Private Road Maintenance
- Posted by Barrington Hills
- On June 23, 2023
With 24.5 miles of private roads in our Village, it’s important for homeowners to know the signs of when it is time to resurface your private road, when patching is no longer the best option, what to look for when hiring a contractor and how to extend the life of a newly resurfaced road.
Fortunately, Alex Dye with Trotter & Associates has provided some answers! Thank you, Alex!
What are some signs it is might be time to resurface your private road?
There are a few signs that your road may need to be resurfaced. Here are some things to look out for:
- Cracks: It is normal for an asphalt pavement to crack over several years as the seasons cause the pavement to grow and shrink with temperature changes. The first few cracks aren’t an indicator for resurfacing, but after the buildup of 10 to 20 years of cracking without crack sealing, it might be time to resurface the road to protect the base course. Left unchecked these cracks can become larger and lead to potholes.
- Potholes: Potholes are a clear indication the road surface has deteriorated and needs to be resurfaced. Potholes can be dangerous for drivers and can cause damage to vehicles. Often these can be patched, but this is only a temporary solution as the freeze-thaw cycle will likely cause them to show up again.
- Rutting: Rutting occurs when the road surface becomes uneven, and you may notice water pools in wheel paths. This can be caused by heavy traffic, poor drainage and often is a sign of road base failure. This would be a sign that the road needs to be resurfaced and potentially a patch would be required.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s a good idea to contact a paving contractor to have the road inspected and determine if resurfacing or patching is necessary. This is a great time to do other work as well, like replacing failing culverts and improving drainage. Typically, paving contractors will have contacts in the industry and can manage those repairs as well.
When is patching a road no longer the best option?
The decision of when to stop patching and start repairing or reconstructing a road depends on several factors, including the overall condition of the road, the level of traffic it receives, and the available budget for road maintenance. If the road is heavily traveled and experiencing significant deterioration, it may be more cost-effective in the long run to invest in more extensive repairs or resurfacing rather than continually patching the road.
Ultimately, the decision will depend on a variety of factors specific to the road in question. If you find yourself with most of the roadway patched it would be good to resurface the road to remove all the joints. This will help slow down the infiltration of water and lead to a surface that requires less in annual maintenance costs.
What should your HOA look for when hiring a contractor?
When hiring a contractor, there are several important factors to consider to ensure you select a qualified and reliable professional. Here are some key things to look for:
- Experience and expertise: Look for a contractor with experience and expertise in the type of project you need help with. Ask for examples of their past work and check references to ensure they have a track record of successful projects.
- Licenses and certifications: Check that the contractor has the necessary licenses and certifications to operate legally in your area. This will help ensure they are qualified to do the work and follow local regulations.
- Insurance and Bonding: Ask for performance and payment bonds for the project, proof of insurance, including liability and workers’ compensation coverage. This will protect you in case the company runs into financial trouble or of accidents or damage that occurs during the project. Bonding and Insurance are standard requirements for municipal and state construction projects.
- Communication skills: A good contractor should have strong communication skills and be able to explain the project details and timeline clearly. They should also be responsive and easy to reach if you have questions or concerns.
- Pricing and contracts: Obtain detailed quotes and contracts from several contractors to compare pricing and ensure that all aspects of the project are clearly outlined. Beware of contractors who provide significantly lower bids than others, as this may indicate low quality work or hidden costs.
- Professionalism: Choose a contractor who presents themselves professionally and takes pride in their work. They should be respectful of your property and adhere to project timelines and deadlines.
- Compatibility: Finally, choose a contractor with whom you feel comfortable and can communicate well. This will help ensure a positive working relationship and a successful project outcome.
How can the life of a newly resurfaced road be extended?
Resurfacing a road can improve its condition and extend its life, but there are several steps that can be taken to further enhance the road’s longevity.
Applying Protective Coatings: Applying protective coatings such as Reclamite or CRF, as the Village does to roadways, help protect and restore the road surface from water damage and oxidation.
It is important to note that road sealing is just one aspect of road maintenance, and regular inspections, repairs, and other forms of maintenance (crack sealing, pavement patching) are also essential for keeping roads in good condition.
Vegetation growing on or near the road can cause damage to the roadway and drainage systems. The overhangs also cause the roadway to be slower to dry out, increasing the likelihood of potholes due to freeze thaw action and base failure. Controlling vegetation by trimming or removing it along with maintaining good drainage can help extend the life of the roadway.
By implementing these measures, the life of a resurfaced road can be extended, reducing the need for frequent repairs and replacements.