Parking areas, loading docks, and campus roadways have a significant effect on your facilities appearance and functionality. Deteriorating pavement areas are not only a safety concern, but a direct reflection of your organization’s image. A guest’s experience begins well before coming through your doors, so it is critical you make a positive first impression.
Proper pavement maintenance is essential to any organization that has the responsibility for maintaining the condition of parking lots, loading docks, sidewalks, and roadways. Keeping up on pavement maintenance and restoration not only saves money, but creates a safe environment for both employees and visitors. Potholes, cracks, and eroded pavement can become a liability and an accident waiting to happen. The continuous battle of “chasing” problems and an ever increasing shortage of capital requires you to maximize the life of existing pavement. By developing a long-range pavement management program, your organization can double the life of your pavement and save thousands of dollars in capital replacement and taking a proactive approach to pavement maintenance.
The first step in developing a pavement management program is to perform a detailed condition assessment of all pavement areas. This information should be analyzed to create a prioritized maintenance schedule complete with accurate budgets that correlate with the scope of work.
Typically, properly designed pavements perform well under loads until a particular point in their life spans, at which time they deteriorate rapidly until failure. If you choose to defer maintenance and provide band-aid repairs only when required, you will find that when you are finally ready to invest in maintenance that your pavement has already gone past the point of repair, and that the base or pavement failures will soon be reflected through to the surface, resulting in wasted resources. In order to maximize the useful life of the asset, preventative maintenance should be done even when there doesn’t appear to be anything inherently wrong with the pavement.
The biggest mistake a facilities department can make is waiting until a problem develops before addressing it. By selecting the right treatment at the right time, you can keep water from breaching the pavement surface, prevent oxidation of the asphalt or concrete, and maintain an aesthetically pleasing pavement area.
With a pavement management program in place, your facility management team will have the ability to achieve a well-maintained, high performance pavement area that will have a greater return on your investment. By designing for the load and purpose of your pavement and performing maintenance early and often, you can decrease your annual cost of ownership and enhance the life cycle of your pavement areas.