Paving repair is an important component of parking lot annual maintenance that will result in longer asphalt life and lower replacement cost. Sealcoating is a significant ingredient in a paving repair program.
Sealcoating protects and prolongs the life of any parking lot by filling surface holes which reduces exposure to ultraviolet rays, oxygen and the depth to which gas or oil can penetrate the pavement. Over time, the surface oxidizes and becomes faded in appearance. Fresh sealcoat paving repair adds new life to pavement in appearance and use.
There are two methods to apply sealcoat: either spray or squeegee. However, before pavement sealing can begin, the surface must be free of all dirt and debris, cracks need to be filled, potholes repaired, and oil spots must be cleaned or primed to ensure better adhesion to the surface. The air and pavement temperature should be ideally at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit during application and for 8 hours afterward. It is best to keep traffic off a newly sealed surface for 18-36 hours to allow for proper drying and cooling time.
The price of asphalt will always be affected by crude oil prices, which fluctuate when supplies vary. Sealcoating preserves asphalt for pennies per square foot.
Sealcoats generally consist of a mixture of emulsified asphalt, water, mineral fillers, and various other admixtures. Sealcoats are applied directly to the surface of an asphalt pavement. They can be applied by rubber squeegee, broom, or mechanical spray.
Sealcoats serve to seal the top of the asphalt, preventing water from penetrating the surface of the pavement and protecting the top layer of asphalt from oxidation and wear caused by exposure to the sun and air. Sealcoats also beautify the pavement by providing a smooth, black, even surface ideal for painting lines and sweeping.
Sealcoats are designed for off highway use where there are low traffic speeds and tight turning radiuses such as parking lots, mobile home parks, schools, shoulders, etc.
Parking lots are the official hangout spots of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles. They may look peaceful, with rows and floors of resting vehicles, but looks can be deceiving. Whether you use them at work, restaurants, hospitals, or other places of business, parking lots pose serious risks for tripping.
On The Surface
Uneven pavement accounts for the majority of trips in parking lots. Sunken or sloped pavement and speed bumps abruptly change the elevation, making it unstable. Many businesses are removing speed bumps, but sunken pavement is not always as obvious of a issue. Uneven surfaces caused by cracks, holes, and lumps in broken pavement can quickly catch the toe of a shoe or cause a misstep. Conditions like these greater than 1 cm need immediate repair. Utility grates and drain covers need to be flush with the pavement and not have openings wider than 1 inch.
Botts dots are non-reflective round or reflective plastic or metal raised pavement markers used in some parking lots to alert drivers to stay within a boundary. However, for pedestrians, these can also pose as a trip hazard.
Icy, oily, or wet surfaces easily cause shoes to lose traction. Other fluids commonly found in parking lots are leaks and spills of engine oil, anti-freeze, and food spills. Decorative tile flooring at stairway and elevator entrances pose a high risk when they become moist or icy. Ironically, safety yellow reflective paint can be very slippery when wet, even with abrasive additives.
This is especially true at the ends of ramps or inclines where Botts dots exist to aid in handicapped areas. Not only can they trip a pedestrian, but the reflective paint used to make them more visible becomes noticeably slippery when wet.
A parking lot layout can enhance or hinder safety. Wheel stops and tire stops are notorious trip hazards more often being replaced by posts and bumper guards. Litter and thoughtlessly-discarded items can also trip someone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 50% of parking lot and sidewalk slips and falls occur in the morning between 6:00 a.m. and noon, because poor lighting impedes visibility.
Falls occur even in the most meticulously maintained parking lots when people fail to observe safety guidelines for using them. Worn soles or improper footwear for the environment can cause slips or trips. High heels, leather soled, and open toe shoes have less traction on wet or icy surfaces than boots or rubber soled shoes.
Pavement Corporation recently completed an extensive parking lot repairs and pavement enhancement project which included parking lot striping, concrete pavement repairs and handicap parking ADA compliance modifications.
The parking lot repairs were completed for Target Corporation in Maryland. The parking lots are located in Westminster, MD., which is located approximately 37 miles north of Baltimore, MD. The parking lots and concrete surfaces were in need of asphalt milling repair, asphalt mill & overlay, crack repair, line striping, concrete crack and joint repairs and ADA handicap parking compliance repairs. The parking lot repairs involved milling to a depth of 4 inches on their existing parking lot to remove high and uneven asphalt spots, creating better parking lot drainage which will enhance the life of the parking lot and reduce trip and safety hazards in the parking lot.
This parking lot repair project in northern Maryland involved an overlay on the parking lot including handicap parking, handicap access points and customer crosswalks that included over 19,000 square yards of paving.