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4 Reasons You Should Repave Your Commercial Asphalt Space

Asphalt pavements are quite common in the United States. According to the National Asphalt Pavement Association, there are about 18 billion tons of asphalt pavement on roads in the United States. While asphalt is quite durable, it has a limited lifespan like any other material. This is why you need to be able to identify when it’s time to repave. Here are some signs that you need to find asphalt paving companies.

Potholes are the main reasons why most people consider repaving their asphalt surfaces. That said, this doesn’t mean that each time you see a pothole you need to eliminate the existing surface and repave it. Sometimes you can get away with simple and cost-effective repairs. You should only consider repaving if the foundation has been affected too. That type of damage won’t be easy to repair with cold asphalt patches. Another sign that it’s time to repave is when your surface has more potholes than intact pavement.

Too Many Cracks
This is another sign that you need to find asphalt paving companies. Cracks are never a good thing to see on your surface; they are indicative of water damage and can lead to more severe issues. While smaller cracks are easy to repair, if your surface now looks like a spider web, you should find a professional and get a replacement quote. You may also notice the asphalt starting to crumble and break up. No amount of DIY crack repair on its own will be able to fix this.

The Age of Your Blacktop
As mentioned before, asphalt surfaces have a lifespan. Even if you keep up with the maintenance needs, a 30-year-old blacktop is still susceptible to damage. Once your surface is older than that, repairs and patches won’t cut it. You will likely need fresh paving. This is why you must always keep the last date you had your surface paved in mind when you are assessing your damages. That way, you or other people will be able to tell when it’s time to repave.

The Surface Has Narrowed
With time, your asphalt surface generally starts narrowing. If the edges are not framed using concrete, they will start crumbling heavily. You will start noticing the crumbling getting worse yearly unless you do something about it. If left uncontrolled, things will eventually get to a point where the surface is very narrow and needs replacement.

These are some of the reasons why you may want to repave your asphalt surface. If you are looking for reliable asphalt paving companies, get in touch with O.L. Thompson today.


Site Work Construction

Sitework refers to the scope of work relating to the project exterior, and that is not part of a building’s physical structure. It includes clearing, soil erosion control, grading, excavation, sewer systems installation, asphalt paving, and other utilities.

Sitework is a preliminary task performed on a site before the construction begins. But technically, it is any part of the construction project that does not involve the actual building. In short, it involves the preparation of the area you want to construct a physical structure. Site work helps keep your project moving seamlessly. If you have a construction project in Charleston, SC, O.L. Thompson Construction (OLTC) is a reputable construction company with experienced experts in site work.

Below are the sitework projects you can have on your Charleston, SC site.

1. Surveying
The first step to all ground-up projects is surveying to set the lay of the land. A surveyor positions, measure, create an accurate topographical map, establish locations for foundations and map out boundaries in this process.

2. Clearing
The contractor clears the site to get rid of shrubs, trees, and bushes. Regulatory and environmental concerns may dictate clearing and grubbing processes based on the quantity and types of vegetation on the site. Areas with enormous trees may consume more time and resources, since they must be cut down in a thickly wooded location. Any necessary demolitions can also occur in this stage.

3. Erosion Control and Shoring
General contractors can install erosion control after mapping out the land. A construction site may experience problems such as erosion, collapse, or weathering as the construction continues. Therefore, erosion control and shoring are essential to prevent that from happening. Failure to have that in place makes the entire site unsafe for workers and equipment.

4. Stabilizing
Moving soil during the excavation process can make it soft and less stable. When the soil is less stable, it means the particles are large. Stabilization eliminates air pockets or holes that could be present below the earth’s surface. Subgrade stabilization is also essential to eliminate cracks and other structural problems in your Charleston, SC site.

It also stabilizes the soil below the topsoil to prevent shifting or collapse. Stabilization is a crucial aspect of site work that helps ensure project integrity. A heavy roller or a vibration compactor can help compact the soil.

5. Excavating
The excavation process removes excess dirt and rocks from the construction site. Since this process can be time-consuming at your Charleston, SC job site, it may frequently necessitate employing large machinery to perform the task properly.

Fortunately, OLTC has experienced excavators with the skills and knowledge necessary for this tough task. They excavate the section to remove surplus soil which could entail chopping down the hillsides and creating a way for the new structure. They can also dig a hole to accommodate a new septic system. The surplus soil can fill the low locations on the site. Also known as grading, this process prevents problems such as foundation damage, basement flooding, and erosion in residential or commercial buildings.

6. Leveling
Once the soil is in the proper location, it is time for leveling. The contractor employs a skid loader or a backhoe to move the dirt to the appropriate spots. After that, they use a leveling device to maintain a uniform level across the board.
Creating a graded slope is a crucial aspect of leveling. That means that water won’t flow towards the structure but away from it. Smoothing out of dirt helps ensure the slope does not become too shallow or steep.

7. Site Utilities
Site utilities help bring water, fire mains, electric, gas, sewer, and storm to the building. They come with various materials, including metal, thermoplastic pipes, concrete, or cast iron. The process begins with excavating and laying down the pipes on top of the bedding material. Backfilling and leveling to grade can occur after inspection.

8. Concrete
Concrete can either be pre-cast or cast-in-place type. The cast-in-place type involves pouring concrete into forms to create patios, sidewalks, foundations, foundation walls, etc. On the other hand, pre-cast concrete is in a reusable form that is cured and in a controlled environment before taking it to the installation site.

Although pre-cast concrete is not suitable for all situations, it offers the general contractors more control over material quality and final product. Cast-in-place concrete is great in insulation, versatility, strength, and construction speed.

9. Asphalt Paving
Paving as part of the site work projects begins before construction. It involves pouring concrete or asphalt over sections of the construction site. Paving offers a good surface that allows construction during bad weather, helps control erosion, and provides a solid surface for storing materials.
Asphalt paving is appealing, long-lasting, and quick to install. People may take driveways for granted without considering its benefits if it consists of the right material. A well-implemented asphalt is excellent for overall appearance, driveability, environment, and budget.

This paving consists of sand, aggregate, liquid asphalt, and additives. Liquid asphalt (bitumen) is a sticky substance that binds materials in these pavements. Before applying asphalt paving, the contractor must have completed the aforementioned preparations, including clearing, excavation, and ground compaction. That is unless the contractor is laying it over existing asphalt.

10. Water Systems and Drainage
Installation of a water system helps bring in clean water for use in the building once constructed while pumping out the wastewater. Storm drainage is a crucial part of the site work process that draws a distinct line between beautifully accomplished structures and poorly made products. Therefore, general contractors are responsible for ensuring pooling rainwater does not erode your building by providing the system. Contractors should also install septic tanks and filtration systems where required.

Final Thoughts
It is easy to concentrate on constructing the new building while overlooking the project’s site work. However, the work done on the site before actual construction is just as critical, if not more so, than the new structure. That is why you must consider working with experienced general contractors to carry out site work on your Charleston, SC project for guaranteed structural quality.


How to Get a Job in a Construction Company in Charleston

Construction is a multi-disciplinary field made of designers, project managers, laborers, engineers, and much more. In Charleston, an average construction worker earns approximately $14.83 per hour, making construction a good career.

The industry promises employment opportunities to both skilled and unskilled workers. However, skilled workers are prioritized when it comes to employment opportunities and salary increments.

If your interest is in construction and you would like to secure a good job, it’s essential to acquire the knowledge, get the tactics and apply for the right jobs. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you secure a job in a construction firm in Charleston.

Step 1: Acquire the Education and Experience

Entry-level construction jobs often require hiring laborers with little or no experience. These jobs allow the workers to gain first-hand experience while working. In Charleston, the unskilled construction workers are responsible for cleaning the working sites and completing the other simple manual tasks. You can start with these jobs as you gain experience.

You should also enroll in a construction course to gain access to well-paying jobs. You can start with a high school diploma and later advance to a certification or a degree in construction. The main jobs which require an advanced diploma or degree include construction surveyor, inspector, and project engineer.

The qualifications for the courses depend on the career path you have chosen. For instance, if you need to get a construction surveyor job, you will need to excel in Mathematics, Physics, and English to apply successfully.

Step 2: Join a Trade School to Focus on a Specific Skill

The construction industry is wide with lots of career paths. Which fields are you interested in? Instead of multi-tasking the paths, you should choose the path you are interested in and specialize in it. The specialization will narrow your responsibilities and make it easier to master the tactics.

Trade schools allow students to advance their technical knowledge in the field of specialization. The programs take a minimum of one year and can extend up to three years, depending on the technical field. Examples of construction jobs that you can find with the trade school certificate include:
Heavy Equipment Operator
Asphalt Laborer
Land Surveyor

Step 3: Apply For a Construction Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship is a form of craft training. A construction apprenticeship allows you to apply the knowledge you learned at school. An apprenticeship also will enable you to:

Gain experience to help you survive your first job
Develop more skills that you need for your career in the construction industry
Get some payments when still learning

Most construction firms provide full-time jobs to the apprentices who show excellent results. Therefore, it’s advisable to give your best as an apprentice to secure a full-time job and get helpful recommendations.

Step 4: Work On Your Physical Health

Most jobs in the construction industry are highly involving, and you should be physically fit to accomplish them. For instance, an average laborer is expected to lift heavy building materials and equipment on the construction site.

Are you physically fit? It’s essential to enhance your physical strength to execute laborious tasks without struggle.

Note: you can get a medical examination before you start lifting the heavy loads to be sure you are physically fit.

Step 5: Start Applying For Construction Jobs in Charleston

Now that you have the knowledge, skills, and experience, nothing should stop you from sending your applications. Construction jobs in Charleston are many, and you can quickly secure a good job when you apply right. Here are helpful tips to help you get started with your job hunting process:
Search online – search engines like Google can be helpful when looking for a job. Simply enter the keyword, such as “construction jobs in Charleston,” and press “enter.” The results will display hundreds of related jobs that you can apply for in the city.

Find construction vacancies in the local newspaper.
Look for ads on LinkedIn and social media.
Visit construction colleges or firms in Charleston and let them know your intentions to work for them.

Step 6: Prepare For The Interviews Well

Chances are high you will get one or more interview invitations if you apply well. Your first impression should count, and that is why you should prepare for the interview well.

The dressing should be professional, and your general look should show you are well-groomed. Besides, you should be prepared to answer the typical interview questions like why you need the job, what skills you have, etc.

Step 7: Network with Construction Professionals

Networking is all about meeting new people and creating long-lasting relationships with them. In construction, you can network with construction managers and other notable people who could hold your hand in the future.

Even after securing your first job, you should continuously network with other people to advance your skills and grow your career. Here are helpful networking tips to help you secure a construction job in Charleston:

Attend Tradeshows
Construction trade organizations in Charleston include seminars, events, conferences, and meetings. Next time you hear a construction-related tradeshow, attend to meet and interact with like-minded people.

Exchange Business Card
Create a professional business card containing your name, your exact profession in the construction industry, and your contact information. Give the cards to people you trust in the construction industry.

Go Online
LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks are dedicated to helping construction workers connect in Charleston. Join the conversations or start your own to learn more and get more connections.

Don’t Forget Face To Face
Face-to-face connections are still relevant in this digital era. Be sure to move from one construction site to another or one office to another to market yourself.

Advance Your Construction Career Today!

Construction is one of the fast-rising industries today in Charleston. It’s never too late to start. If you would like to grow your career, follow our guide and seek professional guidance when necessary.

O.L. Thompson Construction Co., Inc hires and nurtures top talents in the construction industry. Our firm has been growing for more than 70 years, and we look forward to expanding our team with more valuable members. To join our team, apply online or contact us for a quicker response.

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