Sealcoating In The Winter

Winter is not the ideal time to have sealcoating applied. However, it is not impossible if the weather is willing to cooperate.

  • The primary requirement is that the temperature needs to be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the minimum for both the ground and the air. Furthermore, the temperature cannot drop below that point at any time during the application or while the sealcoating is drying (typically 24-48 hours after application).
  •  Sealcoating needs UV radiation to cure sufficiently. During the winter months, the sun is so low, relative to the horizon, that the area will not receive the sunlight it needs after about 2 p.m. As a result, crews typically work half-days when sealcoating, so the second coat will require an additional day. This can result in higher charges for the customer as the equipment and personnel will have to be taken to the job site on two different days. Areas that are in shade will dry more slowly, so this could result in a job that extends beyond the two-day minimum.
  • Even a small amount of water can ruin a sealcoating job. When sealcoating in the winter, contractors are gambling that there will be dry conditions as well as sufficient temperatures for the duration of the job.
  • Applying sealants in the winter can require special techniques, such as hand application or the use of additives, which can increase the cost of the job.

Although asphalt sealer is a critical part of protecting your asphalt pavement, it may not be wise to have it applied during winter. If you feel that it is essential, however, you should consult a reputable contractor to determine whether it is possible, based on the scope of your project and the current weather conditions. In many cases, it might be better to have repairs made over the winter and wait to sealcoat your pavement until spring arrives.

If you would like help preparing your asphalt pavement for winter, contact the experts at Armour Pavement, Inc. We provide an extensive variety of asphalt repair and maintenance services to customers throughout New Mexico. We offer exceptional customer service and quality work at affordable prices. We can help you with your sealcoating, asphalt repair, pavement marking or traffic sign needs as well as many other services. You can call 505-897-8190 to request your free, no-obligation estimate, or you can complete our online quote request form.

Paving with asphalt cuts construction project time significantly and eliminates the long curing times of concrete.

Asphalt CureAs a result, traffic flows more smoothly, impact on commerce is minimized, and safety hazards are reduced.

How it works
Asphalt paving projects can be planned and carried out to take advantage of low-traffic periods, like nights and weekends, minimizing the project’s impact on motorists, residences and businesses.

In one state highway department comparison, asphalt crews placed more than 10 times the pavement surface that a concrete contractor did. The asphalt was placed in 11 nighttime-only shifts, while the concrete work went on around the clock for 12 days.

Major advantages
Asphalt is ready for traffic right after it is compacted and cooled, meaning that roads don’t have to remain closed for curing. This enhances traffic flow and minimizes closures and delays that frustrate motorists and cost money. Impacts on businesses are dramatically reduced when roadwork is completed rapidly.

Stealth contractors
Asphalt work can be planned so that the crews work in off-peak periods only. This means that folks may drive home from work on a Tuesday night, then find a brand-new, smooth pavement when they drive to work Wednesday morning – and they’ve never even seen an orange barrel! Only with asphalt can a “stealth contractor” give the traveling public a great new pavement, literally overnight.

Source: Asphalt Pavement Alliance

Why do highway engineers prefer asphalt?


There are many reasons why asphalt pavement has become the preferred choice of road pavement material. Most roads are constructed in layers, with each layer playing a part in delivering the best infrastructure possible. When asphalt pavement is used it brings numerous benefits that all can enjoy.

Benefit # 1: perpetual pavement

Asphalt pavements are perpetual and have the ability to last forever when designed properly. Routine maintenance is essential for anything that is used on a regular basis. Our roads are no exception. By choosing asphalt, the maintenance can be done quickly with minimal traffic disruption. Using asphalt on our roads can significantly improve the ride quality and fuel consumption of vehicles traveling these roads and contribute to the longevity of the road.

Benefit #2: smoothness

Asphalt pavement provides a smoother surface. A smooth surface reduces damage to the pavement, necessitating fewer repairs. It improves fuel efficiency and reduces wear and tear on vehicles, making the choice for asphalt a great economical decision. Finally, paving roads and highways with asphalt significantly reduces the noise generated by the tire/pavement interface providing for a quieter ride experience for the motorist.

Benefit #3: faster project completions

Paving with asphalt cuts construction project time significantly. As a result, traffic flows more smoothly and impact on commerce is minimized. Asphalt paving projects can be planned and carried out to take advantage of off-peak periods, like nights and weekends. Asphalt is ready for traffic right after it is compacted and cooled, which means better traffic flow, minimized closures and happier motorists.

Benefit # 5: economical and adaptable

Asphalt is a low-cost building material. It is less expensive, not just in actual cost, but also in terms of the time it takes to complete construction projects. It is adaptable in that asphalt is a reliable weather resistance material and can be designed for low and high traffic conditions. It can withstand the harshest of weather and the heaviest of semi-trailers. Asphalt can be designed to fit a specific purpose.

Benefit #6: safety

Asphalt’s safety feature is related to its smooth-like finish. It offers drivers skid resistance and reduces splash back while providing better visual distinction between road markings. Asphalt also helps keep roads free from ice and snow.

Benefit # 7: sustainability

Asphalt is a recycled material, it can be used over and over, and its life cycle never ends. Asphalt roads can be dug up and then re-used again. This makes asphalt a wise choice when choosing road material. When we use it we are preserving our natural resources by reusing the same material over again.

Please contact us at 505-897-8190 and we will be happy to assist you in making an informed decision.

Do’s and Don’ts of Asphalt Maintenance and Repair

There are a lot of ideas floating around when it comes to asphalt maintenance. The most important factor in maintaining your asphalt is being proactive. There are several DO’s and DON’Ts to keep in mind regarding asphalt maintenance and repair.

DO sealcoat your asphalt every 3-5 years
A sealcoat is a barrier that protects your asphalt from the sun’s harmful UV rays (oxidation), water and vehicle fluids. Sealcoat can be considered the sunscreen for your asphalt. However, like sunscreen, it needs to be reapplied regularly. A sealcoat will last approximately 3-5 years depending on weather and traffic conditions.

DO crackseal your cracks as soon as possible
Asphalt will eventually crack. It is inevitable. When your asphalt begins to crack, make sure to seal them as soon as possible to prevent unnecessary water to penetrate the cracks. Water will eventually make its way under the asphalt and degrade the stability of the base course. Once the base course fails, your cracks will widen and spread exponentially leading to alligatoring and potholes.

DO sweep your pavement at least yearly
Sweeping your lot removes loose gravel and improves the appearance of your parking lot. It also allows for professionals to inspect your lot for areas of failed asphalt. As with any sort of preventative maintenance plan, early detection of problems result is more cost effective methods of repair.

DO repair potholes
Potholes form when the base course under the asphalt becomes compromised. The only effective way to repair these areas is to cut and remove the failed asphalt, add new asphalt and compact.

DO check references
Contractors can speak in industry terms that can confuse a customer. When in doubt, ask for references from previous customers, check online ratings and reviews, and check with your local Better Business Bureau. You will want to make sure your contractor is licensed and in good standing with the state in which they are operating. As the old saying goes “an ounce of prevention…”

OK – Now for the Don’ts:

DON’T let sprinklers directly water your asphalt
Adjust your sprinklers to make sure they don’t directly water your asphalt. Water penetrates into the pavement and degrades the stability of the basecourse that the asphalt sits on. When the base becomes unstable, alligatoring, cracks, depressions and potholes emerge.

DON’T allow your asphalt to become oxidized
The sun’s UV rays are not only damaging to your skin, they are just as dangerous to your asphalt. Oxidation occurs when asphalt is exposed to UV rays and oxygen. It turns the asphalt from black to grey and makes the surface brittle. It is critical to the life span of your asphalt to sealcoat it within 12 months of new asphalt being installed.

DON’T allow heavy equipment on your asphalt
Heavy equipment puts an enormous strain on your asphalt. If your parking lot is already showing signs of cracking or areas of degraded base course, heavy trucks and equipment will expand the damage further. If you must have heavy equipment/vehicles on your asphalt, consider installing a concrete pad where these vehicles drive.

DON’T neglect asphalt maintenance
Asphalt maintenance is similar to vehicle maintenance. Regular routine assessments and services are critical to extending the life of your pavement. If you skip an oil change, problems tend to compound. The same is true with asphalt. Consistent cracksealing, jointsealing, sealcoating, pothole repair and striping can extend the life of your asphalt to 20-30 years! Protect your investment and maintain it!

DON’T always pick the lowest price
When it comes down to choosing a contractor, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. If you aren’t sure how to do this, make sure the measurements are in the same units (square feet vs square yards), the scope of work is the same (sealcoat, crackseal, patching, etc.), and the materials being quoted are the same (i.e. MasterSeal MTR which lasts 3-5 years vs MasterSeal TRMSS which lasts 6-12 months).

When in doubt, ask your sales representative to review all the bids you’ve collected with you. Feel free to black out the pricing and contractor if needed but let the sales representative help you compare the bids so you are making the best informed decision possible.

Please contact us at 505-897-8190 and we will be happy to assist you in making an informed decision.

What are Potholes and How do they Form?

Potholes are holes in the roadway that vary in size and shape. They are caused by the expansion and contraction of water after the it has entered into the ground under the pavement. When water freezes, it expands. Just like when ice cubes are made. A tray full of water is put into the freezer, and when the tray is removed from the freezer, the water has expanded. This same effect happens when water gets into the ground under the pavement. If it has a chance to freeze, it will take up more space under the pavement, and the pavement will expand, bend, and crack, which weakens the pavement. When ice melts, the pavement contracts and leaves gaps or voids in the surface under the pavement, where water can get in and be trapped. If water freezes and thaws over and over, the pavement will weaken and continue cracking.

As the weight of cars and trucks pass over the weak spot in the road, pieces of the roadway material weaken, which will cause the material to be displaced or broken down from the weight, creating the pothole.

What happens when salt is brought into the picture? Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When salt is applied during the winter, it lowers the temperature that water will freeze. Thus creating an artificial freeze-thaw cycle that permits more occurrences of the damaging cycle to occur. This happens more often in the spring because of the melting that takes place and because the temperatures fluctuating above and below the freezing point very frequently.

Why You Should Fix Your Asphalt

Parking Lot Repair

Why is parking lot asphalt repair important?

Asphalt repair is important for your business. There are two primary reasons why your parking lot should be in good condition. One is aesthetics. You want to make a good impression on anyone who visits your business. Good upkeep of the physical plant with parking lot repairs sets the stage for everything else.

The second reason to repair your parking lot is referred to as “premises liability” in the language of personal injury law. Any accidents such as a trip-and-fall or damage to a vehicle might be grounds for a lawsuit. In many states, all costs from medical care, long-term therapy, medications, lost time from work and pain and suffering can be calculated into an award. If a pothole or other asphalt hazard leads to an injury, the owner and management company can be held financially responsible for substandard pavement conditions. But the opposite can be true as well: Demonstrated attention to timely asphalt repairs can help steel your defense against such lawsuits.

What can cause parking lot asphalt to deteriorate and need asphalt repair?

All asphalt and concrete pavement is subject to atrophy over time. The older the pavement, the more likely the parking lot needs asphalt repair.

But special circumstances can accelerate damage to a parking lot. If heavy industrial vehicles roll over the pavement, it can cause pavement cracks. Other factors that can damage existing pavement are: utility cuts (including those for fiber optics), installation of drains and sewers, and tree roots.  crack issue

Surface breaks of any kind – including those that result from seasonal temperature fluctuations and extreme weather – allow moisture to percolate below the surface, where it undermines the integrity of the pavement. In freeze-thaw conditions, water turned into ice expands, creating room for more water and additional instability. As the pavement crumbles, a pothole opens up. But even without freezing, the layers of gravel and earth below the pavement are compromised and require asphalt repair.

Crack seals can help hold back this moisture invasion, as can minor pothole repairs.

What are the risks of allowing potholes in parking lots to persist?

The risks include how your business can appear to be crumbling along with the asphalt itself. For any organization that invests in marketing or employee recruitment, a deteriorating parking area can reduce returns on those investments. Of course, if you are selling your property, broken pavement can be a distraction and even a price-reducing negotiation point.

pot hole issueBut the financial risk of a lawsuit stemming from a trip-and-fall accident can be very high: injuries from simple falls can include brain trauma and even death, which can bring legal judgments of a million dollars or more against the property owner. Your property insurance may cover your costs, or it may not. And as anyone who purchases insurance knows, a loss experience almost always leads to higher premiums for the policyholder.

With jagged edges, some property managers choose to use a sawcut. However, this is not required. This type of asphalt repair is done primarily for aesthetic reasons.

What kind of parking lot asphalt repair do you need?

This is the place to learn more about how an asphalt repair can and should be done on your parking lot.

Call Armour Pavement today, 897-8190 to get a FREE ESTIMATE to fix your asphalt.

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