When Should You Seal Coat Your Asphalt Parking Lot?

As a business owner, you want your asphalt parking lot to make a good impression on your customers with smooth, nice-looking pavement. That requires seal coating from time to time to ensure that it maintains its good appearance and performance. If you try to save some money by skipping this maintenance, it will end up costing you more in the long run.

The following explains the basics of seal coating as well as when you should seal coat your asphalt parking lot:

What is seal coating?

Seal coating is the application of a mixture of asphalt or refined coal tar with clays, mineral fillers, and water. After application, the seal coating becomes hard and forms a protective coating that looks smooth and black.

Why is it necessary?

If you don’t seal coat your asphalt parking lot, it will probably only last about five to six years before it starts to break down. Seal coating can protect against water damage and corrosive materials while making repairs to cracks more effective. In addition, the process makes your parking lot easier to keep clean while improving its appearance.

If your parking lot doesn’t receive this treatment, the asphalt binder hardens, causing the asphalt to become weak and brittle as it’s exposed to the harsh Atlanta sunlight. As the weather heats up and cools down, the pavement expands and contacts, eventually causing cracks to form. They can then become worse as water gets into the cracks and freezes.

When should you seal coat your asphalt parking lot?

Your parking lot should be seal coated for the first time about 12 months after the asphalt surface is laid. This gives the pavement time for oils to escape so the surface is ready for sealer.

After the initial seal coating, it should be reapplied every three to five years to ensure that the appearance, performance, and longevity of your parking lot is protected. Over time, you’ll save a significant amount of money by investing in seal coating so your parking lot doesn’t have to be repaired or repaved more quickly.

To find out more

If you have an asphalt parking lot near the metro Atlanta area, contact Dykes Paving at 770-448-3392 for more information or to schedule seal coating. We stand behind our work 100% and are proud of the high quality of work we’ve delivered since 1968.

Asphalt is one of the most commonly used paving materials in the world with over 400 million tons produced annually in the U.S. alone, according to the National Asphalt Paving Association. It is also the most recycled paving material (known as RAP) with one hundred percent of the recovered material returned to the paving cycle when recovered from the previous applications. While Asphalt is a well-known and versatile material, understanding how this material is produced can help make your project a success.

Petroleum asphalt is the most used type employed in paving applications. Produced as a byproduct of the petroleum refining process, this thick, heavy, viscous fluid is comprised of various aromatic compounds, asphaltenes, and saturated hydrocarbons and form the binder component of modern paving applications. This binder is then combined with various sizes of mechanically sorted and crushed aggregates, graded sand mixes, stone dust as well as any desired or required chemical components as specified for the intended project. Recycled material can be and is often used in place of newer aggregates, although some applications will require the use of both depending on the strength required and paving purpose. 

Once the non-binder added mix has been combined, it is then heat dried to remove any excess moisture and to allow it to bind completely with the binder. Once this drying process is complete, the binder is added to the aggregate composite via a mechanical mixer and this final material is then loaded on to vehicles for delivery to the project site. In addition to the production of virgin material or a plant produced, combined RAP product, another process is available, depending on project requirements, in which the RAP is hot mixed on site for immediate reuse. 

Regardless of your project size, employing asphalt as a paving material is the optimal economic and environmental choice for your specific application. For residential, commercial or industrial applications, allow the specialists at Dykes Paving to show you how you can get the most benefit from this type of paving material and how it can contribute to your project’s overall success. 

For business and property owners, understanding the long-term value of milling your existing asphalt pavement is crucial to getting the most from your investment. While many understand that milling the current surface provides for a recycled and sustainable product, few understand how this directly translates into a long-term value proposition for the business.

Direct Value Of Reusing Existing Asphalt.

Milling of an existing layer of pavement allows for a nearly immediate return of the recycled product into the new surface. This reduces costs compared to using an all-new surface without any recycled asphalt content. In addition, it also saves time in terms of delivery and transportation compared to a new asphalt product, thus providing for a faster completion in many cases.

For the longer term, the use of RAP, or recycled asphalt product, also allows your initial asphalt investment to be reused for the life of the property or pavement. In other words, this type of asphalt processing can allow your initial asphalt to be converted and reused time and time again. Of course, milling can also be used to treat trouble spots, thereby reducing the need for a complete resurfacing which could also disrupt your business for the duration. All of which delivers a direct value to your business, over both the long and short-term.

An Indirect Value of Reusing Existing Asphalt.

The use of existing asphalt allows for a smoother surface upon completion as both the milling and processing reduce the aggregate to a better, more compact finish. When this new layer is applied, it not only delivers a smoother ride but it increases the awareness of those who use the pavement. In effect, an improved look and feel of a parking lot or road create an improved perception of the business or property. Given that the surface will last for a significant amount of time, this perception is considerably long lasting in the minds of those who visit your business or property. Which again, comes together to provide you with a long-term value.

By using your existing asphalt, your investment delivers both a direct and indirect value to your business and or property. Therefore, it is important to consider how this value will benefit your company. To discover the exact benefits and how it can improve your business, contact an asphalt specialist today so you can put your investment to work for you.

Winter weather requires careful preparation for your home’s (or business’s) exterior and landscaping. However, when preparing for the cold your asphalt shouldn’t be ignored. Asphalt is also vulnerable to the cold and careful preparation is required to avoid damage, injury, and expensive repairs. When preparing for the winter keep the following four tips in mind.

Preparing Your Asphalt For The Winter

  1. Clean Up: one of the first things you should do to prepare for winter is to clean up. Debris that is easily ignored in warmer weather can quickly become unsafe when exposed to snow, ice, and moisture. Removal of trash and collected refuse also allows for easier cleanup and snow removal.
  2. Fill Cracks And Sealcoat: during the winter snow can get into cracks which later melts and then reforms into ice once the temperature drops below freezing. This process can greatly weaken your asphalt and cause further damage as the expanding ice increases the size of existing cracks. Filling these cracks prevents this from happening and a sealcoat further protects your asphalt from the elements.
  3. Pay Attention To Pooling Water: pooling water can be caused by dips or drops in your asphalt. In the winter collected water can quickly become ice which is a safety hazard for both residents and visitors. By being aware of areas where water collects you can have it removed before it freezes. Areas where water pools should also be repaired as needed by professionals.
  4. Repair Potholes: potholes are not only unsightly but they allow snow, ice, and other debris to collect over the winter. If left unattended potholes can cause much of the same damage that cracks cause but on a much larger scale and can threaten the structural integrity of your asphalt. If potholes are a common issue special cold weather asphalt may be required when repairs are made.

Final Thoughts

As the above information shows winter weather can be damaging to asphalt if you are unprepared. By taking the above tips into consideration you greatly reduce the possibility of damage during the colder parts of the year. Also, consider hiring professional help to properly seal existing cracks, repair damage, and properly prepare your asphalt for the winter.

Parking Lot Pavement Mall StoresA good property manager has a keen eye for how the property affects residents and guests. Few things have quite as big an impact as the state of the parking lot. A well-maintained parking lot gives a strong first impression and enhances convenience for everyone.

When your parking lot is maintained well, it shows you are willing to go the extra mile.

There are many aspects of keeping your parking lot in tip-top shape, but it gets easier when you integrate an asphalt and parking space checklist into your regular maintenance routine.

Let’s look at some common problems and how to resolve them:


When parking lots start to show their age, potholes are usually the biggest complaint. They are unsightly and can cause damage to vehicles. Potholes happen when water permeates underlying pavement through a surface crack, so it’s important to check for them after heavy rains.

Asphalt patching should be applied during warm, dry weather. Property managers in northern states will find repairs made during the winter months have a tendency to wear out faster than those in summer. At least 30 days of dry weather helps repairs be more effective.


If potholes are caused by cracks, why not fix the cracks proactively? Inspect your asphalt for cracks each quarter – the sooner you work on them, the easier it will be. Cracks that are less than a quarter of an inch wide can be fixed with sealcoat; others will require crack sealer. Be sure to clear out debris like vegetation and rocks before applying your crack sealer.

Pavement Replacement

Sometimes, it’s more cost effective to go all in and fully replace damaged pavement. To make sure you are getting the best value for your budget, talk to an expert first. Drainage, traffic load, and landscaping issues – such as root systems under the pavement – all influence whether a full replacement is a sound long-term investment.


Sealcoating is an optional final step that protects a parking lot’s surface from oxidization and other environmental damage. The extra protection can add years to the life of your parking lot while cutting down on repairs. Ideally, asphalt should be sealed 6-12 months after installation. After the initial process, it can be revisited every two years.

For expert help keeping your parking lot in prime condition, contact Dykes Paving and Construction.

Dykes Paving has over 30 years of experience in the development and use of recycled materials for their paving projects. Their materials meet industry standards, are strong, affordable, and meet LEED certification for associated credits. The use of recycled construction materials in your pavement projects allows the opportunity to protect the environment, reduce the use of new materials, save money, and also have a high-quality product.

LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Certification is another of the many benefits offered by using recycled materials. Note that the following information concerns LEED Certification credits and Dykes Paving’s expertise in the industry to learn more about the LEED program in general sense click here.

LEED Certification Points and Credits

Use of recycled materials in your Atlanta LEED Projects allows your business to gain points in the following two areas based on the materials used and the location of origin of these materials.

1. Materials and Resources Credit 4 Recycled Content: credits are earned by the use of recycled materials in your paving projects. To simplify the more recycled material used in the completion of the project the more points are gained. The scale is 10 percent is one point, 20 percent two points, and an extra point may be earned if 30 percent or more of the project’s costs use recycled materials. As industry experts, Dykes Paving materials are 100 percent made from recycled materials allowing you to gain the maximum amount of credits.

2. Materials and Resources Credit 5 Regional Materials: additional points can be earned based on where recycled materials are sourced from. Recycled materials are considered regional if they are processed and manufactured within 500 miles of the job’s location. Regional Material credits use the same percentage and point scale as the Recycled Content credits. Much like Dykes Paving’s commitment to recycled materials they are also committed to using local materials from the surrounding greater Atlanta area.

Projects That Should Make Use Of LEED Certified Paving

Another of LEED certified pavings advantage is that it can be used in many different paving projects. The use of recycled material does not limit the paving’s strength or durability and it can be used for structural fills, as a road base, to support existing infrastructure, drainage systems, storm water control, and in projects where soil needs to be stabilized. LEED certified paving should be considered for any project that has a need in the above-listed areas.

Lastly, when considering a paving expert you want to hire a company with the experience and knowledge needed to do the project right. With decades of experience, Dykes Paving can help complete any LEED paving projects.

Paved Road in Forest

According to the both National Asphalt Pavement Association and the Federal Highway Administration, recycled pavement is the most used recycled material in the country and it is easy to see why. Recycled materials offer a cost effective, environmentally sustainable alternative to using newer cold and hot mix materials. It is also an effective means of generating aspects for LEED certification as well as producing general goodwill and community awareness on the part of the property owner and the material contractor.

The use of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) can represent a significant reduction in transport costs as it can be used in place in both hot and cold mix applications. For those applications in which offsite transport is still necessary such as those requiring milling or crushing, RAP still represents a viable alternative to virgin materials as RAP has already undergone weathering and polishing which reduces the degradation when used in crushing and milling. Thereby reducing material costs as well as providing an acceptable friction resistance. In addition, when used in mixed applications with virgin materials, the overall resulting mix material quality is increased, further reducing costs and providing a benefit to the contractor as to product quality.

Recycled Pavement offers numerous benefits with very low risk to either property owners or contractors and thus should be used whenever possible. By working with a knowledgeable and experienced pavement provider concerning the use of RAP, your business can take the right steps to a cost effective and sustainable future for all.

New Parking Lot PavingWhen it comes to parking lot construction, one question dominates- how much does a parking structure cost? A quick answer in the form of $X per space is anticipated but the correct answer requires comprehensive information. A short answer provides a possibility of error: an overestimate or underestimate. An overestimate can kill the project while an underestimate can result in a project whose costs are drastically more than anticipated.

Factors that affect the cost of a parking structure

Parking lot construction can vary depending on a number of variables. It’s important to first look at the structure efficiency which is dollars per square foot and parking efficiency which is square feet per space. These components are critical in determining the final cost of a parking facility. Structural efficiency is a measure of the total cost divided by the total structural area which includes the ramps, elevators, stairs and all parking areas. The average cost differs with the geographic market and can range from $35 to $65 per square foot. Structural efficiency can be determined by the following factors:

  • Slope and structure
  • Land utilization costs
  • Structure framing type
  • Drainage requirements
  • Architectural enhancements
  • Above ground vs. below ground

Parking efficiency, on the other hand, is the total gross area of the structure divided by the number of spaces. Factors that affect parking efficiency include:

  • Mixed use. Will the area be used for other purposes other than parking?
  • Footprint. Will the length be enough to allow parking on all ends?
  • Column grid. Is the layout a long-span column grid where spaces and aisles are free of columns or a short-span grid where there are columns for the parking spaces?
  • Functional layout. What type of layout is needed; a one-way angled parking or a two-way 90-degree parking?

Costs of labor and materials should also be taken into consideration.

How to save on parking lot construction costs

Cost can be a major concern when considering a new parking lot construction. Immediate and future large expenses can be minimized in the following different ways:

  • Estimating the costs from the outset
  • Identifying risks and uncertainties early
  • Using recycled materials such as recycled steel and cement composites
  • Sourcing quality workmanship and materials

Thoughtful decision-making can make a project financially feasible. If you don’t fully understand how parking lot construction costs are determined and would like to learn more, contact the Dykes Paving professionals for a free consultation.

Is your asphalt cracked and worn out? Then it’s time for repairs. First, it’s best to understand why your pavement  is cracking – you don’t want to have to repair it again next year. Here’s the top five reasons your pavement is cracked, and what to troubleshoot.

Alligator cracking means too much stress.

The most notable kind of pavement cracks are alligator cracks (sometimes crocodile cracks), so named because they look like the markings on an alligator’s back. Alligator cracking is a sign of serious fatigue and means the pavement is overloaded, bearing too much weight for what it was built for. Tell your contractor your needs instead of looking for the bargain, so you know your sub-base is quality.

Poor drainage.

If there is little to no drainage on your property, or you’re getting a lot of run off from a nearby slope, this can cause serious issues for your sub-base or even start to separate the asphalt layers from the aggregate (that’s the layer of stone or slag under the construction area). A sealant will help with this.

Heavy thaw and temperature change.

Much like cracks caused by poor drainage, if you suffer from heavy spring thaws or rapid, highly variable temperature changes, your pavement can crack from over-expansion of an asphalt layer, or just water weakening the sub-base. To treat it, get a pro who knows how to layer properly and it will save you money.

Stripping and raveling.

This is what happens when the asphalt separates from the aggregate, often as a result of an improper first layering. When this happens, you’ll need a pro to fix it. To make sure you don’t spend an arm and a leg on pavement repairs, make sure you hire the best the first time around, or at least on the first fix!

Lack of edge support.

The edges of your pavement can crack in crescents and penetrate the sub-base if the support around the pavement area has not been properly laid, and water has begun to seep into the mix or the base. Again, sealant can help when you start to notice small cracks, but once they’re big, you’ll need a professional.

If you have problems with cracking and are in need of pavement repairs, call Dykes Paving, with four decades of experience in the Atlanta metro area!

Pavement Pressure WashSpring is here and summer is around the corner, which means it’s the time for asphalt maintenance. With the winter thaw done your asphalt might need to be cleaned, not only to keep ugly stains and tracks off your commercial property, but also to help maintain your pavement and keep it free of oil slicks and mold. Here are some tips for safe asphalt cleaning.

Do use a pressure washer.

When you have a large scale pavement to clean such as a commercial or municipal property, you don’t want to go scrubbing every stain by hand. Check out pressure washers that the pros use like the Yamaha Surface Cleaner.

Don’t use a home made detergent.

Not only could attempting a DIY detergent accidentally cause toxic fumes if you mix the wrong ingredients, but also it could damage the pressure washer and leave even more streaks and stains all over your asphalt. For proper asphalt maintenance that makes your property look as professional as it can, use an appropriate cleaner that is meant to go in a pressure washer, and on your pavement.

Always wear safety equipment.

Eye goggles and gloves are an absolute must when cleaning your own asphalt! Little chips and stones, as well as splash back from the washer could easily catch you in the eye, so safety first!

Do seal all electrical outlets.

If you have any extant jacks, electrical outlets, or electrical fixtures such as lamps in the area that needs to be cleaned, make sure to seal them or get them out of the way before you start cleaning.

Don’t turn your washer on too much too soon.

Remember that asphalt has relative give in high temperatures, so don’t hold the nozzle of the washer too close to the surface of your pavement, or turn the pressure on maximum too fast. Keep the nozzle a good foot away from the surface and on minimum pressure to start with and ease the pressure up if it needs it, while also increasing distance if you do.

If you have a lot of asphalt maintenance to do for your business and no time to get your own washer and do the cleaning yourself, then call a pro – Dyke’s Paving has been one of the most trusted names in paving for the Atlanta area for over four decades, and are waiting to help you today!

Parking Lot Pavement Mall Stores

Every business can benefit from a good pavement maintenance strategy. When the weather starts getting warmer after winter, it’s time to prepare for spring and the natural expansion of elements below the surface. Here are some tips to prepare your pavement for the spring season.

Tip #1

Patch the pavement. This will fix potholes and other kinds of disintegration in your pavement. It will also prevent further deterioration and save you money on more extensive repairs. Patching is done by filling and excavating damaged areas in the pavement.

Tip #2

Let a professional cleaning company do a thorough inspection of your pavement as well as a cleanup of the pavement surface. A good cleaning crew with the right set of tools will be able to rid your pavement of any debris and dirt, which is not something that can be done by simply sweeping the surface.

In addition to making your pavement look cleaner in time for spring, a good cleanup job will preserve the durability and smoothen the surface which will prevent dirt and unwanted items from getting stuck in small cracks and under the pavement.

Tip #3

If your pavement is discolored or worn you can seal coat it. This is a great way to make the street outside your park, grocery store or other business look brand new. To further preserve the pavement and extend its lifetime you should do a professional seal coating every two or three years. Doing it regularly also optimizes safety and will keep the pavement structurally stable.

Tip #4

Repair or change parking lot lines before the spring season hits. This will give you time to relax, and you can rest assured that your clients will appreciate that you take care of your property and by extension, them.

To keep your pavement looking new you should replace any damaged stripings or markings, and refresh essential markings. Striping usually deteriorates during winter, so you should always include them in a surface inspection, cleaning or repair.

Choose Dykes Paving for your pavement maintenance needs. We offer commercial and municipal resurfacing, milling, patching and other pavement services. If you want to talk directly to one of our experts, feel free to contact us online or give us a call at 770-448-3392. We are more than happy to answer any questions you might have, and we can also recommend a good maintenance strategy for your pavement.

What Is Our Gatorflex Cold Patch Material?

You need to perform your pothole repairs as soon as possible. In part, this is because existing cracks and crevices in the asphalt can cause it to deteriorate at a faster pace by letting in gas, water, and other potential contaminants. However, it should be noted that potholes can also increase the chances of a serious accident, with common examples ranging from the wheels of bicycles catching on the rims of potholes to cars suffering internal damage when they bounce from the impact of running into the same.

Unfortunately, repairing a pothole can prove to be an expensive and time-consuming process, which is why so many people put it off until the problem has spiralled out-of-control. However, there is a convenient solution in the form of our Gatorflex cold patch material, which eliminates many of the inconveniences that most people associate with asphalt repair and replacement.

Why Should You Use Our Gatorflex Cold Patch Material?

Cold patch material can be used to perform pothole repairs with minimal inconvenience. This is because it is ready-to-use as soon as it comes pouring out of the bag, thus eliminating the need for construction workers as well as expensive construction machinery to heat up a mix of substances and then pouring the resulting mixture onto the ground. As a result, property owners can get the job done on their own with no fuss and hassle whatsoever, ensuring that their asphalt will remain in perfect condition as much as possible. Better still, our cold patch material is not just effective and efficient at its intended purpose but also environmentally-friendly, meaning that our customers can make use of it without having to worry about their impact on our shared environment.

Further Considerations

Are you interested in a fast but nonetheless reliable way to perform your pothole repairs? If so, please contact us at your earliest convenience so that you can ask your remaining questions.