You might say you cannot afford to maintain your parking lot’s asphalt pavement.
I say you cannot afford to NOT maintain your asphalt pavement. Here’s why:
Your asphalt pavement begins to deteriorate immediately. Day 1 of your asphalt’s life will be the best condition your asphalt will ever be. Beginning of Day 2, your asphalt will gradually deteriorate over time if not protected and maintained.
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Without proper pavement maintenance, at some point in time, your asphalt pavement will be in such poor condition that it will need to be either repaved or need an overlay. We call this point the “Rehabilitation Trigger."
Repaving consists of removing and replacing the underlying aggregate base course layer (typically 6” thick) and the removing and repaving of the asphalt pavement layer (typically 2” thick). This is required when the asphalt surface is completely worn away by lack of maintenance and neglect. Also, if water is allowed to infiltrate the aggregate base layer through cracks in the pavement, the aggregate layer weakens and the pavement structure could fail from below from lack of support. When there are a lot of alligator cracks, completely repaving is recommended. The cost is typically $3 - $5 per square foot.
Overlays consist of installing another thin layer (typically 1" thick) of asphalt pavement right over the existing worn layer (typically 2" thick). This may be appropriate for parking lots that still have structural integrity but have a very worn asphalt pavement layer. This wouldn’t be appropriate for a parking lot exhibiting a lot of alligator cracks. The cost is typically $1 - $2 per square foot.
Preventing Large Asphalt Repair Costs
The best way to prevent large repair costs is to keep your pavement in good condition through pavement maintenance.
For pavement maintenance do-it-yourself tips (depending on the condition of your pavement) to If you want to extend the life of your asphalt pavement, you should follow these tips. But in this blog post, I want to focus on sealcoating.
Sealcoating seals the surface of your pavement and protects it from inclement weather and UV rays which increase the rate of oxidation. Oxidation is one reason why your pavement becomes brittle and cracks, which leads to water entering those cracks and damaging the base course of your pavement. If your pavement reaches this point, your only option is to repave! But sealcoating is a cost-effective approach to pavement maintenance. Compared to repaving, you spend pennies on the dollar. Generally, you’d want to sealcoat your asphalt pavement every 3-5 years (but it depends on the condition of your pavement). The typical sealcoating job costs $0.35 to $0.50 per square foot.
Another way to look at this is that sealcoating costs approximately 10 times less than repaving and 3-4 times less than overlays. In your personal life, you maintain your teeth by brushing them and going to the dentist regularly. You don’t wait until your teeth are so rotten that the only option isreplacing them. Why would you do that with your parking lot? If you keep good care of your parking lot with pavement preventive maintenance, you won’t need to repave.