How Pavement Solutions Can Extend the Lifespan of Your Roads, Driveways, and Parking Lots

Climate change challenges influence the performance and serviceability of asphalt road pavements. Fortunately, several asphalt Pavement Solutions mitigate these challenges.

Pavement Solutions

Keeping up with pavement maintenance is one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways to extend the life of your roads, driveways, or parking lot. By addressing small cracks, potholes, and other distresses before they can grow and create more severe problems, you can save yourself the expense and hassle of significant repair or replacement projects down the road.

Pavement deteriorates at an ever-increasing rate, and the most effective way to slow this process is through pavement maintenance. However, if your pavement has already deteriorated to the point of needing major repair or replacement, it’s important to address the problem as quickly as possible to avoid more costly repairs and to protect people and vehicles.

Typically, when large cracks and other surface distresses develop in asphalt pavement, it requires an expensive rehabilitation project to correct the problem. Using a comprehensive asphalt maintenance plan, you can avoid these expensive repairs and protect the investment you made in your roadway or parking lot.

The best way to plan for your road’s maintenance needs is to conduct a Pavement Condition Survey (PCS). A trained inspector will evaluate the current conditions of the pavement network, cataloging all distress by size and severity, and then calculating an overall Pavement Condition Index (PCI) that can be used to grade each pavement segment. A PCS report may also include specific maintenance recommendations, analysis of trends in pavement conditions, and ideas for stretching a limited maintenance budget to maximize the quality of a pavement system.

In addition to reducing the frequency and severity of pavement damage, regular maintenance can also enhance the curb appeal of your business or home. For example, if you have huge potholes in your front driveway, it can hurt your reputation and detract from the value of your property. By repairing these problems before they grow and spread, you can keep your curb appeal intact and keep the neighbors happy as well!

In addition to preventive maintenance and corrective maintenance, you can also use asphalt paving solutions like safety edge to help reduce the need for frequent maintenance. This technology improves the density of the pavement edge, limiting rutting and edge raveling that cause frequent maintenance.

Pavement Repair

Many types of asphalt problems need different repair methods. It is important to diagnose the problem accurately before deciding which solution is best.

Asphalt patching can be a great choice for fixing small cracks or areas of loose aggregate. This type of asphalt repair is quick and cost effective, and can help extend the life of your pavement. If your cracks are too large for a cold patch, you should consider using an asphalt crack filler.

When cracks are filled and the surface is smooth, a sealcoat can be applied to prevent further damage. This type of maintenance is particularly useful on pavement that will experience heavy usage.

If your pavement is suffering from severe cracking, alligator cracking or erosion, it may be time to consider a more extensive repair method such as milling and paving. This treatment involves removing the existing asphalt and replacing it with new asphalt. This method is typically reserved for when the existing asphalt has reached the end of its useful life.

The most common type of asphalt repair is patching. This process includes spreading a layer of hot or cold asphalt on top of the damaged surface. Cold asphalt is a popular choice for asphalt patching, as it can be applied to the surface of the road without the need for heating. It is also easy to apply, making it an ideal option for those who want to fix small potholes or other minor asphalt repairs.

A more permanent type of asphalt repair is full depth patching. This type of asphalt repair is necessary when the deterioration has progressed to the point where the sub-base is compromised. In this type of repair, the failed asphalt is removed to a depth of about 2-3 inches, and then replaced with a fresh layer of asphalt.

It is essential to remove all surface dirt and debris from the patching area before applying the asphalt. This will ensure that the new asphalt bonding properly to the surrounding pavement. This step is especially crucial for repairing areas with oil spots. It is also wise to use a special primer designed for asphalt patching to increase adhesion.

Pavement Replacement

Pavement replacement is required when asphalt has reached the end of its lifespan or experiences significant damage. This includes rutting, cracking, and even pavement base failure. This can be caused by soil conditions, traffic load changes, and age.

Whether a lot needs to be replaced depends on a number of factors, including the type and severity of damage, and its location. In addition, the structural integrity of the underlying subgrade is also a consideration. It is important to make sure that the earthworks are adequate to provide a stable foundation for the road or parking lot, and to ensure that a sufficient depth of fill is used.

Once the precise areas that need to be repaired or replaced are identified, it is vital to plan carefully how to get traffic through the area during construction with as little disruption as possible. This involves a clear understanding of the construction process, and a willingness to work with paving contractors to achieve a smooth, safe result.

A key element of this is informing the local community of the upcoming works and providing a realistic timeline for when the roads will be open again. It is also essential to ensure that the paving contractor can be trusted to deliver a high-quality result and is committed to meeting their deadlines.

There are a number of options for replacing damaged asphalt paving, and a choice will be made depending on the level of damage. For instance, if the existing surface has extensive edge cracking, this is likely due to a poor underlying layer and will not be improved with patching alone. In this case, a complete removal and replacement may be necessary.

For less severe issues, an overlay can be a good solution. This process is ideal for addressing minor cracking and shallow potholes, and it can be a cost-effective alternative to full removal and replacement. In some cases, the underlayer of a roadway may need to be strengthened in order to increase bearing capacity and enhance road efficiency. Wolf Paving can offer geogrids to reinforce the base material, which eliminates the need for undercutting and provides a faster construction time.

Parking Lot Maintenance

The key to extending the lifespan of a parking lot is preventative maintenance. Regular cleaning and repair services will minimize the risk of major problems such as potholes, alligatoring, and large cracks that can be difficult and expensive to fix.

Parking lots are heavily used areas that need frequent cleaning and maintenance to look and function well. Businesses that rely on customer traffic from their parking lots benefit from having well-maintained, inviting spaces that reflect positively on the business and help customers feel welcome to come in and purchase products or services.

A professional asphalt paving contractor can offer a wide range of maintenance services, from routine cleaning and striping to specialized procedures like seal coating and crack sealing. Sealing asphalt creates a protective barrier that reduces water damage, UV rays, and other risks to the surface. It also helps the pavement retain its elasticity, which can extend its life.

Another vital service is sweeping, which removes dirt and debris that can cause damage to the surface. It is important to clear drains regularly as well, so that standing water doesn’t deteriorate the pavement.

Other cleaning services include pressure washing, which can be done a few times per year, or more often in high-traffic areas or following rain storms. This service can also be used to get rid of oil spills and other chemicals that may have gotten into the ground. Puddles in parking lots should be removed, as they indicate a drainage problem that can cause serious damage to the pavement over time.

Restriping is an important part of parking lot maintenance that can be done with either paint or thermoplastic markings. It makes it easier for vehicles to navigate the lot and ensures that handicap spots are clearly marked. It is also important to check and replace all signage that has faded or become missing, especially directional arrows and speed limits.

Other maintenance services for parking lots can include drain maintenance, ADA compliance checks, and lighting inspections and repairs. It is important to have all of these services performed as needed, so that minor issues don’t turn into major problems.