As a property manager, you have a lot on your mind. Your job requires you to keep on top of lots of little tasks.
Maintenance happens every day (let alone improvement projects), and sometimes it is overwhelming trying to keep up with everything.
You also have to worry about money and keep everything within your budget. We understand–it can feel like an impossible job!
Let’s get started.
3 Reasons Why Pavement Maintenance Is Important
With everything you have on your mind, maintaining your parking lot may seem less urgent than other tasks.
But it is not a good idea to put off regular pavement maintenance. If you ignore issues with your pavement they only grow and cost you more time, money, and stress later.
Unfortunately, saving time and money isn’t the only reason to stay ahead of asphalt maintenance. Let’s take a look at four reasons you should carefully maintain your parking lot.
First and foremost there is the safety of you and your customers. Various accidents can happen in parking lots and in some cases the owner can be held liable.
The owner of a parking lot can be held liable for accidents caused by the following:
- Lack of designated walkways
- Poorly designed parking lot setup that creates inefficient traffic flow
- Inadequate pavement markings or signs
- The absence of wheel stops, especially near handicapped parking spots
- Insufficient lighting and security, which could lead to violence and abductions
- Potholes or uneven surfaces
- Unremoved snow and ice
- Blind spots which block drivers’ vision
- Improperly marked handicapped spaces
If these things cause accidents or injuries, you, as the owner of the lot, will be held responsible! That’s why parking lot maintenance is important—it keeps you, your employees, and your customers safe.
ROI on your lot
Asphalt can be expensive. The average 100-car parking lot costs around $75,000. That’s a hefty investment, so don’t let it deteriorate.
Fixing small issues with your asphalt as they pop up (or preventing them in the first place) is much cheaper in the long run than ignoring them and having to completely redo your pavement several years down the road.
Every business owner knows that if your business doesn’t look professional and polished, customers might not even make it to your door.
And we all know that a beautifully maintained parking lot with smooth, black asphalt makes a much better impression than a rough, faded, pothole-ridden parking lot!
Keeping your lot well-maintained gives your business a fresh, polished, and inviting look to potential customers.
Making a good first impression is critical when it comes to potential customers, and nothing creates a better first impression than a property with a well-kept exterior.
Clean and sweep your pavement
Cars can track abrasive gravel and debris onto your pavement, harming it over time. Besides that, cars sometimes leave fuel or oil puddles on your pavement that can cause it to deteriorate if they aren’t cleaned.
It is best to sweep and clean your pavement at least once a month, possibly every week, if the area is busy.
A few cost-effective remedies for grease stains on pavement include kitty litter, baking soda, powdered laundry soap, and WD-40.
Fix small issues quickly
Small cracks and potholes are easy to fix. But if they aren’t dealt with they will only get bigger and cause more issues.
For example, if too many cracks form in your pavement, water will seep down into the subgrade and start weakening it and washing it away, causing serious foundation issues.
It’s always best to routinely spot and fix any small cracks and potholes that form before they worsen.
Sealcoat every 2-5 years
The best trick to keeping your pavement “healthy” is sealcoating.
In simple terms, sealcoating is applying a thin layer of liquid asphalt overtop of the old layer. A sealcoat helps protect your asphalt, keeps it flexible, and seals in all the small cracks and holes. It also makes your pavement look beautiful and new again.
Sealcoating is crucial to good pavement health. Studies even show that it can double the lifespan of your pavement!
We recommend sealcoating every 2-5 years, but the length between coats varies based on factors such as traffic usage, location, and climate.
After sealcoating, you will also have to restripe your paved area with clean, new lines. After that, it will look fresh and new again!
3 Ways Planning Maintenance Ahead Saves You Time, Stress, and Money
Planning ahead is vital when it comes to maintaining your pavement.
Let’s take a look at why.
It’s not a big deal to fix one small crack in your pavement. But repaving your entire road or parking lot would be a monumental task.
If you keep on top of the little issues with your pavement, you won’t have any emergencies or huge jobs to deal with.
But if you let things spiral out of control, you might have an urgent situation on your hands that needs immediate attention or maybe even a big job like repaving.
That could cause your business to shut down temporarily or make your tenants unhappy, and that is a lot of stress for you, all because you didn’t maintain your asphalt.
The bottom line is if you want to save time, stress, and money in the future, it is wise to practice good pavement maintenance now.
It’s normally better to regularly spend small amounts of money taking care of your investments than to wait and have to spend a huge sum of money to fix a huge problem.
Repaving a road costs roughly $350,000 per mile. However, applying a coat of slurry seal to a road costs roughly $25,000-$30,000 per mile. That means you could put 11 coats of sealant on your road before reaching the amount of money it would take to completely repave the road.
You only need to apply a seal coat every 2-5 years, so you probably won’t even get close to racking up $350,000 worth of seal coats. Plus, a quick sealcoat every few years is much less stressful than a huge project like repaving.
Stay within your yearly budget
You can’t do every project at once, but everything needs to be done at some point–and that is why it’s important to plan ahead. If you make a long-term plan for your maintenance needs, you can get them done little by little so you don’t break your budget.
Planning projects at intervals also prevents you from interrupting your tenants or business with too many repairs all at once.
5 Tips For Planning Your Pavement Maintenance (Within Your Budget)
One of the big questions you have to ask yourself when planning your pavement maintenance is: “How am I going to get everything done and still stay within my budget? Sure, pavement maintenance is important, but I don’t have the money for it!”
That is a real concern. Pavement maintenance isn’t always cheap, and it’s crucial to plan ahead.
Here are a few tips and tricks for creating a simple pavement maintenance plan while staying within your budget.
1. Assess your paved areas using the PASER system
The Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating system (PASER) helps you quickly assess and make a plan for your asphalt.
It works like this:
You rank all the paved surfaces on your property on a scale of 1-10. Each number defines specific visual traits associated with a level of pavement deterioration.
Once you have ranked all your surfaces you can easily see what type of maintenance you should plan for. Here is a general idea of what the numbers stand for:
- Excellent: 9-10 – No maintenance required
- Good: 7-8 – Crack sealing and minor patching (routine maintenance)
- Fair: 5-6 – Preservation treatment (non-structural surface repairs, partial-depth) patching
- Poor: 3-4 – Structural renewal (overlay) Extensive slab or joint rehabilitation
- Failed: 1-2 – Reconstruction
Once you have ranked all your paved surfaces you’ll be able to see what work needs to be done and you can start making a plan for your repairs.
2. Phase repairs out over several years
Once you have assessed your pavement situation with the PASER system, you will probably have to schedule repairs over several years.
It can be helpful to make a long-term plan for accomplishing all the projects you need to do because:
- You may not have the budget to do them all at once, so you will need to fit them in over time to get repairs done and stay within budget.
- It will be less disruptive for your tenants or business to space them out.
- It will be less stressful for you to deal with them one at a time instead of all at once!
3. Plan preventative maintenance and keep on top of small issues
Just because your parking lot looks good now doesn’t mean you can ignore it.
The truth is that pavement usually looks pretty good for about 75% of its useful life.
An untrained eye normally won’t pick up on signs of stress until the last 25% of the pavement’s life, when it starts falling apart suddenly. Then, all at once, you need to take emergency measures to fix it.
You don’t want to end up in a situation where you have to take immediate (and expensive) action to fix a serious issue. Instead, practice regular preventative maintenance to keep your pavement healthy and extend pavement life.
These preventative measures include:
- Filling small cracks and potholes so they don’t let water permeate the pavement and subgrade
- Cleaning and sweeping your pavement
- Sealcoating your pavement every 2-5 years
4. Budget a major restoration for busy areas every 10 years
Even the most well-cared-for pavement will eventually deteriorate. We recommend budgeting for some major fixes in your high-traffic areas every 10 years or so.
These major fixes could include some major patching of potholes and crumbling areas or adding a layer of new asphalt overtop the old.
Another option is to perform full-depth reclamation (FDR) on the deteriorating area. FDR is a cost-effective option you can use on areas that are bad enough to need replacing. If you want to know more about FDR and if it would be a good option for you, read our Ultimate Guide To Full Depth Reclamation.
5. Delegate responsibilities to a professional–your time is valuable!
Your time is limited and valuable. If you don’t have the time and energy to spend on your pavement, consider hiring a professional to take care of it for you.
Don’t let pavement maintenance slip off your radar! Trust us, planning ahead for your pavement care pays big-time.
Hopefully, you have found these tips and tricks helpful. However, if you want to take the load off your shoulders, contact DRYCO about our pavement maintenance plans. We’ll take on the stress of the project so you can focus on other things!
We also offer other pavement services, such as:
Contact us today for a free estimate.
We look forward to working with you!