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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 There are also out-of-date ADA improvements out there.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

 

Asphalt Pavements Fail Differently

  
  
  
  

     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.

 

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Paving Quality Asphalt Work

  
  
  
  

     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.

 Alaniz Paving Quality Work

 

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