less pieces of equipment on your job, you may lose big if there are failures in the first few years due to poor compaction.
Some might think that apples and apples are always being compared when evaluating a proposal, even when specifications are the same. However, there are many things that add value to a proposal that can’t been seen on paper. We pride ourselves in answering our cell phones, and providing superior customer service. We are local and our office is open to visitors during the week. In addition to this, we do not use a voice mail system on our cell phones, all phone lines are answered by our staff so that you can be attended to immediately. We believe there is value and peace of mind added with this type of customer service. So, when choosing a contractor for your next project, please take these facts into consideration. Consider the difference in the quality of work and the longevity of your pavement when reviewing your bids and contact Eaton Asphalt for your next paving project.
Should I be Worried About Tire Scuffing on My New Asphalt Parking Lot?
No, it is completely normal for there to be tire marking and scuffing on newly paved parking lots. This can be expected during the summer months in our region. The appearance of small marks and scuffs is normal and will not affect the long term performance of the pavement. Cause for concern would be rutting or noticeable indents in an asphalt surface as this indicated poor compaction.
This scuffing will subside after a few weeks, once the asphalt has a chance to totally cool down the marks will disappear.
How Does Weather Affect My Project?
Paving operations are inherently weather dependent. If it is just a morning mist or very light rain, we will sometimes work through. If it is raining heavily or snowing, we normally reschedule the project until a dry day. In Northern Kentucky we can typically apply asphalt nine months out of the year depending on how mild of an early winter or warm and dry early spring can be.
Our dedication to providing a superior asphalt pavement goes beyond the mix. While weather can affect our paving operations and schedule, please be mindful that rushing a project through unfavorable paving conditions can have detrimental effects on the longevity and performance of your surface.
What Causes Asphalt to Fail?
Assuming that the initial asphalt pavement was designed and constructed properly, the primary cause of failure is the penetration of water into the asphalt base. Asphalt failure often begins with the oxidation of an untreated pavement surface which causes the asphalt to become dry and brittle.
The top layer of fine particles erodes, exposing the larger aggregate and leading to small cracks on the surface. These cracks will grow if left untreated, allowing water to penetrate to the base of the pavement. When water enters the base of the pavement, the base material shifts and settles leading to further cracking and a depression in the surface. This will be noticed by motorists as pot holes. As water pools in the depressed area, the asphalt further deteriorates and becomes unstable. When the pavement reaches this stage, removal and replacement of the old asphalt is often the only remedy and base repairs may be required.
Why are there Roller Marks in My New Parking Lot?
These will fade in time, usually after a few months they will begin to become less noticeable. Compaction rollers are a critical aspect of producing a long lasting quality pavement; 90% compaction level is ideal.
What is Reclaimed/Recycled Asphalt Pavement (RAP) Mix?
RAP mix is an asphalt mix made up of asphalt that was reclaimed from an existing roadway. This asphalt mix has new asphalt (binder) added and through a similar manufacturing process to virgin asphalt is made into a high quality material for roadway use. According to a study published by the Federal Highway Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, asphalt pavement is America’s most recycled product. The asphalt industry recycles over 73 million tons of its own product every year, the largest tonnage of any industry.
Asphalt that has RAP Mix is rigorously tested and provides a sustainable paving solution without losing any of the durability and longevity asphalt is known for.
What is Asphalt Pavement?
Asphalt pavement is created by heating and combining specification grade asphalt (binder) with specification crushed dried sand-gravel. This is done in a mixing plant. The asphalt pavement is then loaded onto trucks for delivery to project sites or kept in storage silos.
Can Asphalt be Used for Heavy Loads?
Take a look around some of the harshest industrial environments and you will find asphalt standing up to heavy equipment and high traffic everyday. Asphalt pavement is the pavement of choice for big or small parking lots, expansive shipping yards, areas for material handling, railroad facilities, airports, etc., because it can take the weight and the punishment.
Eaton Asphalt can modify our asphalt mixes to handle heavy duty applications as well.
What is Resurfacing?
Asphalt resurfacing is the process of paving a new layer on an existing asphalt surface. The resurfacing layer is typically 1.5” to 2.0” thick. This is also referred to as asphalt overlay or pavement overlay.
Resurfacing can be a cost effective solution if the existing asphalt is in good condition and has been well maintained. Resurfacing cannot be performed on areas that has potholes or other indications of base failures. These problem areas must be addressed before resurfacing.
Why Should I Choose Asphalt Pavement?
Asphalt has been proven to be an excellent paving material and has only improved through the years to become more durable and sustainable as new paving research and technology has evolved.
Asphalt provides an excellent performing surface that is equal to more expensive and less environmentally friendly options.
Should I be Concerned about Cracks in my Asphalt?
Asphalt can develop cracks for a variety of reasons. Cracks can form in asphalt that is not properly maintained, poorly installed, or simply due to age. These cracks allow moisture to seep into the pavement which will damage the pavement as well as the base layers. When these cracks get larger potholes will begin to form.
If cracks are left without maintenance or repair the area around them will begin to degrade and will eventually require asphalt repairs up to and including resurfacing.
Besides Roads, How Else can Asphalt be Used?
- Streets and Highways: According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 94% of the 2.27 million miles of paved roads and highways in the U.S. are surfaced with asphalt.
- Race Tracks: Of the 35 NASCAR race tracks across the country, 31 are paved with asphalt surfaces.
- Industrial Applications: Even where the traffic is heaviest, such as at port container yards, timber yards, and rail transfer yards, asphalt paves the way.
- Bike Paths, Sidewalks, and Recreational Facilities: Asphalt pavement is ideally suited for providing paths that are aesthetically pleasing and blend well with natural settings.
- Hydraulic Structures: Fish hatcheries, drinking water reservoirs, pond linings, and canal linings count on asphalt for a long-lasting, contamination-free surface.