Parking Lot Answers

Steven Brahney

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Top 5 Services To Perform On Your Asphalt Parking Lot & Sidewalks Before 11/30/17

Posted by Steven Brahney on September 19, 2017

As Labor Day has ended, it is the not so subtle reminder that Summer is over and Fall is almost here.  

If you are a Facility / Property Manager in NJ, PA, DE or MD and arrive back to work today; there are less than 60 days left to seal coat your asphalt parking lots and less than 90 days to pave your asphalt parking lots in "acceptable weather" conditions.

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Topics: Parking Lot Sealcoating, Parking Lot Paving

Top 3 Reasons To Sealcoat Your Asphalt Parking Lot Before Winter

Posted by Steven Brahney on August 8, 2017

If you are located in New Jersey, Delaware, Philadelphia or Northern Maryland the seal coating season is going to end in less than 90 days!  It is important to protect your asphalt from the damaging effects of Mother Nature and also not to wait till the last minute.

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Topics: Asphalt Sealcoating, Parking Lot Sealcoating, seal coating

Deciding on Asphalt or Concrete for your Next Project

Posted by Steven Brahney on June 30, 2017


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Topics: Asphalt Paving, Concrete Paving

Why Summer Is The Best Time To Seal Coat Your Asphalt Parking Lot Or Driveway

Posted by Steven Brahney on June 20, 2017

There are 18 weeks left to the 2017 seal coating season of which 16 are ideal and recommended by asphalt coating manufacturers for the Delaware Valley.

That may sound like a lot of time, however, in the big scheme of things it isn't for several reasons. First, professional seal coating contractors are in demand, and by August most of their schedules are full to the end of the season. Weather plays a large part in scheduling and completing seal coating projects. Extended periods of rain will delay plans and if your project can only be completed on certain days, for instance, Saturday & Sunday, it further hampers the ability to plan it.

Being in the seal coating business for over 25 years I have watched every Fall as property managers try to cram in last minute projects. At the same time, I have witnessed greedy contractors promise them the world only to see the same projects after winter with all the pavement sealer worn off the asphalt from a substandard application in weather that is not conducive to seal coating.

Why Summer is the BEST time to apply pavement sealer:

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Topics: Asphalt Sealcoating

Banking On Preventative Maintenance For Your Financial Institution

Posted by Steven Brahney on March 27, 2017

Prevenative Maintenance For Your Bank Parking Lots


It goes without saying that banks understand the value of a dollar. 

From the appearance of many financial institutions asphalt parking lots, it appears some may fall short recognizing the value of Preventative Maintenance.

If financial institutions place as much value on their second largest capital expenditure (Parking Lots & Sidewalks) as their financials, they would recognize an immediate return on their investment.

When depositors visit your bank branches does the asphalt parking lots, say "Welcome!" or something else? Is the asphalt smooth with clearly marked line striping or is the parking lot gray and rough with faded pavement markings? Are their large cracks in the asphalt parking lot which could cause a woman in high heels to trip and twist her ankle? Is your handicap parking stalls ADA compliant for disabled customers who need to gain access to the lobby to speak with a customer service rep or access the ATM? Are your sidewalks level and free from heaving and tripping hazards?

Recognizing the value of Preventative Maintenance:

What is preventative maintenance?

Preventative maintenance is a systemized approach to executing pavement maintenance services not only to delay expensive asphalt milling and paving but also to provide an aesthetically pleasing surface for your bank customers to drive, park and walk on!

Preventative Maintenance For Your Bank Parking Lot Includes:

Asphalt Sealcoating- Applying a 2-3 heavy duty application of coal tar emulsion, eco-friendly hybrid emulsion or asphalt emulsion pavement sealer to the asphalt parking lot on a 3-year rotation.






Crack Sealing- Applying a hot pour rubberized crack sealant to open cracks in the parking lot to prevent infiltration of water to the subgrade. Crack sealing keeps the water out and prevents potholes and alligator cracks from forming.





Asphalt Repairs- Repairing potholes with hot mix asphalt through saw cut and removal or Infrared asphalt restoration. Furthermore, identifying alligator cracked asphalt pavement and repairing the areas with full depth asphalt repair or saw cut and removal. Hot rubberized crack sealer and seal coating is NOT designed as a long-term fix for alligator cracks.




Concrete Sealing- Applying a penetrating concrete sealer to sidewalks and drive up concrete pads to prevent spalling from deicing chemicals.

Line Striping- Restriping your bank parking lots on a 2-year rotation will keep the parking lot marked and orderly thereby preventing vehicle accidents. A fresh restripe lights up a parking lot similar to how fresh mulch highlights a landscape berm.

"Great info but I have 100 branches in my portfolio I manage at all different ages and states of deterioration. How do I manage all this on top of managing the roof, ATM machine, plumbing, HVAC, landscaping, snow removal, and security system?"

All Of Your Bank Branches Can Be Managed Through A Pavement Management Plan:

What is a Pavement Management Plan (PMP)?  A Pavement Management Plan (PMP) utilizes a technology-driven approach to managing all of your asphalt and concrete assets. An initial parking lot inspection is performed whereas a site report is generated listing the condition of the asphalt and concrete. The report will have an inventory of all defects with supporting pictures and measurements along with budgeted cost estimates.

From there you have a solid work plan of what needs to be done where and how with the exact cost to make the repairs.

Also, the PMP will have a 3-10 year budget plan outlining all of the future work to be completed on a schedule.

A technology driven pavement repair company will be able to set up a computerized database in the cloud for you to access anytime. You will be able to go into your project file and drill down to any amount of details needed for any of your branches. For example, you can look at the history of completed work with backup documentation to include completed pictures to doing a one year look ahead to see what branches are on schedule the following year for what services and the budgeted cost to help you complete your CAPEX Budget with the click of the mouse.

Recognizing The Savings Of A Preventative Maintenance Plan For Your Bank Parking Lot:

The spread sheet above demonstrates that by developing a Preventative Maintenance Plan for your bank parking lot you will save $100,000.00 over the course of 14 years.  Thats $100,000 "per branch"- how many branches are in your portfolio?   

10 Branches: $1,008,000.00

25 Branches: $ 2,520,000.00

50 Branches: $5,040,000.00

As you can see from the numbers, the savings over 14 years are enormous and would get any bank executives attention to help you capitalize your Preventative Maintenance Budget.  

What is the cost of a Pavement Management Plan?

The cost for a Pavement Management Plan is typically $300.00 - $700.00 per branch parking lot. Some contractors will offer the plans free of charge with a service agreement in place to complete your parking lot maintenance work.

How much does it cost to seal coat a bank parking lot?

For a typical two coat application of pavement sealer, the cost ranges from $0.17 - $0.35 sq ft. Pricing is dictated by the size of the bank parking lot, a number of mobilizations and the type of pavement sealer used. For example, if your bank is open 7 days a week it will require a fast setting pavement sealer similar to the ones used at airports that will be dry and ready for traffic in under 3 hours. These pavement sealers are on the more expensive end of the scale close to $0.35 sq ft versus a standard drying pavement sealer that can be applied after the branch closes at Noon on Saturday and dries within 24 hours. These pavement sealers will be closer to $0.17 sq ft.

(How Much Does It Cost To Seal Coat A Parking Lot)

How much does is cost to crack seal a bank parking lot?

Hot rubberized crack sealing is typically $1.00 per lineal foot with most paving companies having a minimum charge of $750.00 - $1,500.00 or $1.00 per lineal foot- whichever is greater.

(How Much Does It Cost To Crack Seal A Parking Lot) 

How much does it cost to line stripe a bank parking lot:

A typical sized branch parking lot should be $500.00 - $700.00 to restripe.

(How Much Does It Cost To Line Stripe A Parking Lot)

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Topics: Sealcoating, Pavement Management Planning, Preventative Maintenance

Why does asphalt crack in front of dumpsters?

Posted by Steven Brahney on March 24, 2017

If you own/manage a commercial property, you may notice the asphalt in front of your dumpster may be cracked or rutted.

What causes pavement cracking or rutting in front of your dumpster?

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Topics: asphalt repairs

Why Does Asphalt Pavement Crack?

Posted by Steven Brahney on February 16, 2017

NJ Parking Lot Crack Repair



Asphalt cracks for several reasons:

  • Improper pavement thickness
  • Improper base thickness
  • Deterioration from lack of maintenance (ie: seal coating and crack sealing)
  • Weakened paver seams
  • Non-Load bearing sub grade

It is important to understand the reason your asphalt pavement is cracking so the proper corrective or structural maintenance can be performed.   

How do you determine the cause of the failure?

Initially, a subsurface evaluation is performed whereas a pavement expert (Civil Engineer or Seasoned Pavement Contractor) walks the property to evaluate the surface areas of failure.  The failure may be localized in heavy traffic areas such as a dumpster loading zone, delivery area, front drive lane or loading dock or may be wide spread throughout the entire parking lot.  

The most thorough method is asphalt and sub-grade coring where a coring machine is used to take 6-12 samples throughout the parking lot and the sub-grade is evaluated for stability and composition of materials.  

Some of the questions coring will answer are:

What is the current thickness of the asphalt?  Is the sub grade a solid 6"-12" of processed quarry stone / recycled aggregate or is the asphalt placed on top of native soil?  Has clay mixed into the sub grade to weaken it?  Is underground water present? etc etc etc

Here is an example of improper pavement thickness for the surface course of asphalt.  It is apparent the cracking is due to the constant high traffic. (REMEDY: Mill the asphalt to a depth of 2"and power sweep the milled asphalt to check for cracks.  If no crack exist, install a 2" asphalt overlay followed by a preventative maintenance plan (Seal coating Year 2 and then every 3 years there after).

Here is an example of improper base thickness.  The base was not a load bearing surface which has allowed the asphalt to create a pothole and expose the poor sub-grade.  (REMEDY: Mill the asphalt to a depth of 10"and install 6" of stone, 2" of binder asphalt and 2" of surface asphalt followed by a preventative maintenance plan (Seal coating Year 2 and then every 3 years there after).


Deterioration from a lack of maintenance:  

This small strip center performed some periodic crack sealing but did not perform follow up crack sealing or pavement seal coating which has allowed the asphalt to crack and deteriorate.  (What should have been done: Parking lots that are more than 4 years old should be inspected once a year as part of a Pavement Management Plan (PMP).  If cracks are present an inspection should be complete din the early spring and late fall with any cracks that are unsealed being sealed with a hot pour rubberized crack sealant to prevent water infiltration.  This strip center owner would have benefited greatly from a Preventative Maintenance Plan that included asphalt seal coating on a 3 year rotation)

Paver seams opening in a 3-4 year old asphalt parking lot:

All parking lots will have paver seams as the asphalt begins to age.  Joint construction- the technical term used to describe paver seams- will begin to separate if when the asphalt was installed the joints began to cool to quickly between passes.  When the vertical walls of the joints cool too quickly between passes they will begin to seperate at years 2-5 after installation.  Bottom line, during the most perfect paving jobs things go wrong during installation that are sometimes beyond the contractors control (ie: weather, un-forcasted high winds, traffic delays, asphalt plant break downs, excessive lines at the asphalt plant etc) which make it impossible to have hot seams on every pass.   (REMEDY: Clean the joints thoroughly with compressed air and a hot air lance if moisture is present.  Install a hot rubberized crack sealant with an application of black beauty slag black sand for traction, durability and less traffic control.  Inspect these joints in the spring and fall and provide follow up sealing as needed as they are a direct express lane for water to enter the sub grade)

Non-load bearing sub-grade is easy to identify as there will be ruts throughout the parking lot which will be highlighted after a rain storm.  This is caused typically by clay based soils underneath the asphalt which result in a "wave".  (REMEDY: The asphalt parking lot needs to be cored down into the sub grade to determine the geology of the soils along with testing the California Bearing Ratio Test-CBR- of the underground soils to determine how deep the excavation will need to go to reach load bearing soils to install sub grade stone over.  In some cases a plastic geotextile soil stabilization membrane may be needed to stabilize the native soils prior to installing the sub grade stone)  

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Topics: asphalt repairs

Should you wait till Spring to repair potholes?

Posted by Steven Brahney on January 17, 2017


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Topics: pothole repairs

Top 3 Reasons Preparation Is Key To A Successful Paving Project

Posted by Steven Brahney on September 7, 2016


In the pictures above you can see where an asphalt overlay was installed over a parking lot with extensive alligator cracks which have resurfaced back up into the new asphalt

Can you pave over a parking lot with alligator cracks, potholes or extensive random cracking?


A question I am often asked is: "Can I just pave over the existing parking lot?"

The answer is yes & no...

If the parking lot is older, oxidized, raveled and in poor condition aesthetically than the answer is: YES

If the parking lot is older, has extensive cracking, extensive alligator cracked areas, puddles, potholes, areas of standing water and poor drainage the answer (From an engineering standpoint) is: NO


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Topics: Asphalt Paving

Top 5 Reasons To Crack Seal Your Parking Lot Before  Winter

Posted by Steven Brahney on September 6, 2016


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Topics: Crack Sealing

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