Blog

Crackfilling 101: Heat Lancing vs. Routing

crackfillingOnce we make it through a Wisconsin winter, summer can’t come fast enough. Who doesn’t love a hot, sunny day? Asphalt doesn’t! The sun is asphalt’s enemy. The sun steals the oil from the asphalt, making it brittle and susceptible to cracking. The freeze/thaw cycle and the weight of heavy equipment also cause cracks.

We can fix that. Crackfilling is one of the services we offer when we perform asphalt maintenance.

We use two different methods for crackfilling, heat lancing and routing. Let’s take a look at both methods.

Routing

For a crack large enough to hold rubber, we use a crackfilling tool called a router to grind out the dirt and clean the crack. A heat lance is used to eliminate moisture and scorch the side walls. A crack that’s clean and dry offers the best chance of solid adhesion for the heated filler we use. The crackfiller is put down as a liquid which hardens to a pliable, solid form.

Heat Lancing

For a hairline crack, we use a heat lancing wand. The wand blows high-velocity hot air into the crack to remove dirt and moisture while scorching the sidewalls. When we seal the asphalt, the sealant drips into the hairline crack and binds to the sidewalls.

Not all crackfilling services are alike

Everyone thinks all asphalt companies are the same, but they’re not. There are tremendous differences in the industry. Some companies simply use an edger to clear vegetation from the top of the asphalt, leaving dirt inside the cracks. When they put a sealant over the cracks, it doesn’t seep in. The asphalt isn’t any stronger or smoother than it was before crackfilling began. To get the best result, you need to prep the asphalt right.

30 years and counting

It’s no coincidence that we’ve been in business for 30 years and counting. Experience matters, and we’ve had plenty of experience crackfilling. We might fill 3,000 lineal feet of cracks at a single job, either with heat lance or routing. Our professional techniques give long-lasting results.

Contact us today

Is your parking lot or driveway in need of crackfilling? Call AC Asphalt at 920-499-2220 or request a bid today.

About Us: “Specialists by Reputation,” AC Asphalt is a locally owned and family operated asphalt maintenance and installation company serving residential and commercial customers in Northeast Wisconsin.

Sealcoating: Moon craters don’t belong in Earth’s parking lots

sealcoatingWhen it comes to asphalt, here are the words to live by: The first year you pave it, the second year you seal it. Sealcoating improves the look and function of your parking lot or driveway and increases its longevity. Here’s why sealcoating is so important: Protection from the sun.

The sun is the enemy. It’s beating down on the asphalt and stealing the oil, making the surface less flexible and more susceptible to cracks. People will have asphalt laid, wait until it turns gray and say, “Maybe we should get the blacktop sealcoated. It’s really getting gray.” By the time that happens, it’s too late.

Here’s a good example of the sequence of events that occurs without proper sealcoating. Imagine you’re standing in your parking lot looking at the catch basin, where the water drains. In the first year, a layer of sand will be visible around the catch basin. You might be puzzled and say, “I don’t know where the sand came from. We never use sand on the parking lot in the winter, only salt.” Here’s the catch: That sand you see — well, that is your parking lot.

After a parking lot is paved, the sun immediately starts to oxidize the surface, and the fine sand at the surface lets go because there’s not enough oil to keep it together. Every time it rains that sand slowly works its way to the catch basin. If you let the parking lot go another year without sealcoating, little stones will start popping out. If you let it go three or four years, now the blacktop has lost its flexibility altogether and becomes brittle. You’ll see cracks, and half-inch stones come out. The blacktop looks like craters on the moon, with little holes where the bigger stones have let go.

Routine parking lot maintenance includes sealcoating in order to maintain the longevity of surface. The sealcoating liquid fills and seals the hairline cracks and tiny holes that form because of oxidation.

Is your parking lot or driveway in need of sealcoating? Call AC Asphalt at 920-499-2220 or request a bid today.

About Us: “Specialists by Reputation,” AC Asphalt is a locally owned and family operated asphalt maintenance and installation company serving residential and commercial customers in Northeast Wisconsin.

Parking lot repair: The dos, don’ts, whys, what ifs, and be carefuls

Target milling outperforms infrared repair
Target milling outperforms infrared repair, as seen in this side-by-side comparison of parking lots of adjacent businesses. Cracks return when you use infrared repair. We saw cut and remove deteriorating blacktop and install a new layer of asphalt. The repair lasts for years.
Here’s the dilemma

The parking lot at your business is in good shape, except for one section where the asphalt is worn out. The blacktop in this section is cracked and susceptible to puddles. You don’t want to resurface the entire parking lot. That gets expensive and disrupts the flow of customers to your doorstep. Can you get by with just repairing that one bad section? You’re in luck! The solution to your problem is target milling, a process in which just one area is targeted for repairs.

What do some competitors do?

Some of our competitors use an infrared repair system. They heat the deteriorated asphalt to make it pliable, rake it so you can’t see the cracks, and re-roll it. We’ll bet you the cracks will show up again in 6 months. This repair won’t last for years. Instead, you’ll be looking at making a series of infrared repairs year after year. It’s just a waste of money.

Here’s what we do

We section off the area where the asphalt has deteriorated and use special equipment to pulverize the top two inches of the asphalt in this section. Then we clean the surface and apply a tack coat to act as “glue.” Lastly, we install a new layer of surface-grade hot mix asphalt to the full depth of the milled area. This repair will last for years.

Be careful

Think twice before you go with infrared repair, because we’ve seen the results and they’re not pretty. Target milling is a much better option. Instead of heating and drying out the existing asphalt with infrared heat, target milling allows us to repair the surface, leaving behind a fresh, long-lasting layer of asphalt. Target milling is not only the most effective method of repair, it’s also competitively priced. Milling and paving cost the same or less than infrared treatments, depending on the size of the targeted area and the number of repairs required.

Call us for parking lot repair

Is your parking lot in need of repair? Call AC Asphalt at 920-499-2220 or request a bid today.

About Us: “Specialists by Reputation,” AC Asphalt is a locally owned and family operated asphalt maintenance and installation company serving residential and commercial customers in Northeast Wisconsin.

Truck & Trailer: Does the asphalt company you hire have these?

truck & trailer AC asphalt improves efficiency AC Asphalt Specialists has a truck and trailer, and what a tremendous difference they make in our ability to serve our customers. Efficiency is the key. Instead of taking 2 trucks, 2 trailers, and 2 pieces of equipment, we now take just 1 truck and 1 trailer but still deliver 2 pieces of equipment. That’s a plus.

The new equipment allows us to extend our reach beyond the Greater Green Bay area. Before purchasing the truck and trailer, we would send out a crew to prep a driveway or parking lot and then drive back to the shop and switch the equipment over for paving. With the new truck and trailer, we can bring out the paving equipment on our first visit. We can move everything to the jobsite and do the job much more efficiently.

Now when we’re grading, even if it’s an hour-long round trip, we’ll have trucks running for mix. By the time the trucks get back, we’ll have it graded, prepped, and ready to go all in one day. That’s a savings on payroll and time, which makes it more cost effective for the customer, too.

“Every time we buy a piece of equipment it’s with ‘saving time and back’ in mind,” said AC Asphalt Specialists owner Tom Snider. “We have the same amount of people working with us today as we did 10 years ago, and we produce twice as much.”

Sure, employees have gotten better with experience, but the equipment is much better, too. Trucks now haul 23 ton instead of 12, and trailers also haul more weight and more equipment.

Today’s machinery is hydraulic, computerized, and state-of-the-art, so we can provide our customers with the finest in:

AC Asphalt Specialists grader
To better serve our customers, AC Asphalt Specialists purchased this grader for 2018.
    • Asphalt paving and repair
    • Seal coating
    • Line striping 
    • Crack filling 
    • Pothole patching
    • Target milling and planing
    • Catch basin repair

Contact us today at 920-499-2220 or request a bid today.

About Us: “Specialists by Reputation,” AC Asphalt is a locally owned and family operated asphalt maintenance and installation company serving residential and commercial customers in Northeast Wisconsin.

Equipment reputable enough to bear the logo of AC Asphalt

AC Asphalt owns top rated equipment and trucksWhen AC Asphalt Specialists works on your jobs, you will see our logo on trucks and equipment. What does that tell you? Hey, we own it! We invested a lot of money in our trucks, pavers, and equipment we use to serve our residential and commercial clients. The photos on our website are a true reflection of the top-of-the-line asphalt maintenance and installation equipment we use on every job.

Compare these photos to photos found on some of our competitors’ websites. Their websites show images of expensive equipment they only wish they owned. That fancy equipment isn’t theirs, and it’s not what their customers will see when our competitors go to a work site.

AC Asphalt Specialists is proud to show our logo on our machines because we work with the best. Our trucks, pavers, and asphalt equipment are among the industry leaders for efficiency, technology, and performance. Because we own the equipment, we take good care of it, giving our customers the added assurance that our equipment is well-maintained and therefore, less likely to malfunction, break down, or cause delays.

“Specialists by Reputation” is the motto at AC Asphalt, and we’ve built that reputation over the past 30 years in business. AC Asphalt Specialists has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2013 and has earned an A+ and 5 out of 5 star rating. We take pride in the knowledge and experience we’ve compiled over the past three decades and the first-rate asphalt machinery we’ve invested in. We take pride in the trucks that bear our name and logo.

Contact us today at 920-499-2220 or request a bid today.

About Us: “Specialists by Reputation,” AC Asphalt is a locally owned and family operated asphalt maintenance and installation company serving residential and commercial customers in Northeast Wisconsin.

Paving the Way for 30 years

30 Year AnniversaryAnniversary celebration

Family is at the core of AC Asphalt Specialists, a Seymour-based company where a husband, wife, and kid sister operation grew to become the oldest mid-sized asphalt company in Northeast Wisconsin. While others in the industry have come and gone, AC Asphalt Specialists is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Humble beginnings

Owner Tom Snider vividly remembers the early days in business when the work was labor-intensive and the equipment was primitive compared with today’s high-tech machinery. “I virtually started this company with a Phillips screwdriver, next to my sister, on my hands and knees, digging in the dirt and cracks,” Tom said. Tom and his wife, Chris, own the company, and Tom’s sister Bobbi worked with them initially. “She was 5 foot tall and 100 pounds,” Tom said. Still, they got the work done.

Core strength is family

The company grew as more Sniders joined the effort. At age 17, the Sniders’ son, daughter, son-in-law, and grandsons all started working for the company. Someone in the Snider family has been on every job since AC Asphalt’s start in 1988. “We had eight family members working here at one time. Three started at 17, and they’re still with the company,” Tom said. “That’s the core strength of our company.”

Experienced crew

Tom estimates that the current employees have an estimated 200 years of combined experience. The MVP of the organization is Chris. “She’s the heart and soul and brains of this thing. Everything goes through her,” Tom said. Tom is no slouch, either. He has been in the business since he was 17 when he spent his first summer after graduation working with an asphalt crew in Minneapolis. At age 30, he returned to college for six months of the year (when he wasn’t laying asphalt) and earned a business administration degree after eight years. “I paved my way through school,” Tom said with a smile.

Turning point

Tom has had a few other jobs along the way, and when a fire damaged the building where he and his wife were employed, the couple was at a turning point in life. “Here we were with no jobs, and we said ‘What do we want to do?’ ‘Well, I know how to do asphalt,’ and that’s how it started,” Tom said.

Surviving the recession

AC Asphalt Specialists has had its ups and downs over the past 30 years, including the 2008 recession when the Sniders didn’t know if they could survive, but never thought of giving up. They had expanded their business, and the additional debt coupled with the lousy economy created a desperate situation. “We fought our way through and made it,” Tom said. “We are survivors, and we realized that when several other companies went under, the cream rose to the top.”

Retirement can wait

At 69, Tom is still bidding out jobs and working with the paving crew. It’s grueling work for people of any age. “Where I sit I have 350-degree asphalt flowing right underneath me. I have a little thermometer that is right where I sit. It’s over 200 degrees,” Tom said. There aren’t many 69-year-old asphalt pavers today, but Tom isn’t ready to retire. “It’s nice. I love doing what I’m doing,” he said.

About Us: “Specialists by Reputation,” AC Asphalt is a locally owned and family operated asphalt maintenance and installation company serving residential and commercial customers in Northeast Wisconsin.

Hooked on Hockey & Happiness

AC Asphalt sponsors Green Bay Gamblers hockey and its teddy bear toss.

Tumbling Teddy Bears

When the Green Bay Gamblers hockey team scores its first goal on Saturday night, teddy bears will be raining down onto the ice. Now in its 19th year, the annual Teddy Bear Toss attracts a sell-out crowd, and everyone’s carrying a teddy bear.

The bears are donated to children in pediatric care units and are handed out by the Gamblers players themselves to brighten the day of sick kids. Since its start in 2000, an estimated 100,000 bears have been tossed on the ice.

Hockey Sponsorship

Sitting right at the glass on Saturday night will be Tom Snider with teddy bear in hand. Even a burly guy who makes a living filling potholes, sealcoating driveways, and laying asphalt will be clutching a teddy bear on Saturday night at the Resch Center. Tom and his wife, Chris, operate AC Asphalt, and their asphalt company has been a Gamblers sponsor for 12 years.

Love of the Game

A Minnesota native, Tom played hockey in high school and coached afterward – chalking up 20 years as a coach in his home state. He coached his own kids and now has 3 grandsons playing hockey and a son coaching in Shawano.

Tom’s busy season (from May to November) leaves time for winter entertainment, and a favorite hangout is a Green Bay Gamblers Hockey game. Tom said a love of hockey is the reason he sits in the stands and sponsors the team year after year.

Right on the Glass

AC Asphalt has a VIP Party Pit table right down on the glass, and Tom invites friends to the games to share the excitement of junior ice hockey. He likes to keep an eye on the players’ success after they leave the Gamblers for the collegiate or professional ranks.

“A lot of these players I met personally. I still watch them today, especially the ones from Minnesota,” Tom said.

On Saturday night, look for the AC Asphalt logo by the Gamblers bench and look for Tom clutching a teddy bear and cheering on his favorite hockey team.

About Us: “Specialists by Reputation,” AC Asphalt is a locally owned and family operated asphalt maintenance and installation company serving residential and commercial customers in Northeast Wisconsin.

Beware of the Gypsy’s – 7 warning signs you may be scammed

  1. Selling door-to-door: Reputable asphalt contractors will sometimes offer their services if they are doing a legitimate job in the immediate area. Always ask for references.
  2. Claiming they have leftover asphalt from another job: Professional asphalt contractors will know with great accuracy how much paving material is needed to complete a project. Rarely will they have leftover material. Some of the reasons a contractor might have leftover material is due to weather, equipment problems, cancellations, etc.
  3. Push you to make a quick decision: Reputable contractors will provide a written estimate that will be valid for weeks or months. If the great deal they are offering you today is not available tomorrow or next week, it may be a scam.
  4. No contract offered: Insist upon a written contract specifying, in detail, the work to be performed and the agreed-upon price.
  5. Cash sales ONLY: Most reputable contractors take checks or credit cards and don’t require CASH ONLY terms.
  6. Deals that seem too good to be true: If the quoted price seems very low, chances are the quality of the work also will be quite low.
  7. Unmarked trucks with (800) numbers: Often the trucks they travel in are unmarked, or they have an out-of-state address and phone number. A little research will reveal that they have no permanent address, and the phone number is often an answering machine. Some have been known to use an address with a suite number that turned out to be a storage building.

About Us: “Specialists by Reputation,” AC Asphalt is a locally owned and family operated asphalt maintenance and installation company serving residential and commercial customers in Northeast Wisconsin.

Paver laid repairs vs. cookie cutter repairs

The target milling on the left was paver laid for a smooth surface while the infra-red repairs are a series of cookie cutter heats 5′ x 7′ linked together. Also target milling can do a seam as narrow as 18″ inches wide to odd size repairs as well as entire roadways for parking lots. A repair might be as small as 2′ x 2′ and a heat with burn the asphalt to a 5′ x 7′ size that will destroy the integrity of the asphalt around the damaged area. Again this picture is a side by side picture of a series of infra-red heats on the right and our method of target milling on the left. Both performed within 2 weeks of each other over 12 years ago. Property owners are now finding out there is a much better method of asphalt repairs at a comparable price.

About Us: “Specialists by Reputation,” AC Asphalt is a locally owned and family operated asphalt maintenance and installation company serving residential and commercial customers in Northeast Wisconsin.

Their state of the art patching system vs. our target milling

This photo is a side by side comparison of our competitors heavily advertised so called “state of the art patching system” i.e. infra-red heats on the RIGHT and our method of target milling on the LEFT. When these two jobs were completed within a week apart they appeared to look the same. This picture shows the results of 12 years of wear on both and the cost per square foot was the almost identical. With infra-red heats none of the damaged repairs are removed and only heated until the patch is burnt to ashes. Then only a small amount of new asphalt is added to give it some color and cover the 1/2″-3/4″ repair. These types of repairs you can usually expect to see failure within a few months. Target milling grinds down and removes 2″ of the damaged area and is removed and recycled. The area is then cleaned and tack coat is applied to bond the 2″ of new asphalt to the seamless surface. We have been documenting infra-red heats and target milling for several years and have taken many pictures. Although we have had several infra-red machines we never used them to hide asphalt repairs and we feel it is nothing more than smoke and mirrors, or now you see it, now you don’t. Ask for details and photos to decide which is the best method for you.

About Us: “Specialists by Reputation,” AC Asphalt is a locally owned and family operated asphalt maintenance and installation company serving residential and commercial customers in Northeast Wisconsin.