Topic: Blog

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.

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  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.

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  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.

 

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  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!


Bay Area Asphalt & Concrete

Since 1974, Calvac Paving has taken great pride in serving the Bay Area Asphalt & Concrete construction needs.

Consistently ensuring the highest possible quality and best results for clients means keeping pace with the latest innovations in paving technology and techniques. Calvac Paving’s dedicated and knowledgeable paving professionals have amassed considerable experience in everything from new construction to refurbishment and repair of old, worn paving such as sidewalks, parking lots, roadways and more. While many paving companies focus solely on one kind of paving, Calvac Paving can boast extensive experience with asphalt, concrete and earthwork, from initial  grading to final striping. Among the services Calvac Paving offers to the public are:

Calvac Paving offers the following Services

  • New Construction
  • Grading
  • Concrete Placement
  • Asphalt Placement & Compaction
  • Striping
  • Asphalt Seal Coating
  • Pulverizing In Place
  • ADA upgrades to existing structures
  • Crack Sealing & Repair
  • Petromat Overlays
  • Parking Lots
  • Asphalt Repairs 


In addition to these services, Calvac Paving takes its obligations to the environment we all share very seriously. We use the latest green and eco-friendly policies and practices at every stage of construction from the project’s start to the final cleanup and disposal of waste products at the end.  Most business owners would agree that taking steps to be a greener business is a win-win for everyone.

“Green” Paving?

While this phrase may sound oxymoronic, asphalt pavement has consistently been reported as the most frequently recycled material in the nation since 1993. Continuous improvements in recycling technology and paving practices and techniques that permit for more adaptive uses of existing paving materials have fueled this recycling boom with regards to asphalt and, to a lesser degree, concrete. Purely virgin asphalt, also known as “hot-mix,” is relatively rare today because of the numerous advantages of recycling asphalt in place. However, many old-school pavers often still refer to “warm-mix,” discussed below, as “hot-mix” regardless of this designation’s true accuracy.

Most asphalt you see on the road today consists of rocks, also called aggregates, sand, binder material and additives such as shredded rubber tires, pig manure and metal slag, to name a few. These additives are re-purposed and treated in such a way as to make them a cohesive part of the overall mix and increase the mix’s performance. This transforms relatively useless or even outright hazardous materials into reasonably safe and effective filler materials for asphalt mixes. However, the most common fillers are recycled asphalt paving and asphalt shingles. Using these materials in “warm-mix” asphalt paving sharply decreases the amount of virgin oil binder needed to create a safe driving surface with proper internal cohesion and compactive properties.

According to the National Asphalt Paving Association, in the 2013 construction season alone nearly 68 million tons of recycled asphalt and almost 2 million tons of asphalt shingles were used as recyclables, at a savings to taxpayers of around $2 billion. The use of recyclables has increased 21% since 2009 and represents over 99% of all in situ, or existing, asphalt paving being recycled and re-purposed instead of ending up in landfills.

Calvac Paving is proud to be part of an industry that is able to recycle and reuse apparent waste materials so efficiently and effectively. Calvac Paving takes a deep interest in ongoing advances in procedures and techniques that allow for new ways to re-purpose existing pavement, whether it is asphalt, concrete or something else.

 The Future Of Asphalt & Concrete

The interest in new advances is not limited to asphalt, because Calvac Paving is dedicated to finding more efficient and ecologically sound ways of achieving the same overall goals. One development that Calvac Paving is watching with great interest is so-called “bio-concrete.” In this type of concrete, a regular concrete mix is impregnated with tiny plastic capsules containing a type of bacillus bacterium which feeds on calcium lactate and excretes limestone. The capsules dissolve when exposed to water, activating and freeing the dormant bacteria within to begin the healing process. This landmark technology could result in admixtures for other types of paving, increasing the strength, performance and longevity of all kinds of paving and reducing necessary time-of-life repairs dramatically.

As paving technology and techniques evolve, Calvac Paving intends to retain our leadership position in adopting new practices, prioritizing greater safety, security, durability and environmental awareness in every task we undertake. From new builds to maintenance and repair of existing paving projects, Calvac Paving wants to ensure that its products and services stand the test of time, just as we have since 1974. For your next paving project, whether you’re starting from scratch or trying to determine the most efficient and effective way to repair or replace worn, cracked or improperly placed paving materials, Calvac Paving’s experienced personnel can become stakeholders in your properties. We welcome the opportunity to show you why Calvac Paving has been building the Bay Area for over forty years, giving real results that stand the test of time!

Calvac Paving

 

(408)225-7700

(650)694-7944

 (831)375-7944

 

 

 


Maintenance Monday – How Portland Cement is Made

Cement Plant For Calvac Pavings Blog

Portland cement is the basic ingredient of concrete. Concrete is formed when portland cement creates a paste with water that binds with sand and rock to harden.

Cement is manufactured through a closely controlled chemical combination of calcium, silicon, aluminum, iron and other ingredients. Common materials used to manufacture cement include limestone, shells, and chalk or marl combined with shale, clay, slate, blast furnace slag, silica sand, and iron ore. These ingredients, when heated at high temperatures form a rock-like substance that is ground into the fine powder that we commonly think of as cement.

The most common way to manufacture portland cement is through a dry method. The first step is to quarry the principal raw materials, mainly limestone, clay, and other materials. After quarrying the rock is crushed. This involves several stages. The first crushing reduces the rock to a maximum size of about 6 inches. The rock then goes to secondary crushers or hammer mills for reduction to about 3 inches or smaller.

The crushed rock is combined with other ingredients such as iron ore or fly ash and ground, mixed, and fed to a cement kiln. The cement kiln heats all the ingredients to about 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit in huge cylindrical steel rotary kilns lined with special firebrick. Kilns are frequently as much as 12 feet in diameter—large enough to accommodate an automobile and longer in many instances than the height of a 40-story building. The large kilns are mounted with the axis inclined slightly from the horizontal.

Old cement dispenser company

The finely ground raw material or the slurry is fed into the higher end. At the lower end is a roaring blast of flame, produced by precisely controlled burning of powdered coal, oil, alternative fuels, or gas under forced draft.

As the material moves through the kiln, certain elements are driven off in the form of gases. The remaining elements unite to form a new substance called clinker. Clinker comes out of the kiln as grey balls, about the size of marbles.

Clinker is discharged red-hot from the lower end of the kiln and generally is brought down to handling temperature in various types of coolers. The heated air from the coolers is returned to the kilns, a process that saves fuel and increases burning efficiency.

After the clinker is cooled, cement plants grind it and mix it with small amounts of gypsum and limestone. Cement is so fine that 1 pound of cement contains 150 billion grains.  The cement is now ready for transport to ready-mix concrete companies to be used in a variety of construction projects.

Although the dry process is the most modern and popular way to manufacture cement, some kilns in the United States use a wet process. The two processes are essentially alike except in the wet process, the raw materials are ground with water before being fed into the kiln.

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Maintenance Monday – Joints In Concrete Slabs

calvac paving discusses joints in concrete slabs

Concrete is not a ductile material-it doesn’t stretch or bend without breaking. That’s both its greatest strength and greatest weakness. Its hardness and high compressive strength is why we use so much of it in construction. But concrete does move-it shrinks, it expands, and different parts of a building move in different ways. This is where joints come into play.

Although many building elements are designed and built with joints, including walls and foundations, we’ll limit this discussion to joints in concrete slabs. Here’s an overview of the types of joints, their function, and tips for locating and installing joints.

Concrete Joint Information

Calvac Paving discusses Concrete Joint Information

Different joints in concrete slabs all have the same bottom-line purpose of preventing cracks

 

As concrete moves, if it is tied to another structure or even to itself, we get what’s called restraint, which causes tensile forces and invariably leads to cracking. Restraint simply means that the concrete element (whether it’s a slab or a wall or a foundation) is not being allowed to freely shrink as it dries or to expand and contract with temperature changes or to settle a bit into the subgrade. Joints allow one concrete element to move independently of other parts of the building or structure. Joints also let concrete shrink as it dries-preventing what’s called internal restraint. Internal restraint is created when one part of a slab shrinks more than another, or shrinks in a different direction. Think how bad you feel when part of you wants to do one thing and another part wants to do something else! Concrete feels the same way.

If you have a question for Calvac Paving, please contact us at

Calvac Paving
2645 Pacer Ln
San Jose, CA 95111
408-225-7700

sales@calvacpaving.com

 


Calvac Paving Is Hiring!

Calvac Paving

Calvac Paving, a San Jose based Asphalt and Concrete maintenance and construction Contractor is looking for Equipment Operators, Laborers and Skilled Workers. We are looking for full time workers and experience in Asphalt and Concrete construction is a plus.

 

Applications must be completed at 2645 Pacer Lane, San Jose, CA 95111

 

About Calvac Paving

Over the past 40-plus years, Calvac Paving has become one of the most experienced and reliable Asphalt and Concrete contractors in Central California. Our focus on individual project attention and meeting our STAKEHOLDER’S expectations has helped us to add scores of Property Managers/Owners, HOAs, Corporate buildings and campuses, Retail as well as Multifamily properties to our list of appreciative clients/stakeholders.

 

Calvac Paving Is Hiring


Studies Show Cigarette Butts May Be The Next Hot Thing In Paving

Every year, about 6 trillion cigarette butts are produced worldwide, or about 800 discarded butts for every man, woman and child on the planet. Not only are these butts an unsightly and expensive waste disposal problem, but the toxic chemicals which the filters trap and contain leach out over time to poison soil, groundwater, rivers and oceans. Now, a researcher at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia says he may have found a surprising answer to this problem: incorporate cigarette butts into asphalt aggregate!

According to the researcher, by coating the butts with a combination of paraffin wax and bitumen, the black substance also known as “tar” that gives asphalt its distinctive properties, it is possible to trap toxins which used butts contain while repurposing them as a lightweight, flexible asphalt aggregate component. This reduces the overall weight of an asphalt mix design while removing a potential 1.2 million metric tons of waste from the planet’s biosphere.

Another interesting side effect of adding cigarette butts to asphalt is the reduction of heat. Asphaltic concrete has been directly linked to the so-called “urban heat island” effect, caused by vast amounts of asphalt in a relatively small area. Cigarette filters are mostly made from cellulose acetate, a fibrous material which is spun down to look and feel like cotton. This material serves as an insulator which filters out toxins in cigarette smoke while helping prevent burnt fingers for those who simply must light up. These filters reduce thermal conductivity and reduce the thermal density of the mix. When placed as part of a roadway the asphalt containing the filters absorb and diffuse more heat, resulting in a cooler surface temperature and less radiant heat being redirected into the environment.
The final paper on this study states that butts coated with bitumen satisfied requirements for medium- and heavy-traffic mix designs. This would apply to interstates and surface streets with heavy commercial volume. Streets in residential neighborhoods, parking lots not marked for commercial vehicles and similar applications might use paraffin-coated butts. In the study, the research team used 10kg, 15kg and 25kg (about 22, 33 and 55lbs respectively) of encapsulated cigarette butts per cubic meter (1.30795cu.yd) to determine the ideal asphalt mix.

Since cigarette smoking on a global scale isn’t likely to go away anytime soon, finding new ways to deal with  this waste is becoming a more pressing problem every day. Estimates claim that the mass of discarded cigarette butts may increase by as much as 50% by 2025 because of the increase in global population. Knowing this, recycling these butts into asphalt and other lightweight construction materials, as the author of the study proposes, may help us all breathe just a little bit easier.

At Calvac Paving, we know we only have one planet, and it’s up to all of us to care for it the best way we know how. There’s no reason that building a solid product and being ecologically responsible should be mutually exclusive, and we’re always on the lookout for new ways to incorporate green ideas into our building design.. We will keep a close eye on this and other “green” developments in construction materials, so we can continue to deliver the most environmentally sound products and processes possible without compromising on quality or durability. It’s all part of our commitment to make the communities we serve, and the world we all share, a safer and healthier place for everyone.


Calvac Paving Maintains High Safety Work Record

The construction industry requires a delicate balance between worker safety and work completion and efficiency. At Calvac Paving, we value the safety and health of our employees as an integral part of our Business Plan. While many companies say this, we are pleased to be able to provide hard numbers to prove it. Our Ex-Mod(California Modification Rating System) rating of 74 with our workers’ compensation insurer is one of the lowest in the industry. This means that over the last three years, our experienced workers’ compensation losses have been 25% less than the conventional wisdom of the insurance industry said they should be. All this sounds very impressive, but what does it actually mean? Here’s a closer look at why this is big news for Calvac Paving and our valued clients.

Calvac Paving Crew Hard At work

What Does Ex-Mod Really Mean?

In simple terms a company’s  experience modification compares actual losses to expected losses. The experience rating system, in essence, adjusts the premium an employer will pay based on a comparison of that employer’s history of payroll and claims (collectively referred to as “experience”) to the average experience of other employers within the same classification. The result of this comparison is an experience modification. A Ex-Mod rating of a  100 is average, and pays 100% of the customary premium for coverage. Likewise, a company with an ex-mod of 125 would pay 125% of the industry average premium, because of the higher risk and nearly certain greater expense involved in the carrier keeping this company on the books.

Calvac Paving’s rating of 74 is well below the industry standard and means that we pay less than 3/4 of what many of our competitors would for identical workers’ compensation coverage. The best performers in the industry rarely reach an ex-mod of below 70, because insurance carriers can hardly afford to give away their coverage. However, our ex-mod does provide a verifiable, actionable metric by which to measure worker safety and the likelihood of on-the-job accidents and injuries among our employees.

How Is Ex-Mod Calculated?
The State of California’s Worker’s Compensation Insurance Rating Board put new rules in place for 2012, based on recommendations from the state insurance commissioner in 2008. These rules state that insurance ex-mod is calculated every year as an average of the data from the three preceding calendar years. The WCIRB guidelines require that insurance carriers provide an ex-mod score statement each year, usually at least 30 days before renewing the premium. These guidelines are intended to incentivize good occupational health and safety practices and limit workers’ compensation claims, but at Calvac Paving, we just call that business as usual. The financial perks that come with having a great safety record are always welcome in the business world, but what really matters to us is what our ex-mod means in the real world: the fact that our employees go home every night to their families in the same condition they left the house in the morning.

Calvac Paving Operating Machines

What Does Our Insurance Broker Say?

Our insurance broker, NFP/Thoits Insurance, consistently praises our safety record and the programs we use to improve it. Because we take our people’s safety so seriously, we incorporate training on every aspect of construction safety, site and roadway hazards and first aid training. We work closely with our carrier to implement and maintain a sound, viable loss prevention strategy, including IIPP and Early Return to Work programs that help our employees get back to work sooner while remaining in compliance with their healthcare provider’s orders. Because of these factors, our broker has consistently praised our programs and proactive worker safety initiatives, even going so far as to note that our programs are paving the way for future improvements.

From The Principals

Calvac Paving’s Principals are justifiably proud of the company, management and employees for the way they have worked together to make a safer workplace a reality. By continuing to train employees in proper on-site safety protocols and emergency measures as part of a program that meets Cal-OSHA standards for workplace safety, Calvac Paving is leading the way in setting the highest benchmarks possible for worker safety and lost-time injury prevention. Even more importantly, it means Calvac Paving’s employees get to enjoy more productive working days and quality, healthy time with their loved ones when off the clock. While construction continues to be a challenging field in which to balance productivity and safety, we take great pride in proving it’s possible every day.

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Calvac Paving Celebrates Over Four Decades in Business

Calvac Paving, a Bay Area paving and concrete company, is pleased to announce that they are celebrating over four decades in business. Since the day they first opened for business in 1974, Calvac Paving has strived to offer a wide variety of services, including concrete hardscapes, asphalt repair, interlocking pavers, crack filling, seal coating, and many others.

Over the past 40-plus years, Calvac Paving has grown to become one of the largest Bay Area paving and asphalt contractors. From business owners that need new concrete sidewalks and ADA ramps to schools that have old and cracked asphalt parking lots that are in desperate need of repair, the friendly and experienced team at Calvac Paving is ready and able to help.

In addition to offering top-notch service, Calvac Paving’s website is exceptionally user-friendly, providing visitors with in-depth explanations of the various services they offer. The educational articles not only describe what each service entails, but when it is typically needed. This can help business owners, commercial property managers, homeowners association managers and many other clients to educate themselves and their clients about what work is needed at their properties.

For example, the article about asphalt repair explains that interconnecting cracks called “alligatoring” are typically found in high traffic areas or near dumpster enclosures.

“In the areas of the pavement surface where failure is showing (areas of ‘alligatoring’) we may propose removal of the failed asphalt and replacement with a thicker cross-section of newly placed and compacted asphalt,” the article noted, adding that Calvac Paving will mill, saw cut or jackhammer the perimeter of the failed areas.

“It is recommended that the new ‘patch’ be placed at a minimum thickness of 1-1/2 times the original asphalt depth to bridge any inherent weakness in the base material in that area.”

Anybody who would like to learn more about Calvac Paving is welcome to visit the user-friendly website or Facebook Page at any time; there, they can read more about the high quality services they offer.

About Calvac Paving:

Calvac Paving Inc. is a full service asphalt and concrete maintenance company that has been serving the greater Bay Area since 1974. For more information, please visit http://www.calvacpaving.com