Authored By: Bill Paik

minimize-inconvenience.jpgWhen planning a seal coating project, one of your biggest concerns will be how long your tenants will be inconvenienced. You want to get the job done as quickly as possible while minimizing the time of inconvenience to your tenants. Below are 4 tips to minimize that inconvenience time:

1. Have the contractor work around your needs

Some contractors may treat your project as a cookie-cutter project, as in, if the parking lot falls within a certain set of parameters, it’ll automatically take X amount of days to finish. This leaves you with limited flexibility and could certainly cause a major inconvenience to your tenants.

What you want to look for in a contractor is that they will work around your needs and requirements. For example, the first question we’ll ask a client is what the minimum amount of parking stalls they want to keep open during the project. This helps us determine how the work will be broken up, keeping in mind that we don’t want to inconvenience all tenants at the same time.

The second question we’ll ask is how a client wants to handle through fares. For example, if you have a driveway leading to your parking lots, would you want to sealcoat the driveway all at once, or do half at one time, so at least some cars can pass through.

Other factors to consider are the time of day and day of the week to do the project. If you manage a commercial parking lot where traffic is busy during the day, ask if the contractor can do the work at night to minimize interruption to business. Or, can the work be done on the weekend instead of the weekday? What about holidays? It’s important that the contractor works around your needs so that the inconvenience to your tenants is kept at a minimum. Just in case you’re wondering, GP Maintenance Solutions will work nights, weekends, and holidays.

2. Perform the work in phases

If you allow the contractor the entire area to sealcoat at one time, the project will be done quicker (and cheaper). However, seal coating the entire parking lot will mean inconveniencing all of your tenants at the same time. If your area does not have ample street parking and all of your tenants need to park off-site, that could be a real problem.

When you perform the work in phases you limit the amount of tenants that are inconvenienced at a time. For example, if you had a driveway that led to three different parking lots, you could sealcoat one lot at a time and then do half the driveway at a time. While this increases the duration of the project (and making it more expensive), you’re inconveniencing fewer tenants at a time. This also eases the issue of street parking; fewer cars need to find off-site parking.

3. Ask the contractor about their sealcoat curing time

Most sealcoats will take up to 24 hours after laying down to cure. Say you decided to do the project on Monday at 8:00am. If the product takes 24 hours to cure, people would need to look for off-site parking throughout the entire day and night.

However, not all sealcoats take 24 hours to cure. The particular product we use only needs 6 hours to cure and people can start driving and parking again. For example, if we were to finish the sealcoat on a parking lot by 12:00pm, tenants would be able to drive on the pavement by 6:00pm that same day.

4. Pick a contractor with a history of success

There’s nothing worse than having to inconvenience your tenants for a day or two while you sealcoat your parking lot, and after the work is done, you find that the contractor did a poor job and now you need them to re-do it, or find someone else to fix it. Either way, you’re going to have to inconvenience your tenants once again. Make sure you pick a contractor who’s had multiple successful projects, and see if they have any other projects around your area that you can visit. It’s always a good idea to see their work with your own eyes before making a commitment.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you’re planning a seal coating project. The last thing you want is to field complaints about a lack of off-site parking or how your tenants are being inconvenienced.

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