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Schilling's out to surface gravel driveways

SPRING VALLEY --- For all those who are sick and tired of having a gravel driveway, Dean Schilling has a solution.

The Spring Valley resident has operated Asphalt Maintenance and Paving since 1991. "My goal was to be a full service company diversified in all aspects of the pavement maintenance process," he said (the paving was added in 2002 due to demand).

"People want to get rid of gravel because they don't want it tracking into their house," Schilling said.

Along with the cleanliness and looks a newly paved surface gives, it also makes snow removal a breeze.

"Customers are blown away by the process," he said. "It's an orchestrated system that we have. We have a saying everyone is used to hearing, 'don't mess with the system, get to know it and live by it.' It's kind of a standing joke in the company, but it works.

"We take a lot of pride in the detail and are very passionate in what we's very gratifying to be able to see the difference we can make every time we finish a job and the customer is just as satisfied. I always tell the guys 'the job you are today will keep you working tomorrow'."

The business specializes in asphalt paving from new installation to replacement, seal coating, hot crack sealing, line painting, infrared asphalt patching and lot sweeping. Their pavement maintenance services have extended to residential, commercial (Red Barn Country Mall, Team Oil, The Woodshed), municipalities (Village of Spring Valley, Elmwood and Plum City, Towns of Ellsworth, Clifton, Rock Elm), along with contractors.

Some of those services include seal coating, which Schilling recommends to be done the year after the asphalt has been laid.

"Seal coating preserves the asphalt's surface and locks in the oils that are vital to the life of your blacktop," he said. "The oil keeps the pavement flexible. If gone unsealed, the sun pulls those vital oils out, and your pavement prematurely fails."

Many asphalt owners learn too late the value of putting their pavement on a maintenance schedule sooner than later.

"Seal coating does not cost, it pays!" he said.

"If you are a do-it-yourselfer and want a good product with some service to go with it, we encourage people to buy from us," he said. "We can even deliver when we are in the area. Pails or 55 gallon drums, depending on size of your project, plus the homeowner gets our special commercial grade blend that they cannot buy anywhere.

"I figure if they are going to do it themselves anyway, why not offer them a great product to apply?" he said. "Two main mistakes I see homeowners making are over sealing the driveway and sealing when it is hottest in the afternoon. For the contractor, this is not an issue, but for someone not as honed, a fun project can turn out in disaster."

Schilling said another popular service is crack routing and hot crack sealing, "the best permanent repair method available in today's market. Keeping the water away ensures your pavement to stay."

In regard to paving, Schilling said the most important aspect to remember is that asphalt is only as solid as the gravel base that supports it.

"We have been repairing asphalt for so long that we know why it fails, so while we are prepping our jobs for paving, we can't help but build them to last," he said. "We construct our driveways like mini roads that last for years and years."

Water is a huge concern when it comes to paving, as standing water along the asphalt edges allows moisture to soak beneath and saturate the gravel base, leaving it vulnerable to fail far before its time.

Schilling previously worked for a large asphalt paving company in St. Paul before starting his own business. The Spring Valley native started out on the patch crew, but soon was promoted to the "A-team" paving crew.

"It was a great experience to be able to have the opportunity to get hands-on experience at such a young age," he said.

Schiling's work area for pavement maintenance, on average, is about a 70-mile radius and the paving operation is more like a 40-mile radius.

"We have gone as far as Rice Lake for work and will go farther for a big job," he said.

Schilling shows appreciation to everyone who contacts him for an estimate by offering a chance to win a coupon valued at $150 off any service his company offers. To qualify, contact him though his website, mention seeing this article in the Pierce County Herald and request an estimate.

One winner will be drawn monthly. If a name is drawn and Asphalt Maintenance and Paving has already completed the job, the customer will receive a check from them for the $150, so there is no hold up on any projects. A picture will be taken of them receiving the check or coupon and published in the Pierce County Herald.