By Jim Fernandez / Published May 2019
Most, if not all, of you who manage properties understand the importance and benefit of preventative maintenance. Your parking lot and other paved areas within your community are no exception to this type of maintenance.
You may wonder, when is the best time to repair a pothole or asphalt crack? The answer is simple; it’s best to address potholes and cracking before they even appear. When cracks appear in paved areas—whether they are long, running cracks; smaller cracks concentrated in one area; or cracks and loose aggregate where water paths are formed—these are all serious indicators that these paved areas need maintenance. The longer these indicators go unaddressed, potholes, surface deterioration, and failures will occur.
If left unattended, water will penetrate the base layer that supports the asphalt or concrete. When the base layer fails, it causes extensive damage and results in expensive repair costs and potential liability from accidents.
Managing and controlling maintenance costs are two important tasks community managers are charged with handling. One of the best ways to reduce your maintenance costs for your paved areas is through preventative maintenance. Once a pothole forms during the
rainy season, it could take an extended period of time for the repairs to be completed due to ground water levels. Spreading failure from the initial pothole and proper bonding and curing time also extend the time it takes for repairs to be finalized. The rainy season is a busy time for professional asphalt and concrete contractors, and wait times for repairs can take longer due to heavy project schedules.
When water seeps into damaged areas of the pavement, it erodes the bond between the pavement’s aggregate and binder. The results can include lower curb appeal and litigation stemming from accidents and injuries caused by the damaged asphalt and concrete.
Almost any asphalt or concrete issues can be easily prevented by enlisting the help of asphalt and concrete repair and maintenance experts to inspect and recommend a reasonable preventative maintenance program to avoid costly repairs due to extensive damage.
Pavement markings will fade and deteriorate over time, depending on the traffic volume in your community.
Re-striping parking stalls, handicapped symbols, fire lanes, and pedestrian walkways with a DOT-approved quality paint and textured grit to avoid slippery lines and markings during the rainy season is a quick and easy fix.
However, while re-striping is often necessary once damage has occurred, this will not fix the underlying issues. This “quick fix” can prevent property managers from noticing more severe damage until it’s too late.
Working with professional asphalt and paving companies for repair and restoration will ensure repairs and maintenance, such as proper drainage and sealcoating, are performed in a timely fashion to provide a long-lasting solution to keep your paved areas in optimal condition. Once these repairs are complete, re-striping the parking areas will increase safety, enhance curb appeal, ensure functionality, and help manage traffic flow.
Sealcoating is an important step in protecting and prolonging your paved areas. Once cracks or potholes have been properly repaired, asphalt sealer should be applied to prevent water from penetrating and deteriorating the base layer under the asphalt. Since no two parking lots are the same, based on age, condition, asphalt blend, etc., a sealer manufacturer should be consulted to determine the best product, sealer mix, and sealer application required to deliver the desired results. Sealcoating every four to six years, depending on wear, may double the life of your paved areas.
The elimination of standing water in roads and parking areas is the first step in protecting your community’s paved areas from deteriorating due to water penetrating the asphalt. No matter the issue, a professional consultant will help you determine your options and the most effective way to manage the water and provide adequate drainage.
Filling cracks and repairing potholes on a regular basis can double or triple the life expectancy of your paved areas. If water seeps beneath the surface through these damaged areas, it could cause the aggregate and binding components to become separated, resulting in more extensive damage to the pavement. That is why it’s always better to be proactive with asphalt and concrete repairs and maintenance.
Any level of damage in your community can result in a lawsuit. Severe potholes can cause damage to cars, and in a worst-case scenario, they may cause an accident or injury. Cracks in a walkway or sidewalk can create a situation where someone falls and injures himself or herself. In certain situations, these accidents and injuries can lead to lawsuits, attorney’s fees, and settlement payments. All of this can be avoided if asphalt and concrete maintenance is handled proactively prior to the rainy season.
When a community has extensively damaged or degrading asphalt and concrete, it makes the community look and feel unattractive to current and future residents. It simply makes your community look less valuable and safe. Preventing potholes, cracks, and other problems is a great way to maintain your community’s reputation and desirability.
Extensive damage caused by water infiltration can create a situation where the lifespan of parking lots and other paved areas becomes a factor. In fact, damage can become so severe that an entire paved area must be completely replaced. This situation is not only costly but also inconvenient for both the property owners and members of the community.
When a community has extensively damaged or degraded paved areas, it can decrease the “pride in ownership” appearance. This can also lead to potential liability issues. The best way to avoid these issues is to practice good preventative maintenance. Regularly scheduled asphalt and concrete inspections and maintenance will keep repair costs low and prevent the need for more expensive repairs.
To conclude, parking lots and paved areas should be inspected at least twice a year, before the rainy season and after the weather improves. This will ensure the most cost-effective maintenance program, which will help manage expenses and extend the life of your paved areas by two to three times. Selecting the right professional contractor is a key factor to any good maintenance program; a contractor whom you can trust to deliver quality work on time and on budget is critical to the success of any property management program.
Founding Partner, ACPLM
Jim Fernandez is a native Floridian born in Tampa. He attended Tampa Jesuit High School and began working in the services industry. In 1995, Jim began his career in the construction industry. He gained extensive expertise from working at established parking lot maintenance companies. Since then his passion for God, his family, friends, and the construction industry has grown, which led to the founding of ACPLM by Jim and his business partner in 2012. At ACPLM, our main goal is to provide the highest-quality asphalt and concrete services to every customer.