Fall Maintenance to Prepare Your Pavement for Winter Weather

Fall Leaves on PavementWith the falling of the leaves, so to is the mercury, indicating that winter is already on its way. Now is the time to start performing asphalt maintenance to get your paved surfaces ready for the winter onslaught of snow, ice, road salt and frigid temperatures. Winter’s already got enough hazards, you don’t want your parking lot or sidewalks to be another.

Their may be no bigger enemy of safe roads and sidewalks than winter weather. It’s not just slips and falls on ice that you need to be worried about, either. Damage done during the winter can cause pavement to heave and buckle, leaving cracks and bulges that become a tripping hazard.

Clean it Up

Your first order of business should be cleaning any pavement, either blowing or sweeping up gravel, leaves, dirt and debris from your pavement’s surface. This keeps pavement free of debris which can be ground into its surface, ruining its protective coating. Once water gets in to a crack in the pavement, no matter how small, it will freeze and weaken the surface. That makes it more susceptible to cracking later.

Spending some time sweeping your paved areas also allows you to get up close and personal with it, spotting small cracks that could become bigger problems.

Repair Issues Promptly

Once you’ve given your pavement the once-over, have problem areas addressed. It’s too easy for ice and snow to exacerbate any pavement issues. Small cracks may be much larger after just one winter. Even if it means performing just a temporary patch until spring, its better than rolling the dice on winter.

You should also have any paved surfaces sealcoated every one to three years to keep it in the best shape possible.


Assess your pavement for any areas where water is pooling or not draining correctly. If water can’t drain off paved areas correctly, it will gather and create big problems. The constant freezing and thawing in one spot can crack and heave an area rather quickly. Make sure drainage is free and clear to do its job, have drains cleaned if they aren’t.

Maintain your parking lot with Dykes Paving

Take a good look at your parking lot, what does it say about your business? Just as the front yard is the first part of a home that a prospective buyer sees, your parking lot is the first part of your business that you customers will see. This is where you make your first impression. That impression can affect how they perceive your company. In order to keep your parking lot looking its best, you will need to invest in its maintenance. Regular maintenance improves safety and keeps you from having to spend on costly repairs.

Here some important steps for maintaining your parking lot asphalt:

  • Keep it Clean

Aside from the fact that a parking lot that has been swept free of dirt and debris looks better, regular cleaning can help with the longevity of the asphalt surface as well. Dirt and debris can hinder drainage so that you will have standing water on your parking lot asphalt. That water will eventually damage the surface and leak into the sub base where it will cause cracks.

  • Repair Potholes

It is a good idea to fill these in before they worsen and further damage your parking lot’s surface. If left unchecked, potholes will grow due to the traffic going over them and because of moisture soaking in under the surface.

  • Paint New Stripes

This has the same effect as rotating the tires on your car in that it helps to even out wear on the surface. By changing your stripes around, you can ensure that tires are not going over the same spots every day.

  • Sealcoat It

Sealcoating protects your parking lot asphalt from weather damage and damage from the natural erosion of asphalt over time. The amount of traffic that your parking lot sees is one of the factors that you will use when deciding how often to sealcoat it. Most parking lots should be sealcoated at least once every two years.

The tips above can significantly lower the cost of maintaining your parking lot. Remember that a big part of good parking lot maintenance has to do with the paving contractor that you hire to do the job. At Dykes Paving, we know how to take care of asphalt. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

When most people think of the weather-damaged highways, they think of winter potholes, caused by the relentless freeze-thaw cycles of our nation’s northern roads. The fact is, however, that extreme summer heat can do severe damage to asphalt roads as well.

Just this past June, in the St. Paul suburb of Little Canada, cars were seen jolting over a large bulge in the road, which functioned much like a speed bump and could easily have caused an accident. Further south, near the state line with Iowa, travelers on I-90 encountered even worse heat damage, highways that had buckled to the point of creating “jump ramps.” Several consecutive days of 90s-plus weather were responsible for both of these “blow-ups,” as they are typically called. The sub-asphalt, concrete slabs had absorbed so much heat that they expanded into each other, tightened the joint, and buckled the highway.

But this is not the only kind of damage a heat wave can do to an asphalt road, and if it can do it in a state like Minnesota (famous for -50ºF temperatures) and in a town aptly named “Little Canada,” roads further south are certainly not exempt.

High temperatures can also cause roads to crack, rather than buckle, under pressure. Fissures small and great then make an opening for summer rains, which can erode sub-surface asphalt layers and create “air gaps.” Air gaps are like “bubbles waiting to burst,” as soon as the heavy pressure of a large vehicle rolls over them, and once they implode, they leave behind a pothole, a rut, or a sag.

But what can you do to protect asphalt roadways, parking lots, and driveways from the summer heat? The first answer is to ensure a reputable, conscientious company installs your pavements to begin with. With already-damaged roads, the best option is to repair all problems without delay, whether that means filling in isolated cracks and potholes, giving your pavement a fresh protective coat with asphalt resurfacing, or contracting for pavement reconstruction where damage is already extensive.

When damage is not yet severe, but you want to exercise basic maintenance to keep a road from falling into poor condition, resurfacing is far superior an option to seal coating, which does little to strengthen your asphalt, erodes in only a year or two, and creates a health hazard. Asphalt resurfacing, by contrast, hot pours a fresh 1½ to 2 inch layer of asphalt while recycling your existing top layer. The result is strong, durable, smooth, safe, and effective at shedding water.

Considering the safety and legal risks of leaving “heat-afflicted” roads and pavements as is for months on end, along with the cost-effectiveness of quickly correcting problems to prevent them from growing worse, it simply makes good sense to maintain your asphalt with a quality resurfacing job at least every few years.

It is also key that you select an experienced asphalt company you can trust to do the job right. In the Atlanta Area, Dykes Paving has been installing, repairing, and resurfacing asphalt roads and pavements for nearly half a century. They have the knowledge, equipment, and manpower to handle all manner of asphalt jobs, both small and large. Dykes also uses recycled, environmentally friendly asphalt sources, including their innovative Perma Flex asphalt overlay system, which can often make the difference between overlaying versus replacing cracked asphalt.

To learn more or to get a free quote, call Dykes Paving at 770-448-392 or to fill out the online inquiry form. We serve Atlanta, GA, and all the surrounding areas.

Several factors affect your commercial property value. One of those factors is the aesthetic appeal of the property. If you have a lot of pavement – usually in the form of a parking lot – it can have an impact on your property value. Whether it’s a positive or negative impact, is up to you.

Looks Make a Huge Difference

You’ve likely heard the term “curb appeal.” Looks drive property values, and commercial property has to look visually appealing. Good-looking grounds do more than increase the property value; they also attract business in general.

Something like parking lot can take up an incredible amount of visual real estate. It draws the eye and helps people come to conclusions about the property. If your pavement is in disrepair, potential clients, investors or buyers may assume that other parts of the property are in disrepair as well.

Maintain or Increase Your Property Value by Maintaining Your Pavement

To start take a walk around your property and make note of obvious flaws that need repair. If you’re unsure where to start, you should consult with a professional pavement contractor. A pavement contractor can help you with any or all of the following:

  • Dealing with cracks in your pavement
  • Repairing or patching any spots of deterioration
  • Cleaning it properly (blowers, sweepers, pressure washers)
  • Sealing the pavement (binding, waterproofing, strengthening)

This is all assuming you have pavement that isn’t too far-gone. In some cases, your paving contractor may suggest you take further steps.

Resurfacing or Repaving Your Pavement

If your pavement needs more than a few repairs, you should have it resurfaced. However, if you have pavement that’s torn-up and heavy on damage, you should definitely opt to have it repaved altogether. Remember that your pavement is an investment, and that investment will pay off in multiple ways – if you take care of it.

If you don’t know where you should begin, you need to speak to a professional Dykes paving contractor that can help you figure it all out. Contact us today.

Hot Mix AsphaltRepairing asphalt comes with far more considerations than most people think. For a property owner, the ideal situation is to have the asphalt look as good as new. Also, it should stay looking that way for as long as possible. Using the wrong mix can lead to early problems, premature wear and tear, and more expensive issues.

It Is Not All the Same

To start, you need to understand that asphalt is not all the same. It is easy to think so if you never had to mix, roll, or lay it yourself. After all, from pavement to parking lot, it usually all looks identical. Asphalt, or bitumen, is a type of petroleum that occurs naturally. In general, asphalt pavement consists of the following:

  • Aggregate (rocks)
  • Bitumen (a mixture of hydrocarbons)

That’s it. This may cause you to wonder just how you get different types if the main two ingredients are always the same. The answer is in the mixture.

Aggregates can consist of any type of rocky material. In addition, the materials can vary in size, sharpness, roundness, and volume. Different aggregates create different mixes. Some mixes work better for some applications than others.

Asphalt itself is not always the same. Different types come from different regions, so the properties can vary. In addition, some types have things added in factories or labs that can help bring out certain properties over others.

The method of mixing the aggregate with the bitumen can also vary. Altogether, there are a tremendous amount of mixes that these disparate things can create. So no, it is not all the same. Far from it actually. However, there are some types and mixtures that have stood the test of time and shown to work remarkably for their intended usage.

Cold Mix and Hot Mix

The difference between cold and hot mix can often confuse people. Professionals understand when one solution will work better than another, but it’s not always easy considering that different proprietary blends are out there.

Hot mix– These mixes are the most common type. The mix is heated, and rolled on hot. Hot mixes have the most variety as far as types and usage. That is why it’s important to use a hot mix with a good track record for your intended use of it. A good, premium hot mix can give you permanent results rather than temporary ones.

Cold mix– These mixtures involve not heating the aggregate. These mixes work well for patches and repairs. Traditionally, cold mix has often been thought of as consumer grade asphalt. Meaning that it’s often store-bought, good for do-it-yourselfers, but largely not as strong and durable as hot mix.

As previously stated, it’s all in the mix. There are many commercial-grade cold mix solutions that work as well, if not better, than hot mixes, depending on the temperature and intended use. Cold mix patches tend to cost less, and take less time to administer. They are ideal for making repairs during cool, cold, wet, or arid months.

What’s the Right Mix for Your Project?

Choosing the right mix is not easy. It’s also something that no property owner should do without seeking the help of a professional.

You may find that you require a custom mix for your particular project. You may find that you cannot complete your project using the type of mix that you originally wanted. You may not know where to start with the project.

The professionals at Dykes have the knowledge, experience, and mix expertise to help you make the best of your project. Speak to us first about your project.

The price of paving a parking lot varies from one market to another. For a 50,000 square feet parking lot in Atlanta, the cost averages between $1.25 and $1.5 per square foot – this price applies to 1 ½ to 2 inch compacted overlays. Cost is also dependent on the following factors:

Alligator cracking

If the parking lot you want to pave has underground water issues or widespread alligator cracking, you should install geotextile paving fabric such as PetroMat, Mirafi, and Glass Grid. Doing so prevents the cracks from reappearing through the surface. The price of paving fabric usually ranges from 0.14 to 0.22 dollars per square foot.


If you have a parking lot with drainage problems, severe cracks, and a curb reveal –space between the existing asphalt grade and the top of the curb – that is less than six inches, you will benefit from asphalt milling. What does asphalt milling entail? The top one to three inches of asphalt is grinded using a milling machine to allow for new paving. On average, milling costs from 0.25 to 0.60 dollars per square foot.

Fuel volatility and raw material availability

The cost of asphalt is not constant; it changes on a monthly basis. Check its price on your state’s Department of Transportation website. When the cost of hot mix asphalt rises, so does that of liquid asphalt cement. Availability of raw materials also affects the cost of paving. For instance, if there are 3 asphalt plants within a five mile radius in a given town, the cost of raw materials will be low. However, if there is only one plant within a 25 mile radius..

The cost of disposal millings should also be considered because some plants are at full capacity to stock recycled asphalt. This means that they cannot take in new asphalt until they reduce the stockpile to state-required levels. If you want to move millings to another location, the cost of milling will go up.

Drainage correction or leveling course

If your parking lot currently has large areas covered by water and extensive puddles due to improper grade, the problem needs to be corrected before paving. You can do this by installing an asphalt leveling course to shim low spots. The contractor can shoot elevations using a laser grade system and direct the milling crew during ‘profile milling’ to influence the grade and improve drainage. The cost of drainage is usually quote-per-project after a detailed site evaluation by a qualified paving professional.

Type of company

Which company is doing your parking lot paving? The industry is filled with companies which want to make a quick buck. They do so by using inferior workmanship and materials. Their end game is to increase their profits while cutting corners. The most popular way of doing this is by installing less asphalt than required. Less than a year later, when your parking lot asphalt starts cracking, you will discover that they installed less asphalt than proposed. How can you identify such outfits? They tend to ask for large deposits upfront. They do this because they do not have enough capital and credit to buy raw materials. To avoid this pitfall, ensure that your check is made out to a business, not an individual.

Another factor that affects the price of paving your lot is job accessibility. Is it easy to transport heavy equipment to and from your property? Additional factors include ease of paving and work schedules. Dykes Paving has sufficient equipment and manpower to pave your parking lot. Contactors from Dykes are professional. Contact us today for a quote.


Driveway Asphalt Paving CrewAnyone who knows anything about sealcoat understands the importance of temperature to ensuring it dries properly. With the cool Atlanta winter in full swing, you need experienced professionals to lay down the correct sealcoat to withstand the cold night air and moderately warm days.

The Process of Applying Sealcoat that Lasts

Laying down sealcoat to bind with asphalt requires knowledge of the complex interplay of humidity and temperature in the Atlanta region. Since the sealcoat needs to bind with the surface, all the water has to evaporate from it so that it can dry without having destructive air pockets trapped at the interface. Essentially, sealcoat is quite temperature sensitive.

If the atmospheric humidity is elevated, for example, the sealcoat won’t dry for a long time; a lot of moisture in the air thus delays the use of the road. Similarly, cold temperatures also lead to longer drying times. Both cases occur because the water in the sealcoat must evaporate, and cold temperatures make it harder for moisture to evaporate.

It’s easy to see why higher humidity – which means that the air is saturated with more water – also leads to longer drying times. There’s so much water in the air already, that there are fewer places for the water molecules from the sealcoat to occupy; thereby decreasing the rate of evaporation.

Although Atlanta temperatures aren’t like the East Coast, the chilly nighttime air can cause the incorrectly laid sealcoat to split and crack, decreasing the lifetime of the road or pavement. As such, you need to make sure a professional does the job, so that they’ve evacuated all the water out before the coat dries – otherwise the water will freeze and break through.

Repairing Damaged Asphalt

If you’ve had your surface seal coated in the past by a subpar contractor, chances are that the road is already suffering – it only takes a single winter for the effects of a poor job to start showing. At Dykes Paving, we perform rehabilitative surfacing too; structural damage can be repaired to look and perform like new. The benefits of repairing early are that you avoid having to shell out for entire road replacement down the line, and you reduce damage to vehicle tires from the grains chipped off from poorly coated roads. Our servicing techniques have been demonstrated to help pavement last for decades.

The sealcoat technicians at Dykes Paving understand the intricacies involved with laying down water-based sealcoat that can perform throughout the temperatures to which it will be subjected during the year. A well-executed process means that your costs will be reduced, and the asphalt will hold up much better to the environment. For your own peace of mind, get yourself a contractor from Dykes Paving in Atlanta – we know sealcoating and asphalt better than anyone else. Contact Dykes Paving today for a free consultation.