Pave New World Maintaining Roads, Sidewalks and Pavers

How solid is the ground on which you walk and drive upon in your community? The answer might surprise you, as could the amount of money that might be seeping from your community’s reserve fund from unnecessary repairs to driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks.

Whether taking the form of sidewalks, parking lots and slabs, driveways, pool decks, or outdoor design elements, paved surfaces are everywhere in Florida’s condo and HOA communities. Caring for and repairing these acres of asphalt (as well as the community’s concrete, pavers, etc.), is a tedious task. The management has the responsibility of keeping the pavement outside front doors in good shape; but it’s also in the interest of everyone in a community to keep an eye on these parts of the infrastructure.

Understanding the various materials, methods, and technologies involved in paving located in a multifamily condo or HOA might seem purely the bailiwick of property management, and not a concern of the resident or board member. Still, it makes sense to save dollars. Having a clue on whether the asphalt parking lot just needs a patch or major renovation could save everyone in the HOA a lot of time and money.

Firm Foundations

Knowing about paving means understanding the materials used for such projects. Just as some contractors are better at doing certain projects and not as great at working on other types of jobs, however, the correct material for the project may not be the one that seems best at the outset. Sometimes, when everyone is yelling for new asphalt, concrete could be needed, or vice versa.

Generally speaking in South Florida residential communities, parking lots are asphalt, and sidewalks, patios, and pool pavements are concrete. The differences are distinct: asphalt is made of big and small rocks, sand, and petroleum; it’s flexible, and cures over six to 12 months. Asphalt, though, never really “sets up,” as is the case with most concretes, which become a solid, impermeable surface after they cure.

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