Hit the Road

March 2019

With winter nearing an end it’s time for condo corporations to make their spring paving decisions.

Pot holes, sunken manhole covers and expanding pavement cracks will not heal themselves.  Before the condominium manager calls paving contractors it is best to become familiar with methods of repairs.

What we call asphalt, also known as bituminous concrete, is a mixture of stone and sand held together with a petroleum product.  Asphalt is paved on a layer of soil and gravel.  Paving with this product can last about 20 years if not for deterioration when exposed to sun and water.  Cold weather, freeze/thaw and freezing water further damage asphalt.  Protecting asphalt so it lasts the estimated 20 years requires a sealing coat be applied, be reapplied every few years, and have ongoing repairs to cracks and depressions.

Five paving technologies are available.  Lower cost paving technologies require more frequent repairs and regular maintenance thus costing more in the long run.


Throw ‘n Roll – Temporary pot hole repairs where liquid asphalt fills a hole and is rolled over with heavy equipment to compact it.  Relatively low cost, good for quick repairs and degrades faster.

Semi-permanent repair – Similar to the Throw ‘n Roll except more deliberate.  The hole is properly cleaned and trimmed to sound pavement.  Asphalt is then compacted using a vibratory roller or plate.

Spray-injection – Uses equipment to spray a tack coat of asphalt into a cleaned hole and then blowing asphalt and aggregate into the hole.

Full-depth roadway replacement – Rebuilds the pavement by pulverizing old asphalt and mixing it with cement and water to form a base for a final asphalt surface.  This can be more expensive while providing better long-term results.

Infrared Repair – Uses equipment emitting infrared heating to melt a damaged surface and remove defects with new asphalt on the surface.  Patches become seamless with less chance of future potholes.  This method, while more expensive, is often more cost effective than large patch jobs.

So if you have not done anything with your paving, it may be time to hit the road.

Henry Jansen is president and owner of Criterium-Jansen Engineers and specializes in Reserve Fund Studies and condominium related projects. Check us out at Criterium-Jansen.