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Alaniz Contruction, Inc. Blog

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Different Customers Different Needs

  
  
  
  

   A professional paving company should cater to all of their customers whether they are residential or commercial. A paving company should listen to what their customers want, offer various solutions, and have quick turnaround times.

   Sometimes customers do not make the scope of work clear but other times the scope of work is very precise. If a paving company is professional, they will pay attention to the work that they are planning to do and offer the right suggestions to their customers.

   Property managers want quality paving jobs, great customer service, and competitive prices. In essence, property managers want to save time by dealing with a professional company that will offer solutions not problems.

   Some big paving companies will only concentrate on big jobs and ignore small jobs. Other times, paving companies are eager to accept big jobs from customers but then will not make the time when the same customers have small jobs. At Alaniz Construction, Inc. we make time for all of our customers.

 

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Asphalt Paving and The Weather

  
  
  
  

   As cliché as it sounds, the weather in the San Francisco Bay Area is unpredictable. One of the challenges of paving asphalt and concrete in the Bay Area is the weather. Generally, as a rule of thumb a professional paving company will be busy when it is not raining. Thus, in the San Francisco Bay area April through November is the busy season for an asphalt company.

   It is no surprise to locals that the SF Bay Area has various microclimates. In the South Bay it could be sunny and warm but in The City it could be cold and possibly raining! This adds another layer of complexity to the paving industry, however, all of these challenges are taken into consideration when scheduling paving jobs. 

   Generally, as long as the weather is over 55°F and it is not raining, a quality asphalt paving job is possible. However, it is not as simple as the weather being right, but other tangible and intangible factors that have to be considered as well. The right weather plays a big role in determining if a paving job can be completed when all of the other factors are correct.

   There are many challenges beyond weather, such as traffic that play a big role in coordinating a quality job. This is where experience comes in to play. Generally, paving companies that have been around for years know what they are doing (we hope so!). Generally, mistakes made by paving companies is the reason why warranties come into play for the protection of customers. Regardless of what the competition is doing, at Alaniz Construction, Inc. we know what we are doing and we do it right.

 

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How Does Your Parking Lot Look Like?

  
  
  
  

   Parking lot striping will fade with time depending on the weather and the wear and tear. Even “good quality” striping jobs will fade differently depending on various factors. Conversely, “bad quality” striping jobs will fade faster. Thus, when considering all of the factors, keeping an up-to-date looking parking lot will make your customers happy and keep them safe.

   Take a moment to imagine the abuse that asphalt surfaces take on a daily basis. Some asphalt roads and parking lots are designed to support a certain amount of weight daily. If a parking lot has heavy trucks driving on top daily but the parking lot was designed for light use, then you will have more wear and tear. An experienced paving company will recommend the right amount of inches of asphalt to be paved depending on the use of an asphalt surface.

   Now imagine how many cars will drive over the striping of asphalt surfaces. Not to mention the ADA Improvements that people are going to walk over in parking lots. I have walked over loose ADA Improvements when I have been to the store and I have seen faded ADA parking lots that looked like regular parking spots. There are also out-of-date ADA improvements out there.

   Now picture a scenario where a person with disabilities cannot find an ADA parking spot at your place of business. Or a person with disabilities who slips on a loose ADA ramp improvement on the curb. It is a lawsuit waiting to happen. A badly marked parking lot with fading ADA striping and improvements is bad for business, and it is unsafe for customers. 

   Sometimes business will overlook their parking lots for various reasons. However, a great looking parking lot speaks volumes about your business identity and professionalism.

If your parking looks like this, it's time to call a paving company. 

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Your parking lot should look more like this:

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Asphalt Experience Matters

  
  
  
  

   Asphalt paving jobs are fast and precise when done by an experienced company. There is no room for errors and safety is a priority. In the asphalt paving industry, experience and quality are not an option, they are required. 

   Quality and experience starts with the labor crews working in the field. The work is fast paced and accurate. Everyone is well coordinated and they work hard physically. 

   Personally, I have worked paving asphalt and I have "gotten my hands dirty." Some white-collar professionals at some paving companies would never want to do one day of hard labor paving asphalt. However, here at Alaniz Construction, Inc. even the Marketing Coordinator (me) has experience paving asphalt.

   I have a lot of respect for the field workers working the front lines of any paving or construction company. They wake up early in the morning and sometimes work overtime until the job is done. The work ethic of these men (and women) is relentless. So I dedicate this blog post to all of the hard working men and women out there in America.

 

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 There is something special about the smell of fresh asphalt! 

 

Video Description: Asphalt remove and replace. The video is shaky and sporadic to emphasize the fast pace of an asphalt job. Besides it was taken with a mobile phone after I was drinking coffee.

Going Green Tour

  
  
  
  

   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 is that the elevators use vegetable oil instead of regular oil. Additionally, the building regulates 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.

 

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 Alaniz Construction, Inc. is a member of BOMA SV.

 

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Pictures Courtesy of Kent Goetz Account Manager of Performance Air Service

Bring Your Asphalt To Life

  
  
  
  

   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.

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   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

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After the Seal Coat

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Safe Pavement

  
  
  
  

   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.

 

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Seal Coating: Inexpensive Maintenance

  
  
  
  

   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.

 

 

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Paving One Day at a Time

  
  
  
  

   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.

 

 

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Traveling Paving Contractors

  
  
  
  

     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.

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References:

1. WHEC –TV. Gypsy Paving Contractors. July 26, 2013

 

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