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The Cost of Deferring Pavement Maintenance

There’s just no way around it: Without maintenance, pavements deteriorate quickly. However, with the right maintenance strategy and expert application, it is possible to double the life of your pavement. The following graph depicts a typical pavement deterioration cycle and shows the impact that different maintenance strategies can have on the life of pavements:

Asphalt Pavement Lifecycle

The above graph is based on both Transportation Research Board and Federal Aviation Administration studies.

Notice how fast (steep) the pace of degradation occurs between years 7 and 10. It moves from fair condition to near failure in 3-4 short years. The impact of postponing critical maintenance only a few years leads to a 300-400% increase in pavement remediation costs!

We saw this happen during the Great Recession a few years back: Many customers were forced to make decisions to defer needed maintenance due to severe budget restrictions only to find that waiting a few years cost them much more to bring the pavement up to fair condition.

In order to maximize the life of these surfaces, they must be protected from natural and man-made forces (see our post on what causes asphalt distress and deterioration). Your greatest allies in the battle against the forces trying to steal your hard earned money are asphalt emulsion (A.E.) seal coats and crack filling performed at regular intervals.

When protective measures are not applied in time, or they have been applied and the pavement has reached the end of its useful life, it’s time to change strategy. Corrective maintenance methods such as asphalt overlay, slurry sealing, and micro surfacing are recommended in repairing pavements beyond the reaches of preventive measures but can still go a long way to extending the life of the pavement underneath (see graph).

Seems like a lot to think about, right? After all, it’s just asphalt! Truth is, asphalt is a significant asset that needs attention on a regular basis to keep your investment from going in the hole (no pun intended). At Ace, we’ve been maximizing owners’/managers’ return on pavement investments for more than 45 years. Contact us today and let us help you with your pavement needs.

ACE Asphalt is a full service asphalt maintenance, repair, and paving company with offices in Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff, Arizona, Las Vegas, Nevada, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Dallas,Texas. Ace serves the parking lot repair, maintenance, and paving needs of property managers, building owners, and contractors.

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