Commercial road surface maintenance guide - Hydroblasting, Surfacing, Telecoms, Rail, Minor Civils, Road marking, Traffic Management & Drainage.

Not all surfaces affected by potholes and surface wear are public or residential roads. Many service roads and car parks that are privately owned by businesses/entities also suffer from the same issues. Viable infrastructure is what keeps Britains on the move so it is equally important for businesses/companies/schools/hospitals etc. to invest in maintaining entrance/exit roads and their car parks.  

The British Parking Association believes that over half of all car parks in the UK contain some form of structural decay. It is therefore essential to protect and maintain your car park surface as a means of maximising life expectancy. 

Many problems with commercial road surfaces have occurred over the last two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since most offices and shops entered lockdown measures and a large percentage of the population worked from home, maintenance works were neglected. Now, as some workers are starting to return to their offices and children to school they can see the access roads and car parks have fallen into disrepair.   

It is the company/entity legal responsibility to provide maintenance for their roads/car parks and repair any issues that may arise. Should an incident occur with a pedestrian or vehicle that is a direct result of the surface falling into disrepair, then the property owners may be liable. In many cases, the business/association may face very costly legal action against themselves and still have to incur the cost of repairing problematic areas on top of this. 

Not only can this be financially hard-hitting but can also be costly from a moral standpoint and result in diminishing reputation.  If a company/business fails to act on basic maintenance issues then it does not reflect well on them. It can give the impression that the wellbeing of employees, clients and stakeholders is not of high importance as they are willing to allow all to drive over poorly surfaced roads and potentially cause damage/crashes on company property.

Access roads and car parks are the very first thing a person sees before they enter a premises. If  the first thing they are greeted with is a road/car park in need of extensive maintenance works then the first impression isn’t going to be a good one. From an aesthetic standpoint it is imperative that a car park is not full of holes and divots if it is to give a professional appearance that is a reflection of the business. 

The Top 5 Ways to Maintain Commercial Road Surfaces 

1) Develop a Surface Drainage System

Installing an effective drainage system in your car park is not only regulation but is also imperative to maintaining the surface wellbeing. If surface liquids and other materials do not have an effective runoff and drainage system then they cause erosion, pollution and in certain cases; localised flooding. 

Surface erosion will create cracks and crevases which in turn develop into potholes if not not dealt with quickly. These potholes will only cause further damage to road users vehicles and be a source of potential hazards/injuries. 

Pollution from materials such as: vehicle oil, fuel, grease, hydraulic fluids and suspended solids can be a direct result of poor surface drainage. In many cases additional measures may be needed to ensure that none of these pollutants enter surface water drains or other water courses. The installation of oil separators can be used to combat this. Aside from the environmental impact and potential health hazards; a business may also be prosecuted if they are not seen to deal with polluted materials. 

Localised flooding can be a direct result of poorly maintained or a non-existent drainage system. If surface water drains are not regularly cleaned and unblocked then this can cause water to back up and flood as it has nowhere else to go. Once water starts pooling then it will start to damage the integrity of the surface above and below ground. 

Does your commercial property already have a drainage system? If so, it may need to be improved or evaluated to ensure it is up to standards and regulations. If a more efficient drainage system is installed then it could do a lot to prevent road surface issues going forward.

With over 20 years experience in the industry, THB can install and maintain the drainage systems in your car park and access roads to help prevent and eradicate any drainage issues. 

2) Filling in the Cracks and Potholes

Winter nights in the UK tend to experience high rainfall and below-freezing temperatures regularly. Subsequently, below surface water from rainwater frequently freezes; expanding, contracting and causing weakening to various parts of the surface over days, weeks, and months. This movement in the substrata then pushes towards the surface and as vehicles drive over the area regularly, it eventually causes pieces of the road to become loose and break away from the surface. The early signs of damage will be small cracks and holes on the surface. That is how dangerous potholes are formed.

Access roads and car parks are the very first thing a person sees before they enter a premises. If the first thing they are greeted with is a road/car park in need of extensive maintenance works then the first impression isn’t going to be a good one. From an aesthetic standpoint it is imperative that a car park is not full of holes and divots if it is to give a professional appearance that is a reflection of the business.

The faster you act, the more effective pothole reparations are. The longer these problematic areas are left, the worse the situation will become. As the potholes become more trafficked and weather conditions worsen, this will only lead to the holes becoming longer, wider, deeper and more prevalent throughout a road. As the conditions worsen then subsequently so do the negative effects. 

3) Vegetation Clearance

Do you have a lot of trees and bushes surrounding the commercial roads of your property?

Through clearing and eradicating problematic vegetation (trees, hedges, bushes)  that encroach on or above roadspace you could be preventing much larger issues from arising in the near future. 

Grass and weeds left unattended have the ability to overgrow through hard surfaces, breaking up the surface materials and creating hazards for both drivers and pedestrians. Overgrown materials can also create a loss of vision, blocking road signs and road markings which can be extremely dangerous for drivers and the like. 

Overgrown bushes and hedges can cause considerable damage to a vehicle if they are within roadspace. Overhanging branches and debris can collide with vehicles and scrape alongside causing aesthetic and structural damage. 

Trees and bushes can easily cause debris and obstructions to fall onto the road and block people’s driving paths. Fallen tree branches and roadside sediment have the same potential to cause damage to a vehicle’s suspension system as potholes and cracks do. Overhanging tree branches can be extremely hazardous in the event that they can break away and fall onto a vehicle or pedestrian. 

By regularly cutting back, removing and maintaining vegetation; the probability for all of the above happening is greatly diminished. 

4) Updating Road Markings

Part of maintaining commercial road surfaces is to ensure that clear visible road markings are on them. The purpose of road markings is to give directional and safety information to all the visitors and clients who come to your property. It will help them figure out where to go, where to park, where to stop, what speed to drive, pedestrian crossing points, walkways etc. Car park users cannot process this information if roadmarkings have begun to fail, are unclear or non-existent which is extremely problematic. 

Ease of navigation is essential when maneuvering around a car park. By refreshing existing linemarking or installing new, greater visibility allows car park users to have a better understanding of layout and instructions. This in turn creates a safer and more accessible environment for them.  

Most materials used for linemarking incorporates reflective properties that allow drivers to see the markings even in poor lighting. However this will fade over time which is why it is important to keep these refreshed regularly. Roadmarkings are only as good as the surface they are installed on which is why it is important to keep the surface maintained. Regardless of material, if markings are laid on top of substandard surfaces then the markings will fail. 

5) Surface Cleansing and Retexturing

Surface re-texturing offers a quick and cost effective way of maintaining skid- resistant road surfaces by restoring texture. Surface cleansing brings a surface back to life by removing all grime, dirt and general debris. 

Often businesses and councils will needlessly outlay for entire areas/roads to be resurfaced in order to return skid resistance and texture depth to the surface. 

Hydroblasting is an advanced technology in road surface retexturing and bitumen removal. Excess bitumen is removed from the road surface to restore skid resistance and texture depth to desired levels. 

The hydroblaster can also be used to cleanse areas of general dirt and grime. The process involves ultra high pressure water jets penetrating and breaking up material which is then transported through a vacuum system and stored in the unit’s onboard tanker. 

Hydroblasting is the most eco-friendly, economical and efficient method to retexturing and cleansing surfaces. In doing this, an entire surface can be completely rejuvenated both aesthetically and from a safety aspect.

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