Timely Repairs are Cost-Effective Repairs
Not all pavement management plans are the same. The right plan will balance the needs of your pavement with short- and long-term budgets, and with your goals.
Selecting the Right Plan
The right plan will present the most cost-effective maintenance or reconstruction options because – and this is crucial – not all maintenance dollars are worth the same! They don’t all provide the same degree of impact – in other words each option has a Maximum Value Threshold. That means that each maintenance option can only do so much, so it’s essential to match the maintenance option to the pavement damage at the appropriate time to assure you get the max value from that maintenance option.
UNDERSTAND YOUR TRUE ‘IMMEDIATE NEEDS’
Consider what might be an “immediate need.” Clearly any safety issue tops the list, and potholes, too. But there are other defects that must be addressed immediately as well. A good example is alligator cracking, often termed chicken-wire cracking, where the asphalt is cracked into small shapes that can look like the rough skin of an alligator or chicken-wire fencing (though the cracked blocks in their early stages are usually larger than chicken-wire openings). This type of cracking often indicates water damage to the base beneath the asphalt surface.
WITH MAINTENANCE, IT’S NOT ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL
Here’s another timing-related example. To attain the maximum value for any maintenance option, that option must be installed properly and at the appropriate time in the life of the pavement. Sealcoating is one of the most cost-effective maintenance options available for sound, well-maintained asphalt pavement. When applied every two or three years, pavement sealer will protect asphalt pavement from all sorts of damage and slow its deterioration. It’s a good buy.
However, if pavement has not been maintained - if it has extensive cracking, numerous potholes, or significant raveling -- sealcoating is not an appropriate maintenance option. Because that pavement already exhibits significant damage, applying sealer is throwing good money away. It’s not a cost-effective option at that time because it can’t provide its max value to that damaged pavement.