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Preparing your Yard for Winter

May 31st, 2016 by

In the second part of our winter home care series, we look at some of the ways you can prepare your yard for the colder months, so that it still looks great come springtime.

Seal your driveway

Nothing makes a front yard look run down like an unsealed driveway and come winter, the problem becomes a functional one too as the ground surface becomes sodden and muddy. Sealing your driveway with asphalt is a fast, durable, and cost effective way to instantly lift the appearance of your yard and ensure your car doesn’t get bogged in once the wet weather arrives.

Rake up the leaves

Although it might seem like a Sisyphean task with all the windy weather we’ve been having lately, raking up the leaves in your garden is one of the most important preparatory tasks for winter. Raking the leaves off your lawn is especially important as with the lower light in winter, it’s important that the lawn is exposed to as much sunlight and air as possible so that it can continue to grow and stay healthy. You can easily compost the leaf litter you rake up by turning it into leaf mold and using it on your garden, it makes a great, cheap fertilizer.

yard-winter

Mulch your garden

Protecting your plants with mulch is the best way to ensure they thrive throughout the winter months. Mulch helps to regulate both hydration and temperature, and also contributes nutrients to the soil as it breaks down. Much is a must if you live in a frost prone state like Victoria. Putting down a layer of compost or fertilizer before you put down the mulch is also a great idea as your garden soil will have become depleted of nutrients due to the summer growing season.

Get rid of your dead annuals

Although you shouldn’t prune in Autumn, now is the perfect time to get rid of all the summer plants that no longer look their best in your garden. Be ruthless by deadheading spent blooms, cutting off dead branches, and ripping out any annuals from the warmer months. Doing this kind of tactical maintenance before the wet weather hits means less work come spring and a neater garden to look out over during the months you stay inside.

Custom Asphalt specialise in installing asphalt driveways around Melbourne. To learn more about our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 0418 137 943.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Potholes

April 8th, 2016 by

Perhaps the most easily recognised type of asphalt failure, potholes are a perpetual thorn in the side of local governments, homeowners, and businesses alike. In this article, we provide a run down of some of the most common questions that our clients ask about potholes.

What causes potholes?

There are three key factors which contribute to the formation of potholes:

Insufficient drainage: If water is left to pool in the underlying soil structure, it weakens the foundations of the pavement, making it more vulnerable to damage from heavy traffic.

Untreated cracking: All asphalt surfaces deteriorate over time, and when this happens, cracks occur. If the cracking is not properly tended to and spreads (a phenomenon known as crocodile cracking) it can come away in chunks and potholes form.

Pavement that is too thin: Asphalt which is laid too thin doesn’t have the structural integrity to withstand natural shifts in the underlying soil due to erosion and geological movements.

potholes

How are potholes fixed?

There are two methods for repairing potholes, one is temporary and one is semi permanent. The temporary fix involves filling the pothole with hot or cold mix asphalt, compacting it with a vehicle, and then putting a ‘crown’ of over the compacted patch. This method has varying degrees of success and can ultimately cost more to repair in the long term but it is often favoured for it’s speed, initial cost efficiency, and the fact that it can be implemented in all weather conditions.

The semi permanent fix can only be done in warm, dry weather conditions and is more labour intensive, but it tends to provide a much more durable result. It involves clearing out debris and water from the pothole, making a clean cut around the edges, placing the patch material into the cut then vibrating and compacting it into place.

I filled in a pothole a few days ago and it just came back, what’s happening?

There could be a number of reasons why your attempt to patch a pothole failed.

  • You filled in the pothole in cold or wet conditions and the asphalt did not adhere properly to the surrounding pavement.
  • You used cold mix asphalt which is not as effective or durable as hot asphalt
  • You didn’t address an underlying cause of the pothole such as water migration beneath the pavement.

 

Custom Asphalt specialise in asphalt paving services including maintenance and repair. To learn more about our capabilities call 0418 137 943.

Repair, Replace or Resurface? Learn How to Care for Your Asphalt Driveway

February 27th, 2016 by

Between constant exposure to the elements and supporting hundreds of kilograms of hot moving metal on a daily basis, driveways are subject to a fair amount of wear and tear over their lifetime. Asphalt driveways have a typical lifespan of around 20 years and signs of deterioration will become visible within the first five years of being laid. Although the professionals make it look easy, quite a lot of work is involved in installing an asphalt driveway and it can be quite an investment for the average home or business owner. To help you get the best value for money out of your driveway, we’ve made a basic guide of when to patch, when to resurface and when you need to bite the bullet and redo the whole thing.

Repair

Superficial cracks are one of the earliest signs of deterioration but these can be easily patched provided they aren’t too wide. There are a number of commercially available patching materials available such as sealers and fillers. All you need to do is thoroughly clean out the crack, ensure it’s dry (use a hairdryer if you suspect any damp), set your chosen patcher into the caulking gun, follow the manufacturer’s application instruction and wipe off any excess with a damp rag. However, holes and deep or wide cracks are indicative of more serious issues and patching these is only a stopgap measure.

Resurfacing

If the issues with your driveway are purely cosmetic (as opposed to problems relating to the foundation) then it’s possible to avoid the hefty cost of replacement through resurfacing. This process involves taking off the damaged top layer of asphalt and replacing it without disturbing the foundational layers underneath. As one of the leading asphalt companies in Melbourne, the team at Custom Asphalt have the skills and equipment necessary to ensure your driveway is seamlessly resurfaced.

Replacement

If your driveway has significant foundation problems, then replacement is pretty much the only course of action left. For a driveway that is over 20 years old, no amount of patching or resurfacing is likely to make a difference and it’s best to just start afresh. Although this is the most expensive option, it means you circumvent the whole patching process which makes your driveway look messy and won’t solve any long-term problems.

Call Custom Asphalt on 0418 137 943 to learn more about our concrete maintenance, repair, resurfacing and replacement services.