Monday, June 24, 2013

ADA Parking Spaces - What You Need to Know


I often am asked what the ADA requirements are for the number of accessible parking spaces.  The following is a chart from the ADA website outlining the new requirements that recently went into effect.

The biggest difference between the old regulations and the new ones are the number of Van Accesible spaces required, which went from 1/10 spaces to 1/8 spaces.

APM offers parking lot design, planning and striping services for the Louisville and Lexington KY areas. Visit our website to learn more or call us at 859-229-8111.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Has Old Man Winter Left His Mark On Your Asphalt?


Every season brings damage to your asphalt – In the summer, scorching heat and lots of sunlight draws the essential volatile oil out of your asphalt making it more brittle with each passing summer season.  Spring often times brings copious amounts of water which can cause washout and raveling of older blacktop.  As damaging as this can be, the harshest of seasons for your asphalt is winter – especially in climates that fluctuate at or around freezing.  The reason for this is what is called “the freeze/thaw cycle”. 

This cycle is detrimental to your asphalt because water that soaks into cracks in your asphalt in above freezing temperatures will freeze and expand when the ground temperature dips below freezing.  This cycle is daily in many cases as the ground warms during the day and cools during the night.  This constant fluctuation causes your asphalt to heave up and down many times for months – the end result is a big pothole as cars loosen and dislodge the blocks of asphalt. 

So as we all thaw out from the winter chill, be sure to check your asphalt to see what kind of damage has occurred.  It’s important to get it fixed as quickly as possible to avoid trip hazards and car damage.

The best line of defense to keep asphalt damage at bay is regular asphalt sealing and crack repair. When done properly, these procedures alone can double the life of your pavement.

APM is is the Lexington / Louisville asphalt expert. We offer new asphalt paving and all types of asphalt maintenance and repair. Call us for a free job quote at 859-299-8111 or visit our website at www.apm-lex.com.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Is your Parking Lot Ready for Snow?


I don’t provide snow plowing as a service, but every spring I deal with a lot of damage caused by companies that do.  While there will always be some damage caused by this process, there are things you can do to minimize it.


Mark Your Curbs – Use orange stakes or flags to demark where your curbed islands are located.  


Install Speed Bumps Correctly – I spend the first month of my season re-installing speed bmps that have been sheared by a snow plow blade.  The key to minimizing this damage is

o       Mark speed bump locations with flagging

o       Install removable recycled rubber speed bumps

o       Install asphalt speed bumps by milling a keyway first


Use a salt substitute – Sodium Chloride (salt) is extremely corrosive to concrete surfaces.  If you have a lot of concrete consider using a substitute product such as Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA) or Magnesium Chloride


Sealcoat your Parking Lot – You heard me right!  Anyone who has worn a black shirt on a hot day knows that it’s a lot hotter than when you where a light colored shirt.  When you seal your parking lot, the black surface absorbs more sunlight and heats the pavement.  Parking lots that have been sealed clear much quicker than those that have not.

The APM team of asphalt experts specialize in protecting asphalt pavements through sealcoating and other methods of maintenance and repair. Call us at 859-299-8111 for a free consultation or visit our website to learn more about what we offer. Learn more about sealcoating here.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Help Your Parking Lot Survive Winter


I generally stop getting calls for me to come look at a paving job somewhere in late October and don't start getting them again until mid March. One reason for this is that when it gets cold outside, people quit thinking about their parking lot. Here are 3 things you can/should do in the winter time that will help keep your parking lot in tip-top shape.

1. Crack Seal - Most people think of this as a warm weather fix, but the fact is, cracks in asphalt are bigger in the winter due to expansion and therefore it is an ideal time to crack seal. Another benefit is that vegetation is not an issue in the winter so cleaning is easier and therefore cheaper.

2. Replace Concrete Car stops - I have noticed a decline in the quality of new concrete car stops over the last 10 years especially as it relates to salt resistance - they just don't make them like they used to! I recommend to all of my customers who are replacing car stops to us recycled rubber car stops -they look great and last a lot longer than their concrete counterparts.

3. Fix Your Potholes - If/when you have a pothole develop in the winter, you should patch it ASAP. You probably won't be able to get hot mix asphalt, but even if you have to use cold patch, you are better off than not doing anything. Potholes can cause major damage to cars and you may be liable if someone wanted to press the issue for damage to their car.

Asphalt Paving and Maintenance in Lexington KY prides itself on the many years of asphalt expertise we've offered our customers. If you would like to learn more about our services, or would like a free job quote, contact us at 859-299-8111 or visit our website at www.apm-lex.com.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sealcoating Primers - Are They Worth It?

One of the extra’s that we offer when we sealcoat a parking lot is a primer coat.  For our customers, the added benefit is an extended warranty.  The question I get most often about primers is “Are they worth it?”  Before I answer that question, let me explain what a primer is and what it does.

There are two basic types of primer – diluted emulsion and solvent based.  A diluted emulsion basically uses the same material used to seal the parking lot but with a lot more water added to the mixture.  This type of primer works by spreading out the emulsion molecules and providing “prongs” on a microscopic level for the sealcoat to stick to – Think of it as Velcro for sealcoating.  This type of primer works well with new asphalt that still has some of the oils left it and is in relatively good condition.  Using this in drive lanes and turning radii will make a big difference in how those areas wear.

The second type of primer is solvent based.  This type of primer actually changes the top layer of asphalt giving it some of the characteristics it had when it was freshly laid.  This type of primer is best used when the asphalt is older and more brittle or has a lot of polished aggregate showing through.

So are they worth it?  Obviously it depends on several factors, the two most important being - pavement condition and length of time until the lot will be paved again.  Using a primer can double the life of the sealcoat so if the lot is in good condition and is not scheduled for an overlay for more than 5 years – then it probably would make sense to include a primer coat in your sealcoating project.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Messy Entrance – The Mark of A Good Job 

A complaint I hear sometimes from my customers is that after we are done with our paving job, the road and the entrance to the property is marked up with fresh oil used to help the new asphalt adhere to the old surface.  We try hard to keep sidewalks and concrete aprons from getting any oil on them by putting a protective barrier where we cross over the concrete, but for the most part, the black tire tracks from our trucks are unavoidable when it comes to the street. 

One thing I tell my customers is that this is actually the mark of a good job.  You would be surprised by how many paving jobs are done without any tack oil being applied.  A freshly paved parking lot that has no tracks coming out from the entrance is sure to show signs of failure in the near future.   

Typical asphalt shoving due to lack of tack oil prior to the overlay
The most common type of failure that occurs due to skipping this process is called "shoving" (see photo); this usually manifests itself in areas where cars brake or turn.    The reason for this is that tack oil is an integral part of the paving process and is imperative to help the new asphalt stick to the old. 

The bottom line is that you should make sure that your contractor specifies using tack oil and has a spray system that is adequate for evenly distributing the tack oil.  If you see them spreading tack out of a 5 gallon bucket or not at all – stop the process and make sure it gets done properly. 

So the next time you see those ugly black tire tracks trailing out from a newly paved parking lot – the first thing that should come to mind is “that’s the mark of a good job”. 

APM offers new asphalt paving, asphalt overlays, asphalt maintenance and repair in the Lexington and Louisville KY areas. Contact us at 859-299-8111 or visit the asphalt paving page on our website to learn more. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Limited Budget? Phase Your Job!

Certainly, the most economic way to do a job is to complete all of it continuously until it is complete.  This maximizes your purchasing power by lowering mobilization costs, locks in material pricing which may will go up in the future, and gets you the lowest margins due to the larger size of the project.  For a variety of reasons however, this may not be possible – with the most common reason being a shortage of funds.   

As the price of asphalt increases, many of my customers have started to do their jobs in phases.  While they sacrifice some savings due to the issues outlined above, they are able to complete the project as they planned using the best possible paving specifications 

There are a couple of ways to phase your project - by specification or by area.  Phasing by specification entails completing a type of work (e.g. repairs, cracksealing, paving), over the entire site.  While phasing by area means that you complete all work specifications in a single area. 

There are benefits to both ways.  If you phase by area, then obviously when your done – your done, and the impact to that area is minimized going forward.  With phasing by specification, while there may be a longer impact over the entire site, when the project is finally completed, you have a finished product over your entire facility. 

So with your next project, instead of reducing the specification (and thereby the overall quality of the job), consider phasing the project to maximize the dollars that you spend.

APM is the asphalt paving, maintenance and repair expert in the Lexington and Louisville KY areas. Contact us at 859-299-8111 for a free consultation or or visit website at www.apm-lex.com to learn more.