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Your pavement maintenance strategy can either increase the lifespan of your asphalt pavement or it can shorten that lifespan. The difference is doing proactive maintenance versus reactive maintenance. Let’s take a look at the difference between the two and then explore the pavement maintenance mistakes that can limit longevity.
Proactive versus Reactive Pavement Maintenance
Asphalt pavement is a valuable and long-lasting material, but it can be susceptible to damage from a variety of sources. When it comes to pavement maintenance, there are two main approaches that you can take: reactive or proactive maintenance. Reactive maintenance refers to addressing pavement problems only after they have already occurred, such as by doing simple repairs like crack sealing and pothole repair. This approach can be effective in the short-term, but it does not do much to extend the lifespan of your pavement or prevent more serious issues from developing over time. By contrast, proactive pavement maintenance involves taking steps to proactively maintain your pavement in order to minimize the risk of damage and extend its lifespan. Some common examples of proactive pavement maintenance techniques include sealcoating, pavement overlays and using permanent pavement repair materials instead of temporary ones.
Pavement Maintenance Mistakes
1. Only doing crack sealing and pothole repair – While these simple pavement repairs can help to temporarily prolong the life of your pavement, they do not address the underlying issues that may be causing damage. If you only focus on reactive maintenance, you run the risk of allowing more serious issues like pavement failure and pavement delamination to develop over time.
2. Using cold patch asphalt only – Cold patch asphalt is a temporary pavement repair material that can help to fill small cracks and potholes until permanent repairs can be made. However, using it exclusively will not do much to extend the lifespan of your pavement or prevent future damage from occurring.
3. Repaving instead of sealcoating to extend lifespan of asphalt pavement – While pavement overlays and repaving can help to improve pavement appearance, using these methods will not do anything to prolong the lifespan of your pavement. By contrast, sealcoating is a cost-effective pavement maintenance technique that has been shown to significantly extend the life of asphalt pavement while also improving its appearance.
4. Making temporary repairs instead of permanent ones – In an effort to save money or time, some contractors and property owners will opt for quick fixes like filling potholes or cracks with materials like cold patch asphalt, rather than making permanent pavement repairs. While these temporary solutions may be less costly in the short-term, they can actually end up costing more money in the long run by allowing pavement damage to worsen over time and increasing the risk of future pavement failure.
To maintain your pavement and ensure that it lasts as long as possible, it is essential to focus on proactive pavement maintenance techniques like sealcoating, pavement overlays, and using permanent pavement repair materials instead of relying solely on reactive maintenance practices like crack sealing and pothole repair. By taking steps to proactively maintain your pavement, you can help to prolong its lifespan and prevent more serious issues from developing down the road.