On August 26, 2014 I attended the Going Green Tour at 2610 Orchard Parkway, San Jose, CA. The whole building was designed to be sustainable and green. There is a growing trend in the United States to be greener.
Going green goes beyond the actual materials but also the functionality of a structure. One interesting fact about the Orchard building was that the elevators used vegetable oil instead of regular oil. Additionally, the building regulated the use of lighting in an environmentally friendly way.
Generally, asphalt per se uses recycled materials and can be paved to be greener. For example, asphalt can regulate the water flow of rain away or into a natural body of water. Porous asphalt, although not commonly used, has great water dissipating abilities. If designed properly, asphalt can control the flow of contaminated rain water away from natural bodies of water.
Essentially, being "green" requires a little bit of creativity and time. The Orchard building is a work of green art.
Alaniz Construction, Inc. is a member of BOMA SV.
Pictures Courtesy of Kent Goetz Account Manager of Performance Air Service
Revive your asphalt surface by seal coating it every 2 to 3+ years depending on various factors. It is an inexpensive maintenance option to keep your asphalt surface looking great and to make it last.
With the sun, water, and other elements, asphalt fades, cracks, and oxidizes with time. Asphalt is laid close to 300°F and it goes through significant temperature changes overnight depending on the ambient temperature. Naturally, asphalt will expand and crack over time.
Additionally, bad asphalt begins with bad installation. Thus, it is important to achieve maximum compaction on the asphalt the first time around and to use the right materials. In addition, to having skilled laborers, skilled estimators are important to have a nice looking asphalt pavement. Essentially, quality depends on the overall paving process including materials and application.
An easy aesthetic fix to a functioning asphalt surface is a seal coating option. However, it makes an asphalt surface look nice but its main purpose is to maintain a functional asphalt surface. A skilled professional paving company will determine the need of an asphalt surface depending on its life stage. Every asphalt surface is unique and may need additional repairs beyond a simple seal coating.
Before the Seal Coat
After the Seal Coat
Asphalt paving jobs require a lot of coordination to operate safely. Accidents are the nature of life thus, a professional paving company should be insured to protect its workers and customers. Apart from quality, safety is required in every job.
When choosing a paving company for asphalt or concrete work, choosing an insured company is a must. That is why "traveling paving companies" should be avoided. Some companies may offer a really "good deal" but might not be insured, licensed, and bonded. Additionally, these companies will not offer a warranty if they are not around the next day.
The actual pavement needs to be safe as well. Such as installaing ADA improvements because they need to be up to code and properly installed to protect the public.
Thus not only should safety be important for paving workers, but also for customers since customers need to be safely reassured about their purchase. Buying a paving surface such as asphalt or concrete is an investment that will yield dividends. A great looking asphalt or concrete surface is easier on the eyes and will attract more potential customers to a business location. Every location is different so call a professional paving company for a free assessment.
It is human nature to be reactive rather than preventive. People go out, buy a brand new car, but may be hesitant to take preventative measures to make it last. Essentially, you can let asphalt surfaces fail or you can extend their life by seal coating them periodically.
Water, air, and other factors will cause oxidation breaking down asphalt. Depending on the quality of the asphalt, it may last 20+ years contingent on its use and other environmental factors. Other factors such as the soil and/or the foundation upon which asphalt is built on will affect the life of the pavement. However, an important factor of asphalt pavement is maintenance.
Seal coating existing asphalt pavements every 2-5 years is a great solution to prevent damage. Depending on the condition of an asphalt surface, other solutions like a slurry seal or an asphalt overlay may be necessary. Generally, seal coating is the least expensive preventive solution to maintain an asphalt surface.
Like a car, an asphalt surface may fail completely with time if not maintained properly. Money will be spent on an asphalt surface eventually regardless of whether it is today or tomorrow, it all depends on how much money people want to save. Additionally, like car companies, asphalt companies vary in quality and reliability. At Alaniz Construction Inc. quality is important and we want your car to run smoothly on our roads.
It does not matter what job or career you do, you need to wake up every day to do it. Whether it is white or blue-collar work, every job involves effort. Paving asphalt is hard and dirty work that requires the right team to make an asphalt surface functional and attractive. Most professional companies make paving look easy because that is the way it should be.
Paving is a team effort and everyone involved takes pride in their work. Laborers and foremen alike wake up at 3-5am in the morning to get to their job sites on time to start the day of paving. The foreman coordinates with the sales team to make sure they are on track with time and money. The laborers play a crucial role as well as they coordinate with the foreman to make sure the asphalt is paved correctly.
If you never seen or felt fresh hot asphalt up close, it is hard to imagine how it is like until you are physically involved in the paving process. Imagine how a hot asphalt road on a summer day feels like except 2 to 3 times as hot, that is fresh asphalt.
Asphalt will stick under your work boots as you are frantically trying to lay it down and pave it before it gets cold. Not to mention looking over your shoulders constantly looking out for machinery like the rollers and work trucks. Safety should always be a priority.
At the same time while paving the asphalt surface, the paving crew hurries to clean any mess that they unintentionally create. Making sure any structures or cars are not damaged is important during a job as well. Since asphalt is a dirty job, asphalt and oil will stick to any surface it comes in contact with, thus, cleanliness is required.
At the end of the day once the paved asphalt surface cools off, another day of hard work has been done and the work crews are ready for the next day. Next time you see a paving or construction crew doing their work, slow down and appreciate their efforts. A professional paving company like Alaniz Construction Inc. in the SF Bay Area will make paving easy for you.
It is human nature to save money by choosing the least expensive options in life. When it comes to asphalt and concrete paving, people want to choose the lowest prices. The problem is that there are unethical contractors out there selling subpar services and products.
They are often called “gypsy” contractors who scam unsuspecting customers. The story is similar and the basic premise is that there is left-over asphalt from another job and the contractor is in the neighborhood doing “repairs” at an amazing price. The reality is that these “gyspy pavers” end up charging more money than what the job is worth ¹. Common sense would raise a red flag, but unfortunately human greed is powerful and that is what con artists love.
It is important to choose a paving contractor who has been in business for a few years and has verifiable past customers. Common sense dictates that if a contractor offers a warranty it is important that they will be around to honor it. Additionally, making sure that a contractor is licensed is essential. Another good indicator that a contractor is actively doing business is if they have an online presence like a website.
People naturally choose the lowest priced deal that they get because they are apparently “saving money” instantly. The reality is that this is not true all the time. If a customer chooses the cheapest offer, it is possible that they are receiving the cheapest quality. Thus, it is important to research a paving contractor before doing business with them.
1. WHEC –TV. Gypsy Paving Contractors. July 26, 2013
Imagine dealing with bad drivers, dealing with the natural elements, and taking abuse on a daily basis, no I am not talking about the daily commute to work rather I am talking about what asphalt surfaces go through every day. Asphalt damage is dynamic and happens in a variety of ways. The mode of asphalt failure is important to understand the quality and maintenance of asphalt surfaces.
The most obvious factors that affect asphalt surfaces are weather, wear-and-tear, and time. Water causes a lot of damage to asphalt surfaces in the form of different weather elements such as rain or snow. Additionally, the constriction and expansion of asphalt surfaces due to weather causes damage. Furthermore, the abuse that roads and parking lots take from vehicles, especially large ones, will only perpetuate the destruction of asphalt further. As time goes by, all of these factors are intensified and asphalt will fail faster if it is not properly maintained.
One common mode of failure for asphalt starts as cracks, which are caused by the varying temperatures in the environment. Eventually cracks become potholes with time and lack of maintenance. If left untreated, obviously potholes become bigger until the asphalt surface has failed completely. Additionally, asphalt may fail in other ways from having poor quality construction from the beginning.
How long asphalt pavements will last also depends on the quality of materials and the techniques that are used for construction. If the construction of an asphalt road or parking lot is built on a sub-par foundation with bad materials or if the asphalt is not compacted properly, naturally asphalt will fail faster. An asphalt surface may sink with time if the foundation were it was laid on is not strong enough.
Understanding how asphalt surfaces fail is the crux of having better asphalt quality and better asphalt maintenance plans. That is why an experienced paving company will know how to maintain an asphalt surface proactively. Proactively maintaining asphalt surfaces such as roads and parking lots is important to avoid costly repairs.
When people think about asphalt "quality", sometimes it is difficult to define. Some people only care about driving on a road without too many bumps and getting to where they want to be on time. Various factors affect the quality of an asphalt road such as the materials used and the techniques used to pave a road. That is why quality should consider various factors beyond a scientific measure of compression and thickness.
Asphalt quality can be broad and sometimes it is described as the “maximum compression” of asphalt. Quality is extensive because it means different things depending on people’s perspectives. For example, a road can have the maximum compression and may be created to last, but does it dissipate contaminated rainwater away from natural bodies of water? Additionally, does the asphalt consider other environmental factors such as the ground where it was laid on and will the foundation sustain the asphalt over time?
Many factors will determine how long a road will last over time, which should be the real measures of quality. In addition, quality asphalt roads will save people money over time because they will not have to replace them as often.
Choosing the right paving company is complex but the most important factor is quality. A decent asphalt contractor will do the minimum to create a quality product but there might be “gypsy” contractors out there that just want a quick dollar. Alaniz Construction Inc. emphasizes choosing a reputable asphalt contractor who will offer a warranty on their work.
Not only do asphalt roads have to deal with bad drivers, but they take a lot of abuse from the natural elements as well. The United States has a variety of weather systems that range from freezing to blistering hot. The amazing fact about asphalt roads is that they are designed to survive in all types of weather.
Asphalt roads are damaged primarily by water that comes in the form of rain or snow. The water on asphalt will freeze then thaw, causing asphalt to constrict and expand. Additionally, the soil on which asphalt is built on will have similar effects ¹.
Asphalt roads do not "survive" on their own per se, but rather they require the proper maintenance. This is especially true in places of the United States that get a lot of rain and snow. Thus, the type of elements to which a road is exposed to has to be taken into consideration to establish a proper maintenance plan. By doing so, the life of a road can be extended and help it "survive."
To build an effective road that is going to withstand the elements, companies need to know what they are doing beyond what the law specifies as the minimum requirements. The real difference in “quality” comes from companies doing more than what the law requires. However, some people just want a cheap price without considering the future consequences.
There are all kinds of paving contractors and companies out there that offer different "qualities" at different prices. Alaniz Construction Inc. emphasizes the importance of choosing the right paving contractor that fits your price and offers the best quality possible.
1. Pavement Type Selection. Asphalt Pavement Alliance (APA). July 3, 2013.
Most of the pavement roads in the United States are made of asphalt. Thus paying attention to what our roads are made of should be important. There are various advantages to using asphalt versus other type of pavement materials. Some benefits include saving time, money, and preventing environmental issues.
An asphalt road can be paved fast and efficiently without waiting too long to drive on the pavement. This is an advantage especially in busy parking lots or streets that cannot be shut down for a long time.
When it comes down to money, asphalt is clearly cheaper because it is easier to maintain. In the long run, asphalt will give people more value for their money since asphalt roads last longer. Especially considering the wear and tear that roads accumulate on a daily basis, asphalt roads are a good investment. Additionally, since asphalt can be paved faster than concrete, asphalt will cost less.
Asphalt can be maintained easily and effectively, thus the need for new asphalt pavement is reduced. In essence, the sustainability of asphalt gives it “green” qualities. In addition, asphalt is made from recycled materials. The water dissipation qualities of porous asphalt can be used to divert polluted water away from natural bodies of water.
In a nutshell, asphalt is amazing and we are passionate about it. People should be familiar with the surfaces that they drive on every day. Asphalt deserves a second look because it keeps everyone moving forward efficiently.