The standard approach in our industry is often a simple one — visit site, take measurements of problem areas, submit quote to fix problem areas, move on to preparing next quote/estimate, keep fingers crossed that customer signs contract. As a property owner or manager, what’s in it for you? Perhaps a great price, but this is analogous to buying a pair of shoes that don’t fit because they were a great deal!
In some instances, this “face value” approach — merely taking inventory of evident problems and their logical solutions – is all that is warranted. In fact, our experience tells us that given a typical 30 year pavement life, quite often this approach is just dandy for the first 15, perhaps even 20 years. After that, things start to get a bit tricky and this “face value” approach can have dangerously expensive implications.
The nature of pavement maintenance is such that one can design projects purely around face value approaches (typical of most contractors) or by looking deeper. How old is the pavement? What is its maintenance and repair history? How much life is left? What are the end-of-life options for rehabilitation (reconstruction, overlay, etc)? If we spec this type of project now, will we be able to build on it with the next project and the end-of-life rehabilitation project or will all this money be wasted? What are the long-term cost per square foot per year implications of the respective options? How will the respective options leave the pavement looking and how important is that?
These are tough questions. Left unanswered, you might be doing the wrong project at the wrong time. At some point, those shoes that don’t fit could be leaving you with some nasty blisters.
If your pavement is past that 15-20 year age point, seek answers to these questions that go beyond the obvious face value approaches. Those answers will ensure that the value of your project runs deep.