Asphalt Maintenance FAQs

Why should I seal my asphalt after every second frost season?

Frost is known to cause the ground to expand, causing shifting of the base. This repetitive process hinders the asphalt's ability to flex, hence, starting the cracking process. Furthermore, heat causes tar to oxidize, leaving your asphalt surface dry and brittle over time. Tar is the glue that keeps your asphalt malleable, allowing it to expand and contract with temperature variations, along with shifting and settling of the earth. Maintaining your asphalt with tar restores elasticity and minimizes surface corrosion. An equivalent of four coatings of liquid tar is simultaneously applied to ensure proper quantity and coverage. Our technicians are M.T.O (Ministry of Transportation) certified and carry a T.D.G (Transportation of Dangerous Goods) license. We use the city spec UN1999 Tar Sealant.

What is UN1999?

UN1999 is a nationwide recognized Tar-based sealant product for asphalt surfaces.

What is Tar?

Tar is a black or dark brown viscous liquid of hydrocarbons. Tar helps keep asphalt malleable. This viscous liquid is the critical ingredient in the making of asphalt. Sealing asphalt using Tar keeps your asphalt hydrated, which allows it to easily flex when the base beneath the asphalt reacts to the freezing and thawing cycles.

Can I seal asphalt myself or with another company?

UN1999 is not available for residential purchase. Consumers can only purchase oil-based, acrylic, and water-based products, all of which are harmful to asphalt. Black Tar Corp. must implement the sealing visit to ensure that the correct product and volume are applied.

Why are Oil-Based, Acrylic, and Water-Based sealants bad for asphalt?

The products mentioned above are staining products that change the colour of asphalt; they give the perception of a "New Look,” but they do not contribute to improving or maintaining the health of asphalt. Furthermore, these products have a faster expansion rate than asphalt, resulting in extreme surface cracks over time.

What if a defect arises immediately after the maintenance visit?

If the defect was to be fixed during the initial visit, then the Asphalt Maintenance Team will be sent back immediately to continue the repair. If it is a "New Defect" or "Recurring Defect"; it will be fixed on your next maintenance visit.

How do you calculate the cost of an asphalt repair?

We internally calculate your maintenance cost as if we were quoting a customer for an asphalt maintenance repair. We have an algorithm with standard pricing to ensure fair and consistent pricing with all our project estimators. 

What causes potholes?

Potholes appear for two main reasons, when cracks are not properly maintained or when the asphalt has an insufficient base. Water penetrates the asphalt and freezes, which causes heaving, dipping, and cracks to expand into potholes.

Why does asphalt turn grey?

Heat causes tar to oxidize, leaving your asphalt surface dry and brittle over time, hence, the grey colour. This transition period results in the asphalt settling into a giant grey rock, no longer pliable and easy to work with.

Can I salt my driveway?

Salt deteriorates the liquid tar on your asphalt and is very corrosive. Black Tar recommends using “Alaskan Ice Melter” since it is less harmful to your asphalt and is environmentally friendly.

What’s the Dip? How does it happen?

The Dip happens when the first foot or two of asphalt that connects to your garage floor starts to sag. This area of your driveway is most likely to experience a dip; the reason this occurs is that heavy machinery is not well suited to compact this small area connecting to your garage floor. We use a ‘Jumping Jack’ which allows for further compaction of that area.

What does 'Project Deadline' mean? How would that date affect other projects?

Project Deadline is a calculated date typically occurring at the end of each month where your project should be completed. The dates included in the quote are not final dates but rather the dates we would aim to have your project completed by. If you wish to start/finish your project at a later date than the one mentioned in your quote, please inform your Project Estimator so they can relay that message to our Project Management Team. If you are having more than one project completed by Black Tar Corp. the latest Project Deadline on your Quote(s) will be the date where all the projects will be completed.


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Specialists In Modern Construction

Black Tar Construction is an Ottawa-based company that offers Asphalt Paving, Interlocking, and Foundation Repair services.

Black Tar Construction was founded in 2013 with the goal of offering outstanding customer service for our customers, and a great work environment for our employees. The growth of Black Tar has been achieved through exceeding customer expectations year after year. The customer is a priority through every step of the way. Our commitment to quality has allowed us to foster closer relationships with our customers, suppliers, and staff.

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