Spring Maintenance For Your Driveway In Westchester County, New York.

Spring is the time of new beginnings, and homeowners in the northeast will soon begin the process of spring cleaning and getting their homes ready for warm weather. Spring will be here soon, and as the weather warms up, you’ll begin noticing the damages left behind on your asphalt driveway from the relentless cold. Spring is the perfect time to refurbish your driveway, whether you decide to have it seal coated or just want to fill in any cracks that may have formed from ice. Here are some ways you can get your driveway looking its best just in time for the warm weather.

 

 

  • Clean The Driveway- Debris like dead leaves and sticks commonly find their way into our driveways at the end of Fall before the arrival of snow and ice
  • Power Washing– A good power washer will help to remove embedded salt, dirt, silt, and other deicing chemicals from your driveway
  • Removing Weeds-Weed encroachment is a common occurrence in driveways with lots of cracks and potholes. Remove all weeds first before applying crack filler
  • Applying Crackfiller-You can fix smaller cracks by filling them with liquid crack filler. However, in the case of larger cracks, you can use a cold patch to fill potholes, but a cold patch shouldn’t be a permanent solution to fix potholes. Large potholes can expand rapidly, especially with the arrival of heavy rain in the spring, so consider asking for help from a local contractor. The Northern construction team will provide you the best advice for filling potholes based on the pre-existing condition of your driveway.
  • Seal Coating– Seal coating your driveway is an excellent way to extend the life of asphalt and maintain its black, smooth, and shining appearance. Seal coating sealers prevent oxidation of the asphalt surface by forming a defensive outer skin and averting the penetration of water, salt, and other de-icers. Sealers act as a protective shield on the asphalt to guard the driveway against the deteriorating effects of oil, gasoline, and various other harsh chemicals substances.

Get Your Driveway Sealcoated This Spring!

Spring is considered the best time of the year to get your driveway seal coated for many reasons. 

  • Durability & Elasticity– Having your driveway seal coated in the spring will allow the sealer to bond with the strongest durability and elasticity to the pavement. Spring is considered the best season since the warming weather brings mild temperatures in the high fifties and low sixties which are ideal temperatures to apply asphalt sealers.
  • Curb Appeal– After the snow melts it will reveal the damages left behind from ice and salt. Now It’s time to show your asphalt pavement some attention and give it the shining new look it once had. A freshly sealed driveway or parking lot will make your home or building’s curb appeal stand out like never before.

How To Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal In Westchester, New York

Things To Consider Before Selling Your Home

So you’re ready to sell your home. Most homeowners want to get the most money for what their home is worth, and there are many factors that contribute to your home’s market value. One of those factors is curb appeal. Now you may be asking yourself what exactly is curb appeal? Curb appeal is a term used to describe the general attractiveness of a home’s exterior from a prospective buyer. The Northern Construction team is here to inform you of different ways you can increase your home’s curb appeal.

 

Installing Unilock Or Concrete Pavers

Pavers add a classy, rustic look to your home and can boost the value of your property significantly. Most pavers are utilized for the creation of walkways, patios, and sometimes even driveways. Northern Construction has over 25 years of experience installing Unilock, stone, and concrete pavers and can assist you in deciding where your pavers can be installed outside your home to maximize your property’s curb appeal.

Consider Installing Bluestone

Bluestone is a highly desirable choice by many homeowners in Westchester County. It’s readily available, durable, attractive, and ideal for all kinds of uses including patios, pool decks, stone steps, or entryways. Its natural earth-tone colors are gracious and complement almost any exterior landscape design. Its rough surface also means that it rarely gets slick or slippery even when covered in snow.

Resurfacing Your Driveway

A new driveway is the first thing a prospective buyer will notice outside of your home and can make a huge difference in boosting curb appeal. Before you consider having your driveway resurfaced, choose a reputable contractor to visit your home and give you a free estimate. Northern Construction has been proudly servicing homeowners in Westchester and Putnam Valley for over 25 years and with our expertise, we will give you a fair price based on your driveway’s current condition.

 

 

Why You Should Never Apply Rock Salt to Unilock Pavers In Westchester, Ny.

With the upcoming winter arriving shortly, homeowners in Westchester County are preparing to stock up on rock salt and de-icers. Unfortunately, many homeowners are unaware of the damages that salt and de-icers can cause to interlocking pavers. The Northern Construction team is here to inform you about the damages de-icers can cause to your stone patios and walkways.

Flaking-

Flaking occurs when salt damages masonry surfaces causing them to scale and flake.

Corrosion-

Salt crystals left on a concrete surface will slowly dissolve the surface leaving a pockmark. If there is an interlocking paver patio or walkway on your property salt will cause damage because pavers are pressed concrete products.

Color Bleaching-

Rock salt and certain de-icers will cause discoloration to surfaces. As a result, the surfaces may look like they were bleached. This is a notorious occurrence when salt is left to sit natural stone products such as bluestone. This bleaching effect can result in small discolored spots or even discolor an entire stone.

 

What De-Icers are Safe?

Here are some great alternatives to consider to keep your pavers safe.

Calcium Chloride-

One of the benefits of calcium chloride is it has a freezing temperature of -25°, which makes it an excellent choice for those looking to melt ice quickly. It works exceptionally well for people who live in freezing climates during the winter.

Magnesium Chloride

Magnesium chlorides freezing temperature is that of -13°, which makes it one of the better alternatives to handle ice in the coldest temperatures. Because it releases 40% less chloride into the environment, it is known to be environmentally safe for plants and animals. It’s great for homeowners with pets and it also leaves very minimal residue and doesn’t track as easily as rock salt.

 

How to prevent and fix puddles forming in your driveway in Mahopac, Ny.

Water Pooling In Your Driveway?

This can happen for a number of reasons, and unfortunately one of the common causes is from the asphalt not being pitched properly. When there’s a low spot in your driveway, water will always travel to that low spot before it can pour off the surface of the pavement. Enough rainfall can cause pools of water to occur, and in the colder months, those pools of water will freeze turning into ice. Ice expands and causes these sunken low spots to enlarge and create more problems over time.

Is there a Solution?

Yes, there are several ways to fix these issues! low spots can be fixed by having them professionally filled. If there is a spot that is too large to be filled, another alternative is to add a catch basin drain to collect and reroute water. Catch basins are very ideal for large irregularly shaped driveways where water may flow in multiple directions to different low points.

Why Choose Northern Construction? 

 The Northern Construction team specializes in driveway drainage installation and repair. If you call us today we will give you an estimate from one of our staff members who will provide you with the answers to any of your problems. With our expertise, we will gladly provide you the best service and pricing suitable for your needs.

 

 

What Is Asphalt?

What Is Asphalt?

Asphalt is known as bitumen. It’s a sticky, black viscous liquid or semi-solid form of petroleum and its primary use today is for road construction. Its function is to serve as a glue or binder mixed with aggregate particles to create asphaltic concrete. There are natural asphalt deposits that do occur in certain locations around the world, but most of the asphalt used today for paving comes from petroleum crude oil.

Is Blacktop And Asphalt The Same?

The materials used to make asphalt and blacktop are the same. Both are made from bitumen and crushed stone. The main difference between the two results in how those ingredients are combined to produce the final product. Asphalt is mixed in a drum to hold a temperature of at least 250 degrees. At this temperature, asphalt turns malleable which allows it to pour out of a shoot from a truck with efficiency. It can then be laid down with ease. Additionally, the high temperature ensures the asphalt will come out strong enough to handle cars driving over it. Blacktop has a different ratio of crushed stone and bitumen. For blacktop, more crushed aggregate stone is added to the mix. The crushed stone what is gives a paved road a shiny appearance on the surface when it reflects light. Blacktop is also heated at a higher temperature, usually 300 degrees or higher.

 

 

Pouring Concrete Footings for Cobblestone Curbing in Somers, New York

Creating a Trench for the Footing-

Belgian Block also referred to as cobblestones can add a rustic look to the outside edges of your driveway. Before these blocks can be set into place a few steps must take place first. First, a trench is dug to allow space for the concrete.

 

Pouring the Concrete Footings-

After the trench is dug string lines are set up at a pre-determined height to be used as a guide. The concrete footing is poured and then the cobblestones are set into the wet concrete.

 

 

Shaping the Joints-

Once the stones have been set, it takes several hours before the cement dries and the stones to fasten. Once the stones are fastened into place wet cement is poured into the cracks, known as the joints. The cement is shaped with a shaping tool to fill the cracks and give a neat finish to the stones.

 

Drainage

Installing Drainage Before Paving Your Driveway

How Important Is Drainage Planning?

It is extremely important to have a drainage plan in place before paving a driveway. Implementing a drainage plan is the most important aspect of installing a driveway because if it’s not done correctly, parts of the driveway may have to be removed or replaced in order for it to be fixed. That will only lead to bigger costs for the homeowner.

Ways to Avoid Drainage Problems 

One of the most effective ways to avoid drainage problems when installing a driveway is to make sure the asphalt has the correct pitch. If your driveway is properly graded with the correct pitch, water will run off of the surface to the nearest low spot.  If it’s done incorrectly, the water may pool on the asphalt.

Trenches & Swales

Trench drains are one of the best options for most homeowners who have a driveway that is sloped towards their home. Typically trench drains are installed several feet away from the cement floor of the garage. Water will flow into the trench drain and will be redirected through a pipe which is connected to the drain. The piping will lead to the side of the driveway and is pitched towards a low point, normally located on the side of the homeowner’s house or in the backyard. A solid pipe is used for collecting and redirecting the water. Swails are channels built adjacent to driveways often lined with gravel or larger stones. They’re another effective alternative chosen by many homeowners. The only difference between a swale and trench drain is swales sit on top of the soil and are lined with large rocks, riprap, or gravel. They do not need a pipe to redirect water.

Tire scuffing on an Asphalt Driveway In Somers, Ny.

What Causes Tire Scuffing On My Driveway?

There are plenty of ways for those annoying marks to show up in your asphalt driveway but timing, temperature, and tires have a lot to do with it.

Timing Is Everything. 

Starting with the age of the pavement, freshly laid asphalt is more susceptible to tire scuff marks since the material is still soft and malleable. Over time as the material hardens, scuff marks on the asphalt will ultimately fade and become invisible.

Heat Softens Asphalt and Makes It Flexible. 

It is also important to understand how outdoor temperatures at various times of the year affect the rate at which asphalt hardens after being laid. Hot temperatures, particularly in late Spring throughout Summer will slow the curing process, keeping the material soft and flexible for a longer duration of time.

Tires, Vehicles, and Your Driving Tendencies. 

Your vehicle’s weight is  another cause to tire scuffing. Sudden braking, stationary turns of the tires, and vehicles that have power steering are some typical causes to scuff marks on new pavement. Front-wheel drive cars tend to have higher loading on the front wheels which results in higher contact pressure against the asphalt. Note that asphalt laid when temperatures are consistently hot will remain in a flexible, malleable state until cooler weather returns. Therefore you should be very careful and cautious on how you move your vehicle on new pavement in hot temperatures. The types of tires on your vehicle can also play a role in tire scuffing. Typically most standard tires will cause scuffing on new pavement, but tires that contain rugged tread patterns, steel belts, or trucks with off road tires are guaranteed to leave unappealing marks. In some cases, the type of asphalt your driveway is composed of will influence the chances of your driveway being marked.

Materials Matter. 

It’s not just the materials in your tires that are important, the quality of materials in your asphalt driveway determine it’s durability. A thin sealcoat is more likely to be scuffed than an asphalt that is a coarse aggregate type. Materials that are coarse aggregate typically have a less aesthetically pleasing look, but will be more resistant to scuffing and indentation.

How Can I Prevent Marks From Tire Scuffing On My Driveway? 

In nearly three decades of driveway paving and asphalt maintenance, we’ve found the key to prevention is knowledge, preparation, and the right materials. Lean on our experience – the Northern Construction team knows what it takes to keep driveways looking their best. Our process ensures that your driveway is built on a strong foundation of durable, long-lasting materials and that you understand when it’s most susceptible to damage like tire scuffing so that you can do your part to protect it.

Why Should You Install Interlocking Pavers? Cortlandt Manor, NY

Value- Installing pavers can increase the value of your home. This kind of attractive curb appeal, if properly installed, especially with hardscaping that requires minimal maintenance can last up to three decades. They go a long way and are quite an appeal to any prospective buyers.

 

Aesthetic- Interlocking pavers come in a variety of styles and colors such as modern, contemporary, and traditional design. There are many color options to complement your home’s exterior design. They offer a much nicer finish than other alternatives such as concrete, and are quite valuable to your homes exterior design. Installing interlocking pavers will dramatically enhance the look of your walkway, driveway, pool deck, or patio.

 

Installation- Selecting a contractor to install your pavers is very important. Northern Construction has over 22 years of experience installing beautiful interlocking paver patios and walkways for our clients. We prioritize our clients needs and always put them first. 

 

Durability: Pavers can withstand severe cold, rain, ice and snow. Their strength and durability makes them a better alternative than concrete or asphalt. Cracking doesn’t occur usually in pavers because of the joint spacing in between the pavers and because they’re set on a sand and item four base. Joint spacing also allows pavers to adjust to any potential shifts in the foundation they sit on.

 

Repairs- If repairs are needed they’re easily done. Interlocking pavers can easily be lifted and replaced or repositioned back into alignment with little hassle, unlike repairing a slab of concrete which may require demolition and repouring. The cost to repair or replace pavers is relatively low, and their likelihood of being damaged is quite low.

 

How Do Harsh New York Winters Affect Asphalt Driveways In Yorktown, Ny.

Cold weather and precipitation during the winter months can cause damage to asphalt surfaces. Many homeowners, unfortunately, forget to take necessary precautions to help their driveway withstand freezing cold, snow, and precipitation. A neglected driveway can lead to more serious matters, like cracking or upheaving in the pavement from freeze and water damage. These problems not only look aesthetically bad but can cost quite a lot to fix in terms of driveway reparations. Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce the emergence of any issues that can arise from cold and freezing weather.

Maintenance Essentials for your Driveway

 

Understand What Affects Your Sealcoating

Sealing your driveway in early fall before winter is a great way to prevent water from entering unsealed cracks and spaces where it can enter underneath the asphalt and compromise sub-base and cause heaving. Also, consider a hot tar to seal the seam of your driveway where it enters the road and other possible cracks. Ask Northern Construction about the different types of tars and seal coats that can be applied to cracks. Hot tar and seal coat will protect your driveway from harsh cold temperatures and precipitation.

 

Make Sure you have Snow Shovels on Hand

It’s always handy to keep a few shovels around for quick and easy snow removal. The snow that is left to sit and melt will turn into water only to freeze overnight, leaving an icy surprise in your driveway the following morning. Choose shovels that do not have overly sharp edges to prevent chipping the pavement.

Consider the use of De-icers

Preventing ice from building up in your driveway is critical to keeping asphalt safe from freezing and thawing damage from ice. There are various kinds of de-icers such as calcium or rock salt, which are effective at preventing a buildup of ice. However, most of these products can be environmentally harmful to plants and animals. Some types of salts can be harmful to pets, getting stuck in their paws and causing irritation. It’s important to do your research to see what products will be environmentally friendly with your driveway and your property.

 

Apply Temporary Solutions When Necessary To Extend The Life of Your Driveway

Whoever is paving your driveway should warn you about any potholes that might possibly arise from contact between the plow and pavement. If you notice a pothole has appeared, consider cold mix as a temporary but effective solution to preventing the pothole from expanding. Ask Northern Construction about filling potholes to prevent water and ice from heaving your driveway.  Our clients who come to us with questions for keeping their driveways protected by winter snow and ice are given the best recommendations from our team based on the condition of their driveway. For nearly three decades we’ve helped our clients maintain their driveways throughout the winter, providing them with the best choices in terms of snow and ice protection.