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Extending the performance life of paved surfaces

May 23, 2012 - Grounds Management

I'm Steve Schuster, associate editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's topic is extending the life of paved surfaces.

Exterior concrete and asphalt surfaces create a visitor's first impression of an institutional or commercial building. If these surfaces — driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks — are not maintained properly and deteriorate, they can present problems for grounds managers, including poor appearance, tripping hazards, and costly repairs.

For managers to properly diagnose problems and ensure workers make cost-effective repairs, they need to understand the leading cause of problems related to these surfaces and specify the most appropriate repair products.

The leading causes of concrete and asphalt problems generally fall into three categories: design, use, and maintenance.

Even properly applied asphalt can develop problems that result from the effects of ultraviolet rays, water, petroleum products, and traffic. New asphalt combines asphalt-cement binder, sand and stone, and it is black. As the surface dries, asphalt turns gray from the absence of binder, and the elements begin to deteriorate it.

Effective repair strategies for concrete and asphalt depend on following a proven repair procedure. The following method can help ensure longer-lasting and less costly repairs:

-Determine the cause of the damage.

-Assess the extent of the damage.

-Evaluate the need to repair

-Determine the needed repair method.

-Perform a thorough preparation of the old concrete or asphalt surface, and

-Finish the repair properly, including curing the concrete, or tamping or rolling the asphalt.

Workers should inspect sections of concrete that most often deteriorate from freezing weather. These sections include exposed surfaces, such as posts, handrails, piers, parapets, and the top 2 feet of walls.


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