Earlier this month, Michelle Ruben of Ruben Digital Media interviewed Frank Karkazis, owner of FGK Services Inc., to get some expert tips about asphalt repair. He shared valuable knowledge explaining why summer is the prime time for repairing, resurfacing and replacing your driveway or parking lot asphalt.

MR: How do you know if your driveway is ready for resurfacing vs. patching?

FK: Homeowners will know if their driveway needs to be seal-coated if the asphalt looks porous and gray, along with brittleness which could lead to cracking. Cracking in the driveway would also be a very noticeable and alarming sign.

MR: What factors determine that the time has come to actually replace the driveway?

FK: Patching and resealing are no longer an option when you can visibly see potholes and crumbling asphalt. You might even see the ground underneath showing through which means that the asphalt has worn out.

Asphalt Concrete Pothole

MR: Is the thought process different for driveways versus parking lots?

FK: Yes, the thought process is very different for parking lots. It is too expensive to seal coat a parking lot every year! However, it is very wise and inexpensive to use rubber melted caulk filler in parking lot cracks to prevent water from getting underneath the lot. Accumulation of moisture will create more cracks than before and they will get larger in the winter with freezing temperatures. I affectionately refer to this rubber melted caulk filler as black snakes. I highly recommend sealcoating a driveway at least every other year. Although, if you are using a snow plow service that has a metal blade scraping along the top of the driveway, then actually every year.

MR: In your professional opinion, what product provides the best coverage, protection and satisfaction for your customers?

FK: The material I use for both parking lots and driveways is called Black Diamond Coal Tar Emulsion Premix. I can proudly say that there is NO WATER added to my mixture! We stand out from the rest because while other companies water down their product in order to make more money by stretching out the volume in their sealing tanks, we do not. If you have your driveway re-sealed and the color starts fading after a few months, someone has taken advantage of you. There are so many different price quotes out in the marketplace and that is one major reason. I must stress how important it is to go with a reputable asphalt seal coater…and I am that guy. I won’t add one drop of water to my product, ever!

MR: Wow, impressive. Tell us about the FGK team’s approach

FK: My team thoroughly cleans the parking lot or driveway with twin turbo blowers to remove every piece of dirt and debris off the surface. Sometimes weeds are growing through the cracks and weed whackers are used to remove them. Next, we pour the material onto the driveway and spread it by hand with squeegees and brushes so that it will be absorbed into the asphalt. We NEVER spray it! Spraying only covers the top layer and it never soaks into the asphalt. This is extremely bad for your driveway.

Tips Asphalt Concrete - Healthy Chalk

MR: Lastly, what makes summer such an attractive time to do these projects?

FK: Summer is the best time because the absorption into the hot asphalt is ideal. The hot asphalt becomes like a sponge and if the work is done using the right material and spread by hand, the job will go well and the customer will be very happy.

Thank You Frank! I learned a lot today. Some important questions to ask when choosing an asphalt professional:

  • What product do they use?
  • Do they add water?
  • How is the material applied?

Once again, summer is the best time for asphalt repairs so don’t wait. If you are looking to find quality service from a professional you can trust, call FGK Services for your free consultation today!

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Frank G Karkazis - Northbrook Patch