What Commercial Property Managers Wish They Knew Before Hiring a Paving Contractor
Commercial property management is a tough job even when things are going well. And while you can’t control unexpected events that damage your property, you can make your life easier by equipping yourself for repairs and maintenance on your properties. In this post, we’ll discuss the top items that commercial property managers wish they had known about asphalt paving.
1. When to repair, resurface or replace an asphalt parking lot
Commercial property budgets are notoriously tight as it is, and you could certainly use that money elsewhere. So here are some indicators whether you need repairs or if you need to resurface or replace your asphalt.
- Check the age. A properly installed and maintained lot should last 15 to 20 years. If it is not that old, you will likely only need repairs or resurfacing.
- Calculate the damage. No matter the age, if more than 30 percent of your lot has significant damage, it is probably more cost effective to totally replace your lot.
- Assess drainage. Water should drain off of the asphalt as standing water on the asphalt can lead to significant damage. If water does not drain away, it may have not been properly installed in the first place. If this is the case, you should plan to remove, grade and completely replace the asphalt at some point because repairs will be short-lived.
- Don’t jump to conclusions. Even if your pavement is showing a lot of wear and tear and cracking, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it needs to be replaced. You can fill potholes and cracks, shore up raveling and smooth out joints, then sealcoat to prolong the life of your lot.
2. How to extend the life of an asphalt parking lot
Maintaining your asphalt lot will increase its longevity and is the best way to keep expenses down in the long run. Make sure to allocate funds to maintenance. Here are some key ways to save money and extend the life of your lot.
- Regularly clean the lot. Sweep and wash the surface, or hire someone to do it, on a regular (preferably weekly) basis. Not only will this enhance your property’s curb appeal, but it will also remove potentially damaging liquids and debris from your lot.
- Fill cracks as soon as possible. If your cracks are between ¼ inch and 1 inch in size, they need filled. When water gets into the asphalt’s cracks, it damages the base of the surface and can lead to bigger, more expensive repairs. Cracks can also be tripping hazards, so until you fill them, make sure to mark the areas with paint so that people will be more likely to see and avoid them.
- Sealcoat. While it doesn’t fill cracks, sealcoating protects the surface from damaging UV rays, vehicle fluids and water. Plan on sealcoating your lot every three to five years.
3. How to choose the right paving contractor
Most commercial property managers do get competitive bids, but knowing which contractor to choose can still be a challenge. Here are some essentials to look for in a paving contractor so you don’t waste time and hassle on a contractor who may not have the experience, expertise or equipment for the job.
- Don’t be afraid to judge. If they don’t have a website, move on. Everyone should care enough about their customers to provide them with some information. If they have testimonials or ratings on their site, read through them. The things people say about their experience can be telling about how flexible, dependable and professional the crew will be. Aside from contractors’ websites, consider looking at the Google Business listings and their Better Business Bureau ratings.
- Compare bids. When looking at bids, make sure you are comparing apples to apples, and avoid these common mistakes.
- Ask to see similar work. 95 percent of customers surveyed said that a stores’ external appearance influences their decisions about where to shop. So, ask for examples of previous work the contractor has performed that represent the kind of job they will do for you.
- Study up. Perform Google searches, ask friends and colleagues in your industry who they use. For more detail on a method of selecting a contractor, download our eBook, 3 Essential Elements to Choosing the Right Asphalt Paving Contractor.
The most common thread for all the commercial property managers we have worked with is the need to work with someone they can trust—to advise and educate them and to help them spend wisely and avoid disruptions. DC Construction understands the pressures that commercial property managers face, and we are committed to easing it.