Prevent Winter Damage to Your Patio and Hardscaping

snowy patioWhen it comes to the wear and tear of your hardscaping and patio, most people think of every season, but winter. The majority of damage usually ends up happening during the winter! Between the temperature changes, moisture and treatment of your patio is what will affect your hardscaping the most. Driveway Specialists has a few suggestions to protect your hardscaping and patio this winter.

  1. Most people think that because snow and ice are made up of water that they aren’t harmful. However, water can make its way into the cracks of your hardscaping and if the temperatures get to below 32°F, it will freeze. As it freezes, the water will expand cause the cracks to expand in size. If you live in an area where you see this type of weather a lot, this will continue to happen during the winter. Not only will it be more safe to walk on, but clearing snow and ice from your hardscaping can help to prevent the expansion of cracks.
  2. Some de-icing products contain chemicals can be damaging to concrete or stone. Check with the manufacturer of your hardscaping materials before applying these types of products.
  3. To prevent slipping and falling, often, people will wear spikes to gain traction as they make their way through snow and ice. This can be especially damaging to pavers, concrete and stone. Metal shovels can also damage hardscaping by leaving scratches. To prevent damage and scratches, use a plastic shovel or a metal shove with plastic edging.

If you find that you have damaged your patio or hardscaping this winter, contact the experts at Driveway Specialists. Receive an estimate for our hardscaping services by filling out our online contact form or by calling one of the following phone numbers:

Boston:
(877) 9-PAVERS

Norfolk County:
(508) 818-7685

Middlesex County:
(844) 244-4249

 

 

The Two ‘Pothole Seasons’ in Massachusetts

It’s been said there are only two seasons in Massachusetts:

Pothole making season, and pothole fixing season.

We think that’s a pretty fair assessment. Asphalt may be the best option for paving in Massachusetts, but it still gets quite a workout during the winter and the wet season.

Winter rain and snow do their part to damage asphalt… and so do some of those snow plow drivers, whose blades can scrape up asphalt. A snow plow blade usually doesn’t cause too much damage to flat asphalt, but there’s potential for serious scraping where asphalt meets concrete and a lip forms. Does your parking lot have a concrete driveway? Check it for a suddenly craggy, damaged area where the asphalt and the concrete meet.

Old asphalt that has gone through several years of freeze/thaw cycles, poor maintenance, and three-day-at-a-time storms that Massachusetts likes to throw at us has likely gained a nice alligator-scaled appearance, or worse. Parking lots can get especially bad, as soil shifts beneath, depressions form, and entire chunks of asphalt disappear courtesy of daily traffic and periodic rainfall.

Putting off repairing or repaving your asphalt driveway or parking lot can create more headaches than the cost itself. A shabby appearance turns customers off, and potholes can cause serious damage to cars, bringing another set of troubles that take up time better spent running your business.

Contact Driveway Specialists today and schedule an inspection of your parking lot or driveway. With three generations of experience backing us up, you can know our assessment will be accurate. As for the work– we’ll let our reviews speak for themselves.

For Boston: (877) 9-PAVERS / (877) 978-8377

For Norfolk County: (508) 818-7685

For Middlesex County: (844) 244-4249

Public parking commercial project.

The Most Important Reason to Pave with Asphalt in Massachusetts

Asphalt is the most common material for driveways and parking lots in Massachusetts, and the entire northeast. You may wonder why that is, and the answer is pretty simple, but also pretty interesting. Simply put, asphalt is better suited to the freeze and thaw cycles in the northeast than other materials such as concrete.

The reason asphalt is a better option is because it has space to expand and contract with the temperature. Asphalt is made of stone aggregate held together with a refined petroleum binder (which is actually called ‘asphalt’– the end product is properly called ‘asphalt concrete’). The space between the aggregate is filled with the sticky binder, which can expand and contract without cracking the entire parking lot.

Concrete, on the other hand, is less pliable. While it is also made up of stone aggregate, the whole product is bound together by a cement, which hardens as it cures. This cement is great for certain applications where structural strength is of utmost importance. But it is less than optimal where temperature fluctuations cause the block to expand and contract, since the cement turns into a solid with zero ‘give’ in it.

Concrete lots are more common in the southern United States, where it stays warmer most of the year. Massachusetts does not, as we all know. With summer temperatures sometimes breaking the 100 degree mark, and winter temperatures falling well below zero in some areas, every piece of pavement in the state experiences significant expansion and contraction on a yearly routine.

There is one smaller advantage to asphalt pavement for your parking lot: since asphalt is black, it absorbs heat from sunlight, and emanates it slowly. This aids, a little bit, in snow melt, which keeps your lot usable more often that it would otherwise be.
Driveway Specialists is a third generation asphalt paving company, specializing in asphalt driveways and parking lots. We have a longstanding commitment to excellent work and friendliness, and use only the best equipment in all of our projects. If you’re considering installing, repaving, resurfacing, or replacing an asphalt driveway or parking lot, consult us first for an experienced evaluation of the demands of your project. If you’re in Boston or Norfolk County, call us at (508) 818-7685; for Middlesex County, call (844) 244-4249. We can also be reached via email at drivewayspecalistsinc@gmail.com, or via the contact form in the sidebar.

Advantages of Repaving or Replacing Your Parking Lot Asphalt

The face of your business is not just the paint, glass, and signs on your storefront. Everything the customer sees influences their first impression of your business– which can make or break your business.

To be blunt: a heavily cracked, poorly draining, and ugly parking lot in front of your business is just as bad as faded, peeling paint. It gives the impression of neglectful business owners, and no one jumps at the chance to work with someone they think neglects their work.

On the other hand, a smooth, uncracked, and properly draining parking lot give the opposite impression. This is a professional place, that takes pride in its appearance and is willing to invest into it. Plus, no one has to walk through puddles to get to the front door!

A newly paved parking lot has three primary advantages. The first is the visual improvement. Old asphalt has faded, probably cracked at least superficially, and (just like every other asphalt area in Massachusetts) has taken a beating from the weather. These are the things that most immediately make an impact on a customer when they approach your business.

The second type of advantage is structural improvement. As asphalt ages, it weakens, eventually cracking or developing holes. Potholes are an obvious danger, especially after rain when there’s no real way to tell how deep they are until your front left tire is swallowed up completely. As cracks get more and more serious, the underlying dirt can wash away, eventually developing into a sinkhole if neglected long enough.

Finally, a new asphalt parking lot offers improved drainage. As we mentioned a couple of times before, no one wants to walk or drive through puddles while trying to get to your door. Our asphalt driveways are laid out to provide superior drainage, to prevent exactly this from happening.

A new asphalt parking lot can be achieved in two different ways, with different prices, and Driveway Specialists does them both. An overlay, or resurfacing, replaces the cracked asphalt top with fresh asphalt. Asphalt resurfacing is an option if your underlying base is still structurally intact. This process usually process usually takes days instead of weeks, and has a lower price tag than a full parking lot replacement (for obvious reasons).

Driveway Specialists can also do a full asphalt replacement, which is much more involved and takes more expertise. A full replacement means just that– removing all existing asphalt and replacing it with brand new base and asphalt top. Our crews are experienced asphalt pavers, with many parking lots completed to complete customer satisfaction.

Call us today if you’re interested in resurfacing or replacing your parking lot. If you’re in Boston or Norfolk County, call us at (508) 818-7685; for Middlesex County, call (844) 244-4249. We can also be reached via email at drivewayspecalistsinc@gmail.com, or via the contact form in the sidebar. Ultimate availability!

Driveway Specialists. It’s all in the name.

How to Decide Between Sealcoating & Resurfacing Your Driveway

Asphalt driveways are just like anything else: they require some level of care, maintenance, repair, and eventual replacement. Our care & maintenance tips are a great place to start if you want to extend the life of your driveway and get maximum value for your investment. Even with proper care, asphalt will develop cracks that require you to answer a question: can these be repaired with sealcoating, or do these cracks require a full resurfacing of the driveway?

Sealcoat comes in three general types: coal-tar, asphalt emulsions, and acrylics. Sealcoat acts as a protective layer over the entire area of the asphalt, sitting between the asphalt and the elements, as well as the physical wear and tear of vehicle tires. Combined with a crack filling material, sealcoating can repair isolated cracks in an asphalt driveway, and extend its overall life.

Some cracking is not confined to the surface alone, and calls for the resurfacing of the entire driveway with fresh asphalt. Such cracking comes in a pattern that resembles alligator hide– looking a lot like thick scales. This type of cracking permeates the asphalt, significantly weakening it.

It might be tempting to fix this with crack-filling rubber, but this is just asking for more trouble in the warmer months. As the rubber heats up, it becomes adhesive, sticking to anything that passes on top of it. Or rolls over it, in the case of vehicle tires that are hot from being on the road. The rubber sticks to the tires, and when the vehicle next moves, the rubber goes with– along with chunks of the driveway.

Whether your driveway needs sealcoating or entirely new asphalt, Driveway Specialists can inspect and recommend the right service. Asphalt is our game, and we are very good at it. Call us today at (877) 9 PAVERS, or email us.

Driveway Specialists. It’s all in the name.