Frequently Asked Questions
What is Seal Coating (SC)?
Seal-coating is the most common residential driveway procedure. However, doing the job correctly is key to a successful application. Seal coating should never be done until the ambient day and evening temperature(s) are 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise the seal-coat doesn't cure properly and the sealer will have a tendency to wear off much more quickly than it should. Application procedures may differ, but the importance of using the right product cannot be overstated. Northeastern Stripes uses only top-of-the-line coal tar emulsion sealer. All manufacturer's mix specifications are followed as the proper amounts of washed silica sand provide added traction and longevity to the seal finish.
Seal coat is often applied too frequently. We recommend that two coats be applied to a new installation after it has cured for one year. Thereafter, a single coat of sealer should be applied every two to three years depending on surface traffic and wear.
Benefits of Seal Coating your driveway can help safeguard against:
- Oxidation—Oxidation occurs when your bare asphalt is exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun. If not properly covered with seal coating, the persistent sunshine will cause your asphalt to dry out and harden. The disintegration of the top layer of your pavement results in reduced thickness and increased weakness, encouraging the development of cosmetic problems and possible safety hazards such as cracks and potholes. Without timely driveway sealing or parking lot seal coating, oxidation can also turn black asphalt to an unsightly gray color.
- Softening—Substances such as gasoline, oil, and de-icing agents can have softening effects on your driveway or parking lot. Routine seal coat application can create a barrier between the underlying asphalt and these damaging materials, effectively protecting your driveway.
- Weathering—The penetration of moisture coupled with seasonal freezing and thawing can also cause serious flaws in your asphalt. Even what begins as a hairline crack can quickly turn into a huge fissure that runs right down to the base coat and could create the need for costly asphalt repair. Seal coat application prevents rain and snow from penetrating the porous surface and increases your pavement’s longevity.
What is Crack Sealant (CF)?
Water is asphalt's enemy and cracks are the breach through which it enters. Sealing a driveway must, when applicable, be coupled with sealing the cracks. Otherwise water infiltrates the underlying base and over time undermines the entire structure. The result looks like a collapsed alligator's hide; the area appears cracked and sunken. Northeastern Stripes uses only hot pour (applied at 350°F) rubberized parking lot sealant. This is a commercial grade crack sealant. It will not track into your home, will stay pliable with seasonal changes, will expand and contract with the pavement, and is ready for traffic in 2 hour. Cold-pour crack sealants sold in retail stores have none these properties.
What is involved in an Asphalt Cut and Patch Repair(C/P) ?
Cut and patch is the standard repair for damaged areas where the hole has penetrated to the asphalt's limestone base. Typically this type of damage cannot be repaired and has simply reached it's life expectancy. Consequently, the area must be cut out with a saw/asphalt milling machine, removed, re-based and re-paved with new asphalt. Many driveways are usually too small to justify the cost of cut and patch; however, in those cases where it makes sense, it too is an excellent remedy.
What is and Asphalt Overlay (O/L) ?
Northeastern Stripes encounters many instances where the top layer of an asphalt driveway is worn and damaged, but the underlying base is still sound. Under these circumstances a Remove and Replace sometimes does not make the best economic sense. Instead of removing the existing asphalt, it can become the additional base for a second layer (the cap or overlay). Often asphalt surfaces that qualify for this procedure have some incidental low places in them, i.e., ruts, dips, etc. These must be shimmed to fill low areas before a cap can be applied in order to guarantee a smooth and level finished surface. To accomplish this the paver's grade is set at zero and it makes a single pass over the surface in order to deposit the appropriate amount of asphalt into any low areas. This levels the existing driveway. A two inch layer of asphalt is then applied. Rollers compress this layer which produces a 1 1/2 inch thick finished surface, the cap. Caps can last as long as a new driveway. However, asphalt requires a sound base to maintain its integrity and, when a cap is applied to a driveway where the base is compromised, it will quickly fail. . When in doubt about the soundness or integrity of a driveway's base, it is better to remove and replace it than to put a cap on a faulty base, have it fail and lose your investment.
What is involved with Asphalt Driveway Remove and Replace (R/R)?
When properly constructed and cared for, asphalt driveways will give years of service. However, every product has a life expectancy, and this is as true for asphalt drives as for anything else. When a driveway reaches a certain level of deterioration, the best remedy is to remove it, rebase it (add additional limestone) and repave it. This effectively provides the homeowner with a new driveway. However, because there is no dirt to dig out and haul away and because less gravel is required, this process in considerably less expensive than installing an all new drive.
What is involved with an Asphalt Grade and Pave (G/P)?
Many homeowners initially opt for a simple gravel driveway. However, over time the disadvantages of this solution become apparent, and they seek a better solution, i.e., having the driveway paved. Since gravel driveways have often been in place several years and, since several loads of gravel have usually been brought in to rejuvenate it, a stone base has been established. However, asphalt requires a specific type of type #2 crusher run, and most gravel driveways are a mix of various other stone types. Unfortunately, none of these stones will compact sufficiently to create an appropriate asphalt base. But they do create a base that requires a need for less crusher run. During the grade and pave process, the top layer of existing gravel is leveled and the grade is set. The crusher run is brought in and the area is again leveled and graded to ensure proper drainage. Next the area is rolled to produce a solid base. Finally, two and a half inches of asphalt are laid on top of this base and rolled to an average finished thickness of two inches. The leveling and sloping of the existing gravel surface, the addition and compaction of crusher run and the application of asphalt is what constitutes a grade and pave.
What is involved with New Asphalt Driveway Construction (New Dig or N/D)?
Often clients need a new asphalt installation for a new driveway or for turnarounds, a second vehicle, or for recreation adjacent to an existing drive. This procedure is called a new dig and requires five steps. The first of these is to determine the client's objectives and the site assessment.There is a 2 Course or 1 Course Asphalt Driveway Option.We need a thorough understanding of the client's objectives as well as an evaluation of the site for drainage, traffic loads,contours and other variables that might effect the installation. After reviewing these issues the second step is the excavation and removal of eight to ten inches inches of dirt.( depending on 1 Course or 2 Course Asphalt Driveway installation ) This is followed by the installation of stabilization fabric, grading, and compressing of six inches of #2 Crusher Run to create a sound and enduring base (other stone may be added if the base is soft). The fourth step is the paving and rolling of the asphalt.
2 Course installation requires:
2.5" of type 3 Binder and a 1.5" intallation of type 7/6 top course.
1 Course installation requires:
2.5" of Type 6 Top Course