Your parking lot budget likely consists of a number for repaving. But do you have a budget for asphalt maintenance? Performing asphalt maintenance will help extend the useful life of your asphalt and delay the need to repave (repaving can be very costly). Asphalt maintenance is the practice of preventing, or quickly resolving issues such as cracks, water penetration, and oxidation. Neglecting maintenance will result in the deterioration of your pavement. This is why we preach performing regular maintenance.
Below is a list of asphalt maintenance tasks to budget for:
A sealcoat is a sealer that is applied on top of your asphalt pavement. The sealcoat protects your asphalt from water penetration, oxidation, UV rays, and chemicals (common causes of asphalt degradation).
Sealcoating preserves the current condition of your asphalt, so if it is currently in good condition, a sealcoat will keep it that way. It's best to apply a sealcoat every 3-5 years to ensure you get the most out of your asphalt pavement.
2) Crack Fill
Filling cracks as soon as possible is incredibly important to increasing the longevity of your asphalt. Cracks will allow water into your pavement and water penetration is one of the most common causes of a failing asphalt pavement. If water is allowed to penetrate into your pavement's base, it will soften the base course and compromise the pavement's ability to carry vehicle loads. This leads to cracks in your pavement, which will allow more water into your base.
If you can prevent water penetration, you will increase the longevity of your pavement and delay the need to repave.
3) Pothole Repair
Potholes, like cracks, will allow additional water into your pavement. Therefore you want to fill the pothole as quickly as possible. Off-the-shelf products from hardware stores are price competitive, but not necessarily cost-effective. The material may only last a month or two before you need to repair that same pothole. Instead, you may want to use a product with a longer life span, or have the pothole dug out and recompact with new asphalt.
4) Striping & Marking
As your pavement ages it's likely your striping and marking will fade as well. Having a budget to re-stripe and apply new pavement markings will help improve the image of your parking lot. If you're simply going to "touch up" existing lines, you could likely do it yourself. However, if you need all new striping and marking, it may be best to budget to hire a contractor. You'll also want to make sure you're following ADA parking lot guidelines.
Budgeting for asphalt maintenance is a strategy to get the most out of your pavement. If you perform regular maintenance you can delay the need to repave, saving on future costs. If you need a price, or if you're not sure how to address certain issues with your parking lot, contact us to schedule a site visit. Our estimator will visit your site and help you determine what asphalt maintenance tasks should be performed and how soon it should be done.
Travis is the Marketing Coordinator for GP Roadway Solutions and its divisions GP Maintenance Solutions, Peterson Sign Company, and Unistrut Hawaii. Connect with Travis on LinkedIn.