If you own a business in a part of the country that often gets winter snow and ice, you may be dismayed to notice that the spring thaw has created multiple tire-bursting or alignment-wrecking potholes in your business's parking lot or access drive. As water seeps into tiny cracks in the asphalt and freezes, it expands to displace the surrounding pavement, causing it to buckle. Vehicle tires striking this vulnerable pavement can only worsen the problem, often sending large chunks of asphalt flying as they pass by. However, you may be reluctant to pay out of pocket for repairs to an access road if you suspect this road is (or should be) maintained by county or state highway department. Read on to learn more about how you can determine which entity is responsible for making needed repairs, as well as some inexpensive and fast-acting repairs you can make to ensure your customers are able to visit your business without risking damage to their vehicles.
How can you determine whether it's the city's (or your) responsibility to repair this drive?
While the safety and maintenance of privately owned parking lots remains the responsibility of the owner, determining who must repair an access drive, alley, or other public thoroughfare that provides access to your business's parking lot can be a trickier prospect. Your first step should be to contact your county or state highway department to make them aware of the structural issues at play. At this point, you're likely to receive one of two responses: an acknowledgement of responsibility and statement confirming that this road will be added to the list of those in need of repair; or the statement that this road is not deemed a public road and is, therefore, your responsibility.
While receiving the latter response can be frustrating, it also gives you the freedom to make these repairs quickly and minimize your potential liability if a customer's car is damaged -- or worse, if a customer is injured by tripping and falling in one of the potholes created by winter weather. Even if you quickly report the need for repair to the appropriate highway department, it could be weeks or even months before your repair is scheduled.
What are your options to quickly and inexpensively fill potholes?
Once you've determined that the maintenance of this area is your business's responsibility -- or that the county or state government has no plans to repair this portion of roadway in the near future -- your next step is to arrange repairs. Even if fixing these potholes isn't your legal responsibility, you may be able to recoup from the county or state any funds spent through the principle of "self help."
Fortunately, advances in construction technology have helped create some inexpensive patching and paving options that can get your drive back to new over the course of a weekend.
Reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) is an ideal option for quick repairs -- not only is it recycled and eco-friendly, it can be mixed at colder temperatures than "hot mix" asphalt, allowing repairs to take place on chilly spring days rather than waiting for summer weather. RAP is made from recycled asphalt, eliminating the need to use asphalt created from fresh crude (and therefore reducing price). However, unlike other "quick patch" products, RAP maintains the same structural integrity as fresh asphalt and shouldn't need to be repatched during winters to come.
Another durable and high-quality option is "cold mix" asphalt. Like RAP, cold mix asphalt is mixed at a lower temperature than hot mix asphalt and contains additional binding agents to keep it stable at these lower temperatures. Depending upon the availability of RAP in your area, cold mix asphalt can be a bit more expensive than RAP, but is generally comparable in both price and quality.
For more information, contact a company like Bituminous Roadways, Inc.
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