Authored By: Kevin Mori

asphalt-pavement-1.pngI believe that educating clients about their parking lot maintenance needs is critically important in developing a well thought-out maintenance plan. You not only need to know what kind of repair work needs to be done, but you also need to come up with a maintenance schedule to prevent repair work from negatively impacting your business and tenants.

I would like to share with you a project that I recently worked on. I was asked by our client; a property manager, to visit a large, aged, and not very well maintained parking lot. She asked for my assessment of the parking lot’s condition and for my asphalt pavement maintenance recommendations. While walking the lot I noticed that:

  • it had a lot of alligator cracks
  • the asphalt was very oxidized and light-colored
  • there was a lot of loose gravel
  • there were many potholes
  • the trees were lifting up the curbs of the islands
  • there was very little structural integrity left in the existing asphalt pavement and the asphalt itself was failing

She wanted a couple of realistic low cost options to consider and I didn’t have great news for her. My suggestions included pothole repairing, repaving, concrete curb repairing, sealcoating, and restriping. The lower estimate included repair costs of $500,000. The other option that I could offer included more extensive pavement replacement which resulted in a cost of more than $1,000,000. I warned that even by spending that much money, the parking lot would not aesthetically look great but on the other hand it would be structurally stable.

These two scenarios were in addition to two other extreme alternatives: doing nothing or completely repaving the entire parking lot. I didn’t suggest these two alternatives as the “do nothing”option would not meet any of the goals of improving aesthetics or improving safety and comfort. The “complete repaving”option would result in a beautiful new lot with years of safe, worry-free use. However, this would be too expensive for the owner at this time. Costs would probably be in the range of $6,000,000 to $10,000,000 ($3 - $5 per square foot) due to the large size of the lot.

She thanked me as I provided this information to her within a week and now she could provide the property owner with a couple of realistic scenarios with their associated costs.

It was obvious that these options were shocking as the costs are large. That’s a lot of money to be spent and still there would have to be compromises. Within a month she called me back. She said that the owner of the parking lot is still considering the prices of renovating the entire lot, but in the immediate time frame, she wanted me to help her with taking care of a small portion of the lot in front of one of the tenants. I told her that I would be happy to help her with this.

asphalt-pavement-2.pngI met her at the familiar site and we both walked the portion of the parking lot that she wanted me to look at. Like the rest of the parking lot, the asphalt was aged but this area in particular had a lot more potholes than the rest of the lot. Because I knew that the owner was thinking of doing major renovations to the overall lot, I didn’t suggest any pavement replacement this time. I inquired if they were interested in resealing this small portion of the lot as that would really improve the aesthetics and add 3-5 years to the life of the asphalt and typically would only cost $0.30 to $0.50 per square foot. She said that it wouldn’t be necessary to reseal at this time as resealing of this portion of the lot could be done at the same time as the overall parking lot when the owner decides to commence with those renovations.

asphalt-pavement-3.pngAs the most appropriate repair option for her, I recommended that we repair her potholes with our awesome Instant Road Repair product. She agreed. I scheduled the work to start right after the store closed and the parking lot was empty. In one night, I fixed the major holes in the access ways of the smaller portion of the parking lot. There was no parking down time or any adverse impact to the store as the public could drive on the repaired potholes immediately. Now the drivers don’t have to swerve around deep holes like it was some kind of combat zone.

Needless to say, the property manager was happy and satisfied. By coming directly to us, we helped her prioritize the critical maintenance tasks and will help her manage the maintenance schedule, all while considering the parking lot owner’s finances.

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