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Wolf's Asphalt Paving Blog

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5 Key Asphalt Driveway Considerations

Posted by Sean Wolf on

asphalt driveway considerationsThis winter has taken its toll not only on Wisconsin roadways, but residential driveways as well.  Landscaping and your home’s exterior maintenance may be top of mind as we begin seeing the first signs of Spring. Driveways are one of the biggest factors in a home’s curb appeal.

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Topics: Asphalt Driveway, Asphalt Maintenance

4 Things to Know About an Asphalt Driveway Installation

Posted by Sean Wolf on

All told, a new asphalt driveway installation is a remarkably easy process for most homeowners.  At most, the work only takes a couple days, and most of the time it can be done in a single day.  That said, like any home renovation project, it’s still a major undertaking that deserves thought and care. 

Asphalt Driveway InstallationIf you’re thinking about a new asphalt driveway installation, we’ve got some general tips and information to keep in mind. Remember these tips, and you’ll have a much easier time completing your new asphalt installation!

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Topics: Asphalt Driveway, Paving, asphalt driveway installation

Why It's Better To Remove A Concrete Driveway Before Laying Asphalt

Posted by Sean Wolf on

One question we often hear at Wolf Paving has to do with driveway replacement: “Should I lay new asphalt over an old concrete driveway?”

Laying Asphalt over a concrete drivewayThis is an excellent question, and it's little wonder that so many homeowners and business owners are asking it. After all, with faster installation and much better resistance to weather, we recommend asphalt driveways over concrete. However, if there's an existing concrete driveway, this presents new challenges.

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Topics: Asphalt Driveway, Residential Paving, Asphalt Questions

What's The Difference Between Asphalt Overlay and Asphalt Sealcoat?

Posted by Sean Wolf on

From discussions we've had with our customers, it seems that many of them don't understand the difference between an asphalt overlay and asphalt sealcoating. That's understandable – they're similar processes, both used for the repair and maintenance of your asphalt.

So, for our blog today, let's take a quick look at the difference between overlays and sealcoats! Asking for one when you only need the other could lead to needless costs.

An Asphalt Overlay

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Topics: Asphalt Driveway, Sealcoating, Asphalt Protection

The Dos and Don'ts of Blacktop Sealcoating

Posted by Sean Wolf on

Blacktop sealcoating is easily one of the best investments a homeowner or business can make into the longevity of their asphalt. Like how lacquer sets a piece of wood, sealcoating keeps the elements out of your blacktop, giving it a much longer lifespan.

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Topics: Asphalt Driveway, Blacktop Sealcoating, Asphalt Protection

When Should You Sealcoat or Repave Your Asphalt Driveway

Posted by Sean Wolf on

As a homeowner, you understand the importance of maintaining your property, including your driveway. Taking care of your driveway isn’t always the easiest thing. You have to know when to seal coat it or when to have it repaved. But when is the right time? And how do you go about maintaining and repairing a driveway?

asphalt drivewayThankfully, Wolf Paving is here to help you. Project Manager Riley Stendel took the time to answer some important questions homeowners often ask. Here’s what Riley had to say about maintaining asphalt driveways.

How does a homeowner know if they can just sealcoat driveway verse when it is time for a new asphalt driveway?

  • If the driveway has areas where the pavement is rutted or severely broken, where the pavement sort of looks like the hide of an alligator – we call this “alligatoring” – this is when you need to start thinking about new asphalt. When a pavement gets to that point you really can’t crack fill it any more.
  • To crack fill something like that would basically turn the area into a continuous sheet of crack filling rubber. If you would do that, in warmer weather, vehicle tires can adhere to this large area of crack filler and literally pull the pavement out of the driveway. 
  • Also, a driveway that has been sealed/oversealed over the years can cause this alligatoring effect. The key is to look very closely at the pavement. Alligatoring from oversealing has more of a look of cracked glazing on pottery and doesn’t actually crack the pavement underneath, while alligatoring of the pavement will show actual cracks down into the pavement where an object like a butter knife could be inserted. Merely sealing really can’t cure both conditions.

What do you look for to base your recommendation on? 

  • I take a good look at the cracking on the driveway and whether or not the driveway drainage mechanics are working properly. Significant cracking of the pavement underneath allows water into the base, which in turn accelerates cracking during freeze-thaw times of the year. On the drainage mechanics, I look to see if the driveway is draining properly and not allowing drainage towards foundations, doors, or other undesirable places. If I see either of these things, I recommend a new driveway to cure the issues.
  • If the driveway has the alligatoring effect where just the sealcoat has that cracked glazed pottery look, a sealcoat will merely make everything nice and black again, but the effect will still be there once the sealcoat has been completed. This type of cracked-pottery alligatoring effect has no effect on the structural integrity of the driveway and is merely cosmetic in nature. If cosmetics of the drive are of significant importance to the homeowner, I recommend a new driveway.

If a homeowner tried to "do-it-yourself" sealcoat and it went horrible wrong, how can Wolf Paving help fix it?

  • Much off-the-shelf sealcoat types of products have been formulated to be able to withstand being on a store shelf for an extended period of time, and as such aren’t the quality of the types of sealer that Wolf Paving uses. We custom mix our sealers with the appropriate additives, and this material is kept in a suspended state by frequent mixing, which the store brands cannot. I have seen driveways where an attempt by a homeowner went badly and we were asked to see what we can do - with mixed results. As we have no control over the chemical makeup of the material the homeowner used, we can’t guarantee against a reaction between their sealer and ours, and any adhesion issues that may result.
  • I have also seen homeowner attempts where their sealer never fully cures and remains a little tacky, which can be an issue.  I’d recommend us coming in and sealing over the top in hopes that there are no issues (most of the time there is not an issue), but there needs to be an understanding that we can’t guarantee against that reaction but will do our best.

Why would someone just sealcoat the end of their driveway?

  • There are quite a few municipalities that will not allow a concrete driveway to extend all the way to the road edge- thus requiring a short asphalt approach. All driveways weather and given enough time, concrete driveways can become grey, while asphalt driveways can fade to grey as well- giving the appearance of a similar type of driveway. There is no sealcoat that will bring a concrete driveway back to white, so once the homeowner sealcoats the asphalt portion, the difference in driveway types becomes very noticeable.

Any advice or quick tips for a homeowner with weathered asphalt driveway?

  • Definitely. Call for an estimate to a reputable established trusted contractor stating that you have a weathered driveway and would appreciate suggestions on what the best cost-effective course of action would be. So much depends on the visual inspection of the driveway by the estimator. A weathered asphalt driveway (depending on the needs and wants of the customer) could basically be left alone until budget allows for a new driveway. It could only require crack filling to protect it from the harmful effects of freeze/thaw (if cosmetics are not a high priority but function is), or the driveway could be crack filled and sealcoated to bring it as close to the appearance of a new driveway as possible- again. So much is up to the inspection by the estimator and conversation with the homeowner.
  • The single biggest tip is to never ever have a person/company travelling through the neighborhood offering to service your driveway work on your driveway because they “have extra material and will give you a great price”- whether it be sealcoating or actual paving or patching. Do your homework and check out the contractor ahead of time. Diluted sealcoat or substandard paving materials are the norm with these types, and if and when you have a problem the chance of receiving any support or solutions is a long shot.
  • Check your prospective contractor out and see how receptive they are to customer concerns down the line. Concerns and problems happen with any contractor in any line of work, the key is how they are treated once they arise. It’s time well spent.
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Topics: Asphalt Driveway, Repaving, Sealcoating

7 Reasons to Consider Asphalt for Your Driveway

Posted by Sean Wolf on

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Topics: Asphalt Driveway, Asphalt Solutions, Asphalt Manufacturing

Integrating Landscaping with Residential Asphalt Design and Paving [Case Study]

Posted by Sean Wolf on

Dirk Debbink and his wife take pride in how their home looks. This is evident by the asphalt paving and landscaping project that was recently completed. The house was bought in December of 2010, and went through a really extensive remodeling of the house. The last part of this project was the landscaping and driveway.
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Topics: Asphalt Driveway, Asphalt Design, Residential Paving

The Long and Winding Road to Residential Paving Success [CASE STUDY]

Posted by Sean Wolf on

Driveways are not always short and straight, especially in rural areas. Jeff Schmoeger’s driveway is approximately 800 feet long with a hilly slope, but this didn’t stop Wolf Paving from completing the residential paving project.

residential asphalt paving project madisonMoll Construction Inc. referred Wolf Paving to Schmoeger, after the construction company did the excavating to carve a pathway through the woods where the driveway was to be paved.

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Topics: Asphalt Driveway, Residential Paving, Madison

Different Types Of Driveways Perfect for Your Home

Posted by Sean Wolf on

A driveway can enhance the appearance of your house thus increasing its value. It is usually the job of the architect or designer to determine the size and shape of the driveway, and the materials that will be used at the time the house is designed. However, a new driveway can always be installed when needed, just make sure the material used complement the structure and surrounding landscape.

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Topics: Asphalt Driveway, Types of Driveways, Residential Paving