Spend Your Paving Budget On This, Not That!


May 8, 2018

Where to spend your paving budgetWe’re glad that customers rely on us as their trusted source in pavement management. Part of this relationship involves answering a lot of questions. One of the most common is: ‘How can I get the most bang for my buck?’

While that may be a loaded question, we’re still happy to provide guidance. First, a disclaimer—the answer will vary from organization to organization and from site to site. But, generally speaking, here is where to spend and where to save:


  1. Pavement Assessments – If you don’t know what’s out there, you can’t determine where to best allocate dollars. Hire a professional to inspect your properties and take note of defects, prioritize repairs, and rank each site in your portfolio. The data collected can then be used to develop a budget spanning 2 to 3 years ahead—complete with future expenditure predictions based on past spend, drivers of cost, and other variables specific to your organization. This service is truly invaluable and will pay for itself over your pavement’s lifespan.
  2. Preventative Maintenance – Being proactive with pavement maintenance is the best use of budget dollars. This means regularly inspecting your pavement and implementing a pavement management plan that includes routine crack sealing, seal coating, and lot marking. This approach can save $0.10-$0.30/SF per year over 10 years. (Note: Performing crack sealing in a timely manner is the most effective form of preventative maintenance because it delays more expensive structural repairs.)
  3. Material Specification – The right material is critical to the success of any paving project. That’s why it pays to consult with a paving partner that has an intimate understanding of the unique geography, climate, and land quality to develop a specification. Providing this spec to all contractors bidding the work makes it easy to compare proposals on an objective basis and, ultimately, get what you pay for.


  1. Band-Aid Approaches – It might seem sensible, for example, to patch or crack seal an area of deteriorated asphalt. But sometimes pavement is beyond the point where patching, crack sealing, or seal coating will help. It’s important to determine the cause of failure and treat the underlying problem. Otherwise, you’re just throwing money away on a temporary repair that will need to be re-addressed.
  2. Gimmicks – If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. While a low bid is not always cause for alarm, it should be carefully examined. Be sure the contractor’s pricing is based on proper materials, scope, and application. Some contractors have been known to cut corners in order to make a profit at the expense of your pocketbook and pavement condition.
  3. Out-of-Season Services – To every thing there is a season, and paving is no exception. Seal coating, for example, must be performed when temperatures are at least 50°F and rising, and no rain is forecasted for 24 hours. If applied under any other conditions, the procedure may cause peeling, flaking, and discoloration. Become familiar with application recommendations for all paving services before you buy.


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