Our condo corp has a relatively small parking lot in desperate need of repair. It is badly cracked and chuncks of asphalt are missing. The lot is on clay.
I had one contractor say that the existing asphalt is a good base and to just pave over it. The second contractor said if that was done, then it would crack since the base is unstable. He suggested digging out the existing lot and starting from scratch. We want this project to last several years.
Which would be the best way to go?
I would suggest digging it out and putting a proper compacted base underneath it.
As with all things, there are many trains of thought when it comes to property maintenance. As a condominium corporation with a reserve fund, I am sure you can appreciate that complete replacement of building elements is sometimes differed by management through proper execution of systemic repair programs.
An asphalt overlay program is one such example, where the overall lifespan of the asphalt paving is often prolonged 5 to 10 years (its eventual replacement coming at a much later date). However, these programs are generally unsuccessful in areas where there exist subsurface conditions (such as poor drainage) which accelerate the deterioration. Your description sounds like this may be the case (in at least part of the lot area).
Being a condominium corporation with a duty to current and future owners, it may be prudent to consider engaging an engineering firm to examine the conditions and provide a cost/benefit analysis of each of the possible options for the Board's consideration. You may find that the cost saving which may be had by choosing one option over the next do not outweigh its risks, particularly for a smaller lot. An engineer's carefully considered opinion ensures that 'unforeseen conditions' are minimized and your repair is successful.
In addition, an often overlooked benefit of hiring an engineering firm is that many are not simply designers but also project managers, meaning they work with qualified Contractors on a regular basis and could certainly recommend a few to price your project as well as oversee the execution of the work. When considering a proponent, be sure to cross-reference your respective regulatory body or ask for licensing information; in Ontario, Certificate of Authorization holders are listed on the Professional Engineers Ontario website.
Hope this helps.
A quick answer for you. And please keep in mind I am not a paving company. I sub-contract all asphalt work.
Having said that, remove all of the existing asphalt and have a additional material added for a stone base. Be sure it is thick enough and then properly compacted. You then want two layers of asphalt applied to the parking lot. The first 2 1/2"-3" thick. Then in the following season a finish coat about an inch thick. At that time any sinks or hollows can be filled as well.
Hope this helps.
With out seeing the problem it's hard to say, but I would suggest getting a couple more paving companies in, for their opinions.
My thought is if it's cracked bad, you don't pave over it. The cracks will just come back. To actually fix the problem, you might have to dig it all out and start over, or just the spots that are bad. It all depends on how the first guy layed it, and the type and depth of the base gravel is the most important part of any paving job.
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