In much the same way dieters realize that losing weight initially is much easier than keeping it off long term, so too is maintaining a nice, appealing and safe asphalt paving project more difficult than actually creating it in the first place.
Okay, so that could be a bit of an oversimplification. But the main idea does ring true – more effort needs to go into keeping an area in good working condition, and this becomes more relevant the longer it’s in service.
Think of a good preventative maintenance plan as a way to protect what’s almost always an extremely sizable investment. And who wants to spend tens of thousands of dollars on something just to see it deteriorate over time, to the point where small problems have morphed into much larger and more expensive ones?
Effective asphalt preventative maintenance involves many different types of plans, each one serving its own purpose. You can mix and match as you see fit, but try to include as many aspects as you can in order to achieve the optimal result.
Asphalt serves as an excellent adhesive and is quite waterproof, but it does have drawbacks in terms of the molecules that actually make up the materials.
This means that severe weather, winter road salt, oil, and other chemicals can attack and disintegrate the asphalt over the life of the pavement. The asphalt can lose much of its original properties, which can include binding, waterproofing, and more.
A good indication that your asphalt is not in the kind of shape that it once was is if it starts turning from black to either brown or gray. To avoid, or at least slow this down, seal coating should be a major part of any preventative maintenance plan.
Some of the benefits of seal coating your asphalt include the slowing down of oxidation and the fact that it can resist ultraviolet rays, as well as gas and oil spills. Sealcoating also makes the area easier to maintain and quite simply makes your asphalt richer in color and more visually appealing. This is the very last step in commercial paving projects which will add protection to the pavement.
This part of your preventative maintenance plan is exactly what it sounds like – filling in cracks while they’re still small and before they have a chance to become larger and more difficult to tackle.
It’s inevitable with any paving project that cracks are going to form over time. But like most things, if you address these issues right away and take care of the problems, they shouldn’t be all that difficult to take care of.
This is where either having a monthly plan with a paving company or keeping extra money back each month to deal with unexpected problems, can really come in handy.
You never know when cracks are going to be formed, but you can rest assured that they will at some point. No matter what kind of product you used to cover your surface or who you hired to do it, nothing lasts forever.
So it’s best to be prepared to tackle these issues head-on when they arrive, and a big part of that is good advance planning.
To increase the life of your pavement, you’ll also want to take measures to decrease the likelihood of large potholes becoming costly safety issues.
A good sealcoating, as described above, can definitely help in this area. But another way to prevent your road or parking lot from becoming filled with potholes is to simply have someone regularly keeping an eye on maintenance.
Ask an employee to check the area for any damaged areas and/or invite a paving professional out on a weekly or quarterly basis to look things over. If you come across an area where slight damage has occurred, get on that right away and save yourself much bigger headaches in the future.
Large potholes don’t become large overnight, but rather over the course of time. Finding these trouble areas early and being on top of your preventative maintenance is extremely important in saving yourself and/or your company time and money, both in the short term and the long term.
Protect Your Investment
Preventative maintenance plans really come down to protecting the initial investment you made when deciding to have your driveway, road, or parking lot paved in the first place. Concrete or Asphalt always seems to come into play when it comes to the pre-planning phase on what material to use. Either way, both material needs a good preventative maintenance plan and there are no real pros or cons to either material.
Issues will arise, but you can save yourself a lot of time and money by staying on top of things and doing whatever you can to prolong the life of your pavement.
Spend a little money and you can save a lot later.