Street Sweeping for Builders – Why Prime Services are as Important As First-rate Materials

Street sweeping for Builders – An Established Service for Over 100 Years

street sweeping builders-sweeping.comBuilders are known to be some of the most innovative  businesses in the US.

Although many of the processes and products that they use have been around for a long time, builders are always looking for new ways to do things better, provide better products with durable materials, and ultimately to satisfy their customers.

Builders spend quite a bit of time researching, testing, and evaluating building materials.   

They also seek out new processes, methodologies, and techniques to make the homes and buildings that they construct more efficient.

Street sweeping for Builders – Clarifying Expectations

One area that I have always felt didn’t receive the focus that it deserves from builders is evaluating the quality of the services that they received from their subcontractors.

Certainly builders are discerning when it comes to expectations regarding the quality of the service they received, however many of their service providers (this includes electricians, carpenters, plumbers, and other service professionals) are vetted through word-of-mouth rather than actual monitoring measuring.

Now the focus of this article is street sweeping, However street sweeping is as important a service as any of the other subcontracted professionals.

Street sweeping for Builders – The Quality Process

As a service provider who is committed to the quality process (PDCA – Plan, Do, Check, Act), in order to provide service that exceeds expectations we recommend the following measures for evaluating service professionals:

Responsiveness – Does the vendor respond back to  inquiries or issues in a timely manner?

Flexibility –  can the vendor respond to unexpected situations?   does the vendor have enough flexibility to adjust their processes and procedures to meet the needs of the client organization?

Attention to detail –  does the vendor provide their service with the level of detail that one would reasonably expect of a professional service?    does the vendor avoid rookie mistakes? is error free Service delivery the norm or the exception?

Ease of doing business –  does the vendor have sufficient staff to communicate just in time?    Or does communication require multiple redundant channels? does the vendor and their staff provide a basic degree of friendliness when interacting with staff of the organization.

Courteousness of staff –  is the staff courteous two members of the organization,  the organization’s clients and the General Public? have there been  Behavioral incidents which require apologies or a men’s on the part of the service provider?

Follow-through –  does the service provider  meet their commitments? does a service provider renegotiate commitments that need to be adjusted?  

Suppliers, vendors, and service providers are critical to most organizations, unfortunately many organizations do a very poor job of measuring supplier performance.

Often price is the only factor in deciding on a vendor when other measures are equally or perhaps more important.

Although street sweeping may not be high on the list of critical services, service consumers are still entitled to excellent quality and professional service.

Street Sweeping for Builders – Call the Experts

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been sweeping and servicing real estate developers, commercial properties and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our services include parking lot sweepingmunicipal sweepingconstruction sweeping, and garage scrubbing.

We can help you keep your site clean, dust free and in compliance with reliable, cost-effective construction sweeping services.

If you’re a builder in North Jersey, Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re building in Central New Jersey call us at 732-886-1940 to arrange for street sweeping.

 

Sweeper Service – Street Sweeping Around The World

Sweeper Service – Many Common Values

sweeper service UK - sweeping.comIn spite of the variety of different cultures throughout the world, there’s one thing that almost everyone on the planet has in common: they want to live in a clean environment.

There’s some other common elements as well. People also want to be healthy, they want their families to be safe, and they want to live in an attractive community.

Certainly there are many areas of the world where this criteria is hard to achieve, however almost every country (whether developed or still developing) has a Department, Bureau, or Community organization that is in charge of keeping streets clean with a professional sweeper service.

Sweeper Service Differences Across the Globe

In this article we’re going to take a look at the variety of street sweeper service practices throughout the world and how different cultures keep their communities clean.

Influences on sweeper service in different parts of the world

There are different restrictions that street cleaners need to deal with depending on where in the world they are.

WeatherIn areas with cold winters such as the Northern parts of the US and Canada, sweepers that use water to loosen debris and minimize dust can’t sweep because the water can freeze and cause a hazard.  Cold weather areas use street sweepers with powerful brushing actions and a strong conveyor belt systems to get the grit, salt and debris into the debris hopper.

Environment – Coastal areas have more sand to deal with. In rural areas with lots of trees, there is a lot of leaf and vegetative debris on roadways. Some countries have tourist areas that create a lot of party trash, (Brazil during carnival and Dawali in India for example). In some mountain areas of Switzerland, the sweeper service uses special sweepers are used to collect hay that farmers move to the roads.

Age of City –  Before the advent of cars, horses and foot traffic were the main modes of transportation. Streets only needed to be wide enough to accomodate two horses. In Europe, narrow streets are often an issue, and many of those streets are made of cobblestone. Street sweepers that use vacuum suction or powerful brushes dislodge cobblestones and damage the street. The sweeper service in these areas often use smaller street sweeping machines Either custom built or manually operated) to deal with the challenge of narrow streets and passageways.

Sweeper Service – Specific Countries

China and Taiwan: Street sweepers in many Asian countries are less complicated, whether the sweeper is a brush or vacuum system. In China and Taiwan in particular, the mechanical street sweepers typically employ two brooms placed vertically on the back side of the hopper to move dirt into the hopper.  Asian countries also still employ manual labor to sweep the streets since labor for this type of work is both plentiful and cheap.

United Kingdom: In the U.K., street sweeper technology has limits due to the sensitive historic areas. Vacuum-based technology dominates the options in street sweeping in the U.K. Since the streets in the older cities are quite narrow, street sweeper trucks tend to be quite small.

Copenhagen, Denmark: Copenhagen is a very progressive street sweeping city.  This city is always testing new technologies, especially sweeper that are environmentally sensitive.

Amsterdam, Holland: Amsterdam often uses a team street sweeping effort, using what is called a train system. A water truck is in the lead and sprays the road with high-pressure water to loosen debris and move it away from buildings. The a hand-broom crew follows and sweeps the debris into the path of the sweeper. Sweepers with controlled power finally vacuum the refuse to avoid damaging the cobblestone areas of the city.

Moscow, Russia: Heidelberg uses a fleet of high powered water jet to blast clean the streets.  The street are usually free of traffic (I’m not sure if this is by decree or people have learned to keep their cars out of the way!).

Well that concludes our tour around the world of street sweeping.   but since we’re in the good old USA, we’re going to do it the way we’ve been doing it for 40 years.

Sweeper Service – Right Here in the Good Ol’ USA

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been sweeping and servicing shopping centers, commercial properties and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our services include parking lot sweepingmunicipal sweepingconstruction sweeping, and garage scrubbing.

We can help you keep your property in excellent condition with reliable, dependable, cost-effective services. If you’re in North Jersey, Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re in Central New Jersey call us at 732-886-1940 to speak with an experience company that can meet your needs for a professional sweeper service.

 

Sweeping –  A Guide to Street Sweeping and Street Sweeping Resources

Sweeping Projects – Managing Pavement Cleaning Projects

sweeping fleet - sweeping.comMost people don’t have the responsibility of managing a street sweeping project.   However, if you now find yourself needing street sweeping services or changing your service provider then this is the right article for you.

Fortunately, people who need street sweeping services don’t have to do extensive research in order to find the right sweeping vendor.

That’s what you’ll learn about in article.

We will share with you why sweeping is important, when you need it, and what you need to look for to select the right type of service.

We will also recommend some additional resources if you have specific needs.

So, without further introduction, let’s jump in with a discussion of  sweeping services…

Sweeping – Why Is It So Important?

If you’re responsible for keeping a community clean, it’s important to get an experienced sweeping service that can do the job within your budget.

Community residents who pay taxes are looking for the biggest bang for their buck.   

Also sweeping not only improves the visual appeal of a community but also provides health benefits to keep pollutants and pests out of the neighborhood.

If you’re in charge of a construction project there are specific environmental regulations that must be conformed to.  Keeping pollutants and construction debris out of lakes and streams is an important part of being a good neighbor and nobody likes to pay fines, so street sweeping is a required part of the construction process.

if you’re a commercial property owner that provides parking lots to your tenants and their customers, you need to keep the parking lots clean so your property is attractive and your tenant’s content.

Sweeping –  What Do You Need To Know

Although the primary purpose of the sweeper is to keep the pavement clean, there are different types of sweeping services for different purposes.

street sweeping - sweeping.com
Our typical street sweeping vehicle.

For community and parking lot sweeping,  you’ll find that the typical sweeping truck will do the job effectively (view our image to the right).

A commercial property may require additional services such as portering.  Portering includes a maintenance professional who physically inspects the property and removes debris from curb stops, bollards, dividers, planter and decorative structures. Basically. anywhere a street sweeping machine cannot reach requires the attention of a porter.

sweeping pro doing portering - sweeping.com
A sweeping professional also conducting portering services.

Construction sweeping may require as sweeping vehicle that can handle larger pieces of debris such as nails, small pieces of wood in concrete,  pieces of roofing material, Etc. also because pavement Maybe in different stages of completion there are more irregular surfaces the deal with.

The operator of a sweeping vehicle on a construction site usually has more experience then the standard sweeping vehicle operator.   this operator has to have an Eagle Eye and a good ability to interact with construction site contractors and supervisors to get the job done.

Sweeping –  How to Conduct a Sweeping Project

As with most maintenance projects, planning and preparation are the keys to a successful project.

If you’ve never managed a sweeping project before, reach out to the sweeping vendor and discuss the requirements of the sweeping job.

Review your expectations, outcomes, and any obstacles that need attention prior to the sweeping project.

Ask this question, “what needs to be done in order to make this project successful?”

Allow the sweeping vendor to share their insight into how they would approach the project and the resources they have available to do the best job.

A physical inspection of the property is strongly suggested by both parties so potential issues can be resolved prior to the start of the project.

If the property needs repairs such as crack filling, pothole repairs or concrete replacement, schedule these as either smaller projects or included in an overall larger property improvement.  Keep in mind that projects that are larger in scope require more planning an lead time.

Here are some articles we’ve written that could help with the planning process:

Asphalt Maintenance – Potholes: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Pothole Repair: Challenging Situations that Only The Best Pothole Repair Companies Can Do Right

Inlet Repair – Why You Should Fix Your Storm Drain Inlet

Sweeping – When to Conduct a Sweeping Project

We’ve actually gone into more detail in another article which you can view here.

Street Sweeping- When Do I Need It And How Often Should I Do It?

Quite often the need arises for street sweeping services with some urgency. Please note that there are peak periods during the year for street sweeping services and to plan ahead whenever possible.

Street Sweeping –  What If My Requirements Are Unique?

This is where having an experienced, resourceful sweeping vendor can reduce stress.

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been sweeping and servicing shopping centers, commercial properties and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our services include parking lot sweepingmunicipal sweepingconstruction sweeping, and garage scrubbing.

We can help you keep your property in excellent condition with reliable, dependable, cost-effective services. If you’re in North Jersey, Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re in Central New Jersey call us at 732-886-1940 to speak with an experience company that can meet your needs for sweeping.

 

Line Striping – The Finishing Touch To Your Shopping Center

Line Striping – Not Top of Mind

line striping attention - sweeping.commHow much attention do people pay to line striping?

Not much, however if there are no lines in the parking lot then people park wherever they want and that gets a lot of attention.

So people don’t think about line striping unless the lines are not there.

And when striping is done properly not only does it restore order to parking (in most cases)  it actually makes the property look attractive and appealing.

Line striping –  Before Your Project...Read This

Do you need parking lines for a new parking lot or do you need to upgrade the lines in an existing parking lot?

If it’s a new parking lot, you’re probably working with new pavement and adding properly laid out lines its just the necessary next step.

However, if you’re upgrading the lines in an existing parking lot, you may want to consider these steps to prepare the surface.

First determine if the pavement needs any repair such as crack filling, pothole repair, curb replacement, bollard and/or curb stop replacement.

Preparing the Parking Lot for Striping

If repairs or maintenance needs to be done to any of these parking lot elements, please get these repairs done first.  

Performing maintenance or repairs on the parking lot after new lines have been painted could result in either rework or damage to the new lines.   Either way, it’s something that can be easily avoided by a quick inspection of the parking lot prior to initiating the line striping project.

If you determine that you need pavement repair,  cracked filling or pothole repair then here are some articles we’ve written that can help you with these areas.

Asphalt Repairs – A Checklist

Crack Filling – What Works and What Doesn’t

Sealcoating – Questions to Ask

Once you have taken care of the maintenance and repair of your parking lot elements, you can now initiate your striping project.

Line striping – The “new lines’ process

As mentioned above if you have a new parking lot then it’s best to go ahead and stripe the lot as soon as possible after pavement has been installed.   

If there’s  a lengthy amount of time (more than a month) between the pavement install and the project, consider having a parking lot sweeper come in to clean the lot before the line striping project.   

With an older parking lot, a sweeping is a standard part of the process to prepare the surface for line striping.

Whether you have an older or newer parking lot, it’s always ideal to have a clean pavement surface for line striping so the stripes adhere fully to the pavement.

Line striping –  The right equipment

There are a wide range of striping machines to paint lines on parking lots.  

From manual machines that are operated by hand to large “ride on” stripers, choose the equipment that will provide the best stripe in for your needs.

The parking lot with 20 stalls  will have much different equipment requirements than the parking lot with 1,200 parking spaces.   This is where your striping contractor can be an excellent resource. 

Verify that your contractor has the equipment needed for the striping project.

Line striping paint

There are generally two types of paint used for striping:

  1. Oil-based Alkyd paint which is used for re-stripes and for new layouts.
  2. Latex paint that is commonly used for resurfaced lots although it serves just fine when used for new layouts and re-striping.

Read more in our article here – line striping fundamentals

Line Striping – The Right Contractor for the Job

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been providing pavement maintenance services to real estate developers, commercial property owners and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our services include pavement maintenance, seal coating, and line striping.

We can give your property the facelift it needs and eliminate potential liability with C&L’s striping and marking services.

If you’re in North Jersey, Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re in Central New Jersey call us at 732-886-1940 to arrange for parking lot line striping.

Shopping Center Maintenance – Sweeping, Portering and Maintenance Done Right

Shopping Center Maintenance – What Needs Attention?

Shopping Center Maintenance - sweeping.comMaintaining your Shopping Center is like maintaining your refrigerator – sometimes there are things in the refrigerator that smell bad because they should have been thrown away a long time ago. And sometimes there are things that should have been fixed or cleaned a long time ago in the Shopping Center that now need attention.

Of course, many people miss taking care of things when they first crop up. They think, “I’ll get to it when the weather gets better” or “I’ll get to it when I have some time”. And so as time goes on, the little things retreat from our attention, until they’re no longer little things.

You can avoid this. All you have to do is make the time for preventative maintenance (not find the time…you’ll never “find” any extra time) In other words, you need to make a plan for consistent, effective shopping center maintenance. Here’s how…

Shopping Center Maintenance – Sweeping

Regular Parking lot sweeping not only improves the overall “curb appeal” of the parking lot, it extends the life of the asphalt surfaces.

Regular parking lot sweeping removes grit, oils, and pollutants that reduce the life of an asphalt parking lot. The longer the life of the asphalt, the better the ROI (return on investment) for the cost of installing the parking lot.

Sweeping is also an environmentally friendly practice, a much-needed practice in an environmentally sensitive world.

Scheduling a regular sweeping keeps the parking lot looking tidy and removes the debris, trash and normal leaf and organic matter that collects in corners.

Shopping Center Maintenance – Portering

A porter is someone who conducts small maintenance duties to keep your shopping center clean.
These duties can include removing trash from trash bins, replacing trash bags, picking up larger pieces of trash and debris, and performing cleaning of any grease, oil or organic spills.

They are an extra set of eyes on anything that might need additional attention such as broken traffic stops, damaged curbs or sidewalks and other physical equipment that needs replacement such as lights, light fixtures, peeling paint, wall gouges, etc.

By using a porter, you can get up-to-date communication on the appearance and maintenance of your shopping center.

Shopping Center Maintainance Scheduling

There is a saying that whatever you place your attention on improves. This is particularly true with regular maintenance.

Updating (or creating) a regular maintenance schedule provides an effective baseline for monitoring and measuring ongoing tasks for shopping center maintenance.

A task management schedule should be based on client requirements that satisfy process tenant safety, task quality, and environmental requirement.

The more clearly you define your maintenance task schedule, the easier it will be to monitor and measure and manage the effective maintenance of your shopping center.

How Can C & L Services Help You?

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been consulting and servicing shopping centers, commercial properties and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our shopping center maintenance services include parking sweeping, portering, asphalt repair, line striping and seal coating.

We can help you keep your property in excellent condition with reliable, dependable, cost-effective services. If you’re in North Jersey, Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re in Central New Jersey call us at 732-886-1940 to speak with a professional in shopping center maintenance.

Asphalt Repairs – Spring Parking Lot Fixes – A Checklist for Success

Asphalt Repairs – Spring Potholes, Yearly Chore

asphalt repairs - sweeping.comHaving a parking lot full of potholes is no fun.

It creates an unsightly property condition that invites complaints from tenants and potential contacts from lawyers. You also have to find money in the budget to get them fixed, coordinate a contractor to fix them for you and provide communications about the upcoming fixes.

Bottom line, asphalt repairs are a lot of work and expense for you. And often you don’t get thanked by anybody for the effort.

When the weather starts turning warm, you know it’s time to tackle this project. And that’s exactly what we’re going to show you now, how to plan, prepare and execute a fast, cost-effective pothole repair project:

1 – Asphalt Repairs – Pothole Inspection

First, start with a thorough inspection of the parking lot. Layout the parking lot with a map (it doesn’t have to be perfect, just a rough approximation of the area to identify the problem areas)

Overly a line grid (3 X 3 is generally fine, more lines if you need more grids if you need them) and identify the rows on the grid with numbers and the columns on the grid with letters.

This way you can identify specific areas for repair by a grid number (the two potholes in grid 2C) rather than a vague description in a general area.

Walk the area and identify specific asphalt repairs by the grid.

Determine the severity by numbering the problem on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being less severe and 10 being very severe. The scale is subjective, but you’ll get the “gist” of the rating by looking at the various issues in the pavement

2 – Asphalt Repairs – Pothole Repair Project Planning

Rank the problems in order of severity. Very severe issues should get the most attention. These are usually the repairs that “must” be completed.

Do a rough calculation of repair costs and determine if there is sufficient money in the capital reserve budget to complete these repairs.

If the budget allows, evaluate the less severe issues and include them in the overall repair project.

Ideally, all issues should be repaired, however, budgets are generally the primary constraint and is a priority in the planning phase.

Once the key problem areas have been selected, use these tips in the article below to select and hire your contractor:

Asphalt Maintenance – Damage in the Winter, Fixes in the Spring

3 – Asphalt Repairs – Pothole Repair Project Execution

Communication is critical. Takes some time the week before the project to inform all affected parties about the pothole repair project. Use a variety of communication channels (email, letter, flyer, word-of-mouth, FaceBook notification, Twitter) to publish who, what, where, and when the project is going to be initiated and finished.

In spite of your communication efforts, expect some complaints about any inconveniences and be prepared to apologize (some people are highly distracted, so no communication will stick with them no matter what you do)

Let the professionals do their job, but keep an eye on any deviations from agreements and commitments.

4 – Asphalt Repairs – Pothole Repair Project Evaluation

After he project is complete, use you grid map to conduct a thorough inspection of completed work.

If any work does not meet expectations, notify the project manager immediately for correction and completion.

Well, there you have it. Hopefully, this only occurs once a year (not at all if you pavement area is newer) and can go smoothly and cost-effectively without too many road bumps.

How Can C & L Services Help You?

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been consulting and servicing shopping centers, commercial properties and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our asphalt repair and maintenance services include pothole repair, asphalt repair and replacement, seal coating and line striping.

We can help you keep your pavement in excellent condition with reliable, dependable, cost-effective services. In northern New Jersey Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re in central New Jersey, call us at 732-886-1940. Our professionals will be glad to assist you with any asphalt repairs.

Asphalt Maintenance – Damage in the Winter, Fixes in the Spring

Asphalt Maintenance – Bad Weather = Parking Lot Damage

asphalt maintenance winter - sweeping.comSnowstorm, rainstorm, nor’easter, bomb cyclone. Whatever the name, it’s all bad weather and it’s really bad for pavement. All this bad weather adds up to one unpleasant truth – it causes lots of parking lot damage.

The more extreme the weather, the more extensive the damage. And it does appear that climate change is generating more extreme weather.

Unfortunately, some asphalt damage needs to be corrected immediately. If a large chunk of pavement fails and creates an unsafe walking or driving condition, you need emergency asphalt maintenance service.

Fortunately, asphalt pavement is a very “fixable” condition with many different types of repair materials and a variety of repair methods. Also, the temperature is not as big a problem with asphalt repairs compared to concrete repairs.

Although not the ideal time of year, asphalt maintenance can be conducted in cold weather. Concrete repairs are much more difficult (and expensive) in cold weather.

Asphalt Maintenance – You Can Wait Until Spring

Another aspect of asphalt maintenance is that the inevitable pothole repair can wait until spring. Depending on the size, location, and traffic, many pothole repairs can be deferred until warmer weather set’s in toward the end of March or beginning in April.

The big challenge with pothole repair at that time of year is the overwhelming demand for labor and materials in the spring. Many property owners want to get asphalt repairs and maintenance completed before the weather gets hot.

People who use the pavement, especially tenants, get very angry if they encounter a pothole that has not been repaired by June.

Preparing For The Spring Crush – What to Do?

So how does a property owner prepare for the asphalt maintenance crush?

Here are a few tips to plan and prepare for your asphalt maintenance needs.

1. Select a reputable maintenance company with asphalt maintenance experience

Google the term “asphalt maintenance” or “pothole repair” in your geography, e.g. “asphalt maintenance freehold nj” or “pothole repairs jackson”

Notice if Google provides local recommendations (it will be in a box of three recommendations at the top of the page). Look for Google reviews first. Good reviews usually indicate a reputable company.

Then visit the company’s website. Have a look at the services they offer. See if they offer any free tips, information or checklists.

The more helpful information they provide, usually the more committed they are to providing good service to their customers

2. Reach out to the company and talk to a representative

Find out if they have representatives that can spend some time speaking with you about your needs.

Ask for references and question where they have provided services in your local area.

Discover if they will listen to your unique situation and if they offer helpful suggestions.

Notice if they follow-up timely. This is an important clue to whether they will follow-up with you after they have started your project.

3. Determine if they can provide the asphalt maintenance services that you need

If you have a large asphalt maintenance project, arrange for an on-site visit so the potential service provider can accurately determine the time, labor and materials for your project.

Ask for a determination of when they could provide services. If they are a know asphalt maintenance company, they may have contractual commitments for the busy time of year.

Ask them for their best estimate of when your project can be added to the “queue”.

Asphalt Maintenance – Don’t wait until the last minute.

The crush for asphalt maintenance in the spring is a real occurrence. If you plan and prepare during January and February, you won’t be waiting long to have your potholes repaired, your cracks filled and any other issues corrected.

If you wait, there might be some nastygram emails or testy calls from tenants or property owners to deal with.

Avoid this today. Let us be the first property management company you investigate.

Check us out and compare us with other asphalt maintenance companies in your local area.

If you’re in Northern NJ, call us at 908-730-7888. If you’re in Central NJ, call us at 732-886-1940.

I believe we can help you to get your asphalt maintenance when you need it.

Sealcoating – Winter Protection and More

Sealcoating – Extending the Life of Your Pavement

sealcoating-sweeping.comAsphalt has long been the material of choice for many paving projects, especially parking lots.

Asphalt is relatively inexpensive when compared to other paving materials, long-lasting, requires minimal maintenance when properly laid, and generally takes less curing time before being usable.

One important step in asphalt maintenance is a good sealcoat. Sealcoating is a process by which a specially formulated sealant is applied to protect the asphalt from deterioration caused by heavy usage, water or chemical penetration, and environmental factors such as harsh weather.

A good sealcoating actually extends the life of your asphalt and keeps its appearance aesthetically appealing.

Sealcoating – The Basic Types

There are three basic types of sealcoating, each of which has its own particular pros and cons depending on your specific needs.

An asphalt-based sealant lasts between 1 – 3 years before needing a fresh application, the tar-based sealant has a lifespan of between 3 – 5 years and a petroleum-based sealant falls somewhere between.

Not all sealants are available everywhere due to environmental issues and questions in certain areas, so an asphalt expert should be consulted before deciding which sealant is right and available for your parking lot.

Sealcoating and Temperature

Regardless of which sealant type you use, keep in mind that temperature affects the outcome of the application.

Warm sunny days with low humidity are the best times to apply the sealer. As a rule of thumb, late Spring into early Autumn is generally ideal months for sealcoating.

Cool, humid weather will not allow the sealant to bind properly with the asphalt nor cure into a strong surface, and attempting to coat in cold weather is a total waste of time and money.

Winter is the least ideal season to seal coat, however warmer winters extend the opportunities for sealcoating projects.  Avoid conduction a sealing job when there is a chance of rain, no matter how warm the day may be.

Sealcoating – Not a Substitute for Crack Filling

Asphalt sealers are designed to protect the surface of the asphalt, not used as a crack filler.

Any potholes, cracks, or other defects should be repaired before sealer is applied. Striping is often an integral part of defining parking spaces and adding to the overall appearance of the parking lot.

Any striping should always be done after the sealant has been applied and cured.

Sealcoating – Improving Property Aesthetics

Your parking lot, whether giving access to a commercial enterprise or an apartment complex, takes up much of your property and is the first thing potential customers or residents see.

Keeping that parking lot clean and well-maintained gives a good first impression and shows pride of ownership. A routine sealing schedule should always be included as part of your asphalt maintenance program.

Not only will that keep your parking lot in tip-top condition, it will save money over the long term.

Thinking about refreshing your parking lot or pavement?  Need to “spruce up” the look of your exterior pavement?  If you’re located in central New Jersey, give us a call at 732-886-1490.  Further North…call us at 908-730-7888.  We’ll be glad to answer your questions about sealcoating.

Asphalt Maintenance – Potholes: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Asphalt Maintenance – Lessons Learned the Hard Way

If there is one lesson that I have learned well as an asphalt maintenance professional, it is this: in order to maintain your parking lots, driveways and roadway, it is necessary to stay on top of asphalt repairs…even though it is time-consuming and requires diligence. Here are some of the guidelines that help me and my clients.

Asphalt Maintenance – The Good

Asphalt Maintenance requires regular pothole repair.  Where there is asphalt and cold weather, potholes follow.  Although I don’t particularly like the mess and expense, after maintaining asphalt for many years (three generations) I’ve found that there are good potholes.  Yes, some potholes are good.

The picture to the right shows a good pothole.

This pothole is small, evenly shaped and not too deep. asphalt repair - good pothole - sweeping.com

These types of potholes are easy to fix and maintain their repair for a reasonable amount of time.

In a pinch, I can use cold patch materials to fix, but I often have the opportunity to use hot patch materials which makes the pothole more level with the surrounding asphalt.

The repair also looks better and lasts longer which is safer and more economical in the long run.

One other thing, I can get the repair done quickly, which is appreciated by property owners and tenants alike.

Asphalt Maintenance – The Bad

A bad pothole presents a variety of problems.  The location of the pothole could be bad (in the middle of a busy highway with cars whizzing by at 80 mph).

The pothole could be big…this means more time, money and effort.  The pothole could be masking a more serious substrate issue.  It could be a combination of all of these, which is really bad but not quite ugly yet.

This photo shows a bad pothole. asphalt maintenance - bad pothole - sweeping.com

Big bad pothole, with other serious asphalt maintenance issues attached.  As with many potholes, however, and other types of asphalt maintenance problems, it’s fixable.

Always keep safety in mind first, then try and minimize the inconvenience to property owners and users when fixing a pothole of this size.

If you have a pothole of this nature, read our article, “Pothole Repair: Challenging Situations that Only The Best Pothole Repair Companies Can Do Right”

Asphalt Maintenance – The Ugly

Quite often we are called in to quote on an asphalt repair project that has been represented as “a few potholes”.  When we get to the property, we see issues like the picture below:

asphalt maintenance ugly pothole - sweeping.com

This is an ugly asphalt situation that is caused by serious neglect. It appears several attempts were made to repair the asphalt.  The repairs were too little, too late and poorly done.

This asphalt disaster is not a pothole repair issue.  This is (and has been) a repaving project that has been postponed for whatever reason (usually cost considerations).  Now it’s a very costly, complicated and somewhat dangerous asphalt repair project.

Pothole Repair – Keep it simple

Don’t let your asphalt maintenance issues turn bad or even ugly.  When a pothole appears, get a good, experienced asphalt maintenance professional to take care of it.  It’s safer, more convenient and less costly than postponing it.

Only maintain good potholes, not bad potholes.  Call us at 732-886-1940 to keep your potholes good.  We deal with the bad and ugly too if you need us, we’re the experts in asphalt maintenance.

Line Striping – Last Chance For Linestriping Before Winter

line-striping-ada guidelines-sweeping.com

Line Striping Before Winter

line striping winter - sweeping.comNothing lasts forever, and parking lines are no exception. Parking lot line striping is an important form of communication in the world of transportation.

Parking lot line stripes support an organized and orderly parking experience. It is also important to note that line striping cannot be done in the winter, so it is prudent to evaluate your parking lot needs ahead of time.

Time, exposure to harsh weather, chemicals, quality line stripe paint, and overall use of the parking lot, will cause the lines will fade. Parking lot stripes are designed to improve not only the parking organization, but the aesthetic appeal of the lot. So when the lines fade, the first impression could be negative.

Line Striping – Multiple Benefits

More importantly, when the parking lot stripes fade, it makes both navigation and parking difficult.  This not only creates an unsafe environment, drivers also become quite frustrated.

Driving around a parking lot with faded line striping can be an accident waiting to happen. Clearly marked lines direct the flow of traffic, provide easy to see parking spaces, and are pleasing to the eye.

Another important factor of parking lot line striping is the compliance with ADA regulations in regards to the handicapped. A handicapped driver may not be able to make use of the designated spots if it is not clearly marked. One of the unrealized benefits of ADA regulations related to line striping is that the clearly marked parking lot, with vibrant visible colors, creates a reliable access for emergency vehicles such as fire trucks and ambulances.

Line striping a parking lot is more complicated than most people think. However, if your lines need freshening up, or you are marking your parking lot for the first time, there are some practical tips to keep in mind.

1.Line Striping Planning

Start with the layout plan of the area.  What type of stripes needed, and what is the condition surface area for the line striping paint. There are some standard guidelines pertaining to width and length of stripe.

See our article on basic guidelines: Line Striping: Guidelines for Line Striping the Right Way.  Also check to see if your local authorities have specific requirements.

However, keeping the carpentry adage in mind, “measure twice, cut once” is a satisfactory reminder of the importance of planning ahead. Planning ahead also includes making sure the paint gets refreshed before winter.

2. Line Striping Paint – Which Paint to Use?

The type of paint used determines the quality of the lines. Also, there are generally two types of paint that are used.

Oil-based Alkyd Paint . This is used for restripes and new layouts.
Latex Paint is used for resurfaced lots.

3. Line Striping Measurements

There are three general types of parking stalls: straight in parking at 90 degrees, angled parking at 45 or 60 degrees, and parallel parking stalls.

The size of the stalls are created according to their intended use. Though standard stalls, depending on your city’s zoning regulations, are 9 by 18 feet, there is variation due to compact stalls.

Again, check with your municipalities zoning regulations before you finalize to any measurements.

4. Line Striping Regulations – Planning for the ADA Elements

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements came into effect in June, 1992. The law requires a specified amount of handicap spaces, as well as the mandatory minimum parking stall size.

Having vibrant and fresh parking lot striping is important for meeting ADA regulations, safety and aesthetics. Parking lots need to be repainted, on average and according to use, every 24 to 48 months. It is important to plan ahead for maintaining your parking lot linstriping. Always plan in advance so that your parking lot can be at its best for the winter months, when repainting is not an available service.

Do you have a parking lot that needs a stripe refresh?  Or perhaps a new parking lot needing a striping plan?  Give us a call, 732-886-1940.  We are line striping experts and we will get you parking lot properly striped and looking great.