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What are the Causes of Pavement Distress?

Potholes are a sign of pavement distress.

What is distress in pavement?

Distress in pavement describes a wealth of problems in pavement from cracks to potholes and rutting. In other words,pavement distress consists of any sort of damage or failure that undermines the integrity of pavement, and keeps it from functioning properly. In general, two types of distress exist: environmental distress and structural distress.

Agents causing environmental pavement distress include exposure to direct sunlight, water, weathering and aging. Structural stressors include overloading, wet sub-grade or substandard design.

What are the general causes of pavement failure?

When you see cracks, potholes, depressions or ruts in asphalt, these are signs of distress and failure in your pavement. Here are just a few main causes of pavement failure.

Causes of pavement failure include:

  • Water: Water causes the paving material to deteriorate over time.
  • Stress from heavy vehicles: Traffic from vehicles too heavy for the pavement will eventually wear down the pavement.
  • Temperature fluctuations: As seasons and temperatures change, the pavement expands and contracts with the heat and cold.
  • Sun exposure: The sun not only causes pavement to fade, it dries it up and causes the material to deteriorate.

What causes cracks in pavement?

Pavement distress has numerous causes that create everything from cracks to bleeding. Cracks are among the most common problems seen in pavement. Cracks can be caused by any number of things from age to water eroding the paving material to the sun’s heat drying and deteriorating it. Additionally soil erosion, drought or long periods of heavy rain can cause the ground under the pavement to shift and crack. Cracks caused by ground movement are hard to prevent. Tree roots can also push up into pavement and crack it.

Moreover, heavy vehicles traveling on asphalt pavement not designed to support the extra weight can create cracks over time. Vehicles or other heavy objects like pallets left on the pavement for extended periods can cause the pavement to crack.

When you have cracks in your pavement, hot rubber is one of the most effective ways to seal the cracks. If you have cracks in your pavement inAustin, TX, ATX Asphalt Paving is the team to call for reliable hot rubber crack repair. Get help from us today by calling 512-646-6069.

What are active cracks?

An active crack is a type of crack found in concrete pavement. As opposed to dormant cracks, active cracks constantly change either their length, width or depth. Either kind of crack can allow water to intrude under the concrete, washout the base and cause the concrete to sink.

If you are concerned about water quality, even water that gets under your sidewalk, you may want to consider water filtration services.

How to avoid cracks in concrete pavement

Cracks in concrete pavement can be avoided as the concrete is mixed and poured. As it’s placed, a good way to avoid cracks is to make sure no extra water is added to the mix. When there is excess water in the mix, the water evaporates which will lead the concrete shrinking more.

Additionally, when preparing the sub-grade, make sure it is smooth and uniform, free of frost and has good drainage. Otherwise, if the sub-grade is poorly prepared, the concrete can settle and crack.

Properly curing the concrete is also important to keep it from cracking. When you cure concrete, you are preventing the concrete from losing moisture too quickly. Rapid moisture loss causes the concrete to shrink and crack.

In areas where concrete is likely to crack, contraction joints can be added. These strips of plastic or hardboard can be placed to prevent random cracking.

Types of cracks in concrete pavement

Some of the most common types of cracks you see in concrete include:

  • Plastic shrinkage: When it’s in its plastic state, before it’s hardened, water evaporates and causes the concrete to shrink. This shrinkage can result in cracks.
  • Expansion: When concrete heats up, it expands and pushes against whatever gets in its way, whether walls or other concrete slabs. If the object in the way isn’t flexible and doesn’t give way, cracking can occur.
  • Heaving: Cracking can be caused by the ground shifting underneath due to expansion and contraction from freezing and thawing. Similarly, tree roots can push up concrete and crack it.
  • Settling: If a void or hole opens below the concrete, the concrete can settle and crack.
  • Overloading: Excessive weight on the concrete can cause it to crack.
  • Premature drying: When moisture dries rapidly from concrete, it can create cracks.
Grass in pavement cracks can be an annoyance.

Grass in pavement cracks

Grass and weeds growing up through pavement cracks is a common annoyance and there are several possible solutions to getting rid of grass and weeds. Some natural ways to kill the grass or weeks include pouring boiling water on them until they stop growing and pouring a mixture of kitchen vinegar and salt over the weeds. Horticulture vinegar, which can be ordered online, will also do the trick. Other effective ways to get rid of grasses and weeds include torching them with a propane torch or sealing the crack.

Warping cracks in rigid pavement

Warping cracks are caused when concrete slabs expand in hot weather and poorly designed joints aren’t flexible enough to hold up to the stress of the expansion. When longitudinal and transverse joints are properly reinforced, warping cracks will usually be avoided.

Filling cracks in pavement

Filling a crack in the pavement is different from sealing it. When you fill a crack, you use an asphalt emulsion and place it non-working cracks such as alligator cracks, reducing the water infiltration and reinforcing adjacent pavement. Sealing a crack uses hot sealant to prevent water from intruding into cracks larger than 0.1 inches.

Call for service today

If you need cracks in your pavement filled or sealed in Austin, TX , contact the experts at ATX Asphalt Paving. Call 512-646-6069 for service.

How to Lay a Granite Driveway

A granite driveway is great for areas with low-average rainfall.

Have You Considered a Granite Driveway?

Probably not, but granite driveways not only are they an aesthetically pleasing option, but they are also a great investment. You can easily find a crushed granite driveway how to video on YouTube, but if you want quality service and products, then hiring an expert group is the way to go. ATX Paving in Austin, TX are the people that you want helping you create the home you want.

What is a granite driveway or pathway?

Granite driveways are quite different from the typical concrete or asphalt driveway. Typically, you’ll find granite driveways made of something called decomposed granite, also known as granite driveway chippings. This is just granite that has been crushed down into small, gravel like pieces. Decomposed gravel, or DG, is used for a variety of landscaping and paving purposes.

  • Loose DG, used in garden bedding will be the cheapest up front, but because it is more susceptible to erosion, it can cost more later on to maintain. Loose DG is great for drainage, which is why homeowners like to use it in gardens.
  • Decomposed granite mixed with a stabilizer, used for pathways and gardens, is a little more expensive up front. Unlike DG that is completely loose, stabilized DG will have a base of compact decomposed granite with a layer of loose DG on top. This allows for a certain amount of drainage without the decomposed granite becoming murky and muddy.
  • Decomposed granite mixed with a resin is most commonly used for driveways. It will be the most expensive up front. DG mixed with a resin is much more durable than DG loose or mixed with a stabilizer. This mixture, once paved, does commonly resemble an asphalt driveway. It resists erosion as well as cracking and breaking, like asphalt does over time.

Whether as a pathway or a driveway, choosing decomposed granite has many great benefits.  

Granite driveways offer an aesthetic appeal while also being low maintenance and durable.

Benefits of a Granite Driveway

  • Paved or with a stabilizer, there is minimal erosion
  • Incredibly permeable preventing flooding and muddiness
  • Durable
  • Cost friendly
  • Variety of colors makes this a very customizable option

Regardless of the aesthetic appeal, there are still a number of factors to consider when deciding on granite for driveways. If there are heavy rains in your area, then choosing loose DG or even DG with a stabilizer might not be the best option. While both are great for drainage, they are still susceptible to erosion and eventually with excessive rains, flooding. These are all things to discuss with a representative at ATX Paving in Austin, TX.

Our Process

If you have decided on a granite for your driveway, the next step is installation and that is where ATX Paving comes in. We have experienced pavers that can come in to quickly and efficiently install your new driveway.

What we will do is consult with you about the placement, type and color of the driveway. From there, we will mix everything and create the pathway the correct width and about 4-6 inches deep. For a driveway, the granite mixture is poured and paved, creating the durable and lasting agreed upon. Since any color can be added, you can even match your granite driveway or pathway to your exterior paint.

Once installed, your new decomposed granite driveway will last around 10-14 years. Even with heavy foot and car traffic, your driveway will not erode, crack or fade in color. It is recommended to have a fresh layer of granite laid about every 1-2 years from the time of installation.

If you’re now wondering how to care for your new driveway, you can also leave that to ATX Paving. We are experts in all that is granite driveways, so we’ll make sure that your driveway, pathway or sidewalk is taken care of with the utmost care.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to clean a granite driveway?

If you need to clean or maintain your granite driveway, ATX Paving has the equipment and training to properly clean your driveway with little to no erosion.

Does decomposed granite get hard?

If it has been compacted and paved, yes it will get hard. Otherwise, loose DG will not get hard when exposed to elements.

How long does decomposed granite last?

On its own, granite driveway chippings will not last long with heavy rains, foot and vehicle traffic. When the decomposed granite has been compacted with a stabilizer or resin, it can last up to 14 years.

How thick should a crushed granite driveway be?

4-6 inches deep, this provides a strong surface and prevents erosion.

How deep does decomposed granite need to be?

About 6 inches, for driveways.  

Call ATX Paving, 512-646-6069, for granite driveway questions in the Austin, TX area today. We are the expert pavers to help with your granite driveway needs.


How Do You Maintain a Driveway

There are many aspects of a home that need to be taken care of. While we think of the things we need to take care of in the inside of our homes like our plumbing, cleaning the house, and doing laundry, there are also things on the outside that need proper maintenance. One of those things is total driveway maintenance. But who is responsible for driveway maintenance? The person who is responsible for the maintenance is the homeowner. If you share a driveway with someone, then the responsibility lies with both people.  Driveways take quite a beating, as they are driven over every single day. When a driveway isn’t properly maintained, it can start to crack or split. This doesn’t look particularly attractive and can even mess with your car’s tired and make your home look less than aesthetically pleasing.

A Man Using a High Grade Pressure Washer To Wash His Driveway

Keep Your Driveway in Good Shape with Proper Maintenance.

The good news is, this can all be remedied with routine maintenance. Sure its another thing that you need to keep up with, but it is better than having to repair the driveway. Before you begin, you will need the right driveway maintenance equipment; this will include a powerwasher, driveway sealing, crack filler, patching compound, scrub brush, biodegradable cleaner, dishwashing detergent, and absorbent products. It’s important to note that driveways come in different kinds of materials such as asphalt, brick, concrete, and gravel. Each of them will have their own specific maintenance, but there are two bigs ones that apply to most types of driveways.

  • Cleaning: Every type of driveway is going to need to be cleaned in order to maintain its look. Depending on how permeable the material is, you will either need to use a power washer or a good ole fashion scrub brush with soap and water. The biggest things you will want to clean are oil stains. Some will be new and old, and with new ones, you can apply the absorbent product like cat litter, coffee grounds, or cornmeal to absorb the oil. Once it has been absorbed you can use soap and water, or a high grand cleaner, to remove the oil stain. With old oil stains, you will just need to scrub it every once in a while in an attempt to remove the stain. If you have gravel or brick driveways, removing grass and weeds is another thing you can do while cleaning.
  • Sealing: In order to avoid the dreaded cracks that can form in driveways, you will want to use driveway sealing. Asphalt and concrete are the driveways that need to be sealed and you can find sealing at home improvement stores. Ideally, you will want to seal your driveway after it is cleaned or has had cracks repaired. This is to ensure that it stays in good condition. You don’t have to reseal a driveway that often, only every couple of years.

Other things that you might consider for driveway maintenance and repair is sweeping, filling in cracks, and fixing potholes. If you are looking to prevent cracks and other things from happening to your driveway, the prevention actions you can take are not using sharp equipment around the driveway, not using any chemicals to remove ice and ensure that the driveway doesn’t get too wet.

How Can I Clean My Driveway Without a Pressure Washer?

A Man Uses a Hose To Wash Down His Driveway

You Can Use Other Tools Besides a Pressure Washer To Clean Your Driveway.

As a part of your driveway’s maintenance, you will want to give it a thorough washing. One of the most powerful tools you can use to give your driveway a deep cleaning is pressure washer. Many people don’t have a pressure washer, but want to be able to give their driveway a really good cleaning–so what do they do? You can still achieve a good cleaning without a pressure washer, you will just need to right tools and products. You can start by sweeping your driveway to get up the extra dirt and debris. When that is finished you can use a scrub brush, dishwashing detergent or dishwashing soap to remove any stains. If there are new stains, use kitty litter or other absorbent products to absorb the liquid before you scrub it. When you’ve scrubbed as much as you can, you can rinse your driveway off with a hose or take buckets of water and rinse the soap off.

Should I Seal My Asphalt Driveway?

An Up Close Picture of Damaged Asphalt Surface

Having an Asphalt Driveway Sealed Can Prevent Damages From Occurring.

Sealing driveways only really apply to asphalt and concrete driveways, but people with concrete driveways seem to do it more often. However, if you are wanting to avoid cracks and potholes in your asphalt driveway, you will want to consider sealing it. How often do you need to seal your driveway? For an asphalt driveway, a homeowner will only need to seal it every two to three years, which is great as it will give your driveway the protection that it needs. If there are already cracks and potholes on your asphalt driveway, you can still put a seal on it, it just will be a little bit harder.

If you aren’t comfortable adding sealing to a driveway that is already damaged, you can call a professional to assist you. They will have the tools and sealing needed to get the job done. Other questions that people will ask about sealing asphalt driveways are “How long before you can park on a sealed driveway?” and “How long do you have to stay off a newly sealed driveway?” It’s going to depend on what the temperature outside is like. If you are getting asphalt sealing during the summer, then you will need to wait two days before you can walk or park the car on the driveway; if you are getting asphalt sealing in the fall or winter, homeowners will need to wait 72 hours.

If you have had a leak detection that has ended up with your driveway being dug up, you can call the experts at ATX Asphalt Paving! We are able to provide professional driveway installation in Austin, TX so give us a call now at 512-646-6069!

How to Protect Your Commercial Parking Lot

A Newly Paved and Painted Commercial Parking Lot

Once You’re Parking Lot is Finished, You’ll Want to Have it Sealed Within a Year.

You’ve constructed a beautiful parking lot for your business. Now you have to maintain it. Unfortunately, there are a number of hazards that can ruin your lovely commercial parking lot, such as:

  • Dirt and Debris
  • Ultraviolet Radiation
  • Oils and Grease Stains
  • Plumbing Problems
  • and More

So what can be done to make sure your parking lot lasts for the long haul? Here’s a great place to start!

General Maintenance Tips

To kick things off, you’ll want to make sure that your lot is covered with a protective seal. This seal provides a number of benefits. First, it locks out car fluids from seeping into the asphalt. Next, it slows the natural wear down created by vehicles coming in and out each day. Perhaps most importantly, the sealant prevents ultraviolet radiation (from the sun) from fading and cracking your asphalt.

Next, you’ll want to make sure that your parking lot is regularly cleaned and swept. Fresh oil blotches and other stains are easier to remove than those baked into the ground. These can also interfere with future asphalt sealing. Keeping your lot swept and rid of trash is a good way to protect yourself against unwanted pests. Pressure washing is another perfect way to keep your parking lot looking fresh and clean.

Finally, keep an eye out for potential hazards that could threaten your asphalt. For instance, if your water main is spilling over on the pavement, you’ll want to quickly contact your local Texas commercial plumbing service to prevent accelerated cracking.

How Often Should You Seal Coat a Parking Lot?

After the first year, you should keep seal coating your parking lot every two years. If you take exceptional care of your parking lot during that time, you might be able to extend that to every three years. A fresh asphalt seal coat every 2-3 years will greatly extend the life of your parking lot and make maintenance a lot easier for you in the long run.

Schedule Your Asphalt Seal Coating Today!

Ready to get started on your commercial parking lot maintenance? Let’s get you set up with an asphalt seal coating from ATX Asphalt Paving; call 512-646-6069 to schedule your seal coating!

Smart Renovation – Planning Your Driveway Remodeling Project

Driveway Remodeling

Gravel Offers an Easily Accessible Option for New Driveway Installations.

Your family uses it practically every day. It’s one of the first property features your neighbors see as they drive by. Your driveway is a dominating facet of your home’s curb appeal, but few homeowners take the opportunity to spruce it up. There are countless materials you can utilize for your driveway, but which one would be right for your home? Here are some tips to get you started on your driveway remodeling project!

What is the Best Material for Driveways?

There’s gravel, decomposed granite, and classic concrete, and many more materials to pick from, but which one best fits your home? Before finding the answer, we need to take a step back. When it comes to remodeling projects in general, there are a few recurring factors you’ll need to consider, including…

  • Your (Specific) Design Goals
  • The Family Budget
  • Required Materials and Labor Resources
  • Current Landscaping and Equipment

Of course, your budget and design goals should always be the first factors taken into account. You can style your driveway with gorgeous brick pavers, but you’ll need to consider maintenance and replacement costs. Pavers also require professional installation, so you’ll need to hire an expert.

Picking Material on a Budget

If you’re aiming for a low-budget, you-it-yourself job, concrete and gravel are generally your best options. You can easily enhance the edging around your driveway with stone or shrubs. Just make sure your driveway is graded away from the house! For homeowners looking for something beyond traditional concrete, a decomposed granite driveway offers quite a few design options and colors for you to play with. You can have fun creating your own perfect style.

Find Your Estimate on Driveway Installation

If you’re considering installing a gravel or decomposed granite driveway in Austin, TX or a nearby city, we’d love to help you install it! You can consult with our experts and get your driveway remodeling estimate today by calling the ATX Asphalt Paving team at 512-646-6069.

Asphalt vs Concrete Driveway – Which Do I Pick?

Asphalt Driveway

One Perk of Asphalt: Once Complete, an Asphalt Driveway is Almost Immediately Ready for Use.

Are you looking to install a new driveway or replace an aging one? You may already have been caught up in the concrete vs asphalt driveway debate. Both materials provide decades of functionality and there are millions of homeowners who will happily tell you the perks of each. Our question: which is better? Today, we’ll compare the unique benefits and drawbacks of each material, then you can decide for yourself!

What are the Advantages of an Asphalt Driveway?

Cheaper doesn’t always mean better, but asphalt provides a pretty hefty price advantage over concrete. While maintenance for asphalt is more frequently required than it is for concrete, repair jobs are simple and the costs very affordable.

Asphalt also provides a few functional advantages over concrete, such as seasonal flexibility. Asphalt expands and contracts as the weather changes, enabling your driveway to withstand seasonal temperature changes without cracking. If your driveway does suffer cracks or holes, these can be easily sealed without noticeable blemishes on your driveway. Finally, once an asphalt driveway is installed, it’s normally available for use the same day (concrete typically requires 7 days).

Does Concrete Have Any Unique Benefits?

Concrete is a little hardier than asphalt. This is both a benefit and a drawback, as repairs are needed less frequently but are more difficult to perform. Well maintained concrete can last up to 30 years, ten more than asphalt. While oil and gas stains are more visible on concrete, it doesn’t inflict as much damage. Pressure washing can help remove any spills that have adhered to the driveway.

Get Your Driveway Installed by Professionals!

In summary: concrete may last longer, but asphalt driveways are much easier to maintain and much cheaper to install. If you’re interested in having a new asphalt driveway installed, feel free to contact our professionals at ATX Asphalt Paving. We’d be happy to provide you with an estimate for your home or business, and answer any of your questions! Call 512-646-6069.

Signs That It’s Time for a Driveway Replacement

Signs That It's Time for a Driveway Replacement

Know When You Need a Driveway Replacement.

As a homeowner, you want every inch of your home to look great. While the actual interior and exterior are aesthetically appealing, there are things that can decrease the look of your home. One example of this is a damaged driveway. Although driveways are very durable, they get a lot of wear and tear from constantly being driven on. Knowing when to get a driveway replacement will help increase the look of your home.

There Are Cracks in the Driveway

Are there huge cracks running up and down the driveway? This is a big reason a lot of people get a driveway replacement. Not only is it unsightly looking, they can become worse due to gas, oil, and other car fluids falling into the cracks.

There Are Potholes in the Driveway

Texas has very hot weather and due to this, the driveway can expand and contract. This is pretty common but it can cause your driveways material to become susceptible to damages like cracks, which can then form into huge potholes. This is not only bad for your driveway, but can cause issues for your car, as well.

You Have Drainage Issues

If you have a sloped driveway it can cause drainage issues. Because of how it’s sloped, it can be hard for water from rain or sprinklers to run off, which can cause potholes and cracks in your driveway.

If you want a new driveway, call ATX Asphalt Paving at 512-646-6069 for a driveway installation in Austin, TX. You can count on us to provide the best driveway installation for your home.

How Does the Weather Impact Asphalt Pavement?

Asphalt Pavement

In the Summer, Heat and UV Radiation Can Break Down Asphalt Pavement.

Weather can have a huge impact on your asphalt pavement, especially in an area as prone to extremes as Austin, TX. Every season actually presents unique challenges for pavement, from excessive heat, to cold and bad storms. The weather can contribute a great deal to your pavement’s repair needs. To stay on top of maintenance, you should know what to expect throughout the year.

Winter

In winter, frigid temperatures provide the greatest threat to pavement. Asphalt tries to contract as temperatures fall, and its rigidity will cause cracks to form as it releases stress. Water trapped beneath or within your asphalt can also expand as it freezes to create damage and a phenomenon called frost heave.

Spring

In colder areas, the melting of compacted snow can create a great deal of moisture both above and below pavement. Excessive spring showers can also threaten pavement with the degrading effects of water. Without proper drainage, standing pools can deteriorate your asphalt from the top down, while water that has found its way into your substrate will work in the opposite direction.

Summer

In the summer, UV radiation and oxidation combine to wear out your asphalt’s appearance and make it more susceptible to cracks. Extreme heat can also soften and melt asphalt, a phenomenon that requires professional service to repair.

Fall

Fall, like spring, brings with it the increased chance for rainfall. To protect your asphalt from the effects of water, you should ensure its proper grading. This allows the asphalt to naturally drain water off its surface, an indispensable function for its prolonged life.

At ATX Asphalt Paving, we provide exceptional service for asphalt pavement in Austin, TX. To address any of these issues and more, give us a call today at 512-646-6069.