Like a snail crossing a football field, January finally passed. Now, as remote as it seems with ongoing snow & cold across the country, it’s time to start thinking ahead to spring and summer projects, including budgeting and strategy for pavement preservation. It can feel like a Pandora’s Box of options – but with the right approach your asphalt maintenance program will come together sensibly, affordably, and effectively.
To help without overloading, here are two basic but essential guidelines to follow:
1. Prioritize roads that are in fair-to-good condition. This can be counter-intuitive to the general public (“those roads are fine, why are you spending money on them?”), but it is literally the only way to stretch dollars while also improving overall pavement condition in your inventory. According to Public Works Magazine, a high percentage of your annual budget should be allocated to inexpensive, frequent treatments like fogseals & chipseals. As the Pavement Condition Index graph shows below, $1 spent on preservation now will save $6 to $8 in rehabilitative costs over a 20-year period, plus save enormous environmental resources.
A good barometer is that “if you need to re-stripe, then you need to re-seal.” Utilizing more economical & effective treatment methods, more frequently, will allow you to seal more miles of road with the same dollars each year – while also improving your PCI ratings over time. When treated this way, pavement can remain in good condition almost indefinitely.
2. Apply “Construction Seals” (a fogseal over new pavement) to maximize asphalt quality & lifespan. Up to 50% of essential binders – the oils, resins & plasticizers that hold asphalt together – can be lost within the first two years of a pavement’s life due to oxidation and moisture issues. Oxidation is essentially “exposure to air and uv rays,” and it causes asphalt to lose elasticity and become brittle over time. Along with moisture, this results in surface raveling, cracking, potholes, and ultimately pavement failure. By performing a simple early fogseal with a product like ASI’s GSB-88®, essential binder is added & preserved, resulting in higher quality and longer lasting pavement. This maximizes your investment over time.
Pavement preservation is affected by a huge list of factors: temperatures, traffic, precipitation, sub-base, nearby vegetation, and maybe even Greek mythology. It is not simple – but a few basic precepts can certainly help with budgeting, planning, implementation and success.
We wish you all the best with your efforts. ASI sales personnel are always here to answer questions, take a look at your pavements, and help oversee your projects moving forward.