Roads serve as a key national asset for many countries. They offer the foundation for economic activity and, on a smaller level, make sure that people’s day-to-day activities run safely and smoothly. If there were no roadways, people would not see and enjoy economic development growth. What’s more, a large majority won’t be able to access employment, education, health and social services.
Given these facts, keeping roads operational and safe is of utmost importance. Companies (or government agencies) tasked to keep roads in good condition typically follow these best practices:
1. Prevent Water from Damaging the Roadways
Rain isn’t just tough on drivers. It can be tough on roads, as well. Workers performing road maintenance should make sure that the roadways can appropriately handle water and moisture. They can do this by applying bituminous-based waterproofing solutions on the layers of the pavement. This helps extend the lifespan of the road, providing workers with less maintenance work.
On top of waterproofing solutions, good drainage is crucial. This keeps water away and off the roadways. Contractors doing road maintenance have to make sure that there’s proper surface drainage to stop water from damaging the road surface.
Ditches are also essential in keeping water away from the roadway. Workers can keep these ditches clean and protected from erosion. They use water turnouts or culverts at regular intervals to relocate the water in the ditches. The purpose of culverts is to move water from one side of the road to the other. This action cuts down the likelihood of erosion by controlling water velocity and flow.
2. Be Quick with Emergency Maintenance
This type of maintenance is necessary should something terrible happen, which has a tangible and immediate impact on the safety of road users or the overall flow of traffic. Torrential downpours, for instance, may cause flooding. This can unfortunately disrupt the whole road network. What’s more, it can pose a serious risk of injury (or worse, death) to pedestrians and road users.
If the road sustains damage from an incident, local authorities and road maintenance service providers should take care of emergency road maintenance concerns right away. This will prevent any road problem or issue from getting worse.
3. Clean the Roadways Regularly
Periodic cleaning also helps in maintaining modern roads.
If the road does not undergo regular cleaning, dirt may build up within the cracks and lead to severe damage. Roadway damage can raise the likelihood of a vehicular accident, which is something that motorists avoid when they’re hitting the road. Road cleaning, therefore, is something that roadway maintenance companies or government agencies should do on a regular basis.
4. Fill Cracks Right Away
If the roadway has cracks, water can enter and negatively affect the structural integrity of the pavement. What’s more, heavy vehicles, such as buses and trucks, can cause these cracks to widen.
Sealing the cracks using the appropriate materials will solve the problem. Also, sealcoating the surface every few years can extend the lifespan of the roadway. It shields the surface from water seepage and harmful elements.
5. Keep Good Records
Good maintenance records make roadwork easier for contractors and workers. Once work is completed, people performing maintenance or repair on the roadways should record their job using a reliable recordkeeping platform.
6. Remove Snow and Ice As Soon As Possible
During wintertime, the freeze-thaw cycle can damage the asphalt pavement of a road. The built-up water, together with high temperatures and the weight of the vehicles, can degrade the road. Periodic ice and snow removal, therefore, is a crucial requirement for maintaining asphalt roads. Hiring a professional ice and snow removal service provider is also highly recommended to achieve the best results.
7. Perform Regular Inspection
Although properly built roads can survive heavy traffic, the pavement can deteriorate quickly without regular and effective maintenance. Ideally, the best courses of action to take would be to cut down the volume of heavy vehicles passing through the road or minimize the load of heavy vehicles using the roadway. This, however, is not always possible.
Regular inspection, therefore, is the best way to bump up the lifespan of roads. These inspections allow timely detection and repair of any damage to roadways. Road maintenance firms can deploy service personnel for regular inspection, maintenance and repair.
8. Fix Potholes Immediately
A combination of increased traffic and wet weather conditions causes potholes. These can damage tires and break suspension springs and shock absorbers. Timely pothole repair is necessary for this situation. People use roads to get to their destination. Companies and government agencies in charge of taking care of the roadways should make sure to keep these structures in good condition to avoid accidents and keep day-to-day operations running smoothly.