Why should I choose asphalt for my paving needs?
Asphalt eliminates tracking mud in the spring and fall, lowers dust problems in the summer, and eliminates the need to continually fill in sunken areas and/or tire tracks. It keeps gravel from being plowed onto your lawn in the winter, and the dark color quickly melts off snow and ice. Asphalt driveways and parking lots beautify your property and increase your property value. Asphalt provides a safer, smoother playing surface for children and costs (on average) about half as much as concrete.
Why should I choose Bartelt Enterprises, Inc. to pave my drive or lot?
We are a family-owned and -operated company, and we work diligently to ensure that your needs are met and that you are pleased with the results. Our company provides prompt, courteous service and offers high-quality work at competitive prices. We are a full-service asphalt company, so if your asphalt doesn't need replacement, we can seal and/or crackfill it to make it look better and last longer. We service residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and municipal clients. Our company is fully insured, and we provide free written estimates and consultations. Our centralized location allows us to serve clients throughout Dane, Rock and Green counties (and beyond).
How long will a new asphalt driveway or parking lot last?
A properly installed driveway should last 25-30 years, with adequate care and maintenance. Overlays (paving over existing asphalt) can be expected to last 7-15 years; the durability of an overlay is largely dependent on the condition of the original pavement and stability of the base underneath.
Do you offer a warranty on your work?
We provide you with an industry-leading two-year warranty on our materials and workmanship for all new paving jobs. Maintenance work carries a one-year warranty on materials and workmanship. Overlays do not carry a warranty, as failure of the existing pavement can cause damage to the overlay that is beyond our control.
Since word-of-mouth is still the best form of advertising, we strive for customer satisfaction. Some companies will claim that if you do a good job, you don't need a warranty, but we believe customers are more comfortable knowing that they are taken care of in the unusual event that something does need to be addressed. Reputable companies are willing to stand behind their work and don't offer excuses as to why they won't.
What is the typical procedure for installing a driveway or parking lot?
The prep crew’s work may involve just grading your existing gravel base or removing the old asphalt or even excavating grass, dirt or failed base for the installation of new crushed limestone. Generally, the base should be no less than 8 inches deep, and may be thicker, based on the types of loads the pavement is expected to carry. The edges will be squared off and cleaned up, and the grade will be determined with a level and/or transit to ensure proper drainage. Once the grades are set, the crushed limestone base is rolled for maximum compaction.
We may choose to wait a week before paving, so that any settling of the base can be touched up before it leads to cracking or sinking of the asphalt. You are welcome to drive on the gravel between the time of the prep work and the paving. When the paving crew arrives, final grading will be done if necessary, and then the driveway will be paved with a specified thickness of compacted hot-mix asphalt (typically 2.5 inches for residential, but usually 3-4 inches in commercial applications based on traffic loads [ask one of our representatives what is the appropriate thickness for your project]). The asphalt is rolled with a 4-ton vibratory roller for complete compaction and then "cold-rolled" with a smaller 1-ton roller for a smooth finish. Before the paving crew leaves, they will put caution tape across the end of the drive to prevent accidental driving on the new asphalt.
What do I need to do when you come to do the paving?
If the asphalt comes right up to the garage, the paving crew will need to be able to access the first 10 feet inside the garage so the roller can create a smooth transition between the garage floor and the asphalt. You may either leave the door open or indicate how the crew can gain entry, and they will close and lock the door when they are finished. It is also necessary for the crew to have a source of water to fill the rollers (they have their own hoses), so please make sure that your outside water is turned on.
Do I need to do anything after the paving is done?
Your asphalt will be the most susceptible to damage for the first 6-12 months after it is installed. Most issues are merely cosmetic in nature (slight surface scuffing from wheels turning sharply or minor indentations from sharp objects), and will fade over the next few weeks as the asphalt continues to cure.
Avoid spilling any corrosive liquids on the asphalt (such as gasoline, transmission fluid, antifreeze or oil), as they will cause damage to the surface.
If the finished edges of your asphalt are higher than the surrounding lawn, we recommend that you backfill (build up the sides with black dirt) and then seed it. Without the proper lateral support, the asphalt edge is more prone to cracking, particularly if a vehicle drives over the edge of the asphalt. Please be sure to backfill.
How long should I stay off the new asphalt?
We recommend that you do not drive or park the car on the asphalt for at least three days (longer is better in very hot weather, because it takes longer for the heat to escape the asphalt). You may walk on the asphalt right away, but objects with sharp edges or narrow points (i.e. kickstands, automobile jacks, ladders, etc.) should not be placed on the asphalt for the first 12 months unless you put a board or steel plate under the object to displace the weight and keep it from causing an indentation in the asphalt. Try to keep very heavy vehicles (fuel trucks, concrete trucks, etc.) off the asphalt for at least one month if possible.
What will the asphalt look like when you are finished?
Besides the obvious black color, your asphalt finish may appear smoother in some areas than others. Some of these variations are caused by the physical makeup of asphalt itself (different-sized stones, amount of sand and liquid asphalt, etc.), while other variations are caused by using hand tools rather than machinery in some areas. The durability of your asphalt is in no way negatively affected by these variations, but you may notice them. It is not helpful to kick at or attempt to scuff or loosen these areas before they have had the chance to cure.
What is an overlay and is it appropriate for my needs?
An asphalt overlay involves paving 1.5 inches to 2 inches of new asphalt over existing asphalt that has minor cracking or poor surface appearance. We do not recommend overlays for severely cracked or very uneven asphalt, as reflective cracking will undoubtedly occur. Our experienced sales representatives will be able to determine whether or not an overlay would be appropriate for your driveway or parking lot. Overlays are obviously a less expensive alternative to replacement, but can only be expected to last 7-15 years, as opposed to 25-30 years for new asphalt.
How do I maintain my asphalt to keep it looking good for years to come?
We recommend that you seal your new asphalt within the first 24 months, and then every three to four years thereafter, depending on traffic volume and personal preference. Our company uses cutting-edge sealcoating products that are both safe and effective, providing you with a beautiful, long-lasting and environmentally friendly result. Crack filling will probably become necessary as the drive continues to age, because the freeze-thaw cycle in Wisconsin will eventually cause some minor cracking to occur. Our experienced maintenance crews can help keep your asphalt looking great for many years to come.
What is the procedure for maintaining my asphalt?
Depending on the condition of your asphalt, we may send a crew to perform patching or infrared repair. If there are cracks in the asphalt, the maintenance crew will use a pavement router to grind any loose material or debris from the cracks. The cracks are then cleaned with a heat-lance, which uses forced super-heated air to drive any moisture and debris from the cracks and warm them to ensure a proper bond with the hot crack sealant.
Hot rubberized crack sealant is poured into the cracks via a wand or pour pot. The crack sealant is cured within 15 minutes and ready for sealcoating. Prior to sealcoating, the crews will clean the pavement with wire brushes and forced air. They will trim vegetation from the edges if necessary. Finally, a modified asphalt emulsion sealer is sprayed onto the pavement and the area is taped off for 24 hours. If the pavement requires a restripe, the striping crew will usually stripe the lot within 24 hours and open the lot to traffic before they leave.
What is an infrared repair, and when is it used?An infrared pavement repair is used when small sections of pavement have failed, but the surrounding pavement is generally stable. A 6’ X 8’ panel is lowered over the failed area and flameless infrared heat is applied until the area becomes soft. It is then scarified with a steel rake and new hot-mix asphalt is added to reconstitute the patch. The material is then leveled out and compacted to match the surrounding pavement, leaving a seamless repair. This method is much less expensive than cutting out, removing and replacing the affected area, but does not address failed base. Ask your sales representative if infrared repair is appropriate for your project.