Imagine you’re a property owner who just received approval for a capital expenditure paving project, now what? There is a lot of pressure to use those funds wisely.
What guarantee do you have that your paving project will be successful? Better yet, how do you define success as it relates to a paving project?
Property managers and contractors have different parameters for how they define a successful paving project. Starting and completing the project on time and on budget are two critical areas of success they both agree are essential. Additional components of a successful paving project may include preparation and planning, utilizing the best contractor, and effective communication throughout the project.
Preparation & Planning
Asphalt pavement is only as good as the structure below it. If a contractor paves on top of a deteriorated pavement, cracks and other structural defects will ultimately reflect up through the pavement causing additional failures. The longevity of your pavement depends on the preparation and planning stage of paving.
When cracking or potholes are present, it is ideal to remove the existing asphalt to expose the subgrade. Grinding the top layer of pavement with a milling machine will strip it down to the subgrade. After removing the top layer, inspect the subgrade for deterioration. Doing this step will help to create a solid base for your new pavement.
In some cases, the subgrade is in such poor shape that it also needs to be removed and replaced. The proper installation of base material below the asphalt layer provides the foundation for the entire pavement structure. Traditionally a crushed aggregate will replace the subgrade.
Hot mix asphalt is placed and compacted once the base is structurally sound. Often placed in layers, compaction is essential for a quality finished product. The surface is rolled with a vibratory roller, resulting in a smooth finish. Without proper compaction, the asphalt structure will not bond properly and be susceptible to failure due to freeze/thaw cycles and other harsh weather factors.
Utilizing the Best Contractor
As with any project, the main concern is finding the best contractor to complete the work. Unfortunately, many contractors will win a bid by providing the lowest quoted price; however, once the project starts, they will then present the owner with costly change orders for repairs that should have been discussed before an awarded contract.
To prevent costly change orders, consider these critical areas of focus when selecting a contractor:
- Reputation (and referrals)
- Licensing & Insurance
- Previous projects successes
- Understanding of the project scope
- Understanding of material and project specifications
Finding an honest and fully transparent contractor to partner with is an essential piece to a successful paving project.
Constant communication throughout the entirety of a project is imperative for a successful paving project. Changes or unexpected issues are a certainty for most paving projects, so having a clear line of communication between the pavement owner and contractor is incredibly important.
Communication should commence before the project is even awarded, with pavement owners working hand-in-hand with their potential contractor to inspect the pavement, identify potential areas for concern, and develop a course of action moving forward.
Additionally, support from an estimating and constructability side helps the owner to navigate the unknowns while getting clear on the general direction of the project.
Once the project begins, communication encourages proper and timely decision making while establishing a stable foundational working relationship between both contractor and pavement owner. Contractors who communicate early and often with the pavement owner allow both sides to have realistic expectations of the construction timelines, costs, and everything in between.
Pavement rehab projects are costly; however, they don’t have to be stressful. Maximize your paving budget by communicating effectively and efficiently, take time to vet potential contractors, and don’t skimp on any pavement preparation techniques.
At The Pavement Group, we are nationwide commercial asphalt & concrete experts who simplify every aspect of your pavement project, from proposal to completion. Give us a call today.