ACP NEWS

Pave and Re-Stripe for Sanford

We recently received an online request from a long-time customer. They were interested in asphalt paving in Sanford. The client had utilized All County Paving as their paving contractor in Florida many times before. Their asphalt parking lot surface was beginning to show significant signs of wear. We gathered the necessary information before scheduling to visit the job site the following afternoon. We were happy to be able to help a customer who we had worked with before.

After arriving at the parking lot, we were quickly able to see that the asphalt surface was fading and showing substantial signs of deterioration. We determined that the best asphalt service for the situation would be a pavement overlay and re-stripe. By applying a fresh layer of bituminous paving to the existing layer, we could revitalize the surface and provide a new aesthetic to the parking lot. We finished the job by re-striping the asphalt to the specific needs of the client. The client was very happy with our work and thanked us for getting the job done so quickly. They told us that they would continue to use the top paving contractor in Sanford.

BENEFITS OF SEALCOATING

Benefits of Sealcoating: Why Should I Sealcoat My Parking Lot?

Let’s face it, nothing lasts forever – and that includes asphalt pavement. But that doesn’t mean you can’t extend the life of your asphalt parking lot (and improve its life-cycle cost) with timely repair and maintenance – and that includes sealcoating.

To understand the impact pavement sealer can have on the life of your parking lot, it’s first important to understand the nature of asphalt pavement itself. Asphalt – the black stuff that coats the aggregate in the pavement – is a byproduct of the oil refining process. Because it’s oil-based it was excellent waterproofing characteristics, it’s flexible, and it’s sticky so it does a great job of holding together all the aggregate.

In addition to providing a smooth and safe riding and parking surface for drivers, hot mix asphalt pavement protects what’s beneath it – the aggregate base and clay or dirt subbase – from getting wet. Because when water finds its way beneath the asphalt pavement layer, it weakens the structure of the pavement – and that’s when real problems begin including potholes, extensive alligator-type cracking and additional damage that require costly repairs.

Unfortunately, asphalt is not perfect. As it ages it begins to deteriorate – from sun, air, weather, traffic – and begins to break down. The first sign of this is the nice black color fades to grey, then small “hairline” cracks begin to appear.

Timely and proper sealcoating applications can prevent or delay this. And compared with other pavement maintenance options such as cracksealing, remove-and-replace repairs, and asphalt overlays, sealcoating is the easiest, most inexpensive and least-disruptive step you can take to protect your pavement.

So, what, specifically, does sealcoating do?

1. Prevents water intrusion beneath the surface.

Because almost all sealer contains fine aggregate (usually silica sand or Black Beauty boiler slag) sealcoating fills the hairline cracks that are an early sign of asphalt aging. By filling these cracks you’re reducing the likelihood that water will be able to find its way beneath the asphalt pavement surface – and the longer you can keep water out, the longer your pavement will last.

2. Slows deterioration from oxidation.

While you can’t prevent oxidation – the deterioration of the asphalt binder resulting from exposure to the air and the sun’s ultra-violet rays – timely sealcoating slows it. Oxidation causes the pavement to become brittle, makes it easier for cracks to occur and to grow more quickly, and enables other deterioration as well. Applying sealer to the pavement surface adds a layer of protection on top of that asphalt binder so it’s the sealer that takes the exposure to air and sun and not the binder itself. Regular application of sealer – generally every two or three years depending on region and traffic flow – will extend the life of your pavement.

3. Protects the asphalt binder from oils and gasoline.

Because asphalt is petroleum-based, any petroleum-based liquid that leaks on it will essentially “join” with the binder and soften the asphalt. That opens the door to even quicker and possibly more-extensive damage to the pavement. (If you’ve ever seen the black spots near the parking blocks in parking spaces – oil spots – you’ve seen the damage leaks can cause). Sealcoating will protect your pavement from leaks of this type. Note: If your parking lot contains any of those black oil spots they must be repaired prior to being sealcoated. Failure to adequately repair oil spots means the sealer will have no impact on those areas of the pavement and any damage will continue to spread.

4. Enhances skid-resistance.

As asphalt pavement ages the “fines” – tiny sand-size particles – are the first things to wear away. Applying sealer that contains sand or boiler slag not only helps lock those fines in place but also replenishes the fines on the surface, providing some additional traction.

5. Enhances flexibility.

Asphalt pavement is termed a “flexible” surface as opposed to concrete pavement, which is “rigid.” When cars and trucks drive over asphalt pavement it essentially flexes (microscopically) under their weight. As pavement ages and becomes brittle the pavement flexes less and traffic can create cracks. By applying sealer regularly you help the pavement retain its flexibility and slow its path to brittleness.

6. Enables easier pavement cleaning.

While this isn’t a benefit to the physical pavement, it can be helpful. If you don’t think it’s true take a push broom and sweep your concrete sidewalk – then take the broom and sweep a section of sealcoated pavement. Where the concrete tugs on the broom the sealed pavement allows the broom to slide easily over the surface.

7. Extends pavement life.

The combined impact of all these things that sealcoating does to a pavement is that it extends pavement life. A well-constructed asphalt pavement can last well beyond 15 years when properly maintained. And sealcoating is an essential part of that maintenance process.

8. Saves you money! 

our parking lot is possibly the single most-costly investment on the property, so anything you can do to extend its life (thereby reducing its life-cycle cost) helps give you more bang for your investment. Research has shown that over a 15-year period a properly maintained 10,000-sq.-ft. parking lot can save a property manager $120,000 when compared to the same parking lot that is not maintained. How’s that for the benefit of sealcoating and proper pavement maintenance?

But there’s even one more benefit to sealcoating – and that’s aesthetics, or  “curb appeal.” You want your property to look its best – whether it’s for business tenants, customers or people who live in your apartment building, condominium or homeowners’ association. Sealcoating provides a fresh, black, clean appearance – and when topped off by fresh pavement marking your parking lot looks great. In most cases there is so much parking lot surrounding or in front of the building that it’s the first thing people see. So by sealcoating and striping on a regular basis you are letting your property make a great first impression. Sealcoating and striping is one of the easiest and most cost-effective steps you can take to improve the look of your property.

Note: While sealcoating can benefit your pavement in many ways, it’s important to understand that it is not a structural improvement. Sealcoating your pavement is like painting your house: it protects and improves appearance but provides no structural benefit.

All County Paving named to Pavement Maintenance and Reconstruction’s 2018 Top Contractors list

Delray Beach, FL (July 3, 2018) – Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction, the leading magazine in the pavement industry with over 30 years of publishing experience, has selected All County Paving as one of the nation’s Top Contractors of 2018.

As a 2018 Top Contractor, All County Paving was chosen by the Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction editorial staff for meeting a high set of standards. Applicants were required to submit a third- party verification of their sales total in 2017, as well as include a breakdown of the work that generated those sales in order to qualify for consideration. Top Contractors were selected in four industry segments: paving, sealcoating, striping and pavement repair.

All County Paving (an M&M Asphalt, Inc. Company), is a full service, highly trained, professional construction group. Your “One Source” self-performing Paving Contractor for professionally managed properties both regionally and nationally.

All County provides a wide range of services such as complete site preparation, asphalt paving, new construction, drainage, asphalt repair, sealcoating, line striping, concrete repair, and ADA upgrades. All County’s focus is quality first, open communication, and outstanding customer service with the sole purpose of providing quality pavement and maintenance services at a competitive price.

“As a team, we always look forward to announcing the Top Contractors of the year,” stated Amy Schwandt, publisher of Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction magazine. “The industry segmented lists showcase companies that have put in a lot of hard work to be where they are today. Congratulations to this year’s winners!”

Allan Heydorn, editor of Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction commented, “It is a great honor to be awarded the recognition of Top Contractor in the nation. We received many great entries, all of which show impressive growth moving forward in the industry.”

Additional information on Top Contractors can be found on the 2018 Pavement Top Contractor landing page of ForConstructionPros.com.

Construction professionals can follow pavement news via Twitter and Facebook.

Lake Mary Local Parking Lot Repair and Sealcoat

At All County Paving, we are proud to be a top paving contractor serving Lake Mary, Florida and its residents. We have continuously made professionalism, craftsmanship, and customer service our main priorities.

Our team recently received an online request from a customer we had worked with many times before. The property manager contacting us was looking for asphalt repair in Lake Mary. A number of small potholes had begun to form in the parking lot. The manager explained that it had been a number of years since their last parking lot maintenance work had been done. We assured him that we could handle the parking lot repair work efficiently and effectively.

We sent a crew to evaluate the asphalt parking lot later that week. We determined that pothole patching would be necessary. The asphalt surface had also begun to fade and was quite brittle. We agreed to sealcoat the parking lot and restripe it after the asphalt repair work was complete. The client was very happy to know that one asphalt company could handle all of his parking lot paving needs. 

By the time we had completed the parking lot repair project, we were able to sealcoat the asphalt and restripe it to the desires of the property manager. The parking lot looked nearly new by the time we had finished our final asphalt maintenance. The client was very pleased with our work and the schedule and pricing that was involved with the asphalt repair.

 

PROPERTY MANAGER CHECKLIST

A Parking Lot Checklist

The 10 most-important boxes property managers should check before signing off on a job

Just before a job is finished, most contractors work through a “punch list” of things they check before leaving the site – just to make sure the job is complete, the work is finished to their satisfaction and the area is cleaned up.

Just like contractors have a list to review before they send the bill, property managers should have their own list to work through to make sure the job is completed to their satisfaction and that they get what they’re paying for – before they pay for it!

Here’s a checklist to get you started. Following these tips and checking off these boxes will confirm a job well done or will enable you to identify – and have your contractor fix – any of your concerns before the contractor moves on to his next job.

1. Know the job.

This is the first step every property manager should take before reviewing a project. Often the time between signing a contract and the final day of the job are weeks or even months apart – so it’s in your best interest to make sure you know what it is you actually hired the contractor to do. Sealcoating and striping are easy to remember because they’re easy to see. But were there any crack repairs? What about pavement patching? A quick scan of the contract will tell you all you need to know and put you on the right track to approving the job.

2. Were there any change orders?

Alterations of the job once the initial contract has been signed and work has begun are common. Make sure you review any work added so you can check it in the field and look for it on the invoice.

3. Walk the site before you meet with the contractor.

This is something few property managers do but it gives you an opportunity to review the job at your leisure. So take the time to walk the site – and don’t just wander it.  Start in one location and systematically walk where the work was done. Bring you cell phone and make notes in the phone about what you see and any questions you might have.  If you discover areas of concern use your phone to take a photo – then you can even email the photo with your question to the contractor.

4. Walk the site with the contractor.

If your contractor offers this, take him up on it. If he doesn’t, suggest it yourself. There’s no better way to get a good feel for the success of the job than by having the contractor show you what he did. This also enables you to point out concerns and ask questions – and it gives the contractor an opportunity to address those concerns immediately, letting you know how he will satisfy you. This also gives you some insight into your contractor and reaffirms the relationship you have with him.

5. Liability Issues.

You just did a nice job upgrading the appearance of your property and extending the life of your pavement. Don’t make the mistake of leaving your property (and the contractor) open to a lawsuit because you overlooked a potential liability issue. While this is rare, especially following procedures to improve the pavement, make sure to keep liability concerns foremost in your mind as you walk your property. Trip-and-fall hazards should be a primary focus, but pay attention to anything that pops up on your liability radar.

6. Sealcoating.

When sealcoating is finished your parking lot will look great! Minor hairline cracks will have been filled, the surface will have a smooth, even texture, and it will be a consistent blackish color. Check to see that all this is true. Also, take note of areas where asphalt butts against brick or concrete (walls, island curbing, parking stops, sidewalks). There should be no sealer on the concrete or brick.

7. Striping.

This is the finishing touch for parking lots – and it should look that way. Lines should be straight and edges of markings should be crisp and clean, and ends of stripes should line up with one another. Handicap symbols should be a bright blue, squared up nicely with the white universal wheelchair icon, and the squares should be centered between the parking stripes and should line up with one another across adjacent stalls. Cross-hatching in “no parking” areas should be striped in the same direction, parallel to one another and spacing between crosshatches should be equal. And when you step back and take a look at your entire lot, stripes should line up all the way across the lot. And if they don’t (occasionally architectural design requires shifting of rows of stalls) they should certainly line up within each double row of stalls.

8. Crack Repair.

Crack repair material is placed into the crack and then a squeegee forces it in and creates a “band” on the pavement surface. This band should extend no more than 2 inches on either side of the crack and the entire repair should be flush with the surface.

9. Pavement Repairs.

These are structural improvements – patches – that required removal and replacement of the asphalt subbase, base and asphalt surface. What you should find is a nice, clean, flat asphalt surface with straight (not curved), edges surrounding the patch. Edges of existing pavement should not be cracked or chipped.

10. Drainage.

If drainage improvements were part of the job take a look at those areas. If a change in slope is not evident to the eye, a bucket of water should make the improvement clear.

11. ADA Compliance.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) outlines federal requirements to assure that people with disabilities can access public buildings. These requirements – which range from specifications for accessible parking stalls, to the Access Aisles immediately adjacent to accessible stalls, to the Access Routes that lead from the accessible stall to the doorway, and more – are the minimum requirements your parking lot must meet. However, many states and communities have established their own more-stringent standards. Your contractor should be up-to-date on what your parking lot requires.

All these are fairly simple and straightforward reviews you can – and should – make before signing of on the finished job and paying the bill. You manage the property, you let the contract and you hired the contractor. There’s nothing wrong with making sure you got what you needed.

UNDERSTANDING ADA REQUIREMENTS

Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act:

How to Make Sure Your Parking Lot is ADA Compliant

The Americans with Disabilities Act, which celebrated its 27th anniversary in 2017, has been a milestone for those whose lives it made easier but it’s been a bit of a headache for property managers who are required to implement the ADA guidelines.

Among the first things to realize is that the ADA requirements are federal requirements. As such they represent the minimum properties must do to accommodate persons with disabilities. It is entirely possible that the ADA requirements in your state, city, county or even local community are more stringent than the federal requirements. So knowing the federal ADA requirements, while important, might not be enough.

It’s important to have a basic understanding of the ADA guidelines because, as a property owner or manager, you are responsible for your property. And if the ADA requirements aren’t met it’s your property and company that could be held responsible in a lawsuit.

But while it’s your responsibility to see they are met, it can’t be your job. That’s what contractors are for.  And it’s why you need to hire a reputable contractor you can rely on to be your ADA expert.

Here’s an example why that’s the case:

Federal ADA guidelines do not require the international handicap symbol painted on a blue background on the pavement of the parking stall.  Did you know that? You see them all over in almost all parking lots, but that blue square and white stick figure are not required by the ADA. However, many communities do require that symbol, and some specify where it should be placed in the stall. So that blue symbol is common either because of nonfederal laws or just because people expect them to be there, so property managers have them painted. But they’re not an ADA requirement.

What the federal government does require is a sign on a post (or on the wall if the parking space butts against a building) indicating that a space is reserved for accessible parking. There are specifications for that sign (such as how high off the ground), but there’s nothing in the guidelines about a symbol on the pavement. Some cities, counties and states require only the specific sign that the ADA requires, but others require the symbol and a notice of the dollar amount of the fine for a parking violation. It varies from location to location.

Think about it. You face ADA guidelines concerning your parking lot how often? Maybe once a year when it’s restriped? Every year or two when it’s sealcoated and striped? And less often when structural alterations (in the form of pavement repairs) are made? Why would you want to be responsible for knowing what your property needs in terms of the ADA? You’d have to research it each time any work is done on your property! And if you own or manage properties in different cities, counties or even states you’d need to know the ADA requirements specific to that property! And you would need to redo your efforts for each property each time you sealcoating, stripe or make any structural repairs!

Why should you be the ADA expert?

A contractor who maintains parking lots for a living and who is an ADA expert, however, has this information in his head or at the very least at his fingertips. He deals with the ADA on virtually a daily basis, so he should know exactly what your parking lot needs – from a federal, state and local perspective. He should be able to detail what you need – and why.

If he can’t, find yourself a new contractor. Seriously.

That said, let’s look at some of the ADA basics that apply to almost all parking lots. This will at least give you some ammunition when talking with a contractor to see if he’s the ADA expert you want to partner with.

1. How Many Accessible Parking Spaces Must Your Property Have?

According to the ADA, every public parking lot has to have at least one handicap-accessible space for cars. Once you have the one, the number of additional accessible spaces increases based on the total number of parking spaces in the parking lot (1 space per 25 spaces; 2 spaces per 50 etc.) Parking lots must also have a van-accessible space – and the car-accessible space can double as a van-accessible space provided the correct measurements are used.

2. Accessible spaces require certain measurements and specific striping.

Your contractor will know the details but suffice it to say that immediately adjacent to the accessible parking space there must be a No Parking area – termed an Access Aisle – and this Access Aisle must be marked as such with crosshatch striping. This provides space for a person with disabilities to maneuver with a walker or wheelchair once outside the vehicle.

3. Parking stalls are only part of the ADA requirements of which property managers need to be aware. Once a person with a disability parks in a stall and exits the vehicle, he still needs to get to the building. This, according to the ADA, requires a designated Accessible Route, which also must be striped appropriately. This route must be the shortest possible route from the parking lot to an accessible entrance; must be at least 3 feet wide; must have no stairs or curbs; must have a firm, stable, slip-resistant surface; and must have a slope no greater than 1 in. over 12 ft. in the direction of travel.

There is also a difference in ADA requirements depending on whether you are modifying an existing facility or making alterations (usually some type of physical construction) to an existing facility, which would trigger more-extensive ADA requirements.

The point is this: The federal ADA Guidelines are a fairly complex set of rules that often require cross-referencing of definitions and comparison with state or local requirements. Rather than tackle the task of sorting out what your property needs and then trying to include those needs in a bid spec, it’s well worth your while, both from a dollars-and-cents standpoint and a peace of mind standpoint, to hire a contractor who is an ADA expert to tell you what your property needs. That’s the best way to make sure your parking lot is ADA compliant!

And if you really want to make sure you’re compliant, contact a local advocacy organization for people with disabilities. They’ll be more than happy to visit your property and help you and your contractor determine where accessibility improvements are needed.

Neighborhood Patch, Sealcoat, & Re-Stripe

We received an estimate request from a client who we have worked with a number of times before. A local property manager was in need of parking lot paving in Sanford. We had previously worked in the neighborhood performing various asphalt paving jobs. The manager explained to us that a number of areas in the neighborhood were in need of some asphalt repair. There were a few potholes that had formed, as well as fading striping. After speaking with the manager, we were able to determine a date to meet at the property. Our crew was familiar with the location and what type of work the job would likely require.

Our crew arrived the following week to the project site and quickly began to evaluate the job. It was clear where the problem areas were, and what work would need to be done. We agreed to patch the areas where potholes were forming. We also decided to restripe the specified parking spaces, as well as sealcoating the current asphalt. Altogether, the project would only take a few days to complete. However, with consistent traffic, we had to plan accordingly. We did not want to hinder the residents in their daily routines.

The pothole patching was completed within the first day. In order to seal coat the asphalt paving, we needed to section off specific areas to allow it to dry. Finally, we re-striped the specified parking locations to make them more aesthetic and easily visible. By the time we were finished, the asphalt looked nearly new. The property manager was very satisfied with our craftsmanship and efficiency.
  

 

 

BECOMING A TOP CONTRACTOR

We’re a “Top Contractor”… Here’s what that Means!

Whether you’re a customer of ours or a property manager we hope will soon become a customer, you’ve probably noticed we proudly proclaim in our marketing efforts and on our website materials that we’re a “Top Contractor” for various industry services.

We thought we’d tell you exactly what that means.

The Top Contractor status is a recognition conferred on companies by the paving & pavement maintenance industry’s flagship trade magazine, Pavement Maintenance & Construction. It’s a bit like being a Fortune 500 company in that the Top Contractor list is based on sales volume for each fiscal year.

But a major difference between the Fortune 500 and Pavement’s list is that the Fortune 500 are public companies whose revenue is available for all to see. Paving and pavement maintenance contractors, however, are almost exclusively privately held companies who do not have to reveal their revenue to anyone but the IRS.

So, to qualify for one of Pavement’s Top Contractor lists (there are four), contractors like us have to complete a confidential survey and send it in to be considered. So the first thing to understand is that participation in the list is voluntary; any contractor in the country can participate. We like to participate because we like to see where we stack up. (We stack up well!)

The second thing to realize is that Pavement magazine doesn’t just take a contractor’s word on what his annual revenue is. The magazine requires any contractor that participates to support that revenue figure with some type of third-party verification of the sales number (usually by the company’s accountant on the accountant’s letterhead). So the magazine invites all contractors to participate and then holds up a hoop they need to jump through to be considered.

Doing the “Top Contractor” Math

After that it all comes down to the magazine’s math. Here’s how it works:

Let’s say Contractor A reports revenue for fiscal year 2018 of $100,000 (working with small round figures will make this easier). Contractor A then tells the magazine that Paving generates 50% of that revenue, Sealcoating generates 30%, and Pavement Repair generates the remaining 20%.

The magazine then multiplies the total revenue ($100,000) by the percent generated by each service to determine the amount of revenue each service contributes to the total, so:

  • $100,000 x 50% = $50,000 generated by Paving work
  • $100,000 x 30% = $30,000 generated by Sealcoating work
  • $100,000 x 20% = $20,000 generated by Pavement Repair work

It’s those dollar figures that are used to determine if a contractor qualifies for a Top Contractor list.

Pavement magazine conducts these calculations for every contractor who completes the Top Contractor survey and provides third-party verification. The magazine then lists, in each service category (Paving, Sealcoating, Pavement Repair, Striping) the companies from largest sales to smallest – then they draw a line after company #75 and those companies above the line make up, for example, the Paving 75.

So using our example above, if the cutoff for the Paving 75 at company #75 was $55,000 (in other words if Contractor #75 had paving sales of $55,000), Contractor A would not make the Paving Top Contractor list. But Contractor A could still make the other service lists; if the cutoff for the Sealcoating list was $25,000 Contractor A (with sealcoating sales of $30,000) would qualify for that list.

The magazine does all these calculations internally. Once the lists are determined, Pavement magazine reorganizes them alphabetically and announces them to the industry in its June/July issue.

What Being a Top Contractor Means

So that’s how the Top Contractors are determined. But what does being a Top Contractor mean?

Well, mainly it means we’re one of the highest revenue-producing contractors in the industry. That means we do a lot of work – and it means the people we work for continue to invite us back to do more! Because there’s virtually no way a contractor can be one of the Top Contractors in the country without generating a significant amount of repeat business. So yes, we do good work, but we have our customers to thank for enabling us to become a Top Contractor!

Awards are great. Everyone likes to be recognized for what they do – and we’re no different. But we don’t take this recognition lightly. We know how hard we’ve worked to become the contractor of choice for most of our customers, and we’re going to continue working that hard to justify the awards and to make sure we stay on the Top Contractor (and preferred customer) lists.

So what’s the best thing about being a named a Top Contractor? It fires us up!

EMERGENCY SERVICES

How Your Contractor Can Help with More than Your Pavement

No one can predict when a natural disaster or some other type of man-made emergency might occur, but having a relationship with a paving and pavement maintenance contractor can be beneficial in those unexpected circumstances. That’s because in the aftermath of emergency situations the contractor can utilize his fleet, his expertise – and his labor – to provide emergency services to help you out.

Following hurricanes, tornadoes or floods, for example, one of the biggest problems is debris cleanup as lumber, trees, and just about anything else you can imagine might have found its way to your property. And before you again invite your tenants into their stores or the public onto your property it’s essential that you clean it of debris that is not only unsightly but which can be a safety issue.

Your contractor can be your emergency relief valve in such situations. Not only does he have the workforce to get all sorts of jobs done, but those workers are familiar with working outdoors, they’re conditioned for physical work, and they are skilled in the equipment you’re going to need.

And the contractor has that equipment, including:

  • Pickup Trucks – Essential to haul workers from one place to another on roads (or, depending on the disaster, off roads). These vehicles can carry not only workers they can carry tools, small equipment, supplies, generators and more.
  • Dump Trucks – Depending on the scale of the event, there could be so much debris that you’ll want it removed from your property.
  • Skid Steer Loaders – This piece of equipment is the Swiss Army Knife of construction equipment. Not only can it traverse just about any area, it’s highly maneuverable. In the hands of a skilled operator skid steers can accomplish just about anything in the field. And skid steers have a powerful hydraulic system that enables them to use a variety of attachments from pavement saws to rakes, sweepers, pavement breakers and cold planers – making them possibly the single most-important and adaptable piece of equipment on any fleet. If your contractor has a skid steer (or two) in his fleet, you’re in good hands.
  • Bulldozer – These are valuable pieces of equipment that can be used to carry debris to a central location on your property and pick it up into the dump trucks.
  • Sweeper – Not all contractors own a sweeping truck, but they at least work with a sweeper subcontractor they can rely on. And while sweeping is one of the last cleanup steps your property will need, it’s an essential step to make sure the pavement is free of glass, nails, sharp metal and other objects that could damage vehicles, tires or be a safety hazard to pedestrians.

It’s also important to note that once you have engaged a contractor to remove debris from your property, he needs a place to put it. A public agency might have secured a site to accept debris and the contractor can haul debris there. If that’s not the case, contractors know where the dumps are and probably have a line of credit with them. Another option, at least temporarily, is to remove the debris to the contractor’s yard where he can parcel it out to dumps steadily – but get it off your property immediately.

Repairs Are Next

Once the debris has been removed, you might need to make repairs. It’s good to work with a full-service contractor who offers paving, striping, sealcoating, patching, and signage – pretty much everything a parking lot needs – because he’ll have the expertise to assess damage and present repair options in all areas. If you are working with such a contractor his team can solve all the disaster-created problems from pavement repairs to restriping.

So as soon as the debris is gone you’ll need to conduct an evaluation of your parking lot. You can do this yourself but it’s probably best to have the contractor evaluate the property and then present a proposal. (If you prefer to walk the site with the contractor on his initial visit, go ahead. Any contractor worth his salt will appreciate your involvement.) Either way, once you have the proposal in hand, walk the property with the contractor and ask any questions you like.

Pavement damage might be structural and could easily require extensive repairs; other damage might be purely cosmetic. A full-service contractor, expert in a broad range of services, can explain the damage to you and help you prioritize the repairs you should make.

Clearly the first repairs should be safety related. This means any uneven pavement, broken concrete, exposed rebar, potholes or anything that could be a trip hazard, damage a tire or cause a driver to have an accident.

But after safety repairs have been made your contractor can help you determine which other repairs need to be made soon – and which can wait. If you have short- and long-term plans for the property make sure to let the contractor know as that could influence the priority of repair.

SAFETY FIRST!

Safety: Drivers, Pedestrians… and Yours

Even though contractors are usually hired to construct or maintain a pavement, there’s another, more crucial, step on which they can offer guidance and that is safety. The safety of pedestrians and drivers should be of paramount importance and as with other regulations such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, it’s important to rely on a contractor who knows the regulations and can provide what you need.

Safety on Roads

Pavement marking, signage and traffic control in general is governed by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), which sets minimum standards for traffic control and safety throughout the country. Developed over the years by traffic control professionals and organizations “to provide safer, more efficient travel” on the country’s roads, the MUTCD is administered by the Federal Highway Administration and is updated as needed to account for new technology, traffic control tools or traffic management techniques.

Any materials put down or signage installed on roads must comply with MUTCD guidelines, which cover a broad variety of situations and requirements, including marking material color for specific circumstances, line width, retroreflectivity requirements (the ability of a sign or marking to reflect back to a driver), signage, crosswalk measurements and more.

MUTCD specifications are included in, for example, signage or pavement marking bids, and contractors must know and understand the specs to bid the work and complete the job per the guidelines.

Safety on Parking Lots

While traffic is moving at a much slower pace and traffic volume is significantly lower on parking lots, the addition of pedestrians, public transportation vehicles, and service or delivery trucks complicates safety issues. And where roads are generally straight until off-ramps or intersections, parking lots can have row upon row of parking stalls and it’s important to make clear to drivers through signs and pavement markings how to navigate what can look like a labyrinth. It’s also important to make clear to pedestrians the safe routes they can walk to and from their vehicle.

Here are some tips to consider regarding safety in parking lots:

For new construction, engineering plans often indicate which pavement markings go where. Ask your contractor to look these plans over prior to applying markings to make sure the traffic flow makes sense, gets vehicles in, through and out of the parking lot easily, and is generally safe. Architects and engineers who develop these plans think they know how traffic should flow – but often they don’t. This doesn’t mean their plans aren’t going to be correct – just that you’re better off getting a second opinion from someone who installs markings for a living before the paint is put down.

For restriping, don’t be afraid to reevaluate the layout and traffic flow of your parking lot. This is a perfect opportunity to look back at any complaints, traffic or pedestrian accidents, ADA compliance and other layout issues that can be easily fixed following an overlay or a new coat of sealer. Your contractor can tweak or completely redesign your parking layout if need be.

Liability Protection for You

In addition to providing a safe parking lot for drivers and pedestrians, proper and timely installation of signs and pavement markings can go a long way in protecting you from liability issues resulting from accidents. Injured parties who can claim markings or signage were confusing (or faded and difficult to see) can cost thousands in liability payments – and result in increased insurance premiums for you. To protect yourself from frivolous lawsuits:

Install all pavement markings and signage before opening your property to the public following new construction, an asphalt overlay or sealcoating.

Restripe your parking lot regularly. How often varies depending on your climate, traffic and type of marking material, but it’s much less costly to restripe than to settle a liability lawsuit and pay the increased insurance premiums.

Conduct a sign inventory regularly. Do this at least once a year but more often if you have concerns. Oftentimes property managers don’t know they have sign issues until it’s too late. If, for example, a garbage truck clips and bends a sign, making it unreadable to drivers and pedestrians, that sign needs to be replaced. The same is true of signs damaged by accidents or even vandalism. By conducting a regular sign inventory, noting the location of each sign and each type of sign, you can make sure signage is replaced in a timely manner.

Enlist the aid of service contractors who are on your property regularly – landscapers or sweepers, for example. Because they are on your property regularly they are an extra set of eyes that can let you know when something is amiss, whether it’s a damaged sign or faded striping.

Replace signs after accidents.

Replace signs that have become faded or that aren’t easy to see at night.

Use MUTCD-approved signage. According to the MUTCD website, “Owners of private roads open to public travel, such as those in shopping centers, theme parks, airports, sports arenas, and the like, also rely on the MUTCD to assure that road users invited to travel on their roads see messages consistent with those on public roads.” There are plenty of signs available that are less expensive, but they are often smaller, different colors and less reflective than MUTCD-approved signs.