Small Business

Small Business Spotlight: Maintenance firm helps extend life of parking lots

John Nielsen, left, and Jerry Cornejo are partners in Great Plains Asphalt Maintenance.
John Nielsen, left, and Jerry Cornejo are partners in Great Plains Asphalt Maintenance. Eagle correspondent

Business owners who have their parking lots paved may think it’s smooth sailing from then on.

Not so, say the owners of Great Plains Asphalt Maintenance.

“They don’t understand what the winter can do to parking lots,” said Jerry Cornejo, who owns the business with John Nielsen.

When cracks form, he said, “That water will get down in there and freeze and make (the cracks) bigger.”

Cornejo and Nielsen say their company’s maintenance program can significantly lengthen the lifespan of an asphalt parking lot, from 10 to 15 years without it to up to 40 years with proper care.

Great Plains also offers re-striping services and works on concrete lots.

“It’s all a traffic thing,” Nielsen said of what causes striping to fade. “Restaurants’ (lots) tend to wear down a little faster.”

Nielsen started the business last fall. Cornejo became his partner in March.

Both have worked their entire lives in construction and related fields. Nielsen said his father and grandfather both worked for the Cornejo family’s construction company, and he learned about asphalt work “by doing it from a young age.”

He has been running a parking lot striping business since 2004, while Cornejo has been renting out construction tools.

They operate within a 500-mile radius centered on Wichita. Nielsen said the industry is competitive, but they’ve already managed to land some big contracts with hotels, fast-food restaurants and other businesses. Nielsen, Cornjeo and an employee do the labor.

New asphalt lots typically get a seal coating about six months after being put in, Nielsen said. But “over time, it wears down” due to water, extreme temperatures and the weight of vehicles.

He recommends a new seal coating every two to three years. The lot is first cleaned of oil stains and other blemishes, by power washing if necessary, and any cracks are patched. The sealer bonds to the pavement.

The partners expect to be busiest in summer, partly because of getting out their message about what can happen to untreated lots during the winter.

“You’re going to save a ton of money by keeping up on the maintenance,” Nielsen said.

Now you know

GREAT PLAINS ASPHALT MAINTENANCE

Phone: 316-796-3736

Owners: John Nielsen and Jerry Cornejo

Website: greatplainsasphalt.com

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