Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Stripe 'N' Seal LOVES a good "Sticky Situation"

Asphalt is dirty.  The tiny rocks and sandy sentiment that builds up in the grooves of your tires eventually ends up in the parking lots of good 'ol Sonoma County.  In addition, the flowers and trees that bloom in the landscaping planters gladly share their dirt all over the edges of the parking lot.  This is one of the reasons that sealcoat can fail to stick to the surface of your asphalt.

It is important to properly clean all surfaces of the asphalt that require sealer.  This can be achieved in most parking lots by using wire brooms, backpack blowers and power sweeping machines.  Sometimes, if the asphalt is really dirty it will need to be power washed first.  If the crevasses and holes within your asphalt are brown with dust and dirt, then some type of water washing will need to occur in order for the sealcoat to properly bond to or "stick" to the asphalt.

Stripe 'N' Seal takes pride in the word PREPARATION.  We strive to clean every square foot of asphalt that is to be sealed, by any means necessary.  In order for sealcoat to stick well to your asphalt it needs to be cleaned and prepared properly before hand.  Sealcoat that has been applied to dirty asphalt will flake off in pieces.  Once the sealer has flaked off it is gone for good, and your maintenance dollars have been wasted.  Knowing how to properly prepare your asphalt before it is sealed is key to getting a good, long lasting job.  After all, sealcoat can serve its purpose under the right sticky situation!

- Gordon
Using backpack blowers and scrapers to remove debris from the asphalt

Cleaning dirt from cracks in the asphalt

Power broom scrubbing the asphalt and a crew member preparing utility lids

An example of Sealcoat that is flaking up from the asphalt

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


For the last six years or so I have had the opportunity to work near and around a lot of different big trucks.  By big I mean trucks that require a Class A or B license to drive.  After riding along in these big trucks a few times I have a huge respect for them and their drivers.  It takes a lot to maneuver these large, long, heavy trucks and the loads they are pulling. Add traffic, weather, and ever changing road conditions to the mix and I really don't know how they do it!  The big truck drivers at Stripe 'N' Seal and Aaron Paving are trained, tested and expected to be safe drivers.  For folks like myself that only ever find themselves behind the wheel of a passenger vehicle, there are some things we can do to help the drivers of these big trucks stay safe.

  • Follow  big trucks with caution - Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the big truck.  It is recommended that passenger vehicles keep a distance of 20 car lengths behind the big trucks. 
  • Larger trucks = Larger Blind Spots.  Try to stay out of the blind spots - a good rule of thumb is if you can't see the big truck driver's mirrors, they probably can't see you
  • Always pass a big truck on the left.  Don't complete the pass until you can see the healdlights of the big truck in your rear view mirror
  • Allow big trucks plenty of space to turn safely.  Big trucks making right turns will often need to swing to the left first,  trucks turning left will often need to swing to the right first. 
  • Don't cut in front of big trucks.  The driver is leaving enough room to stop safely.  A passenger vehicle going 55 MPH takes about 140' to come to a stop, a big truck going 55 MPH takes 400' to come to a stop
  • If you are stopped on an incline behind a big truck leave plenty of space between - big trucks can roll backwards up to 20' when accelerating off an inclined stop
Here's a little perspective for you on the size difference between a passenger vehicle (the Subaru) and one of our big trucks pulling an asphalt grinder.  Its pretty easy to see why both drivers need to use extreme caution on the road!

  • Of multi-vehicle crashes involving big trucks 71% of fatalities are caused by the passenger vehicle
  • Of fatal collisions involving passenger vehicles and big trucks, 98% of the deaths involve passenger vehicle   

Whether you are driving a passenger vehicle or a big truck, drive as safely and as responsibly as possible.  If we all look out for each other no matter how big or how small our vehicles are, we decrease our likelihood of becoming a statistic.  Drive safe and get home safe!  For more tips on driving safely around big trucks go to
 Written by:  Shaunda