Summer time opens up a whole new world of activities for your family. Sun, hot weather, and time off of school leaves plenty of free time to get creative outside! But can some of our favorite summer activities cause harm to our paved surfaces? Lets break down a few and discuss why some may be harmful and what to do instead!

Chalk is typically made from plaster or talc and can be washed away quickly with some water. Does it cause damage? Absolutely not. However, be careful using it on freshly poured uncured concrete and asphalt. Freshly paved surfaces are more likely to stain with the added colorants and be harder to clean. 

The verdict? Potentially damaging, but it is very unlikely with a properly cured surface!

Fireworks can be done safely and without harm to asphalt and concrete, but it’s best to leave that up to the professionals. Beyond the obvious which is starting a fire, fireworks can leave behind damage on your paved surfaces. When one explodes, it leaks a chemical that can react with concrete and cause permanent staining. If the impact is too much for your pavement it can also cause cracks and holes. 

The verdict? It can be safe when left to professionals, but don’t be surprised if permanent damage is left behind. 

Pools are an exciting part of summer, and a lot of families (dad’s, we’re looking at you) want to protect their grass and may choose to put a pool up on a patio or driveway instead. Depending on the integrity of your pavement, you run the risk of cracks and other damages due to the weight of the water. A gallon of water is (on average) 8.8 lbs. So even a small 16’ x 48” pool has the potential to weigh over 45,000 pounds. The average mid-size sedan weighs 3,351 lbs. which means a pool is the equivalent of over 13 vehicles in your driveway. 

The verdict? Grass is a lot cheaper to fix than asphalt or concrete. We recommend taking precautions to protect your grass and finding a good spot in your yard for your pool!

Car work typically picks up more in summer time. Pay close attention to spills and leaks to prevent eccelorated deterioration of your paved surfaces. Grease and oil act as surfactants to the tar that holds the asphalt together making it weak and susceptible to cracks. 

The verdict? Car work is perfectly fine as long as you clean up any fluids promptly. 

Car washes are a popular afternoon activity when the weather is nice! Give your kids a bucket of soapy water and some sponges and let them have fun! But is soap harmful to asphalt? Nope! Mild dish detergent or soap wont harm your asphalt at all. 

The verdict? Washing your car in your driveway will actually help clean your asphalt! 

Sun rays can dry out asphalt and reduce the flexibility. This can cause cracks and potholes to form. Obviously it’s impossible to completely shield your pavement from the sun, but there are steps to prevent damage. The best way to prevent sun damage is to keep up with sealcoating! We recommend every 2-5 years!

The verdict? Sun is absolutely harmful, but proper care with reduce the effects!

Now that summer is finally here, get outside and enjoy the sunshine! Just remember to take care of your driveway in the process! Armored Asphalt is here to help with everything you need to keep your pavement looking fresh and last for many years to come! If you need asphalt repairs, maintenance, or installation in SE Wisconsin or Northern Illinois, call the professionals at Armored Asphalt today to discuss your project and to get a free estimate!

We use asphalt to get to work, home, family road trips, and pretty much anywhere we have to go! It is something that is a part of our daily lives, but we never stop to think about how its made! Asphalt is typically used for heavier traffic areas instead of concrete because of it’s durability and ease of installation. While concrete is often more aesthetically pleasing, it is much higher maintenance, more costly, and prone to cracks and other imperfections. Asphalt also can form cracks and daily wear, but it is a much simpler process to repair while concrete often needs to be replaced. Concrete is a ridged surface that doesn’t allow for any give when pressure is added. Asphalt is much more flexible and will give slightly when weight is added. 

The exact process of making asphalt may vary slightly depending on the manufacturer, but for the most part it’s pretty similar! 

First, what it is made of? 

Asphalt is made of two main components: Asphalt cement and aggregate. Asphalt cement is very different from the cement you used to make handprint stepping stones as a kid. Asphalt cement is the liquid form of petroleum. It has an extremely high viscosity which means it sits somewhere between a solid and a liquid in a dark, sticky mess! The aggregate is often made of sand, gravel, crushed stone, or rock dust. 

Did you know that different types of asphalt is used for each layer? 

Crazy, right?! The foundational layers are typically made with a bigger aggregate to form a more stable surface and more durability. The visible layers are made with a smaller aggregate to help it lay more smoothly and look a little neater! 

How is the cement and aggregate mixed? 

A “typical” ratio for cement to aggregate is 1:19 (or 5% cement and 95% aggregate), however that can vary depending on a few factors like weather and projected traffic. In hotter climates, harder asphalt would be used to reduce the amount of give which can cause potential cracks. In colder climates (like Wisconsin!), we use a softer asphalt to make room for freezing and expanding. 

Asphalt is typically manufactured at a local plant. It is mixed based on the needs of that specific project. It then gets blended in a large drum (also known as a pug mill or pugger!) and transferred to and brought to the project site using an asphalt paver or finisher. This is the piece of equipment that dispenses the mixture to be spread out and smoothed. This machine will keep the mixture at the precise temperature needed to get a proper application. 

What is the difference between hot asphalt and warm asphalt? 

Hot asphalt is the most common type of asphalt used. It is, as the name suggests, mixed at an extremely high temperature that has to be maintained throughout the entire process. Warm asphalt is slowly becoming more popular and is a much more eco friendly option. Instead of using high temperatures to mix, emulsifiers are used at warm temperatures to mix. This uses less energy, petroleum, and emits less harmful gasses.

So, in short, asphalt manufacturing is an extremely delicate and precise process that has no rules. Just kidding. Different projects will always have different requirements. Even on the same project site different mixtures and materials will be used! 

And the good news? It’s okay if absolutely none of this makes sense to you! That’s why there are skilled and experienced professionals that know exactly what you need! At Armored Asphalt, we got our start in asphalt installation because we noticed a huge lack of development and enginuity to improve out dated practices. We strive to make major improvements in our industry to offer better and longer lasting results!

If you need a professional asphalt contractor, give Armored Asphalt a call today to discuss your project and get started with a free estimate!

Potholes are so much more than just unsightly, they can be extremely damaging to your vehicles, pedestrians, and the foundation of your asphalt. Potholes are, as the name suggests, holes in your asphalt that form over time. They can range in depth and diameter, but a pothole of any size can be detrimental to your driveway or parking lot. 

So, how do potholes form? 
There are many different factors that play into a pothole forming. They typically start small. The slightest crack, divot, or rutt can start forming into a pothole in no time at all. Cracks can form from repeated freezing and thawing during colder months, then heavy traffic continuously adds more pressure to those spots, eventually causing it to crumble and form potholes. 

Extreme heat can also cause potholes from water draining into the cracks and pushing out the inner layers that support the asphalt. 

Basically, heavy traffic consistently putting pressure on already weakened areas causes the asphalt to crumble and potholes to form and grow bigger. 

The best way to prevent potholes is to keep up with proper maintenance and repairs. We recommend having your asphalt sealed every 2-5 years depending on how much traffic goes through the area. A good rule of thumb is if you can see the natural stone peaking through the seal it’s time for a fresh coat! Sealcoating helps add a protective barrier between your asphalt and harmful elements like moisture and UV rays that can accelerate damage.

It is also important to schedule maintenance in a timely manner to repair even small cracks and gouges. This will prevent them from getting worse and causing more costly damages. 

Limiting heavy vehicles like trucks, buses, and recreational vehicles will also be a huge help in preventing excessive wear. If heavy vehicles are unavoidable, try alternating routes that they take on your pavement to evenly distribute the wear. 

What if it’s too late? What is the best way to fix and repair potholes? 

First off, always hire a professional asphalt contractor to repair any paved surfaces. We love a good DIY project as much as the next person, but asphalt repair is a project for trained professionals. If done improperly, you can cause drainage issues, foundation damage to your driveway or parking lot, and future costly repairs. Paying a little extra for a licensed contractor will ultimately save you significant money in the long run. 

When a professional repairs a pothole, we start by removing any remaining asphalt and debris from inside the hole. This helps us have access to a more sturdy foundation so that the repair lasts! Next, we trim out a more even area to work with to help get cleaner lines and an easier work space, much like repairing drywall. After we have our area prepped, we apply a tack to the outer edge to give the asphalt something better to adhere to. We mix the asphalt, and carefully fill the hole and smooth it out with the rest of the pavement. It is spread out evenly to prevent separation and left to cure leaving behind a smooth, sturdy repair that will last for many years! 

Potholes are dangerous for a multitude of reasons. They can cause major damages to vehicles who are unable to avoid them and can even cause injury to unsuspecting pedestrians. Another huge danger that comes with potholes are people swerving to avoid them. It is very important to pay attention while driving to know what hazards are coming up.

If you’re able to safely get over and go around a pothole, go ahead and do so, but whatever happens, never swerve to try and miss a pothole (or any road hazard!). This is typically a knee jerk reaction and you don’t have time to determine what is around you and can cause more accidents and damages! Rather than swerving, slow down and take gentle care when driving over a pothole. 

Armored Asphalt is excited to be one of the highest rated asphalt companies in SE Wisconsin. Our professionals are highly trained and experienced to provide high quality asphalt repairs. Maintenance and repairs are a huge part of our business and we’re proud to be the go to for pothole repairs in and around Kenosha! 

For professional asphalt care near you, give us a call and receive a free quote and schedule today!

Asphalt is relatively easy to care for and with proper maintenance your parking lot or driveway should last up to 35 years! Regular maintenance that should be done by a local professional like Armored Asphalt includes: sealcoating, crack filling, pothole repairs, and striping. There are many things you can do yourself as well to help protect your driveway like keeping it clean, removing debris, and paying close attention to potential hazards around as well! Here are some of the most harmful dangers for your asphalt:

  1. Heavy Vehicles. If you have frequent heavy trucks or trailers on your asphalt, you may notice more cracks and rutts more frequently. To help avoid this, have large trucks use varying paths as much as possible and notify a local asphalt company like Armored Asphalt as soon as you notice deep cracks. 
  2. Water. Obviously it is impossible to protect asphalt from all water, however you should be cautious of standing water anywhere on your pavement as it can cause premature corrosion and weakness in the asphalt. If you notice standing water it is extremely important to determine the cause and source immediately and give us a call to repair it as soon as possible. Check storm drains and rain spouts  to ensure they’re properly draining where they need to be!
  3. Oil. Oil is one of the top hazards to your asphalt. Pay attention to oil spills and stains regularly and clean them up accordingly as soon as you’re able to. Any oil based spill acts as a solvent to the tar that holds asphalt together. Avoid parking leaking vehicles on your pavement. 
  4. Tree Roots. If you have any trees near your driveway or parking lot, determine where the roots are and whether or not they are going to penetrate your asphalt. Depending on the intended size of a tree, it should be planted 3-6 feet away from any asphalt. If you’re unsure of proper placement, we’d highly recommend consulting and hiring a professional landscaper near you to make sure everything is done correctly. 
  5. Sun. Just like water, it is impossible to avoid the sun on your asphalt, however keeping up with sealcoating as needed is the only way to prevent sun damage. We recommend every 3-5 years with our unique 2 coat seal!

Did you get all of that? It’s okay if you didn’t! Armored Asphalt is here to help the residents and business owners of SE Wisconsin with all of their asphalt needs. We got our start many years ago with asphalt seal coating and maintenance, and then noticed a huge gap in proper asphalt care and installation in our area so we worked hard to become the best full service asphalt contractors in and around Kenosha, Racine, Burlington, and even Northeastern Illinois! We can’t wait to work with you soon. If you have any more questions or would like to set up a free estimate, give us a call today to speak with one of our asphalt professionals!

Spills happen, and sometimes we don’t even notice they’re happening. If you’ve ever owned an older car, chances are you’ve had at least one random leak that you didn’t notice until you moved the car and saw the giant puddle on the ground. Or maybe you’re working on some house projects and knock something over. You may just stop and think “eh, it’s outside, it’s not hurting anything!” But that’s not always the case. To protect your asphalt from corrosion and deterioration, it’s important to clean up any chemical spill as soon as possible. Not sure what to do? Here are some common spills and how to clean them up!

  1. Oil. This is probably the most common spill. While there are commercial products you can buy, you may have some things already on hand that can help. If it’s a fresh spill, try baking soda or kitty litter. Always wipe up as much as you can first. Sprinkle a generous amount on the spill and let it absorb, you can gently scrub or press it in as well, let it set overnight, then gently sweep away the excess. If there is still a stain, use degreasing dish soap and warm water and gently scrub it into the stain. 
  2. 2.Gasoline. Similarly to oil, you can use baking soda or kitty litter to clean up a gas spill, however make sure you wear protective gear like gloves and goggles to prevent any accidents. After the absorbing agent is cleaned up, use warm water and dish soap to scrub any excess. It is also important to dispose of any materials used to clean up the spill properly as they are going to be extremely flammable. Your local fire house should be able to point you in the right direction. Store in a closed container until proper disposal, but dispose of the container quickly to avoid combustion.
  3. Transmission Fluid. Another common mystery leak is transmission fluid. First spray oven cleaner on the stain and let it set for 10 minutes. Scrub with a coarse brush and rinse with high power (you can use a pressure washer if you have one). If there is still a stain, repeat the process. 
  4. Antifreeze. Antifreeze is a little easier than other spills. Because it is water soluble, soak up as much as you can with newspaper and spray the stain with a pressure washer. 
  5. Paint. Most, not all, paint will be water soluble. Use a mixture of warm water and a little dish soap and scrub until the paint lifts. A pressure washer will help as well after the first layer is removed!

When you’re using any of these techniques, it is important to attempt them as soon as possible. These work best on fresh, wet spills. Spills with grease and oil act as a solvent to the tar that holds asphalt together which will eventually cause corrosion and deterioration. This can affect the structure and foundation of your paved surfaces. As long as the spill itself is cleaned up, it is okay for a small stain to remain on the surface. While unsightly to some, stains will not affect your asphalt and can be covered up easily when it’s time for another layer of seal coating!

Asphalt is relatively easy maintenance when it is properly cared for! At Armored Asphalt, we want to provide our clients with every bit of knowledge possible so that you get the longest life possible out of your paved surfaces! We offer all of the maintenance services you will need at affordable rates! Here are steps you should take to prevent deterioration of your asphalt!

1. Regular Inspections. You should walk around your parking lot and look for imperfections like forming potholes, cracks, and pooling water. Print out or draw a rough layout of your parking lot and walk around marking each spot that may be concerning. We recommend doing this once a month especially in high traffic areas. If you think it’s time for a professional inspection give us a call and we can discuss our concerns and come up with a solution!

2. Keep it Clean. It is important to keep your asphalt free of debris, especially around drains as this can cause water to get trapped and cause issues in the future. Sweep, blow off leaves, remove trash, and power wash as needed to keep your asphalt looking great for a long time!

3. Use Caution With Snow and Ice Removal. To maintain the integrity of your asphalt parking lot, we recommend using a professional snow removal company. Improper plowing and harsh ice melts can cause cracks, corrosion, and ultimately deterioration. This goes for any chemicals you may use like weed and insect killer as well. 

4. Stay Up to Date on Sealcoating. 

With our two layer sealcoating process, we recommend refreshing sealcoating every 3-5 years. Seal coating helps protect your asphalt from sun damage, corrosion from weather, and grease and oil. 

5. Clean Up Chemical Spills. 

Cars can leak all sorts of fluids without anyone noticing right away like oil, gas, or antifreeze. It is extremely important to clean up any chemicals right away to prevent damages. 

6. Keep Drains Clear and Maintained.

Every parking lot has storm drains to prevent pooling and flooding. Check each drain regularly to ensure they aren’t full of leaves, trash, and other debris. If you notice they aren’t draining properly, have them serviced immediately. 

7. Fill Cracks and Potholes ASAP.

If left unrepaired, a small crack or pothole will continue to grow and cause damage to the foundation of your asphalt. If you notice any moderate damages, reach out to us soon to see when it should be filled!

Asphalt is relatively simple to care for, however, there are a lot of myths about asphalt. When it is properly installed and maintained, an asphalt surface should last anywhere from 20 to 30 years depending on traffic and use. Here are some of the most common myths about asphalt and the truth about caring for your blacktop surfaces. 

Asphalt is bad for the environment.

Asphalt production and maintenance is continuously evolving. With recent advances, we are able to help protect the environment while still providing durable asphalt. The key is proper drainage to keep the environment around your parking lot or driveway from flooding. We also use high quality asphalt materials to prevent crumbling and waste. 

Asphalt isn’t durable. 

When done properly, asphalt should last anywhere from 20 to 30 years before it needs to be replaced. With proper care including sealcoating, crack filling, and patching. With the help of our high quality asphalt and protective maintenance, your asphalt will look great for many years to come. 

Asphalt needs a lot of maintenance.

The amount of maintenance you need is determined by two things: use and installation. If you have frequent traffic (like a retail parking lot) you will need maintenance more often. However, asphalt only needs Sealcoating every 3-5 years and repairs as they arise! 

Asphalt doesn’t need repairs. 

Many people believe that asphalt repairs are also suggested to improve the look of asphalt, but that isn’t farther from the truth. Damages in your asphalt can cause structural damages and add the potential for injuries. While cracks and potholes are unappealing to the eye, they are also detrimental to your asphalt. Repair damages before they worsen to prevent costly repairs. 

Asphalt installation is expensive. 

High quality doesn’t always equal a high price tag. Armored Asphalt offers reliable and affordable asphalt installation so you don’t have to sacrifice quality. Asphalt is easy maintenance and relatively quick to install making it a great alternative to costly concrete which is easily damaged. 

Armored Asphalt is excited to be the number one recommended asphalt contractor by many people all over southeastern Wisconsin. We promise high quality and reliable paving and maintenance. Asphalt is an excellent choice for asphalt installation and maintenance in Kenosha, Pleasant Prairie, Paddock Lake, Salem, Burlington, Union Grove, Caledonia, Mount Pleasant, Sturtevant, Racine, Winthrop Harbor, Zion, Beach Park, Waukegan, & Gurnee.

Contact Armored Asphalt today for a free estimate on high quality asphalt services in Kenosha County, Racine County, and Lake County.

Beautiful Sealcoated driveway

Armored Asphalt got our start offering quality asphalt maintenance in Kenosha, and now thanks to our loyal clients like you we are proud to offer the best asphalt paving in all of SE Wisconsin and NE Illinois! We come highly recommended by individuals all over Kenosha, Racine, Pleasant Prairie, Union Grove, Gurnee, and Winthrop Harbor. When you want a reliable asphalt contractor, we hope you trust the professionals at Armored Asphalt to get the job done right!

Commercial Asphalt Paving in SE Wisconsin and NE Illinois

Armored Asphalt offers durable and high quality commercial parking lot paving in Kenosha County and the surrounding communities. Your parking lot says a lot about your business. A torn up and rough parking lot can be a huge deterrent as people don’t want to risk damage to their vehicles. When it comes time to choose an asphalt contractor, you can trust the professionals at Armored Asphalt! Contact Armored Asphalt today for more information on commercial asphalt paving in Kenosha and Racine County, Wisconsin and Lake County, Illinois. 

Residential Driveway Paving in Racine County, Kenosha County, or Lake County

The professionals at Armored Asphalt specialize in durable asphalt driveway installation for residents of Kenosha, Racine, and Lake Counties. We saw a gap in proper driveway installation and decided to fill it! Whether you’re building a new home or just need to replace an existing driveway, you can trust the best asphalt contractors at Armored Asphalt to get the job done right! Contact us today for more information on residential asphalt paving today!

Armored Asphalt promises honest, reliable, and durable asphalt installation available near you. Contact us today for a free estimate and to schedule asphalt paving services in Kenosha, Pleasant Prairie, Paddock Lake, Salem, Burlington, Union Grove, Caledonia, Mount Pleasant, Sturtevant, Racine, Winthrop Harbor, Zion, Beach Park, Waukegan, & Gurnee.

Lake Geneva Parking Lot Striping

Contact the top asphalt professionals in Kenosha at Armored Asphalt to schedule your spring maintenance and repair appointments today!

Believe it or not, winter has come and gone which means it is officially asphalt season! Armored Asphalt is proud to be one of the highest recommended asphalt contractors in Kenosha and Racine Counties in Wisconsin and Lake County in Illinois. We are a locally owned and operated company in Kenosha that offers the best asphalt maintenance and repairs. Now that spring time is finally here, it’s time to schedule your asphalt repairs and maintenance services to make your paved surfaces look like new again! Our top spring services include:

Quality Sealcoating in Southeastern Wisconsin

When done properly, sealcoating offers a resilient protective layer between the elements and your asphalt driveway, parking lot, or roadway. Our two-coat process allows you to wait between 3 and 5 years before reapplying sealcoating again. We offer residential and commercial sealcoating in Kenosha, Pleasant Prairie, Racine, Sturtevant, Zion, Gurnee, and all the surrounding communities. 

Asphalt Repairs

Armored Asphalt specializes in asphalt repairs in and around Kenosha. We offer repairs such as crack filling, hot mix patching, cold patching, and pothole repairs. We recommend fixing these imperfections quickly to prevent major damages. When cracks and potholes are left alone they get deeper and cause issues within the foundation of your parking lot, driveway, or roadway. Armored Asphalt offers the best pavement repairs in Kenosha, Burlington, Mount Pleasant, Winthrop Harbor, and Waukegan. 

For reliable asphalt professionals in SE Wisconsin and NE Illinois, contact Armored Asphalt for a free estimate today!

Asphalt is a durable and long lasting material used for driveways and parking lots. If properly installed and maintained, an asphalt surface will last up to 30 years. After installation, it is important to keep up with routine maintenance like sealcoating every 3-5 years and filling cracks and potholes whenever possible. Following these steps will ensure you get the most life out of your asphalt, but eventually it will be time to remove, recycle, and replace your pavement. Here’s some signs that it’s time to replace your asphalt instead of repairing: 

  • Excessive Cracks. Cracks that have been left without repair for an extended period can allow oil, dirt, gas, and salt to get into the foundation of your pavement making them impossible to fill. When your pavement gets to this point it is time to replace the whole surface. 
  • Deep Potholes. Like cracks, small potholes can be easily managed by filling them but they are often ignored. Potholes can be extremely dangerous to vehicles and pedestrians. A large pothole can cause major mechanical damages when an unsuspecting driver isn’t able to avoid it. It’s time to replace your driveway when minor potholes are no longer easy to manage and keep reappearing despite attempts to repair them. 
  • Poor Drainage. Over time the foundation of your pavement begins to wear down causing sloping and an uneven surface. This will cause water to puddle leading to corrosion and more potholes. After the asphalt is completely replaced, an experienced asphalt contractor will be able to implement different measures to prevent drainage issues in the future. 
  • Age. As we mentioned, an asphalt surface should have a lifespan of up to 30 years. If you know your driveway or parking lot is getting close or has surpassed that timeframe, it is no longer worth trying to repair. 

If you’re unsure whether or not you should repair or replace your asphalt, contact Amored Asphalt today for a free evaluation and quote from our honest professionals!