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Ace Asphalt Maintenance Blog

The Zebra Conundrum

My kids have watched the movie “Madagascar” more times than I can count. One of the main characters is a zebra named Marty who lives in the Central Park Zoo but longs to experience the wide-open spaces of the wild. At one point, he tells his friend Alex the Lion, “My life is half over and I don’t even know if I’m black with white stripes or white with black stripes.” Marty’s identity crisis is rooted in three areas: life, appearance and purpose. Like Marty, your property has an identity crisis of its own … and it might just start with your asphalt surfaces. Let’s take a look.

The Zebra Conundrum

  • Life – In the asphalt maintenance industry, we often talk about the life cycle of your pavement. That’s because no two surfaces are the same. For example, let’s say you have two parking lots installed on your property at the same time – one in the front and one in the back. The front lot receives lighter traffic loads from automobiles and pedestrians while the back lot gets heavier traffic loads from garbage trucks and semis. Which lot will last longer? It depends.

    There are multiple factors that can contribute to the deterioration of asphalt surfaces: drainage, sun exposure, freeze-thaw cycle, asphalt mix type, subgrade issues, traffic stress, etc. That’s why we recommend an evaluation by one of our professional estimators. An evaluation lets you know where your pavement is in its life cycle and helps determine which maintenance or reconstructive solutions are right for your property.

  • Appearance – Your parking lot is more than just “black with white stripes”. It’s a welcome mat to your property. Any conscientious property owner or manager wants their property to look its best at all times. Keeping up the appearance of a property not only helps businesses succeed, it is one of the top ways to protect its value.

    First impressions are lasting. Unsightly potholes, cracks, oil stains, standing water, and unraveled parking lots and other paved surfaces pull attention away from more attractive, valuable qualities of a property. This leaves customers, potential buyers, or tenants with a perception that the entire property has been neglected. This may not be a fair or accurate assessment, but it is an issue that can negatively impact your property or business.

  • Purpose – At the very least, asphalt surfaces help people get to and travel safely around your property. And we’ve seen above that your pavement is an investment that contributes to the overall success of your property or business. Proper asphalt maintenance maximizes your return on investment by extending the useful life of your pavements, saving you money in the long run.

    The costs associated with preventive pavement maintenance strategies such as regular seal coats, crack filling, individual repairs, and resurfacing treatments are much less over time than complete removal and replacement of your pavements. (See our post on the cost of deferring pavement maintenance)

Look outside. Are your asphalt surfaces experiencing “the zebra conundrum”? If so, contact us today to request a free assessment!

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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