Monday, December 27, 2010

Put that pothole in timeout!

The other morning as I was driving to work with my daughters, an unexpected pothole came out of nowhere and almost ran me off the road.  I hit that thing so hard that the books my three year old was holding in her lap broke free and hit the back of my seat.  She immediately screamed "WHAT WAS THAT!" I told her, that was a big pothole.  Her reply - "Put that pothole in timeout - he made my books fall and that's not nice!"  That got me thinking - she was right - potholes really aren't nice. 

How exactly do we get these potholes?  As the sun heats up the asphalt it will start to dry out the oils and binders, which hold the asphalt together. When the asphalt reaches a critical level of dryness it becomes less flexible and more brittle.  The weight of the cars driving over the asphalt will cause it to start to crack.  When the rain comes the water enters these little cracks and they begin to fill with water.  The water and continued traffic will cause the cracks to keep getting bigger and bigger.  Once the cracks are just the right size it really doesn’t take much more than the vibration from the traffic to break pieces loose, causing a pothole.

There are many problems potholes can create, other than early morning irritation for a toddler.  Swerving into an adjoining lane or to the shoulder to avoid a pothole can cause a serious accident.  What if someone in that adjoining lane is doing the same thing?  Not to mention the wear and tear on your vehicle.  Potholes can easily damage the underside of your car; destroy your suspension and alignment, wreck your tires etc.  I drove by this same pothole a day later and there parked on the side of the road was a poor stranded motorist with 2 flat driver side tires – these are the same tires I hit the darn pothole with. I wonder what this motorist thinks of potholes about now?

Bottom line – the risk for potholes in parking lots and driveways can be greatly reduced just by performing the right asphalt maintenance at the right time. Sealing your asphalt with an asphalt based sealer can help it retain those important oils and binders, making it much more difficult for Mr. Sun to wreak havoc on it.  If you have a pothole get it fixed as soon as possible or you could be paying for more than a pothole - you could be paying for new tires, an alignment, and higher insurance premiums from an accident.  This particular pothole cost me the incessant questioning of a three year old on why potholes are so mean, maybe you wont be so lucky.

Written by: Shaunda

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Asphalt Maintenance Blog - Up and Running!

Stripe 'N' Seal, Inc and Aaron Paving has been located in Santa Rosa, CA since 1971.  We are very fortunate and proud to be located in beautiful Sonoma County! We specialize in everything asphalt/blacktop related.  From asphalt paving to sealing to striping we are your one call does it all contractor.  We work mainly in Sonoma, Napa and Marin Counties but do venture out further for projects that are a good fit for us and our customers.

With the rainy season here and our outdoor time limited, we thought this might be a good time to start working on our web presence.  We are very excited to be revising our current website, marketing materials and are even working on a new logo.  Starting a blog seemed like the next logical step seeing as how we have lots of information about asphalt to share and well,  we are just THAT passionate about paving that we want to make everyone else passionate about it too! We hope to give you lots of tips, tricks and ideas on how to care for your asphalt driveways and parking lots and how to get the most out of your asphalt investment.