RealManage Insight

When to Start Your Community Association Paving Project

by Joseph Hansen on Sep 10, 2019 8:29:00 AM

Before starting on a community association paving project, it is important to understand what the various asphalt services are, as well as when and why you should apply them. Understanding this will save you money and ensure that your homeowners are happy and the curb value of your community remains high.

Asphalt Lifecycle

Repaving an asphalt surface can be expensive. If you have a large community, then it is not an expense that you'll want to take on any more often than you need to. Preventative maintenance is the best way to minimize the amount of time needed before you have to do a complete repave. Here we'll discuss the various asphalt repair options.

  • Sealcoating - From the very beginning, your fresh asphalt will be exposed to the weather. The heat of the sun will dry the asphalt and make it brittle. Rain pouring down on it will begin the slow process of erosion. As cracks form, freezing weather will cause standing water to expand and make the cracks worse. Sealcoating is your first line of defense to protect the asphalt from the weather and prevent those things from happening. Sealcoating is relatively inexpensive and can be done every 2 years or so.
  • Crack Sealing - Sealcoating reduces weather damage considerably, but does not eliminate it. Eventually, cracks will form. When they do, you'll want to have a reputable asphalt repair company seal them as fast as possible. Failure to do so will allow the problem to become worse, and increase the repair costs.
  • Patches - As your asphalt ages, it will eventually develop potholes, no matter how diligent you are with maintenance. These are a nuisance to your homeowners and could post a safety hazard. Like cracks, they will also only get worse if left untreated and hasten the time until a full repave is necessary.
  • Overlay - After 15-20 years, your asphalt will have many patches and sealed cracks in it. As new ones develop, the practicality of continuing to patch them diminishes. At this point, a full repave probably isn't necessary. Instead, you can opt for an asphalt overlay. Asphalt overlays lay another layer of asphalt over your existing surface. Asphalt overlays should not be confused with sealcoating. After an overlay, the surface will look and perform like new.
  • Repaving - Asphalt overlays add thickness to the surface. Because of this, you cannot apply them as many times as you'd like. Eventually, you'll need to do a complete repaving. This will involve stripping all of the old asphalt down and starting from scratch. If you follow the maintenance suggestions here, it should be decades before you get to this point.

Finding a Contractor

You can't undertake a community association paving project without a contractor to do the work. You will likely find a number of paving companies and general contractors in your local area who will be willing to do the job. For smaller jobs, such as sealcoating or patching, any contractor with decent reviews will be able to do an effective job. When the repairs start to get more intensive though, especially for repaving, you'll want to have a company that specializes in asphalt look at the problem. You never know when there could be underlying issues with the soil, or other issues that need to be dealt with during the course of the repair.

When discussing the job with the contractor, one of the first things you'll want to ask about is how the job will inconvenience your homeowners. Some pavement operations take a while to perform and set. Traffic will likely need to be blocked off, so this is something that you should prepare for and warn your members about before the work has begun.

Need Help Managing HOA Vendors?

For more information about this, or any other homeowner association topic, feel free to contact us at RealManage.

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