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Google My Business: Your Guide to Creating a Revenue-Generating Listing

What on earth is Google My Business? You’ve seen it before every time you’ve Googled “gas station near me” or “XYZ Grocery Store Hours” – it’s the listing that shows up in the right hand column on Google Search results, and also the map listing directory.

How do companies get that listing and show up there? Great news: it’s easy, and free! Now there’s something you don’t hear every day. Simply sign up and start using it to:

    • add your business name
    • add your location
    • share your business hours
    • get customer reviews
    • post pictures of your jobs
      and more!

How to Get Started With Your Google My Business Listing

Step 1: Log into the Google Account you want associated with your business (or create a Google Account if you don’t already have one).
Step 2: Navigate to the Google My Business page and select “Start now” in the top right-hand corner.
Step 3: Type your business name.
Step 4: Type your business address.
Step 5: Since you perform a service, check the box “I deliver goods and services to my customers.” And if you work out of your house or another address you don’t want publicly shown, Check “Hide my address (it’s not a store) Only show region.” Finally, select your Delivery area.
Step 6: Choose your business category.
Step 7: Add your business phone number or website.
Step 8: Choose a verification option.

Google My Business Postcard VerificationIt’s important to get verified as soon as possible, so don’t put that step off for another day. Once you are verified, you can post pictures, videos, services and more.

Google sends you a postcard in the mail, so take the verification step today because you’re stuck until the USPS arrives.

Once you are verified, it’s time to optimize your listing.

Optimizing Your Google My Business Listing

Start with the basics. At a minimum, you’ll want to include a profile photo, your logo, your service area, the hours you are open to receive calls, your phone number, and your website if you have one.

Google My Business in search resultsTo make these edits, log into your Google My Business dashboard, click on Info, and then click the pencil next to the property you’d like to update. There are nearly 4,000 of them so it takes a little filtering, but you want to be very accurate so you maximize the amount of traffic your listing receives. Some sample categories:

  • Asphalt Contractor
  • Asphalt Mixing Plant
  • Concrete Contractor
  • Concrete Factory
  • Concrete Product Supplier
  • General Contractor
  • Paving Contractor
  • Paving Materials Supplier

Be sure you are choosing the most relevant category for your listing.

 

Great photos increase the likelihood that you will get a click to your business, so take some time to sort through the photos of jobs you’ve done and find some that you are really proud of.

Businesses with photos receive 42% more clicks than businesses without them. Team shots work really well here too, especially if you have a branded truck or staff shirts to really show off your logo and your brand.

Make sure you’re using a high resolution photo, at least 720px wide by 720px high.

The most important photo is the Cover Photo. It’s the first impression customers will see.  It should crop well to a 16:9 ratio.

Next, Team Photos: Google recommends you add three shots, showing your team at work.

Finally, a Video: it can be up to 30 seconds long, 100MB maximum size, and a minimum of 720p.

Reviews: The Key To Rocking Your Listing

The number one thing that will make your listing stand out amidst a sea of others on Google Maps? The number of reviews you have. Getting reviews is the only way you’re going to grow your business.

How can you make it easy for your customers to review you? Once you have completed the job and you know they are satisfied with your work, send them a text and an email requesting a moment of their time. We’ve found great success using this template:

“Thank you for trusting me with your job! If you are satisfied we did a good job for you, would you consider taking a moment to leave us a Google review? It helps us get more work and would mean a lot to us. Just click here – it takes less than a minute: {link to your GMB listing}”

If the customer does not leave a review right away, follow up one week later:

“Just wanted to check in on how our work was holding up. If everything still looks great, would you consider leaving us a review here: {link to your GMB listing}. It was a pleasure to work with you and we hope to help you again in the future!”

Now, that works for all new jobs coming up, but what about past jobs? One way we’ve found success was by approaching past clients during their slow season (for many people, the start of the new year) and giving them a friendly check-in call. Find out if you will be part of their budget in the new year, and ask if they were satisfied with the work you did in the past. If so, kindly request that they leave you a review and offer to do the same for them to help them grow their business. It’s a win-win.

A word to the wise: negative reviews happen.  Be sure to respond fairly and evenly – thank them for the review and the opportunity to learn what you could do better.

Positive reviews happen too!  Thank customers in your reply to encourage other customers to leave reviews as well.

Maintaining Good GMB Ranking

Google rewards fresh content. Download the Google My Business app to your phone and use it to take pictures of jobs you are proud of, post status updates and short video updates too.

Google My Business App

When you post a status update, be sure to include relevant keywords in your text.  If you do crack repair, title your post Crack Repair Project, for example.  It sends a signal to Google to let it know what your business is about.

The app also makes it easy to stay on top of changes to hours, COVID 19 restrictions and so on.

Common Questions About Google My Business

Is Google My Business Free?
Yes, completely free. You really need to do this!

If I have a GMB listing, do I still need a website?
You absolutely want to still have a website. You can send customers from your GMB listing to your website to learn more about your offerings, have them fill out contact forms for quotes, and show off big projects. The amount of data you can share on Google My Business is significantly less than on a website.

Is this the same as Google +?
No, Google + was Google’s answer to Facebook, and has been retired. Google My Business replaced it.

Do you have other questions?  Leave them in the comments below and we’ll do our best to help you out!

Keep On Trucking

We hope these tips have helped! For more information on how you can build your business, check out “9 Things Entrepreneurs Wish They Had Known When They Were Starting Out.”

How to Edge a Sealcoat Job Effectively: A Comprehensive Guide

One of the age-old debates in the world of asphalt maintenance has got to be surrounding methods of sealcoat edging. But which truly is better – edging a sealcoat by hand or using a specialist piece of equipment?

The truth is, there really is no right answer, but each method does have its own unique benefits. The correct choice may totally depend on the nature of the job at hand.

Let’s take a look through the pros and cons of each sealcoat edging technique, so you can decide which is the best way to go for you and your company.

 

Edging by Hand

Pros:

  • Greater control. There’s no denying that simple tools like brushes offer better control than spraying equipment, and the type of brush fibre can easily be adjusted depending on the desired finish. For example, stiff brushes are a great option for enhanced control in tricky areas, but softer bristles leave fewer brush marks for a cleaner finish.
  • Relatively unaffected by wind. When using a sprayer, it may be necessary to have a backer board to control overspray and minimize the effects of wind. When using a brush or squeegee, however, wind does not pose any great threat to the final result.

Con:

  • Difficult to use precisely the correct amount of sealer. When carrying out edging by hand it’s very easy to use either too much or too little product. Both of these issues may lead to more product being used than necessary, or a more time-consuming process – both of which could be bad news for profits.

 

Edging using Specialist Equipment

Pros:

  • Time saving. Investing in a high-quality, specialist piece of equipment to help you with edging is certainly a wise investment. For example, this sealcoat edger attaches to a spray system and can make the process much more efficient, and greater efficiency = greater profit!
  • Can make it a one-person job. Granted, some sprayers may require an extra pair of hands to hold a backer board and prevent overspray, but the best sealcoat edgers will take care of this for you. This reduced need for manpower allows your colleagues to work on another job and gather profits from elsewhere in the meantime!

Con:

  • Be mindful of overspray. As we briefly mentioned, there are some pieces of equipment (particularly sprayers) that do not feature in-built wind protection. Although sprayers have an array of benefits, the potential effect of strong gusts on their performance is worth considering. Be sure to keep a spray bottle of sealer remover nearby at all times to clean up any overspray promptly.

 

To conclude, each method of sealcoat edging has its own benefits and potential problems. Which is best for you is simply down to the type of job you’re completing, as well as personal preference.

Using a sealcoat brush to cut in, followed by a spray and backer board is often favored for residential jobs. Conversely, sealcoat edgers are particularly useful for commercial projects where there is lots of area to cover, for increased efficiency.

We hope we have helped you weigh up the pros and cons of each of these great methods, and we’d love to hear what your personal preferences are when it comes to sealcoat edging.

9 Things Entrepreneurs Wish They’d Known When Starting Out in Asphalt Sealcoating

Starting a business is difficult, and asphalt sealcoating company entrepreneurs often wish someone gave them advice before they started. These tips are invaluable for first-time business owners and entrepreneurs who want to grow their company quickly.

Charge Enough to Make Money

Pricing is a tricky subject. New asphalt sealcoating companies should not aim to be the lowest bidder on any job. The job prices should reflect the quality a company can deliver. Then the money can help businesses grow and take care of the employees, all while providing outstanding service without cutting corners.

Define Quality Standards from the Beginning

To become the best company on the market, it’s essential to have internal quality standards in place from the beginning. These quality standards help companies deliver value on every job. Quality standards become quality systems, which in turn become company culture.

Learn Some Marketing and Branding

One of the significant ways for asphalt sealcoating companies to draw in customers is by associating the company brand with quality. Before a company can do that, the company needs a professional brand. That means branding trucks, work uniforms, and even sealcoating equipment, along with less tangible items like social media and marketing.

Find a Mentor

While it may sound counterproductive, finding a mentor in the asphalt sealcoating industry helps companies move forward quickly. A good mentor helps entrepreneurs avoid common mistakes and pitfalls that would otherwise cost thousands of dollars. Company entrepreneurs should find a mentor that wants to see them succeed and who is willing to answer questions honestly.

Connect to a Network

Connecting to networks of reputable asphalt contractors helps companies immensely. This action provides comparable companies with the same goal of raising the standards of the asphalt sealcoating industry. Plus, talking to someone in a similar position is beneficial for entrepreneurs and can help sort out problems before they get worse.

Go for Good Reviews

Companies should do an outstanding job every time, even when they are just beginning. A good review is worth its weight in gold for bringing in more clients. Meanwhile, it is difficult for companies to work off a bad review. This is another reason for companies to develop a quality standard and never cut corners.

Repeat Clients and Referrals are the Best

Repeat clients are a great sign in a business, especially since asphalt sealcoating only happens every few years. However, the other thing satisfied and repeat customers can do for a business is to provide referrals. Referral clients come already primed to trust a company since their associate does. Doing an excellent job for referral clients means those, in turn, will refer and help business.

Hire the Right People

The right people can drive a company forward through their work ethic and commitment to company standards. Correctly trained, a good employee is priceless. However, these people can be challenging to find.

Be Prepared to Scale

Asphalt sealcoating is a goldmine business opportunity. When a company does well and delivers high-quality service, there is often more demand than the initial structure allows. By preparing to scale up and even franchise out, companies can create more revenue without losing the quality standards the brand adheres to.

Concrete vs. Rubber Wheel Stops: A Comparison and Buying Guide

Aircraft carriers have arresting cables that help prevent jets from taxiing over the deck and fall overboard. In parking facilities, wheel stops serve the same function: to keep a vehicle from going beyond its allotted parking space and cause damage or injuries.

Wheel stops are also called parking blocks, tire stoppers, wheel stoppers, and curb stops. They are usually found on parking lots, car parks, medical facilities, shopping areas, garages for rent, and other establishments that offer temporary and long-term parking. Regardless of what they are called, wheel stops act as barriers and prevent a vehicle from driving over or coasting beyond the designated parking slot onto sidewalks, accessible ramps, or adjacent stalls in case the driver fails to put on the hand or floor brakes on time. The main purpose of these barriers is to ensure safety for the vehicle, passing pedestrians, and the property itself (in cases where parking spots are located near walls, fences, or landscaping and foliage).

Parking wheel stops are made using four major materials: concrete, rubber, plastic and metal. However, the most popular are either concrete or rubber as they are the most economical and practical options in a long-term perspective. Although both options serve the same purpose, there are certain advantages and disadvantages to be considered before choosing the best wheel stop material to be installed in your parking facility, truck stop, garage, or impound lot.

 

Durability and Longevity

Concrete wheel stops can be installed both indoors and outdoors. One huge advantage of concrete wheel stops compared to other materials is they are very heavy. Due to this, concrete stops are very stable once secured into place and would do a very good job of barricading vehicles from going over their designated parking spots. In addition, concrete barriers can be very durable and long-lasting, especially when installed indoors, as they are protected from exposure to the elements. So long as the concrete stoppers are not water-logged, they can last for a long time. However, one of the major cons of concrete wheel stops is that, if they are installed outdoors and get constantly exposed to the sun, rain, snow and other natural elements, they grow weak over time. Once weakened, the concrete wheel stop can get chipped and cracked from repeated contact with vehicle wheels.

Rubber wheel stops are also ideal for indoor and outdoor parking installations. One major takeaway is that since the material is resistant to UV rays, moisture, oil and chemical spills, and extreme weather conditions, rubber stoppers are generally preferred for outdoor parking facilities as they are more durable compared to concrete and do not chip or crack even with repeated impacts.

 

Installation

Concrete wheel blocks are usually pre-cast and ready to install by the time they are delivered to the site. To install, the slab of concrete stopper is placed on its intended setting and marks are placed to correspond with the wheel stop’s fixings. Holes are then drilled into the pavement, and the concrete wheel stop is placed back on its intended setting. Depending on manufacturer’s specifications, the fixings are either metal rebar, galvanized pins, metal bolts or concrete epoxy. Once installed, concrete wheel stops do not budge easily, which is a major advantage.

However, weight also becomes a disadvantage with concrete wheel stops. Since these concrete slabs weigh at least 100 lbs., they are really heavy. It will need 2 to 3 people to install each wheel stop. In a parking lot with a minimum of 50 stalls, this can prove to be time-consuming. In a larger facility with hundreds of parking slots, heavy machinery might be required to ship, deliver, and install all wheel stops needed.

For rubber wheel stops, installation and fixings vary according to the manufacturer. However, these parking blocks are relatively easier to handle and install compared to its concrete counterpart – mainly due to the lighter weight. The average weight of a rubber wheel stop is only 30 lbs. To install a rubber wheel stop, you’ll need a power drill with a 14mm or 16mm drill bit (or depending on the actual size of the spikes or metal fasteners included in the kit), a large hammer, and a bristle broom or portable vacuum.

Just like with concrete wheel stops, the rubber stoppers also need to be installed on a flat surface. You will also need to drill a hole to mark where the fixings will be inserted. Once that is done, remove the wheel stop and continue drilling on the guide hole until the specified depth is reached. Place the rubber wheel stop back on the intended spot, making sure that the holes on the stopper are aligned with the ones you drilled on the pavement. Insert the spikes and hammer down until set. Continue brushing or vacuuming any accumulated dust. Since rubber wheel stops are more lightweight compared to concrete, they can be easily installed by 1 person.

 

Colors

Concrete wheel stops can be painted with appropriate colors – black and yellow diagonal stripes for regular parking, blue and white for handicap parking, red (or intersperse with white) for reserved parking (such as for ambulances, fire trucks, law enforcement, and other emergency vehicles in medical facilities, hospitals, police stations, and the like). This is one major advantage of a concrete wheel stop compared to its rubber counterpart. It can be easily repainted and customized as needed.

However, with extended exposure to outdoor elements, paint can peel and/or fade over time. This means that in order to maintain visibility, concrete wheel stops should be repainted on a regular basis.

Rubber wheel stops are usually pre-cast with reflective tape or paint before getting delivered to the site. This is an advantage, since you won’t have to spend extra money for paint, and the colors don’t fade through the years, even when continuously exposed to the elements.

One disadvantage of rubber wheel stops is that, most companies only offer the black and yellow option. Since the colors are specific when you purchase them, if you need to convert a regular parking spot into a handicap or reserved/emergency parking, you will need to remove the black and yellow stopper and replace it with one that has the appropriate color(s). Some companies sell blue and white rubber wheel stops for handicap parking, however, the red and white ones for emergency parking can be very rare, as not all manufacturers offer this option.

 

Environmental Impact

Concrete wheel stops do not really have an environmental impact, since they do not harm nor help the environment in any way. Since there are no toxic elements contained in concrete, when a wheel stop gets eroded and crumbles over time, the particles will just turn to dust.

Rubber wheel stops are made from 100% recycled tires, so they are also considerably environment-friendly.

 

Cost

Concrete wheel stops are very inexpensive compared to rubber. On the other hand, since rubber wheel stops are recycled tires, the processing and manufacturing makes it more expensive.

 


 

On a closing note, concrete wheel stops, although inexpensive, can be quite difficult to transport and install due to their weight. However, they are ideal for indoor parking facilities and can be painted and customized. Aside from the regulatory diagonal stripes, concrete wheel stops can also be painted with words using stencils.

Rubber wheel stops are highly recommended for outdoor parking due to the material’s resistance to most weather conditions. Since rubber is lightweight, the wheel stops can be easily installed by one person. On the other hand, they are more expensive and cannot be customized or repainted since they are already pre-cast with colored or reflective tape.

Adapting Your Parking Lots to the Changing Times

We all know that the last 3+ months have been more challenging for most businesses than any period in history. One of the biggest challenges businesses have faced recently is the requirement to quickly adapt so many different things to the continually changing rules and standards that have been put in place across the country in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those challenges have included reducing the capacity of indoor retail stores, implementing new outdoor seating at restaurants to allow for extra space in between tables, and implementing curbside/drive-up solutions at as many locations as possible to allow for contactless pickup.

There has never been a time where so many things changed for property owners and managers. Our customers are discussing solutions with us daily on adapting their properties to keep up with the things that are happening with parking lots across the country. We have learned a lot of valuable lessons over the past few months, and we want to share some of the lessons we have learned.

  1. Having an inventory of your parking lot assets accessible to you in digital format is critical to being able to move quickly in times like this when it is required. The pavement assessments that we provide to our clients include GPS coordinated photos to show current conditions and issues on every property along with high-resolution aerial imagery and detailed measurements of every repair and every property. Having the latest facts and data from your properties gives you the ability to make the right proactive decisions and not waste precious time and money being reactive. We also found that this information was beneficial when many property and facility managers were unable to travel but could still walk their parking lots virtually with the information we had already compiled for them. 
  2.  

  3. Every business and commercial property will be required to adapt to the curbside/drive-up culture that has taken hold. It is easy to see that businesses far and wide have been and will continue to be impacted very differently from the curbside/drive-up changes that seem to be popping up everywhere we turn. Convenience has been something that consumers started preferring over the past few years. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to create these convenient solutions to be able to sell their goods to customers, and as a result, those conveniences will now become permanent offerings. Companies like Amazon have done a great job pampering consumers with the benefits of not having to get out of their cars to get the things they wanted to buy. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic made every company look at every angle of these solutions, whether they were ready or not. The businesses that can quickly adapt and put the latest demands of consumers at the forefront both in their parking lots and beyond will win big in the coming months and years.
  4.  

  5. Planning for these types of adjustments with an overall portfolio-driven approach using technology to ensure transparency and consistency in the planning and rollout is critical. The only way that large implementations happen effectively and efficiently is when the property or facilities manager works with a contractor that has a technology-driven approach that allows for collaboration between the contractor that is executing the project and the property or facilities team that is responsible for it. Trying to manage large rollouts or adjustments without the right advanced technology during these times is similar to choosing to buy a paper map to guide you instead of using a GPS mapping application in your vehicle or on your phone. At The Pavement Group, we provide every customer access to our project portal for constant updates from the time we are awarded a project to the time our client approves the job for payment. This technology provides the transparency, consistency, and collaborative approach that every client is wants when working with a vendor.
  6.  

  7. When you should not get an engineering firm involved in this type of planning…and when they are needed. We bid and perform work on plenty of projects that have an engineering firm involved from the start to assess the parking lots or roadways and then provide a detailed set of drawings to tell us what scope of work to bid and perform. We certainly enjoy working on those types of projects. We also find plenty of projects where an engineering firm getting involved is not an excellent fit for a variety of reasons. Those reasons include time restrictions, not enough budget, or the project is not large enough to justify involving an engineer. Having a contractor that you can trust and that utilizes tools and resources that make the lives of all parties included easier and more efficient in those times of need is critical. Having that go-to contractor allows you to move quickly and stay out in front of your competition while staying within your required timelines and budgets.

 
Our understanding of these types of regional/national rollouts for large portfolios at The Pavement Group is extensive. We recognize the challenges that property owners and managers could face along the way if they don’t choose the right contractor to complete these projects. Aligning the right contractor that has the right experience with the right rollouts and projects is a critical step to success. Our team has the right technology, expertise, and knowledge that allows us to handle implementations of any size and scope. We are here as a resource for any property owner or manager that manages projects like this.

For more information or to get in touch with us, please give us a call at (833)400-4747 or visit our website, where our agents are available 24/7 to get you connected to the right person on our team.

Listen to or watch Episode 4 of The Pavement Group Podcast episode on this exact topic at the links below!

iTunes

https://bit.ly/Podcast4iTunes

Stitcher

https://bit.ly/Podcast4Stitcher

Google Podcasts

https://bit.ly/Podcast4Google

YouTube

https://bit.ly/Podcast4YouTube

{reprinted with permission from ThePavementGroup.com}

Cheat Sheet for ADA-Compliant Parking Qualifications

The 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design was accomplished as per the Department of Justice’s decision to revise Titles II and III of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 to provide better services to individuals with disabilities. This regulation specifies minimum requirements to provide handicap-accessible parking, entrances, exits and causeways for establishments and facilities that are either newly built, renovated or remodeled on or after March 15, 2012. Non-compliant facilities and establishments can be fined and charged with a civil lawsuit not just by the local governing body, but also by the individuals with disabilities and their representatives.

In order to be compliant with the ADA requirements, certain rules and regulations apply when allotting handicap-accessible parking spaces. Appropriate stall sizes, pavement markings and allocation of the correct number of slots should be considered and followed. Here are some of the most note-worthy points that contractors need to be aware of, to ensure that a parking or garage facility that you are working on would be ADA-compliant.

 

Disclaimer:

The ADA established the minimum specifications and requirements enumerated below to implement accessible-friendly spaces for individuals with disabilities.

States and local governments may have different requirements or stricter specifications than those mentioned in this article. To ensure proper compliance, it is always best to check with your city or locality for specific requirements, rules and policies regarding handicap-accessible spaces before taking on a striping assignment.

Non-compliance is punishable by law and will be sanctioned accordingly. Fines ranging from $1500 to $10,000 or higher can be exacted from entities, establishments, and other involved parties if found to be non-compliant.

 

Designated Handicap-Accessible Parking Stalls

According to the United States Access Board, a parking facility needs to allocate a specified number of handicap-accessible parking slots based on the total number of available parking spaces. In addition, a van-accessible parking spot is required for every 6 handicap-accessible stalls per facility. This means that in a site with 25 parking stalls or less, 1 handicap-access parking space is required, and should be immediately designed as a van-accessible slot.

The table below will help you determine how many stalls need to be customized for handicap and van-accessible parking. However, there are also a few exceptions that need to be observed, such as:

  1. A medical facility, such as a clinic or hospital, that offers outpatient services needs 10% additional accessible parking allocations for its handicapped patients and visitors.
  2. Establishments and facilities such as rehabilitation centers that provide service and medical aid to mobility-impaired or physical therapy patients need to have 20% more handicap parking areas.
  3. Handicap parking is not required if a parking facility is meant exclusively for buses, trucks, delivery vehicles, and law enforcement vehicles or if this site is designated as an impound lot. However, if these locations allow public access (such as retrieval of an impounded vehicle), the facilities are required to provide or designate a handicap-accessible spot that can accommodate lifts, ramps or loading/unloading zones for disabled passengers.

ADA Handicap Cheatsheet

Mark Handicap-Accessible Spots with Signs

The International Wheelchair Symbol (also called International Symbol of Access) must be mounted on a pole and visibly placed at the head of each handicap-accessible parking spot. This symbol shows an individual on a wheelchair, usually painted white, and set in a blue background.

The sign should be 5 feet (60 inches) above the surface of the parking spot so that drivers and pedestrians always have an unobstructed view of it whether the stall is vacant or occupied. In addition, the signage must be placed in such a way that it doesn’t get in the way of vehicles pulling in and out of the parking space. Appropriate text must be added below the handicap symbol to denote van-accessible parking spots.

Graphic of ADA van accessible signage

 

Placement of Handicap-Accessible Parking Spaces

Allocate accessible parking stalls nearest to entrances and exits of parking lots, as well as buildings or facilities they service. This is to make sure that drivers and passengers with mobility-impairment have ease of access and right-of-way when entering or exiting parking sites, buildings and related premises. It is also important to identify and assign parking spaces that directly lead to entryways, entrances and exits that are handicap-accessible to further promote convenience. Railings, fences, and other forms of potential obstructions should be removed or repositioned appropriately.

Accessible Handicap Parking Location

 

Specifications for Accessible Parking Stall Size and Pavement Markings

Minimum requirements for standard accessible parking are as follows: 8 feet (96 inches) wide and should be the same length as normal parking stalls. A 5-foot (60-inch) access aisle should immediately adjoin the parking spot. This aisle is meant to provide additional space for drivers or passengers using mobility aids, wheelchairs, walkers or medical chairs.

Van-accessible stalls should be wider at 11 feet (132 inches). However, it is also possible to narrow the actual parking slot to 8 feet (96 inches), so long as the adjacent access aisle is enlarged to 8 feet (96 inches) instead of the customary 5 feet (60 inches). The access aisle should be placed typically where the passenger side of the van deploys wheelchairs, lifts or motorized chairs.

Another specific requirement for van accessible spaces, adjoining aisles and routes is the vertical clearance. This clearance should be at least 8.17 feet (98 inches) high to properly accommodate these modified vehicles.

Handicap-accessible parking spaces are normally painted in blue and white, however, other traffic colors such as red, green and yellow can also be used. The main purpose is to ensure that the accessible parking spot and its corresponding symbols and markings should stand in contrast to the color of the pavement.

To prevent incorrect parking on access aisles, it should be properly marked with either diagonal or crisscross hatch marks. Painting the pavement surface with a “No Parking” symbol or text is also allowed. Generally, hatch marks are applied using white paint.

Handicap accessible layout graphic

 

Care and Upkeep of Accessible Parking Spaces

Parking spots assigned for handicap-access, their adjoining aisles, routes and through-ways must be kept clean and free from debris at all times. Cracks and potholes should be filled and leveled immediately. Rubbish, fallen leaves and twigs, loose pieces of aggregate, ice, mud and other debris should be removed regularly to prevent obstructions that can lead to accidents.

It is also important for the parking surface to be level and even to ensure that wheelchairs and other mobility aids do not coast or slip as the disabled individual exits the vehicle and moves towards access ramps and entryways.

 

If you are a contractor or property owner, the best course of action is to familiarize yourself with the governing laws and rules for handicap-accessible parking in your area to avoid penalties. This will greatly benefit not only your business but especially the community in general.

AsphaltKingdom.com Introduces Physical-Distancing-Friendly Surface Area Measurement Tool

May 20th 2020 – Asphalt Kingdom has launched the innovative Surface Area Measurement Tool, an online-based mapping tool, to help professionals in the sealcoating and asphalt maintenance industry in calculating the amount of sealer or crackfill they would need per job site without having to visit the location physically.

 

Accurate, Efficient and Easy to Use

The Surface Area Measurement Tool uses Google satellite technology to find any location anywhere. Once an address is entered into the appropriate text box, the map can be zoomed in and out as needed. The closer the zoom is, the more accurate the measurement will be. Drop points or pins can then be added or removed to measure the asphalt surface area. Once the pins are in place, the user will be able to see area measurements in m², km², acres, hectares, and feet².

The tool also provides two types of calculators: one for sealer and one for crackfill. The users merely have to enter the square footage of the area based on the result provided by the mapping tool, and the calculator will provide an estimated amount of sealer or crackfill needed based on the input.

 

Helping the Industry Improve for the Better

“We’ve been working with our development team in getting the Surface Measurement Tool in place that allows contractors to calculate the perimeter and area of a potential job site without having to go there themselves. Our goal is to help professionals in the asphalt industry to save tons of time, energy, fuel and money but still be able to calculate how much sealer or crackfill material they would need per job,” said Judson Burdon, President and Founder of Asphalt Kingdom, regarding the purpose of the tool.

 

How to Use the Mapping Tool

The user simply has to sign up or login to an existing Asphalt Kingdom account. After successfully logging in, the user should click the “Map and Measure” option found on the left-hand side of the “My Account” page.

A free demonstration video on how to use the tool can be found on the Mapping Tool sign up page and on Youtube.

 

Professional-Grade Gas-Powered Rotary Brooms

Whether the contract is for general maintenance or for repairs, it is smart to make sure that the surface is clean and free of debris before you actually start working on the job. Prepping the surface is necessary to ensure proper material adhesion when using sealer or crackfill. Dirt, loose aggregate, stray vegetation, fallen leaves and twigs are some of the debris that need to be cleaned off before actual repairs can be done.

Sweeping with push brooms, or using torches and scrapers to clean off debris can be an option, however, these tools take time to get the job done. Remember, time saved is profit earned. To ensure better accuracy and efficiency when prepping a job site, using a gas-powered rotary broom is way better. Operated at walking speed, this powerful machine is equipped with a steel bristle brush that lifts debris off from deep within the cracks more effectively than regular brooms or scrapers.

Burning vegetation with a hot air lance or torch is the common practice among most contractors, however, you will still need to sweep up the remnants to completely clean off the cracks and curbs. Doing this task alone can require up to two crew members: one to burn the vegetation and another to follow up and sweep the remnants. Or, if you only have one guy doing this, it would mean having him go back on a second pass to do the sweeping. On the other hand, using the rotary broom means that you will only need one person to get this done, while assigning the other person on another task, such as preparing the crackfill.

When applying primer or stain remover to take care of chemical and oil spills, using a brush to scrub them off is the usual method. This is great if the stains and spills are still fresh, since they are relatively easy to remove. However, for older stains that already seeped into the pavement surface, your crew need to exert more time and effort. Using the gas-powered rotary broom would mean lesser effort for your operator and a better technique in removing chemicals that already dried up. The rotary broom’s singular or dual-rotation option (depending on the model you choose to purchase) helps scrub the pavement surface to remove stains better without further damaging the deteriorated areas.

With two options to choose from, these rotary sweepers are what a professional like you need in your arsenal. The first option is the mechanical drive rotary broom (Model: RBMGX) that features a Honda GX or Honda GC industrial engine and gear transmission with one-way broom rotation. The second option is the hydraulic drive rotary broom (Model: RBHGX) that has a two-way broom rotation. This model features a Honda industrial engine with low oil shutoff, so you don’t have to worry in case your machine runs out of oil. Replacement brushes are also available for purchase and can fit both models.

** Pro Tip: It is highly recommended to check your machinery before heading out to avoid unexpected issues and problems in the middle of a job.

These gas-powered rotary sweepers are available at AsphaltKingdom.com. Order yours today!

Gemseal Adds Two Stores in San Antonio, Texas

GemSeal is pleased to announce two key acquisitions in Texas. Sealcoating Supplies of San Antonio and The Parking Lot Store, also in San Antonio.

Nancy Navarrete owned and operated Sealcoating Supplies of San Antonio for many years as a GemSeal distributor. She has a large and loyal following due to the level of the service that she has provided, and the quality line of products. Nancy will be staying on with GemSeal and will be vital in moving her business to our new location in San Antonio.

The Parking Lot Store has been a strong competitor in San Antonio and a leader in pavement maintenance products. Jim Craven has built a great team in Jordan Latham, Ivan Sanford, and Darwin Lowe. Jordan, Ivan, and Darwin have provided excellent service and industry knowledge to their customers. And they will continue to operate The Parking Lot Store.

Sealcoating Supplies and The Parking Lot Store will combine to form GemSeal’s newest and largest One-Stop-Shop at the current PLS location. Gemseal will build on their success and add new products and opportunities for their customers.

Gemseal Welcomes New Director of R&D

GemSeal is pleased to announce and welcome Sherry Guo, Ph.D. as our new Director of Research and Development.  She comes to us from Royal Dutch Shell, Inc.-Shell Bitumen-U.S. where she served as Shell Oil Products, Sr. Product Application Specialist and then as Specialties Technical Sales Manager.  She was instrumental in the successful development of the Shell Tixophalte, a high performance, cold applied crack sealant now being introduced in the US Market.  Sherry also made significant contributions to Shell Bitumen in both Paving and Roofing business in her roles as Technical Manager and Sr. Technical Specialist.

Sherry is the co-author of two patents, one international; “A preparation method of polymer-modified asphalt component,” and one US; “Storage-stable modified asphalt composition and its preparation process.”

Before Shell, Sherry worked for Martin Asphalt in Texas as Sr. R&D Chemist, where she led and implemented new product development, cost reduction, and raw material optimization.

She holds degrees in Organic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, and a Ph.D. in Applied Chemistry.  Sherry brings with her a deep understanding and experience of asphalt/bitumen products, oil refining, and crack sealing by having worked at KOCH Material Company and SINOPEC, China, for several years.

Her addition underscores our dedication to developing the best performing products in the industry and our commitment to future growth.  Sherry and Paul Raymond have joined forces giving us a dynamic R&D team.