close up of contractor standing in front of puddle in parking lot

3 Questions to Ask Your Contractor Before You Buy

Your parking lot pavement is one of the largest and most costly assets of your property to maintain. Selecting a contractor to help you upkeep or repair this area requires a carefully deliberated decision. After all, parking lot maintenance isn’t just about filling in a random hole here or there. It is an equation involving multiple variables that, when executed properly, solves pavement problems effectively for the long term.

And, while there are many questions you should be asking your contractor, the following three questions can help ensure you are getting the right results and the best buy for your money.

Ask Three Questions to Buy Better:

ponding on parking lotWhat is the underlying cause of this particular pavement failure? The answer to this question will help you determine which repair is the right one (i.e. the most cost effective). For example, if you have areas of ponding in low-lying areas, it may be a drainage issue. Simply filling and patching the area would only be a short-term repair. Your catch basins may be clogged or there may not be sufficient drainage, which would necessitate the installation of a new catch basin.

What is the urgency or recommended time-frame in which to complete this repair? Asking this question will reveal not only when the repair should be executed, but also in what order. The discussion should consider physical location of the defect(s), the time of year, and geographic location of the parking lot. Let’s continue with the example above. If ponding is especially noticeable in well-traveled drive lanes after a spring shower and the parking lot is located in a wet climate, then the repair should be addressed prior to the spring season. Ultimately, widespread defects in drive lanes and parking stalls should take priority over isolated problem areas behind the property, for example. And, the season and climate in which the parking lot is located should help determine the best time of year to perform maintenance.

What materials and application process do you recommend and why? The long-term success of any parking lot pavement repair hinges on the answer to this question. Material choice is dependent on a range of factors including pavement condition, climate, and location. For example, crack sealing materials should be specific to an area’s climate as they are engineered to perform in specific temperature ranges as well as the amount of traffic the site incurs. It is not advisable, therefore, to select material simply based on price. Be sure your contractor has relationships with manufacturers across the country to provide key insight into which materials are ideal for every market in which you have properties. The right application technique is also crucial. Discuss with your contractor how he or she plans to apply or install certain products and that the process is compliant with manufacturer recommendations or guidelines. Also, ask about the equipment used. When sealcoating, for instance, your contractor should be able to explain why he is using a spray system or a squeegee to achieve desired results.

For more qualifying questions, consult with our pavement management specialists. Let’s Pave can serve as your partner in paving, helping you to fully understand your parking lot inventory, buy paving materials and services better, find the right contractors, and execute jobs more effectively.