Road Maintenance in Housing Societies or Apartment Complexes

Roads are a joyous thoroughfare, meeting points, and aesthetic assets for a society and its residents; the more maintained they are, the more they reflect the true status symbol of a housing society.

What causes road deterioration

The main factors that cause road deterioration are changes in climate, water gathering on the surface, fuel spills, vehicular load, traffic, weak subgrade, poor drainage, excessive heat and rainfall. The average lifespan of a quality road is 15-20 years and proper overlays periodically with preventive maintenance can add up to 10 years to the lifespan. Using good quality construction materials and experienced labour at the initial construction stage averts countless breakage and deformation problems in the long run. 

Societies often neglect road maintenance thinking, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, an approach that leads to accumulation of minor cracks and breakages that gradually turn into monstrous and hazardous money guzzlers. Ill-maintained roads can cause collisions, inconvenience and dissatisfaction among residents, not to mention consistent damage to vehicles. Let’s deep dive into road maintenance and see what a society should do to keep their roads smooth and safe.

Types of road maintenance

1. Routine Maintenance

Routine or preventive maintenance is undertaken once/twice a year at a specific time (usually before and after the monsoon season) so those safe roads can get safer while neglected or broken roads can get repaired. It is the duty of the housing society to maintain its internal roads out of its own funds according to the model bye-laws. 

Another variant of routine maintenance is known as reactive maintenance, which means it’s done to handle specific damage or problem which has already occurred.

2. Emergency Maintenance

Undertaken when an unexpected incident such as accident, fire or flooding causes severe damage that may be fatal to life and property.

Common types of distresses found in society roads and their solutions

1. Cracking

Road surfaces are made of concrete or asphalt. Over time, they develop cracks due to traffic, vehicles braking, skidding, excess load, natural heat from the sun, environmental impact, and also because of poor quality of construction materials and techniques. Common types of cracks are 

  1. fatigue (alligator) cracking (caused due to overload over the thin pavement),
  2. transverse cracking (perpendicular cracks due to asphalt lessening),
  3. longitudinal cracking (formed parallel to the centreline), 
  4. edge cracking (formed at the edge of the road and parking lot due to unsafe drains and weak construction), 
  5. block cracking (huge block-shaped cracks).

A solution to road cracks:

Early distress identification is an essential preventive measure for cracks. During routine maintenance, get bonafide experts to gather data, analyse the extent of distress and suggest the type of preservation.

Treatments like crack filling, sealing, micro-surfacing, chip seal are recommended for transverse, multiple, longitudinal cracking. Block cracking can be fixed by a thin overlay.

Display speed and weight limit sign strategically to prevent overloading and speeding. 

2. Waterlogging

After every monsoon season or heavy storms/tornadoes, societies often experience intense flooding and waterlogging, stormwater run-off in homes and basements, causing damage to society assets, electrical circuits, vehicles and roads. Urban waterlogging is common when the rainfall exceeds the internal and capacity of the drainage system causing excessively and uncontained run-off.

A solution to waterlogging on society roads

During preventive maintenance, ensure that all drains are inspected and cleared of debris, trash from channel crossing, and the roads are sloped to facilitate run-off. There should be no snags blocking water such as tree branches, food litter/ boxes, plastic bottles, wires, pipes in drain culverts, inlet and outlet structures. These measures will prevent potholes and edge cracking as well. Rainwater ditch maintenance should be included in routine care. Give strict instructions to cleaning crew on removing trash from gutters daily and impose fine on residents who litter the roads.

3. Ravelling

It is a disintegrated rough road surface which is filled with loose debris and dislodged material, caused due to loss of rocks/aggregates, dust coating, and dislodging caused by vehicles.


Ravelled portions can be removed and patched; more damaged areas should be removed and overlaid.

4. Road rutting

This is a permanent distortion that looks like the wheel path is deeply engraved on the road. It’s caused not only due to wear and tear but also because of not enough thickness in the pavement, improper pavement design, weak mixtures (asphalt, mineral, aggregate) and insufficient compaction of non-saturated materials. Rutting can cause hydroplaning and accidents. 


Ruts need to be levelled and overlaid with precision. Grinding off the surface and resurfacing should be done. 

5. Potholes

Cracks turn into potholes which are larger round-shaped depressions formed in the pavement/streets because when water seeps in, there occurs expansion in the day due to heat and contraction at night. This freeze-thaw cycle continues if unchecked and is worsened by continuous traffic, causing bigger potholes. It’s almost impossible to escape potholes in India (even inside a residential society) unless cracks are prevented and treated at the hairline stage.


As an emergency measure, cordon off areas around potholes to prevent further vehicular movement over them. Potholes can be drastically prevented by the use of self-healing asphalt containing steel wool fibre or using resin bound surfacing at the construction stage. However, an affordable method (a temporary solution) is to fill it up with a cold patch, run the shovel to even it out and run a truck tire over it. It’s called the throw and roll method. Other treatments are compacting the pothole with a vibratory roller or spray injecting it. Semi-permanent patching requires replacement of base material and hot mix asphalt fill.

Residents should be regularly informed about road safety and instructed to not speed, drive rashly, or engage in auto antics like freewheeling. Instruct everyone to keep an eye out for pavement damage or anomalies and report them to the MC immediately, even if the distress seems minor, it should be reported to prevent accidents and major repairs. It is MC’s responsibility to do a monthly inspection of roads, bumps and street signs to be aware of potential damage.

How MyGate can help in resolving maintenance issues in your community?

Manually managing community maintenance issues, tracking resident complaints and handling technicians or facility manager is a very tedious task and is usually prone to errors. MyGate’s helpdesk feature lets you assign complaints to designated operators or technicians and allows you to track the complaint status too. Streamlined ticket management, transparent resolution and greater staff accountability are some of the core features of MyGate’s Helpdesk feature. Learn more about MyGate.

What do you think?