When the days finally lengthen and the mornings lose that bitter chill, it’s time to assess the damage wrought by another New Jersey winter. For the board members and the property manager of a community association, that wintertime damage can be found throughout the property, from the landscaping and roofing to the tennis courts and, yes, even the parking lots.
The rain, ice, snow and salt that bombard a parking lot during the winter months can take a heavy toll. Cracks can form or spread. Potholes can appear and grow. Stone and chunks of pavement can break loose. Painted lines can wear and fade. Or a combination of all these things can happen at once. For a property manager already dealing with other spring clean-ups and repairs, a down-and-out parking lot can be a major headache and a costly repair.
Assessing The Damage
The first step is to inventory the damage done over the cold, icy months—and the simplest way to do that is by conducting a walk-through visual inspection of the property, looking for cracks, spalling, and other signs of pavement peril. “The only way to really determine is you've got to do a visual assessment,” says John Lisznaski of Louis N. Rothberg & Son in Middlesex. “Physically, pick particular areas of concern, measure [any defects] and get a quantity on them.”
This also may be the time to call in an expert to not only tally up this year’s needed repairs but to create a long-term plan of attack. Most pavement companies will work with client properties to create a maintenance program, prioritizing what needs to be addressed right now versus a few months or even years down the line. “For us, it's a visual inspection,” says Jack Onorati of Onorati Construction in Boonton Township. “Then we provide information and suggestions as to fix this area, fix that area—it's a detailed map. ‘This is where you have an issue—perhaps you need crack-filling,' and so forth."
With a long-term plan in place, current repairs can begin. Among the most common work done, cut-and-patch jobs will target specifically-affected areas. The “cut-and-patch” technique, for example, may be used to fix a pothole. Work crews will saw cut or jackhammer out the damaged areas, going at least a foot beyond the edges of the “injured” pavement, before putting in new processed stone and covering it with a thick coating of asphalt. They’ll then seal it tight.