For community associations and condominiums that are responsible for maintaining their streets and drainage, it is necessary to properly maintain the roads within your community. Just like everything else in your community, the streets and parking areas need routine maintenance as well.
The Florida sun is detrimental to nearly everything it comes in contact with and asphalt is no exception. This is an excerpt on asphalt deterioration from All Asphalt Services:
Deterioration begins immediately. You will see the rich black color turn to gray in no time. The sun dries out the natural oils and resins that are essential for the strength and flexibility of the pavement. Once the asphalt becomes dry, erosion of the top layer leads to cracks on the surface. Water penetrating into the asphalt base will soften and expand it and is the primary cause of deterioration. Cracking will continue and the surface will take on an “alligator appearance.”
To prevent premature deterioration and to prolong the life of your streets and parking areas, paving companies suggest “sealcoating” the asphalt areas:
Asphalt is sand, rock, and oil. The oil is the glue that holds it all together and is highly susceptible to problems with sun, water, and traffic. To keep the asphalt from drying and cracking it needs to be sealcoated. Sealcoat is a sun block for your pavement. New pavement should be allowed about six months to cure before sealing. Applications at approximately every three years will help to stop solar damage to the binder material. Sealcoating is a very cost effective preventative maintenance measure for extending the life of pavement. It resists damage from the sun, petroleum spills, and water penetration.
If you are on a member of the Board of Directors of a condominium or homeowners association that is responsible for paved parking areas or streets, this is a capital improvement project that should be allocated for. For Florida condominiums this is a reserve line item that is required to be funded along with roofing and painting reserves (Florida Statute 718.112). If your association has gone longer than 5 years without sealcoating the streets or parking areas, it’s time to consider implementing this routine maintenance item to your budget. Sealcoating is a relatively painless undertaking without considerable inconvenience. Contact your association manager or a paving contractor today to determine what is appropriate for your community.