Topic: Blog

Maintenance Monday: What’s the Difference Between Cement and Concrete?

Cement Contractors

 One question we hear a lot at Calvac Paving, usually from private homeowners and people who don’t work in construction, is what the difference is between cement and concrete. After all, many people call concrete trucks “cement mixers” and refer to the finished product as “cement.” The problem is, this isn’t just inaccurate, but it can cause a lot of unnecessary confusion between contractors, engineers, and the general public. To explain why this matters, let’s start by taking a closer look at how cement, the key ingredient in concrete, is made.


Everything You Need to Know About Cement

Cement is not the only ingredient in modern concrete, but it is the base agent. The most commonly used type of cement is known as Portland cement, because of the end product’s resemblance to an ancient building material found on the island of Portland, off the British coast. This method of creating concrete was first patented by an English stonemason in 1824, meaning modern cement is two hundred years old!

Portland cement is created by burning and then grinding down a mixture of limestone and either shale or clay. This forms a fine, gray powder with hydrophilic properties, meaning it attracts and binds readily to water. When it is mixed with water and allowed to cure, it creates a stonelike surface, similar to plaster of Paris but far stronger and less brittle.

The problem with hydrophilic cement is that it’s both fairly volatile in terms of how readily it reacts with water and can take a long time to cure. Because of this, it has to be carefully stored in a cool, dry place to keep it in powder form until it’s ready to be made into concrete. Admixtures that help reverse the cement’s hydrophilic properties are often added to the matrix during the mixing stage to reduce the cure time and boost its strength, flexibility, and resilience.


How Concrete is Made

Now that we know how Portland cement is made, it’s time to take a look at how concrete is created, which is really quite simple. By adding water, aggregates from fine sand to large crushed rocks, and in many cases chemicals to the Portland cement, you can create a concrete mix that will meet target strength and flexibility profiles, a specified air content range, and even make concrete in different colors!

The quantity and percentage of cement, water, and aggregates of different sizes to be added will depend largely on what the concrete mix is intended for. On a freeway bridge where asphalt paving is not desirable, you will probably want a fairly lightweight, smooth mix. This typically requires more sand and chemicals with a larger quantity of smaller aggregates than an ornamental walkway, which obviously won’t be expected to stand up to the same stresses as a highway.

 The various dry materials are loaded onto the concrete truck at a batch plant. Each truck is supplied with a batch ticket, which shows the percentage and weight in pounds of the various dry ingredients and chemicals. Once the dry materials are loaded, the driver will add a specified amount of water. With the water added, the concrete has to be constantly agitated by rotating the drum to keep it from hardening in transit. If the mix cures on the truck, it’s nearly impossible to remove. If you’re a fan of the show Mythbusters, you may remember they did an episode where they tested a myth about using dynamite to clean out a drum full of concrete that had been set up en route to a job site.

Yes, concrete really does get THAT hard!


Concrete on the Jobsite

Once the mixture reaches the placement location, the tickets are often collected by the technicians who sample and test the concrete to ensure compliance with the project parameters. These technicians may be employed by the company supplying the concrete, a private third-party laboratory, or local, state, and federal authorities. About halfway through the load, if required, they will take a sample from the truck for testing.

Some common concrete tests include:

  • Slump Test: Too little or too much water means the concrete may not perform to specifications when it hardens. Many companies send their concrete from the batch plant with the minimum water possible added, because it’s far easier to add water to a drier load than it is to get water out of an overly wet one! A slump test is performed by using a steel cone to form the raw concrete into a 12-inch-high cone and then pulling the steel form away. Upon removing the cone form, the concrete cone should fall. By measuring the amount the cone falls, or “slumps,” when the cone form is removed, the technician can determine whether the concrete’s water concrete is within the proper range for the mix design to perform as expected.
  • Unit Weight and Air: These tests allow a laboratory to extrapolate from a given sample about whether the mix design as loaded on an individual truck is within the parameters specified for a given project or application. The air test is particularly important and most commonly done on high-traffic roadways which will receive a lot of exposure to the elements and temperature extremes, because too much air in the mix may allow for air bubbles to form, allowing moisture and frost to infiltrate the matrix and over time, break it up.
  • Cylinder Tests: When you hear someone talking about “pulling cylinders” on a concrete pour, it’s almost certain they’re talking about this test. The raw concrete is formed into cylinders of a specific size and depth using plastic molds and allowed to cure onsite in a temperature-controlled environment such as a cooler for at least 24 hours. After this, the cylinders are taken back to the lab, “stripped” out of the molds, and placed in a high-humidity environment to cure until it’s time to break them. Commonly, a set of four cylinders is taken from a given load. This includes one to be broken at 7 days, at which point the concrete mix should meet 70% of the intended break strength; 2 to be broken at 28 days when the concrete should have reached 100% of the specified break strength; and one cylinder to be kept on hold in case one of the 28-day breaks fails to meet the specified strength, in which case it will be broken at 56 days or as directed by an engineer. Note: Your project may have different requirements, so be sure to check with the Engineer of Record for the exact testing protocols!

Once these tests and any others the project specifications require are done, the concrete can be certified as meeting the project parameters and construction can continue.


Putting It All Together

Now that you know how cement and concrete are made, you can see they’re not the same thing. It’s easy to understand why some people persist in calling concrete mixers “cement mixers,” even though this isn’t entirely accurate. It’s also obvious why some people stick with calling concrete “cement,” since it’s the Portland cement that cures and makes concrete a durable building and paving material rather than just a jumble of wet rocks and sand.

However, it’s important to understand that when you ask for “cement” and you mean “4500-PSI blue concrete for an exposed-aggregate walkway,” you’re at the minimum going to cause some confusion and brand yourself as an amateur. At the worst, you’ll wind up with a pile of dry Portland cement, which on its own will certainly do you no good when you’re building a roadway or a sidewalk.

But now that you know and understand the difference, you’re far less likely to have that problem—and you’ll sound just like the experts!

Welcome Tom Schreiber to Calvac Paving!

Calvac Paving is pleased to announce the hiring of Tom Schreiber as our new Project Manager/Estimator! Tom joined the Calvac Team in July.

In his new role, Tom plans to “follow his passion for transforming ideas into remarkable infrastructure.”

“My mission is to seamlessly blend innovative building concepts with impeccable execution, ensuring the creation of resilient, functional, and aesthetically pleasing outdoor spaces,” he said.

Prior to joining Calvac Paving, Tom was the Vice President of Operations at Peninsula Concrete Contractors, a general engineering contractor that performed hardscape projects for residential estate properties, apartment buildings, homeowner associations, and commercial properties.

Tom’s construction expertise includes concrete, asphalt and interlocking pavers, stormwater management, and decorative masonry.

As Owner Tami Adam noted, Tom is an excellent addition to the Calvac team.

“His background, training, and personality make him a perfect fit! We are very happy with Tom’s decision to join our company and look forward to his accomplishments,” Tami said.

Calvac Paving is Officially Certified as a Woman-Owned Small Business


Since the day it opened its doors in 1974, Calvac Paving has earned a well-deserved reputation for its outstanding full-service asphalt and concrete maintenance services.

Now, Calvac Paving can announce that it has been certified as a Woman-Owned Small Business with both the federal and state governments.

“I know that in California, as well as nationally, most businesses needing our services also have quotas they need to fill with regards to bidding and contracting with small businesses. This is just another service Calvac Paving can offer its customers,” Tami said.

The process to become certified as a Woman-Owned Small Business was both arduous and highly detailed.

“There are strict regulations and guidelines you must follow to become certified, and I am proud that Calvac was able to achieve this status,” Tami said.

 “I believe this is a welcomed accomplishment in our industry as well for our clients”.

While Tami said the recent certification is not the focus for Calvac Paving’s visibility and growth—the company’s outstanding reputation for almost 50 years speaks for itself, she said—she is excited to learn from other woman-owned small businesses.

“I am always looking for new ways to better myself and Calvac and now have the opportunity to learn from other SBAs. I am also excited to learn through continuous seminars/meetings/conferences now available as a WOSB.  In turn, we can offer to others the opportunity to learn from Calvac’s extensive experience. What I like most about being certified? So far, it’s the networking and support I have experienced and I look forward to continuing to cultivate relationships in this industry”. 

About the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract program

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration website, the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program (WOSB program) is to help provide a level playing field for women business owners. The federal government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the WOSB Program.

These contracts are specific industries where WOSBs are underrepresented. SBA maintains a list of those eligible industries and their NAICS codes.

Getting certified as a WOSB Federal Contract Program participant makes a business eligible to compete for federal contracts set aside for the program.

To be eligible for the WOSB Federal Contract program, a business must at a minimum:

  • Be a small business according to SBA size standards
  • Be at least 51% owned and controlled by women who are U.S. citizens
  • Have women manage day-to-day operations who also make long-term decisions

Bay Area Golf Course Asphalt Repair

At Calvac Paving, we know a thing or two about asphalt repair and Golf Courses. So when Poppy Ridge Golf Course called us to bid on a project to rehab an extensive areas of failed asphalt encompassing the road leading to the golf course and the parking area itself, and to reseal and restripe the parking area and drive entrance, we were pleased to submit our expertise and cost for consideration. Soon thereafter, we learned we had been awarded the project at 4280 Greenville Road in Livermore.

To achieve the repair, we provided 4” asphalt repairs and two coats of seal followed by restriping. This required excavating the failed asphalt and recompacting the subgrade beneath the asphalt paving. Then the hot mix asphalt needed to be placed in two 2” layers, or “lifts,” using 3/4” asphalt on the base lift and ½” medium asphalt on the surface lift. Covering 4,000 +  square feet of surface area. This ensures strength, flexibility, and density within and between the asphalt layers, while minimizing air voids which can facilitate water infiltration and lead to premature asphalt failure over time. 

Once the subgrade and the lifts had been individually compacted, we provided two coats of Reed and Graham’s OverKote, an asphalt emulsion seal for asphalt which incorporates a latex additive. This step gives a smooth, finished appearance to the asphalt, adds surface resiliency and increases water and dust resistance, extending the operational lifespan of the asphalt.

The staff and patrons of the golf course were extremely cooperative and understanding of our schedule and the project went very smoothly. We’re proud to announce that Poppy Ridge Golf Course has already recommended us for similar projects on the strength of our work here, and we’re excited to be able to demonstrate the quality and efficiency of our work once again as the leading Bay Area Asphalt repair company.

Calvac Paving has been serving the Bay Area since 1972, and we’re proud to bring the same great results to every project we work on. To learn more about how Calvac can help with your project, call us or send us an email and let us put our experience to work for you!

8 Signs Your Asphalt May Be Failing

Asphalt is a very versatile and durable paving material. Its resilience and flexibility make it an ideal surface for everything from eight-lane superhighways to driveways to parking lots. However, asphalt does require care and maintenance to function at peak performance, and it can fail for a number of reasons. If you see any of these warning signs of failing asphalt, quick action can save you a lot of time, money, and hassle. Here are eight signs your asphalt may be failing—and what you can do to fix them!


1.  Alligatoring

Alligatoring is called that because of its appearance: interconnected cracks that look like alligator skin. It is an indication of load-related deterioration which could be caused by a weakened or improperly compacted subbase material, excessive traffic loading, inadequate pavement thickness, or a combination of these factors.


2.  Edge Cracks

Edge cracks are found within 1-2 feet of the outer edge of the asphalt surface, running longitudinally, or roughly parallel to the outer edge. These cracks are caused by improper support of the paving surface at the margins.


3.  Reflective Cracks

Reflective cracks most typically form in joints or areas of concrete or asphalt paving which have been previously repaired, such as with crack sealing or where a temporary corrective overlay has been placed to relieve stress on deteriorated paving. These cracks form because of continuing movement of the old pavement due to continuing traffic load.


4.  Slippage Cracks

Slippage cracks are easily identifiable because of their crescent shape. They occur either due to poorly bonded pavement layers or an asphalt mix design which is insufficient to the demands of the traffic patterns. These cracks appear because of forces applied by turning or braking vehicles, which cause the pavement to move slightly at first but with accelerating damage to the surface the longer the underlying cause goes uncorrected.


5.  Rutting and Depressions

Rutting is caused by weakness of the subgrade or base soil layers, instability of an asphalt mix, insufficient pavement thickness, or poor compaction. Rutting is a linear, surface depression of the wheel path caused by deformation or consolidation of any of the pavement layers or subgrade. Depressions, also known as birdbaths, are localized areas of pavement surface failure caused by poor initial construction techniques that undermine the asphalt over time. These may occur on their own or in conjunction with other failure indicators. If left unchecked, depressions can become potholes (see #8).


6.  Asphalt Patch Failure

These failures are easy to spot because they’re very localized to the area where a patch was placed, and characterized by unevenness, deflection or stress cracking along the perimeter of the patch. They are caused by either not fully removing the damaged area to be patched, or not allowing a minimum of one extra foot around the perimeter of the patch area to ensure the patch is bonding to an uncompromised surface. The rate of patch deterioration is influenced by materials selection, compaction, and the quality of the surrounding pavement as well as the underlying subbase. While the latter is not typically visible, adding one additional foot around the patch can help patches last longer and function better under load.


7.  Raveling

Raveling is caused when the aggregate particles in the asphalt cement wear away under traffic forces. This condition suggests either that a poor-quality mixture was used or the asphalt surface has hardened enough to no longer be supple and flexible.


8.   Potholes

These bowl-shaped holes are caused by localized disintegration of the pavement surface. Potholes are usually the result of another type of distress that has not been properly addressed. Segregation, failed patches and cracks can all lead to a pothole over time. Weak spots and localized areas of improper or insufficient compaction in the subgrade or subbase, or poor asphalt mix designs, can accelerate degradation of the pavement surface and the formation of potholes.


When you notice indications of paving failure, bring in an experienced paving contractor as soon as possible to restore the surface and minimize downtime, expense and the risk of further, more severe failure in the future. Calvac Paving has been proudly serving the Bay Area and beyond for over 45 years, and we’d like to put that experience to work for your next paving repair or new construction project. For more information, or to learn more about how Calvac Paving can deliver the results you need and want, call any of our Bay Area offices or click here to contact us today!

7 Signs Your Parking Lot Paving Needs to be Repaired

Asphalt pavement is one of the most durable and resilient materials currently used in modern construction. It’s easy to place, maintain and recycle when its service lifespan has expired, helping to reduce manufacturing costs and greenhouse gas emissions associated with asphalt paving production. Asphalt surfaces are also very flexible relative to other paving materials, which is just one reason why asphalt parking lots have become so popular. But, like any other construction material, asphalt and concrete paving don’t last forever. A well-placed asphalt surface can last 10-20 years or more with proper pavement maintenance. As we move into the wetter, colder months, you’ll want to be on the lookout for these 7 signs your parking lot needs repair.


1.  Look for cracking and crumbling edges.

You’re most likely to see these signs of asphalt deterioration around joints in the parking lot paving and the curb and gutter areas of industrial parking lots and asphalt driveways, although they can occur anywhere. When this happens, it could indicate that people are driving too close to the edge, the asphalt is not properly supported at the edges or the asphalt is beginning to age out of effective service. If not sealed or repaired, the cracks can spread throughout the entire surface. Crack sealing early can help extend the life and performance of the asphalt surfaces.


2.  Potholes and sunken areas

These commonly occur when water seeps into cracks in the parking lot’s surface. Over time, the water undermines the subbase, causing the paving in that area to sag and crack. One key symptom of an incipient pothole is the presence of pooling water on the surface. If you notice this, a spot asphalt repair can help prevent larger and more costly problems later.


3.  Alligator Cracks

Alligator cracking, named for its distinctive appearance, is a sign of too much stress on the asphalt. If your asphalt surfaces look like the skin of an alligator, it can indicate the subbase was improperly prepared by the original paving contractor and/or the pavement is routinely subjected to heavier traffic than it was designed to withstand, such as parking large trucks on a residential driveway. When you see this, you need parking lot and driveway repair or replacement right away.


4.  Oxidization

The binding agents in asphalt which give it its flexibility and strength don’t last forever. In fact, from the moment asphalt is laid, the sun, wind, water, weather, and oil and chemical leaks from vehicles begin to eat away at them. This is why asphalt’s color fades from black to gray and the aggregate begins to peek out of the surface. Depending on the size of the area and whether other signs of damage are present, asphalt seal coat, asphalt milling, and parking lot resurfacing may all need to be considered.


5.  Improper drainage

Evidence of improper drainage can be an early sign asphalt repairs are needed. If water can’t drain off your parking lot or driveway it can damage the asphalt surfacing and cause larger problems later. Blocked storm drain inlets can lead to damage as well, so it’s important to inspect them regularly and make sure the runoff from your lot or driveway can go to where it’s intended.


6.  Faded or illegible striping

Proper parking stall and line marking make your property look better and more user-friendly. It’s also a requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In addition to directing traffic, striping often works as a sort of visual canary for indicating potential issues which might otherwise go unnoticed. If your parking lot’s striping is looking worn, difficult to read, or hard to understand, you need to take a closer look at the entire area for other potential issues.


7.  Time

If you can’t remember the last time you had any repairs or maintenance on your driveway or parking lot, it’s probably time. For best results, your asphalt surfaces should be seal coated at least every 4-5 years to help keep them looking their best and preventing chemicals, motor oil, and water from infiltrating the surface. If there are no major issues with the asphalt surfaces, minor crack sealing and spot repairs can also be made before sealing the surface again. It’s also a good opportunity to update your parking layout and striping to comply with ADA guidelines if they don’t already!  


Keeping your asphalt paved surfaces in good repair isn’t just about making your property look and perform its best. Driveway or parking lot problems could also present ADA compliance issues with hefty associated fines and even open your company to workers’ compensation claims or civil lawsuits arising from injuries and vehicular damage. By making timely preventative asphalt repairs you can save time, money, and worry while presenting a more professional face for your business. At Calvac Paving, we know you have a choice of commercial asphalt and concrete paving contractors in the Bay Area, which is why we’re committed to delivering the finest in asphalt repair and driveway and parking lot construction. For your next parking lot repairs or to learn more about how Calvac can help you get the maximum life from your asphalt paving, click here to contact us.


Maintenance Monday: Don’t Let Poor Drainage Take Your Parking Lot Down The Drain!


With the wetter, cooler conditions of fall upon us and winter in full swing, it’s a good time to check your parking lot and other asphalt applications for signs of poor drainage and damage. It’s much easier and less expensive to catch a problem early and correct it than it is to wait until that small cracked area spreads to half the lot. With this in mind, here are four signs you should look for to check if your parking lot drainage is working as it should.


  1. Rocks or sand in unusual places

If, after a heavy rain, you notice rocks or sand in low-lying areas, this may be an early warning sign that something’s wrong with your drainage. The water from the rain may actually be eating away at the asphalt and flushing away the solid particles of sand and rock aggregate that make up asphalt. To make sure it’s not runoff from the street or areas higher up, look for consistent ripples or waves in the deposits which are larger at the higher end and taper off toward the lower side of your lot. If you see this, your lot is probably okay, unless you see large areas where the sediment and rocks have gathered. This indicates possible low spots which could cause problems later.


  1. Pools of water or flow down the middle of the lot

Most asphalt parking lots today are designed along a slight but apparent slope to facilitate runoff. Likewise, they are usually built with an engineered high point called a “crown,” which is intended to direct water away from the middle of the lot and down toward the drain points. Pooling and water flowing directly down the middle of the lot suggests the crown has been compromised or a possible issue with the subgrade, which will need to be addressed before the asphalt begins to buckle.

  1. Cracking

If you start to see cracks developing, especially in areas where you also see heavy water flow and/or residue such as described above, this is a sign the asphalt is beginning to fail because the water is breaking down the bitumen binder. This may also be a sign of traffic outside the asphalt’s design tolerances being present, such as large amounts of heavy trucks or construction equipment. In either case, once cracking begins, water can infiltrate the asphalt surface and accelerate the rate of failure, making repairing it a priority before it gets out of control.



  1. Are your drain inlets working as they should?

Periodically, it’s a good idea to check your streetside and in-lot drainage inlets to ensure they’re clear of obstructions and debris which may prevent them from working as expected. In many cases, asphalt failure can be traced back to a blocked drain inlet which hasn’t been corrected. Regular property walkthroughs can help you spot problems like this before they become severe enough to warrant repair or rehab of your parking lot, and keep it working the way you expect it to for years to come.

For more information about drainage or to speak with Calvac Paving about your parking lot or other asphalt and concrete construction needs, click here to contact us!

7 Reasons Why Quality Asphalt & Paving Is A Must for Bay Area Commercial Properties

Have you ever thought about the signals your paving might be sending? Most people don’t, but properly executed concrete and asphalt commercial paving can make a big difference in how your property is perceived, from the initial impression people receive just driving by to potential customers or even buyers. 

If your property is used for regular commerce, such as a shopping center, big-box store, church, or apartment complex, you may find you don’t entice the sort of clients and visitors you’re hoping for if your asphalt surfaces aren’t up to par. 

Even worse, it could adversely affect the bid numbers your property receives if you decide to sell!

If you’re noticing cracking, discoloration, warping, areas of exposed aggregate, faded striping paint, or other common signs and symptoms of asphalt and concrete failure, you might be tempted to just ignore it—or worse, try to figure out a fix for satisfactory asphalt repairs with the staff and materials available to you and your company. 

But DIY asphalt repair isn’t always the best way to deal with problems like this. If they’re not dealt with by reputable asphalt paving company contractors, you could be left with an even bigger problem than you started with—and your customers, visitors, and potential buyers might be scared off by poorly placed asphalt paving or improper asphalt maintenance.

Calvac Paving is the asphalt company the Bay Area and Northern California trust for all your concrete and asphalt construction needs, delivered on schedule and on budget. 

So if the points above haven’t convinced you that you really do need the help of professional asphalt paving companies to make sure your asphalt driveway, parking areas, and roadways are up to scratch, here are seven reasons why quality asphalt paving is a must for commercial property owners!


1. Enhances Curb Appeal

Commercial asphalt paving contractors can help improve the aesthetics of your property. Quality asphalt paving will enhance the curb appeal of your commercial property, making it look more professional and attractive to potential customers. Whether it’s a convenience store or a chain of community centers, even small cracks in your pavement can add up to high costs in lost revenues and interest for your business.

2. Boosts Property Value

Quality commercial asphalt paving is an investment that can increase the value of your commercial property. It can also make your property more appealing to potential buyers or tenants now and in the future.

3. Provides Safe and Smooth Surfaces

A quality commercial asphalt paving contractor will provide asphalt installation that delivers a smooth and level surface that is safe for pedestrians and vehicles and retains striping and marking paint at maximum visibility for a longer period too! A poorly paved surface can be dangerous, causing accidents and damage to vehicles. It’s also an ADA compliance infraction that could rack up big fines or even shut your business or property down if it’s not corrected.

4. Reduces Maintenance Costs

Quality asphalt paving can help reduce maintenance costs. A well-paved surface is less likely to develop cracks or potholes, reducing the need for frequent repairs.

5. Improves Drainage

Commercial asphalt paving contractors can design, build, and install a drainage system that prevents water from pooling on your property. This reduces the risk of damage to your pavement and prevents accidents caused by slippery surfaces. It also helps extend the life of your asphalt paving, keeping it looking and performing great for longer, reducing the future cost of maintaining and repairing your asphalt over time.

6. Enhances Sustainability

A quality commercial asphalt paving contractor will use sustainable materials and techniques to create long-lasting pavement. This reduces the environmental impact of construction on your property and the world around us and helps you meet sustainability goals. Going green, or at least greener means everyone wins!

7. Increases Customer Satisfaction

A well-paved parking lot or driveway can help improve customer satisfaction. It provides a positive first impression of your property, making customers feel more comfortable and safer while visiting your business while sending a clear, simple message: “We’re up to the job!” This is a crucial first step in the customer experience because if your facilities don’t look like they’re up to par, why would their expectations include the excellent, even exceptional, customer service and results you and your experienced staff strive so hard to provide?

Calvac Paving is the commercial paving and coating contractor you can trust to handle any size job. 

Projects we handle range from simple residential paving and asphalt driveway paving jobs for homeowners’ associations and municipal authorities to pavement solutions for commercial applications like strip mall complexes or even a complete design/build of asphalt and concrete paving for industrial paving applications, complete with drydock and warehouse facilities. Our competitive rates will make your budget happy, while our commitment to environmentally friendlier practices can help everyone breathe a little easier.

Calvac Paving is proud to be the experienced concrete and asphalt paving contractor Northern California trusts, serving the Bay Area and beyond with the following suite of paving services, plus a lot more!

  • Asphalt installation
  • Asphalt maintenance
  • Asphalt repair
  • Asphalt sealcoating
  • Concrete curb and gutter design
  • Concrete curb and gutter installation
  • Concrete curb and gutter repair
  • Storm drain and runoff design and implementation
  • Parking lot repairs
  • Parking lot striping
  • Parking lot sealcoating
  • ADA compliance for signage, striping, and accessible parking spaces
  • And much more!
For more information about how Calvac Paving can help with your upcoming construction or paving and maintenance job, or to request a competitive quote and bid information for upcoming paving projects, click here to contact us today through our website or check the location nearest you on our Contact page to reach us by phone. 

Be sure to visit our project gallery for some of the projects we’ve undertaken in the past too! And for more info about how proper paving and parking lot maintenance can ensure your asphalt parking lot, driveway, or roadway continues to perform the way you and your visitors need it to for years to come, keep reading for our answers to frequently asked questions about commercial asphalt paving contractors and why property managers and owners need them, from folks just like you!


Frequently Asked Questions About Why Quality Asphalt Paving is a Must for Commercial Property Owners

Calvac Paving is the asphalt paving contractor commercial businesses and government entities in Northern California trust for parking lot and driveway paving that lasts longer, as well as roadways that will stand the test of time!

Question: What is a commercial asphalt paving contractor? –Reynaldo, San Jose, CA

Answer: A commercial asphalt paving contractor is a professional who specializes in the construction and maintenance of commercial properties such as parking lots, driveways, and roads using asphalt, as well as commercial paving and coating operations for other applications. But caveat emptor! Not all asphalt commercial paving companies are created equal. A commercial contractor who can handle a simple, minor repair job that only requires a touch-up on asphalt sealcoating to bring the surface back to life again may find themselves out of their depth on a job that requires a complete tear-out and reinstallation because the cracks have infiltrated through the entire asphalt mat, allowing in water, frost, and biological and environmental contaminants that can undermine asphalt’s flexibility and resilience. It’s important to always check the expertise of the company you’ve chosen for your commercial paving and coating needs, so you know you’ll get great, durable results that last far beyond the day the contracting company leaves the site!

Question: What is the typical lifespan of an asphalt surface? –Artie, Los Gatos, CA

Answer: The typical lifespan of an asphalt surface can vary depending on the quality of materials used, how well the ground preparation was executed before the final mat was introduced, the amount of traffic it receives, and the level of maintenance it receives. Generally, an asphalt surface can be expected to last between 15-20 years with proper care and maintenance.

Question: What services do commercial paving contractors offer? –Jeanette, Santa Clara, CA

Answer: In general, a reputable, established commercial paving company will typically offer a range of services, including new construction, repair, maintenance, and replacement of asphalt surfaces. Commercial contractors can also provide asphalt and concrete paving repair services, such as seal coating, striping, and crack filling, to extend the service life of your paving, so it looks and works better for longer.

Question: How do I choose a reliable commercial asphalt paving contracting company? –Chuck, San Francisco, CA

Answer: To choose a reliable commercial asphalt paving industry contractor, you should look for a company that has a good reputation, proper licensing, insurance, and experience in the field. You can also ask for references and check reviews from previous clients. If available, review the project gallery of previously completed projects to make sure the results they’ve delivered in the past are in line with your expectations for the future of your project. It’s even better if you can independently contact communities or municipal office personnel, such as a project manager, who has interacted with the company in the past and can give you an unvarnished review of your paving contractor’s services.

Question: What factors affect the cost of commercial asphalt paving? –Thomas, Hobart, CA

Answer: The cost of commercial asphalt paving can be affected by various factors such as the size, scope, scale, and complexity of the paving project, the quality of materials used, the location, and the equipment and labor required for the job. For example, a job that only requires a pump truck with a single two-person paving team to dispense seal coat or crack sealer is going to cost a lot less money than one that requires a lowboy, pavers, a parade of asphalt delivery trucks, a front-end loader, and steel-drum and rubber-tire rollers, plus an experienced and seasoned roster of multiple paving crews to run and manage all this equipment. In general, residential driveways need a lot less equipment than most parking lots, and most parking lots (excluding schools and universities) typically require less equipment than roadway construction does, which obviously has a large impact on the pricing range you can expect for your job.

Question: How long does it take to complete a commercial asphalt paving project? –Ilsa, Sunnyvale, CA

Answer: The time it takes to finish a commercial asphalt paving project depends on the size, complexity, type, and requirements of the project. However, with proper planning and preparation, most projects can be completed anywhere from a day or so after starting to a few weeks, in the case of large industrial projects. This does not include the time to survey, plan, make sure the necessary crews, equipment, and materials are reserved, set up any necessary traffic controls, and similar “pre-work” logistics tasks that need to be done but often get overlooked when considering a deployment and execution schedule.

Question: I manage the development of townhouses, and I’m considering having my maintenance staff work on some paving problems I’ve noticed. What are the benefits of hiring a commercial asphalt paving contractor? –Karen, Palo Alto, CA

Answer: While going the DIY route to stay within budget can be very tempting, it’s almost never the best way. What videos from YouTube or Instagram often don’t tell you are things like why this specific solution worked, or that one didn’t. They also don’t address hidden problems you might encounter trying to do the work yourself, such as water or frost infiltration into the mat, which can compromise its performance and presage more serious problems in the making, which may mean replacement rather than repair, is the right call. Hiring a commercial asphalt paving contractor at the outset can help ensure that your project is completed efficiently and to a high standard. They can also provide professional advice and guidance on the best solutions for your specific needs and situation.

Obviously, there’s a lot more that goes into helping keep your paving looking and working great than just keeping it clean. 

That’s why you need an experienced asphalt commercial paving company like Calvac Paving! 

We take pride in delivering better results that go above and beyond for both you and your customers and tenants. 

To find out more about how Calvac Paving can help you bring your paving repair project in on time and on budget, click here to contact us today and see the difference a skilled, professional asphalt paving commercial contractor like Calvac Paving can make in your project outcomes for yourself!

Repair your Bay Area Parking Lot with Calvac Paving!

Effective asphalt maintenance is an essential element in keeping curb appeal up and costs down for developers and stakeholders while creating a smooth driving surface. By improving drainage, preventing dirt and debris buildup, and retarding deep crack formation, a proper maintenance program, including regular sealcoat and patch repairs, extends the life of your parking area and helps prevent costlier lot repairs, saving management time and money while leaving you with more happy customer and tenant reviews of the lot’s condition—and your business!

Calvac Paving specializes in asphalt parking lot maintenance which helps prevent alligator cracks, raveling, and deeper cuts caused by cold, water, and UV rays. 

In this blog article, we’ll discuss why it’s easier to maintain asphalt parking lots than to have to do a full-scale asphalt repair and how Calvac Paving can help you get the maximum life and performance from your asphalt installation!


Pavement Maintenance 101: Why Does It Matter?


Parking lot maintenance is much easier when the parking lot paving is done right the first time by the paving company. When the asphalt installation is done properly using appropriate paving materials on the suitably prepared ground with a proper drainage plan, you get a permanent surface that performs the way you, and the people who drive on it, expect. This also decreases the likelihood of ruts and depressions developing that could later grow into large potholes, which could require expensive pothole repairs or even complete surface replacement down the road.

How the hot mix asphalt’s surface is placed makes a difference too! When done properly, most asphalt parking lots are placed in at least two layers of material, known as “lifts.” Each layer, or lift, will usually be left at least one inch thick after the placement and compaction phase, although this depends on the type of traffic and design elements the project calls for. This two-lift placement creates a smooth, stable base for your parking lot paving, which is flexible enough to withstand traffic wear while still being durable enough to stand up to both environmental and human-driven conditions. Often, a series of test protocols are carried out to ensure the paving contractor is using the right materials and placing them in the correct manner to make the surface as durable as possible. In many cases, a hot pour sealcoat, or asphalt overlay, is applied after final compaction but before the line striping is done to further preserve the surface.

 Drainage is important because it helps prevent rain, snow, ice, dirt, and other weather-related debris from building up on, and penetrating into, the asphalt surface. Regular pressure washing in conjunction with good drainage helps ensure this type of debris, plus vehicular fluids such as leaking gas and oil, carelessly discarded food waste left behind by visitors, and decaying vegetation like fallen leaves are washed away before they can damage the asphalt’s surface or degrade the parking lot striping through oxidation or acid erosion. Once this type of damage begins, it can quickly lead to parking lot cracks and asphalt paving failure. Even with the relatively mild temperatures and weather in the Bay Area, freeze-and-thaw patterns can quickly turn a minor crack just an inch or two long into a much larger and more expensive headache for your property and roadway safety.


I Have a Crack in My Asphalt. Now What?


A well-maintained parking area doesn’t happen by accident. Keeping a close eye on your pavement, especially around concrete curbs and gutters, seams, and drainage courses, is a critical component of parking lot maintenance which can help you detect developing problems early so they can be taken care of. Parking lot cracks can be easily dealt with using a hot rubberized crack filler, which helps seal the crack and prevent it from growing larger or spawning new tributary cracks. Because it requires less personnel and equipment, parking lot crack sealing also tends to be much cheaper than having to do a patch repair on a failed area of asphalt, a pothole repair, or asphalt milling and resurfacing a new top course, including fresh asphalt sealcoating. This type of crack repair also generally takes a lot less time and is less intrusive to the traffic flow of your business.

As a best practice for parking area maintenance, it’s usually a good idea for you or your maintenance staff to walk your lot at least once every month just to check if your parking area needs lot repair. 

When you identify areas that could lead to cracks and potholes, such as an area of cracked sealing, you should contact Calvac Paving right away so we can get you the best possible asphalt solutions before the problem gets out of hand. Sometimes repairing the issue can be as simple as applying crack filler or hot or cold patch asphalt to shore up a weak area. Like a crack filling, asphalt patching in one or two isolated is a whole lot less expensive, intrusive, and time-consuming than it is to repair or replace an entire parking area!


If you need parking lot maintenance and repairs, contact Calvac Paving today!

Calvac Paving is proud to be the Bay Area’s industry-leading source for concrete paving and asphalt solutions that really go the distance. Some of our services include

  • ADA Accessibility Compliance
  • Design-Build Paving Projects
  • Concrete maintenance
  • Concrete repair
  • Lot maintenance and repairs
  • Parking garage maintenance
  • And much more!

Our commitment to crew and public safety is second to none, and we’ve got the testimonials to prove it! Whether you need a simple parking lot crack repair or a complete roadway build from native ground to finished product, Calvac Paving is ready and able to serve you. Simply click here to contact us, and be sure to check out our project gallery for some examples of the quality work you can expect from Calvac Paving for your paving repairs and all your other asphalt and concrete needs. And to learn more about parking lot repairs and why they matter, keep reading for our answers to frequently asked questions by property owners and contractors just like you!


Frequently Asked Questions About Parking Lot Repair by Calvac Paving

Calvac Paving is here to help with straight answers and honest information about your paving needs, big and small!


Question: What causes alligator cracks, and how do I know I need parking lot repairs because of them? –Srinivas, East Oakland, CA

Answer: Alligator cracks, which take their name from their resemblance to the scaly hides of alligators, usually form because the subgrade wasn’t properly placed or compacted or because the material under the asphalt has been undermined by water and debris infiltration. If you notice alligator cracks in your parking lot, you definitely need to have the area repaired as soon as possible before it becomes a pothole—or worse. In cases like this, one common approach is to cut out the failing section, rework and recompact the subgrade, and then place a patch over the affected area. This approach helps to shore up the failed area and prevent the damage from spreading further. However, it may not be necessary to take such drastic action in all cases, which is why you should have a qualified contractor like Calvac Paving evaluate the situation before you take action.


Question: Can I do parking lot repair myself? –Justin, Sunnyvale, CA

Answer: Depending on the type of issue you’re having, it’s possible—but you’re probably not going to get the same results as you would by engaging an experienced contractor to take care of it for you. This is not to say you’re not perfectly capable, but you likely don’t have access to the tools, machinery, or personnel to get the job done right and make sure it doesn’t become a recurring issue. More importantly, while a DIY video on YouTube makes repairs like this look straightforward and simple, they can be challenging and lead to further problems if they’re not addressed properly. Ultimately, you’ll get better and more reliable results using an experienced contractor like Calvac Paving than if you try to handle the issue yourself!


Question: How does maintenance prevent parking lot repair? –Judith, Palo Alto, CA

Answer: Just like your home or your car, preventative maintenance, like keeping your parking areas free of debris and chemical spills, can help extend its lifespan and ensure optimum performance longer. For example, if you had a crack in a window, you’d likely notice a higher energy bill and poorer performance from your climate control. In the same way, a small crack in your paving can lead to a big problem down the road because asphalt isn’t self-healing, and cracks don’t get smaller over time. Instead, they get wider and deeper, and if allowed to continue, can lead to serious failures such as potholes and even subgrade degradation. That’s why it’s so important to take care of issues like this early before they have a chance to grow and spread into more serious issues!


Question: What should I look for when I’m doing parking lot maintenance to avoid needing parking lot repair later? –Adam, Mountain View, CA

Answer: Some key points to look at when you’re doing parking lot maintenance include items like:

Is the area clear of debris, including discarded food and other organic material?

As organic materials decay, they release chemicals that can eat away at the asphalt sealcoat and, later, the asphalt itself. A blob of ketchup from a carelessly discarded packet may not seem like a big deal, but that tiny blot of tomato paste could lead to a pothole years later, which is why it needs to be cleaned up as soon as possible.

Do you notice dirt or sediment building up along drainage channels?

This could be an indication of warping in the asphalt matrix and/or a clogged storm drain, which could lead to asphalt failure if it’s not attended to promptly.

Do you see motor oil or other vehicle fluids on the paving?

Like organic material, over time, these can eat away at the bituminous (tar) binding that gives asphalt its flexibility. This makes them particularly inimical to even the most perfectly executed paving jobs. It’s important to clean up such spills quickly, so they don’t have a chance to cause problems that could lead to expensive repairs later!


For more information on parking lot repair and preventative steps you can take to keep your asphalt and concrete paving up to the task of providing a safe, smooth surface for traffic and pedestrians alike, click here to contact Calvac Paving!

Calvac Paving Welcomes Dan Garson as New CEO

Big News Calvac Paving San Jose

Since Calvac Paving first opened its doors in 1974, we have been dedicated to serving our clients as a premium provider of cost-effective, environmentally responsible paving solutions for projects of all sizes and descriptions. Under the leadership of our late president, Jim Adam, Calvac Paving became the last word in reliable paving contracting throughout the Bay Area and beyond. Jim was succeeded by his son, Joe, who stepped in as interim CEO. Now, Calvac Paving turns its eyes to the future and welcomes Dan Garson as our new president and CEO!

Owner Tami Adam notes that Joe’s tenure as CEO was never intended to be permanent. “When Joe agreed to step in as CEO, it was always meant to be a temporary appointment. The company was in a difficult transitional phase, and we hoped that Joe would provide some stability while we prepared the company for the next CEO. When the time was right, we began our search for the right candidate.”

For Tami and Joe, the quest to find the perfect person for the CEO role was a lengthy and arduous one. The journey entailed interviewing dozens of candidates and reviewing hundreds of resumes, all in an attempt to find a candidate with the right mix of experience, education, professional knowledge, and culture fit to continue to deliver the unparalleled service and outstanding results our clients have come to expect. Ultimately, the candidate field was whittled down to Dan Garson, who has executive leadership experience in the paving industry in the Bay Area and holds a BS in Chemical Engineering as well as an MBA. But it wasn’t just impressive credentials that got him the position. Tami says, “When we met with Dan, it became very clear that his depth of knowledge and experience would be a great asset to Calvac. We also saw that his personality and disposition would be a perfect fit for our company culture. [This mix] is what set him apart.”

For his part, Dan is excited to roll up his sleeves and get to work in his new position. “I am committed to growing [Calvac Paving] by building upon the success and reputation created by Tami, Joe, and Jim. They have established a great roadmap to use as a tool to build upon a well-established foundation. I could have said they have helped to pave the way for me, but I thought better of it,” Dan added, demonstrating his trademark dry wit. He notes that his primary vision for the company is to “continue to focus on delighting our current customers with our excellent quality, responsiveness, and service and build on that reputation to grow our business in the same way with new customers.”

Asked what his top priorities are for Calvac Paving currently and in the months and years to come, Dan cited recruiting, employee retention, client base outreach, and of course, across-the-board growth. “A current priority is to grow our estimating and operations teams,” he said. “We have excellent opportunities for the right people who exhibit the passion, commitment, and dedication required in our business for our customers. Calvac, Inc. provides a rewarding career, competitive compensation, and an excellent culture for employees to thrive,” including an outstanding safety record and benefits, which interested applicants can learn more about by clicking here to contact Calvac Paving.

Obviously, the question now becomes what’s next for Joe and Tami! 

For her part, Tami will remain with the company as owner and CFO. In her words, “It is important to all of us that Calvac remains a family-owned business in the true sense of the phrase. We are committed to retaining a personal connection between ownership and every employee at our company.” In this role, she will be working closely with Dan to ensure continuity, stability, and the observance of the core principles Calvac Paving has embraced to the benefit of its staff and clientele for nearly 50 years.

Meanwhile, Joe has plans of his own. While he will remain chairman of Calvac Paving’s board of directors, he will be relocating to Oregon with his fiancée in the near future. This means his involvement in the company’s day-to-day operations will be drawing to an end. Everyone in the Calvac Paving family wishes Joe and his bride-to-be all the best in their future endeavors and a long, happy, and joyous marriage!

As we welcome Dan Garson to Calvac Paving’s top spot, we want to take this opportunity to thank our loyal employees and dedicated clients who have stuck with us during this difficult transition period. If you haven’t tried Calvac Paving’s services previously, now is a perfect time to experience the Calvac Paving difference on your next paving project! Our complete menu includes the following paving services:

  • ADA upgrades to existing structures
  • Asphalt Placement & Compaction
  • Asphalt Repairs 
  • Asphalt Seal Coating
  • Concrete Placement
  • Crack Sealing & Repair
  • Grading
  • New Construction
  • Parking Lots
  • Petromat Overlays
  • Pulverizing In Place
  • Stall painting and parking lot and roadway striping
  • And more

Please join us in welcoming Dan Garson as Calvac Paving’s new CEO as we move forward and turn our focus to another 50 years of outstanding, durable paving results you can rely on to perform to your specifications and needs. To find out more about Dan and Calvac Paving, please click here. And to contact us for your next paving project, from repairs and seal coating to new construction, Calvac Paving invites you to click here today!