Raise your hand if you have driven on a rough, rocky, washboard, washed out Colorado
roadway. Nearly every one, and that is kind of normal. Colorado weather and soil conditions
lend themselves to challenging roadways, drives, entries, and other places your vehicles have to
traverse to get where you are going. Winter weather and summer heat and rains erode land
making for a rough, bone jarring ride that is not just hard on you, it is hard on your car.
When you have had enough, or you have had all the mud tracked into your shop or business you
can stand, look for asphalt companies Colorado Springs goes to for solutions. A good asphalt
parking lot or drive is economical, adds value to your property investment, and helps keep
things a lot cleaner, let alone reduces wear, tear, and repair to your personal or company
Asphalt contractors Colorado Springs knows are not all the same. A lot of them go after the big
guys – stadiums, the state highway department, long running large jobs. They may or may not
clean up their mess or be conscious of the landscaping and surround environmental areas when
they are completing your job. Look for a local company that prides itself on every job no matter
how large or small. Ask around and read reviews to see who cleans up after themselves and
does not leave rubbish or any waste materials on the ground.
Many people do not really know what asphalt is, assuming it is some tarry stuff that comes from
who knows where. Actually asphalt is a mix of aggregates – crushed rock and stone with sand –
mixed with bitumen, a petrochemical byproduct of petroleum refining. Bitumen, a liquid, is
actually a naturally occurring component of raw crude oil, and is also used to surface roads, in
asphalt roofing shingles, for waterproofing, sound proofing, and cable coatings. The asphalt mix
used for road surfaces is at about a 95-5% ratio, which is why heating the mixture to be able to
handle it is critical to gain viscosity.
Most asphalt is actually not black, it is grey. Blacktop, a name we use interchangeably, is actually
different. Blacktop tends to look glittery. This is because it has more sand and is heated to a
higher temperature. Blacktop is not as strong as true asphalt and is better for courts,
playgrounds, and roadways that do not endure constant traffic. It is often used in airport
runways as it has more elasticity overall than asphalt. Asphalt, however, provides a smoother
ride, is smoother overall, and is makes less wear and tear on tires. Both are referred to as
tarmac, especially in reference to airport runways.
An important part of any asphalt job is the sub-base and ground prep. A company that just
dumps and spreads asphalt is setting you up for failure – quick. Asphalt is a water permeable
material, something few people realize. As water seeps in, the freezing and thawing –
contraction and expansion – we experience in the Pike’s Peak region causes asphalt to move.
This is a primary reason potholes are created, or a worse broken out hole, in asphalt roadbeds
and parking lots. The soil and base under the asphalt is critical to the best durability and stability
of the mix applied above it. Compaction and the proper materials all determine how well the
top surface is going to stay put.
The mix used for the asphalt surface also needs to be put on in proper weather conditions so it
will stay put and retain the surfactant applied as a final sealer to help maintain the condition of
the asphalt surface. Asphalt companies in Colorado Springs tend to push their luck on putting
down surfaces, usually straining to meet contracts. Asphalt must be applied above a particular
temperature and suffer no rain within so many hours after application in order to cure enough
to be driven on only after a set period of time, preferably at least two days. Too often you see
asphalt being dropped in misting rain or when steam is boiling off due to cold weather. And very
often the new surface is opened up to driving nearly immediately. These are all reasons asphalt
fails, as the company did not give enough care to do it right the first time.
Maintenance of asphalt is important. If you have an asphalt parking lot, court, roadbed, or
equipment yard, it is a good idea to walk it monthly and note any pothole and sag formation.
The sealant condition is important. Asphalt should be resealed every one to two years to
maintain the surface. Potholes, even small ones or small sinks, are a warning sign of things to
come. Taken care of immediately prevent further damage to your surface, and also prevents
damage to vehicles and eliminates fall hazards to you clients or staff. Asphalt can be repaired or
patched easily, with good results. Cracks can be filled quickly and the surface utilized soon
thereafter. The easiest solution is get an asphalt maintenance agreement with a reputable
company to make sure it gets done regularly.
Another fact is asphalt and blacktop both retain heat much better than concrete. While
concrete drives look pretty and neat, asphalt will melt snow and ice faster and provide better
traction in winter weather conditions.
When you are ready to contact an asphalt contractor in Colorado Springs that is trusted, look for
a local company. They will understand the terrain and weather conditions and be sensitive to
our local environment. You will be a lot happier with the final job and the professionalism of the
company you chose.