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Pavement Blog

Property Owners/Managers Beware! 4 Things to Keep Away from Your Parking Lot.

Parking lots are not a small investment, so the tiniest crack to the asphalt can cause quite the scare to any property owner/manager. Minor cracks can lead to major surface problems, which can also lead to unsafe trip hazards and eventually potential lawsuits. Because most parking lots are exposed to Mother Nature and of course, heavy traffic, damages are unavoidable. However, it is helpful to know possible causes for asphalt damage and tips to avoid them so you can take the necessary steps for preventative maintenance. Not only will it help you extend the life of your investment, but will save you a lot of money in repairs.

There are various reasons for failing asphalt, but below are four common and harmful causes to be cautious of when maintaining your parking lot:

  • Surface Water – Surface water causes most weather-related harm to asphalt. Once water seeps through the asphalt, it begins to take its toll on the pavement base. Water penetrating through the pavement surface can cause major potholes and can substantially damage the base layer. Once the base course is damaged, the pavement’s ability to carry traffic load decreases, and the likelihood of future cracks and potholes increases. Needless to say, this can be very costly because once you have structural damage, repaving becomes the only way to permanently fix the issue. To help avoid the need for major repairs, install a proper drainage system and keep up with your regular asphalt maintenance by repairing potholes, crack sealing, and sealcoating.
  • Heavy Vehicles – Heavy vehicles like delivery trucks and buses put a lot of weight on asphalt causing it to bend and crack. In fact, a garbage truck is the equivalent of more than 2,000 cars! The slower the truck is traveling, the more damage it is doing. To prevent damage, consider minimizing heavy truck traffic through your property and if possible relocate collection areas. You may also want to consider installing deeper asphalt sections along truck routes.
  • Excessive Sunlight – Extended exposure to sunlight can speed up oxidation, which reduces the asphalt’s flexibility and ability to hold the rocks together causing cracks and other damage. Areas exposed to sun turn gray and age much faster than those in shade or covered by carports or parking garages. To protect the asphalt from the sun, make sure to apply sealcoat which works like sunblock for your lot.
  • Corrosive Substances – Corrosive substances such as fuel and oil can quickly eat through and deteriorate asphalt pavement surfaces. If left on your pavement over time, your asphalt can become saturated with these substances which can break up the aggregates and cause depressions to form and asphalt to crumble. The longer fuel and oil penetrate your surface, the more costly the repairs become. The best thing to do is regularly inspect for and clean any visible stains on the asphalt. If there is a severely damaged spot, asphalt milling and overlay or asphalt patching may be necessary.

Now that you know some of the main causes of asphalt damage, you can better prepare and properly maintain your parking lot. If you have any questions or are in need pavement repairs and/or services, please feel free to contact us at 855.976.8465 x1008 or info@pavementcorp.com.