All you need to know about asphalt driveways

asphalt driveway

On the off chance that you’ve been limping along for a considerable length of time with a broken or damaged driveway, blacktop might be the material you require for an adaptable, practical—and snappy—new surface. Just note that this isn’t equivalent to asphalt sealant, which is a covering used to revive existing blacktop. Blacktop is one of the most well-known driving surface materials, alongside cement, and it offers sensible solidness at a widely appealing cost.

What Is Asphalt Paving?

Asphalt driveway material is similar to what you see road crews laying on roads. Also called hot mix or hot mix asphalt, it is an aggregate of stone and sand, along with a slurry of asphalt, a tar-like material made from petroleum. The asphalt is heated to over 300 F to liquefy it. Asphalt contractors have to work with it fast before the mix solidifies. 

Asphalt driveway material is a lot like what you see construction crews laying on streets and paths. Also known as hot mix, it is comprised of stone and sand, and asphalt, a tar-like material produced using oil. The blacktop is warmed to more than 300 degrees to make it into a liquid-type substance. Blacktop contractors workers need to work with it quick before the blend sets.

Hot mix isn’t sealant. Sealing delivers surface coatings for fixing or reestablishing worn asphalt surfaces. Some blacktop repair materials are like hot mix, yet are not warmed before application and cure differently. While property owners can fix or reseal a blacktop lot, putting in a new surface requires the assistance of an asphalt paving service in Beaumont.

Blacktop versus concrete

There are many factors that make blacktop a top choice for a new driveway surface. They include:

• Flexibility: Blacktop is more adaptable than cement and subsequently is less inclined to breaking.

•  Affordable: Blacktop is usually less expensive than concrete.

• Better in winter conditions: Asphalt is less inclined to be harmed by rock salt and sand.

•  Sets fast: Blacktop sets quicker than concrete since it solidifies by cooling as opposed to curing.

• DIY repairs: When you need to restore your blacktop, you can do it without anyone else’s help with asphalt sealant. Concrete can’t be fixed with professional assistance.

On the other hand, blacktop has a few downsides when one compares it to concrete. Consider:

• Less real estate value: Buyers in the housing market commonly perceive concrete as having higher value.

• Coarse edges: Unless you use solid concrete to hold in the asphalt as it cools, the edges of a blacktop surface will not be exactly perfect.

•  Plants and weeds: While not a typical event, plants, grass and weeds can sprout directly through the asphalt or through cracks in the surface.

Asphalt base options

An asphalt driveway is only as good as its base. Asphalt installed on an unstable base can develop problems quickly. There are three main options for base installation:

The key to a good blacktop driveway is its base. Asphalt laid on a flimsy foundation can create issues. There are three primary choices for driveway bases. They are:

1. Install pavement on top of an existing driveway: If your current driveway is in acceptable condition and isn’t seriously split or disintegrating, hot mix blacktop can be laid on top. Consider height as it pertains to your garage floor and other structures that may be effected by the surface’s higher level.

2. Remove existing surface to pave on soil: The current driveway is totally upended (or you may not have a driveway to begin with) and 4 to 6 inches of hot mix is coated directly on the earth.

3. Remove old surface and install a new bases: This is the favored technique. A total stone base in part replaces a portion of the hot mix blacktop. Normally 6 to 8  inches of this base is used under three inches of blacktop.

Installing blacktop

When the base is finished, a normal driveway may look like a completed projected in as little as 45 minutes. Be that as it may, additional time will be expected to make the blacktop is cured and compacted. After this, the blacktop needs to solidify. Under most conditions, you will have the option to drive on the surface inside a few days, yet it can take 30 days or more for blacktop to completely fix. During that time, you can utilize the driveway, yet you ought to be mindful so as to abstain from scraping the surface with vehicle tires (by turning too forcefully) and other actions that may cause it harm.

Best time for installation

Hot mix asphalt paving is dependent on warmer temperatures for workable conditions. This means that spring and summer are the best seasons for installing an asphalt driveway.

Blacktop paving is reliant on hotter temperatures for serviceable conditions. This implies spring and summer are the best seasons for introducing an asphalt surface.

The colder the air temperature, the less time blacktop paving crews have to work. These workers need time to smooth the blacktop. On the off chance that they need more time, your driveway might be rough and lopsided. While it typically depends upon where you live, winter is definitely not an ideal time to introduce asphalt.

The thickness of the pavement is another factor. The more blacktop you are managing, the more breathing space required. For example, at 40 degree F, workers have just 15 minutes to work with 1/2-inch thick blacktop. As the depth of the blacktop increases, the more time workers are afforded.

You will want to wait until temperatures are 70 degrees F or higher. Any lower than that, you should talk with your contractor.

What You Should Do After Your Car Breaks Down

car breakdown warning

Looking helpless and stressed while stranded on the highway with a busted flat tire or engine is the worst nightmare of motorists. However, car breakdowns happen and they are both costly and dangerous.

Below are some of the things you can do after your car breaks down:

Give an Emergency Signal to Other Drivers

If your vehicle stalls in the middle of the road and you cannot pull it over to the other side, never get out of your car. A driver who does not see you could run over you. What you should do is to turn on your hazard lights and if it’s dark, turn on the sidelights.

Get Your Vehicle Safely Out of Traffic

Pull over your car to the roadside as quickly as possible. Never stop at the middle of the road and try repairing your car and change your tire. You will just blow the traffic’s flow and you’ll put yourself at risk. It can also be a hassle to other motorists.

While slowing down, keep your cool and take your foot off the accelerator smoothly. Never brake hard suddenly. If you could still drive to the nearest emergency bay, you must do it to avoid getting your vehicle towed and get a traffic violation traffic. You should also remember to turn on the signal lights to warn the other drivers behind you. Be cautious when a bus or other big vehicles is trailing you. It’s important to stay away from them and give them the space so they could go around you.

Always Be Careful When You Are Talking to the Strangers

It is your choice to accept help from strangers. There are some people who could give you a hand when your car breaks down, but not all are good. Others might be scammers or thieves who will just take advantage of your situation. If somebody offers help, know how to judge people well. If that stranger behaves suspiciously, never let him access your car and just lower your window a little so you can talk.

Call for Help

If you have pulled over completely on the roadside, you should put your reflective triangle behind your vehicle to alert some motorists that your car breaks down. You may contact your family members, nearby friends or car insurance provider to avail roadside assistance or towing in Cleveland (if you happen to be in northeast Ohio). This will help you note your location and landmarks to help individuals find you. Not all car insurance covers breakdowns. Others provide emergency roadside assistance, which may often include minor repair services and free towing once your insured car breaks down.

When your car breaks down while you are driving, it is not just risky but also nerve-wracking. You should be alert enough to ensure your safety in this kind of situation. You can reduce experiencing car breakdowns through inspecting your car thoroughly before taking it out for a drive. With this, you will always stay safe on the road.

6 Tips To Extend Our Car’s Gas Mileage

empty gas level

As the prices of gas remain high, knowing how to extend the gas mileage of your car is crucial. Through stretching your gas tank further, you may reduce the times you should fill up every month, which may help you stick to your set budget. It’s important for people who bought non-efficient cars when the prices of gas were cheaper. However, no matter what type of car you’re driving, you may always use extra money every month and cut back your gas expenses, which is a good way to save more money.

To increase your gas mileage, keep these following tips in mind:

Inflate Your Car’s Tires Properly

Under-inflated tires may result to using more gas as your car moves. See to it that your tires are inflated to the indicated pressure in the user’s manual for best balance between traction and gas mileage. This would translate to significant savings as under-inflated tire may cost you 5 MPG or more.

Get Rid of the Excess Weight

You would be surprised on how much all the junk in the trunk of your car may weigh. If your car features a front-wheel drive, putting more weight on rear axle may mean that the front wheels are not getting as great grip as they must be. This reduces your car’s gas mileage. In addition to that, extra weight means that the engine should work a bit harder to move your car, which can also reduce gas mileage. If you are carrying lots of weight, lightening loads will help you get 1 or 2 miles more per gallon.

Replace Spark Plugs and Air Filter

Replacing spark plugs and air filter during a car checkup will not just help the car last longer, but also it may help the car’s engine burn gas in a more efficient manner. For many cars, it costs less than fifty dollars if you are comfortable with the DIY approach for car maintenance.

Use Only the Recommended Motor Oil

Never think that using old kind of motor oil would work for your car. The reason behind it is that its engine is made to work best with a particular type of motor oil. If you are using a heavier weight oil, it might cause too much friction, which may result to engine working hard and burning more fuel. So, check the user’s manual of your car and know what specific oil to use.

Check the Gas Cap Seal

Rubber seal on gas cap would break down in the long run, which will enable oxygen to leak in the gas tank. Due to this, it will cause too much air in your engine and would pull gas from the tank, which will burn more gas.

Drive Below or at the Required Speed Limit

If you want to improve your car’s gas mileage, make sure to pay attention to your speed limit. Driving slow saves you money and also may help prevent accidents on the road.

The Bottom Line

You do not need to go out and buy a new fuel-efficient or fuel-saving car to save on gas. There are lots of things you may do boost your gas mileage and using those tips above will surely help you enjoy savings, particularly if you drive several cars draining the monthly budget of your family. Remember to take your car for regular tune-ups and checkups as this will help you save a good deal of money. A car that does not run at optimum level may cost you a lot in the end.

This is a guest post from the repair pros at Tow Truck Palo Alto, CA.

5 Tips to get the most out of your vehicle’s tires

car tire

We all know that a good set of tires can be very valuable. You want to ensure that your car tires stay damage free so that you can get the most out of them for as long as possible while feeling safe driving. The following are five tips to keep your car tires safe and prevent the need for help from a local towing service:

Don’t Drive Over Potholes

This might seem like common sense. However, during travel, at times we may be just concerned with getting from point A to B. You might be tempted to take that side road, but don’t do it. Driving on potholes is the easiest way to puncture a tire. If you find yourself on a road with potholes, put your hazards on. Then reduce your speed to 10 to 20 miles per hour. The slower you can go the better. That will help you avoid dangerous craters in the road.

Beware of Construction Debris

Unfortunately, construction debris is everywhere. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving in a city or a back country road. It can be in the form of broken glass, mirrors, screws, or virtually any sharp object. Be sure not to drive — or drive very carefully — in any area that looks like it has debris.

Always have a Proper Spare

Having a “donut” tire in the car can be okay in a pinch. However, you are not supposed to drive more than 50-100 miles with it on. Wouldn’t it be better to just replace your tire with a regular spare. Then you can continue on driving. Make sure, however, that you tighten the lug nuts after 25 miles of travel. If you can’t make the change to a spare on your own call roadside assistance near you for help.

Go For the New All Weather Tires

Having the new all weather tires can prevent you from having to change from spring to winter tires. This really is not something that people usually make the time for anyways. They usually end up driving their all seasons in winter and getting into an accident. Or they wear the treads of their winter tires during summer heat.

Make Sure to Get your Alignment Checked

A car can be off balance too. If it is, then you are wearing certain tires faster than others. Make sure that you avoid this catastrophe and get your alignment properly balanced.

Guest post by Aurora, CO Towing Pros

What to do when your car battery dies

car battery

If you have tried to turn your car and the battery was dead you know how frustrating it can be. There are some things that you can do to jump-start the dead battery and get your car running again.

Make a Call

If the battery is dead, call a friend with jumper cables. If no one is around called road assistance. They can come and jump-start your car. You should also keep a portable car jump start in your trunk and make sure it is charged. If no one is around you will be able to start the battery on your own.

Cold Water

In the colder months, the temperature can kill the battery. Before the winter temperatures come to have your car battery tested. An older battery has less power and may not start when the temperatures get too low. It may be wise replacing the battery before the low temperatures hit. When the weather is cold try to bundle the trips to the store. Short tips can have a negative impact on the battery.

Keeping the Battery Alive

There are some things that can be done to keep the car battery alive and allow the car to have more power. If the car is not running, shut the radio off. This is doing nothing but draining the power for the battery. Make sure every time you leave the car the headlights and interior lights are off. Leaving them on can kill the battery in no time.

Final Thoughts

In order to avoid getting stuck, the car battery should be checked frequently. If the battery is showing signs of corrosion, be sure to have it checked by a professional. Keep a set of jumper cables in the car. If the battery dies while you are out, at least you can get a jump start home or to the mechanic to have your battery tested or replaced.

How to prepare your vehicle for winter travel

road in winter

A car is very vital in any family household. Keeping it well maintained will save you the stress and any chance of breakdown at the middle of nowhere. As winter falls begin, you need to consider checking out that your car is able to keep you safe and operates well throughout the winter season. This can be done by following the below strategies before you travel:

Check the engine coolant and antifreeze levels

Antifreeze is a cold-resistant additive which prevents your car engine from freezing at very low temperatures. It is therefore very necessary to have it checked to determine if it is in levels that can see your engine running smoothly for the entire winter season. This can be done by following your car’s manual or simply buy coolant kits from your local auto supply store.

Check the tire pressure and tread depth

You need to replace your tires if they are worn out. Snowy roads are very dangerous and having tires with poor treads and pressure, can really be a nightmare in a winter season. You can always check your tire pressure at the gas station. Remember to consider the tire pressure levels based on the recommendations in your manual.

The tread test

One of the commonly used tests is the “Lincoln Test”. You can simply insert a penny with the top of Lincoln’s head pointing inwards into the tire’s thread. If the head is not completely inserted into your thread, then consider installing new tires or winter tires before the onset of the winter season. Do not forget to carry extra tires, car jack and a tow rope in case of emergencies.

Switch to winter windshield wiper fluid

Ordinary windshield fluids tend to freeze as quickly as it comes into contact with your windshield. It is very necessary to consider using a winter windshield wiper fluid. This fluid is made just for the winter weather and helps to loosen ice and snow from the windshield to keep it clear as you drive your car.

Change your engine oil

In cold weather, you are highly advised to have your engine oil switched to oil with lower cold weather viscosity grade. This is checked in viscosity levels. In this case, the viscosity levels can be checked by looking at the first number in the oil specification. Higher numbers in oil specification are highly recommended for the summer season; therefore, go for lower number since the lower it is the better the viscosity, the better for your engine in winter weather.

The special “winter emergency box kit’

This is one of the most important checklists you need to consider having in your car before you travel in the winter season. They include road flares, a flashlight, a few blankets, a first-aid kit, a change of warm clothes, an extra pairs of warm gloves, a radio, a well-charged cell phone for emergencies, an extra ice scraper, a bag of sand, and energy snacks. These will become handy in case of emergencies.

The above tips on how to prepare your car for winter before you travel will not only go beyond keeping your car running well but also keep your family safe. It will also becomes handy in ensuring that you are ahead of time and plan for the onset of the winter season.

Restoring an Antique Truck

Many people buy an old beat up antique truck to restore back to the original shape and color. These people love to do the work as it is almost like raising a child. To see the outcome not to mention the cost it is all worth the time and energy. People that restore antique trucks are in a league all their own.

There are certain antique trucks people want, such as Chevy’s, Ford’s and even GMC’s. Some are already restored; some are not and will take a lot of work. If buying one that is already restored, be sure to check that all of the original parts are there. You want an original, not a mock-up. Make sure it runs, take it out for a test drive, if the owner does not want to do that, then it is best to move on to another truck. Usually, there is something wrong with the engine, then again, some will buy it ‘as is’ and go on and work on it.

There are many different places one can find old trucks; try the local antique truck show; although many are just for show, you might find some that are for sale. Check your newspaper in the classified section; sometimes someone will put their truck in there to sell it. Or even go to an auction although rare you might find an antique truck there.

If you have never restored an antique truck do not be shocked at how much it will cost you. Not to mention the purchase of the truck itself, it will be expensive to find the original parts. Sometimes it will take months to find them and then you pay an arm and a leg for them. But many will buy one item at a time and then another when budget allows. This is why it might take years to restore your truck.

When you finally find the antique truck you want, try and see if there is an original title, some do not have them anymore because of how old they are, but some still do. Check around to see how hard it might be to find the original parts, some just cannot be found anymore. The older the truck the harder it will be to find parts. Most of them are out there, it just might take awhile to find them. One must really have the love and patience to restore an antique truck, as it is a ‘labor of love.’