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Blacktop Repair - How to?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by turfquip, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. turfquip

    turfquip LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 860

    I do garbage pick up and landscape maintenance at a shopping complex where the parking lot is continuously needing repair. I've never done blacktop repair but it doesn't seem too difficult. The first photo below shows a typical hole and the most immediate problem which needs to be repaired. I'm considering approaching the owners about making repairs like this myself instead of them waiting until there's 10 times this much damage scattered around then calling in a large and expensive blacktop company to make the repairs all at once.

    I own a 14" pavement saw, a mini skid and mini- x, all the necessary hand tools but no compaction equipment. What I'm lacking mostly is confidence to make the first repair. Questions: if the pavement thickness exceeds the 5" capacity of my saw how do I handle this? Also, will a rented plate compactor be sufficient or should I rent a ride-on roller type? Are rental companies picky about their stuff being used for asphalt? Sealing the cut - is that the final step and is the gallon squeeze bottle hardware store bought stuff OK to use for this purpose? How about purchasing and transporting asphalt...seems messy and will an asphalt company sell small batches?

    Finally and most importantly...how do I charge for the service. Is it worth my time and effort to fix a couple of holes at a time? BTW - the hole below is approx. 6' X 4'.

    As you can see, I am ignorant in many aspects of this so if someone could walk me through it i would be grateful.


  2. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,454

    I have often thought about doing repairs myself. What I have found works even better for me is to sub it out and make 10-20%. Hold on now.....I read your post but here is my thinking. You are there and see the problem, and because you see it occuring before others in the chain of command, you could sell this service as an addition to yours. Get your ducks in a row by talking to a local asphalt guy who will give you performance, find out what his rate is, and then sell the additional service with your existing service. Managers like it when they can make just one call and get it all done.....Maybe this would be better use of your time? and expand your business and build relationships without having to do the actual work.....you just manage the service and be the middle man and make sure the work is done promptly and correctly.
  3. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Potholes like that are from the base settling, so if your going to patch the asphalt, I'd redo the base as well.

    Most of the asphalt crews out here use a large plate compactor for patch jobs.
  4. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    Parking lot asphalt "typically" does not exceed 2.5 inches, however if it has been overlaid it can get thicker. I would bid it to have a concrete cutting company come out and cut it. I would then try and cut it yourself. If it is too deep your covered.

    Compaction: If the area is larger or you have several holes to repair a ride on works better I think because it leaves a smoother finish. I would cut the failed section out and remove the subbase. I would use a jumping jack and compact the hole, replace with new base material (make sure you have proper moisture in it to maximize compaction) and use a plate compactor (plate leaves a nice finish on the subbase) to compact the base material. Lay in asphalt remember it will compact as well so add slightly more than you need and roll it. If you rent a roller get one with sprays on the drum and keep it wet.

    I would call a locate on the utilities before digging. You may find that the asphalt is failing over the utilities which is typical if the trenches were not properly compacted. That is important to point out to the property owner as your patch will fail over time as the trench settles. That is why I like to use a jumping jack or hoe pac once the subbase is removed to get as much compaction as possible. As far as what to charge? That depends on what your costs are and how much you have to rent. I would do a couple small patches first before you bid more. Find out if its profitable before getting in over your head. You will be faster and more effecient after you have a couple under your belt. I would then line up more work which will make the rental costs less as you spread it over more work. My opinion is the ass tax is high on asphalt patching and overall not worth the time but thats me.
  5. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    That is a easy patch to do if you have access to cold patch which is ground up used asphalt mixed with a binding agent. You scrape the loose crap out you and try remove the water but its not necessary. Shovel in the patching material and rake it flat then take a tiger torch and start heating it up then take a plate compactor pack it down. You put enough heat to the patch material till you get a little smoke get it too hot then you loose the binding agent. If you have a deep hole then you need to fill it in layers.

    The patching material works good its not as good as a true hot laid asphalt but its cheaper. I know I have troubles getting cold patch because it is made from the grindings from the road grouver they haven't done much road grinding.

    I used to work for the highways dept plus I have done asphalt patching on other jobs there is no real need to cut out a area like that just feather the edges out.

    When we didn't have a plate compactor the back tire on the pickup truck worked good for packing in the patch material.
  6. crab

    crab LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 633

    :laugh: gravel rat you're the man,why cant you get it going.if you brought you're level of doing,to half the insight you post here ,you'd be unstoppable.cold patch is the way to go,lose money build rep hazaaa!
  7. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    It was good to work for the highways dept for the little time I did I learned a few things :laugh:

    I learned one thing the flag girls deserve ever little bit of money they make I know I had troubles standing on the pavement for 8 hours a day in the miserable weather.
  8. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    I don't care how much asphalt you dump in that hole, its just going to come back until the subbase is fixed.
  9. Mjh Excavating

    Mjh Excavating LawnSite Member
    Posts: 123

    A 14" saw will work fine even if the pavement is thicker than 5", chances are it is not, but the score will allow it to break off cleanly. Cut that hole 2' bigger on each side dig out the muck reinstall base and compact. Most asphalt plants will supply you with small loads, minimum is normally 1 ton. A plate compactor will work fine for that amount of blacktop. Stay away from cold patch unless it is the only thing you can get this time of year. Try to use a type 6 ( 3/8 stone) or binder mix (3/4 stone). A ton normally covers about 100 sq ft at (I think) 1" thick its been a while. So you can do the math from there. Not bad to work with as long as you keep things clean as you go. Seal the cut with driveway sealer or liquid asphalt from the plant if they will supply you with it.
  10. turfquip

    turfquip LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 860

    Thanks to everyone for their input.

    I like to do things right...clean and orderly, with no short cuts or 'quick' solutions, etc. Saving time should be through efficient utilization of resources not band aid 'hillbilly' style solutions.

    That is not to belittle the cold patch suggestion. Really, its not. But its hard to charge a professional price for a $10 solution.

    The other side of the coin is whether I can charge a 'reasonable' price (in the eyes of the management/owners) for this repair job done right..factoring in time, rentals, transportation, materials, and profit. My thinking at present is no, I can't.

    Ahhh the dilemnas of being in business....

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