Property Managers or Owners: Things to Keep Away from Your Parking Lot
Parking lots are indeed not just a small investment. The tiniest crack can cause the distress to any property manager or owners. These often negligible cracks can lead to bigger surface problems. Most parking lots are often unprotected from the elements as well as with heavy traffic, damages are really unavoidable. It is helpful to know what the possible causes for asphalt damage and the tips to avoid them so the necessary steps will be taken for preventative maintenance. By doing so, it will prolong the life of your investment and will save you money (and the headaches) in repairs.
There are so many reasons why asphalt fails. The following are common causes and would need immediate attention when maintaining your parking lot:
- Heavy Vehicles – Vehicles like delivery trucks and buses puts a lot of weight on the asphalt paving and causes it to bend. When the pressure is great enough, cracks can be triggered. The slower the truck is travelling; the more damage can it cause. To help minimize the damage, you may try to minimize truck traffic to where the asphalt pavement is and if possible, relocate areas for pickup / drop-off points for these trucks. If unavoidable, try to consider installing deeper asphalt sections along the routes of these heavy vehicles.
- Surface Water – Surface water is the common cause of weather-related harm to asphalt. Once that water finds its way through the asphalt, it begins to take its toll onto the pavement base. Therefore, causing potholes due to the pavement’s ability to carry load decreases and can substantially damage the base layer. This damage can be expensive because once there is a structural damage, repaving is the only way to fix the problem. To avoid the need of major repairs due to surface water damage, it is wise to install a proper drainage system, sealcoating the pavement, repair potholes, look for and repair visible cracks and in general, keeping up with the regular maintenance.
- Excessive Sunlight – Asphalt pavement that is exposed to the sun for long periods of time gets oxidized faster which diminishes the asphalt’s flexibility and ability to hold the rocks together. Also, the areas that are exposed to the sun turns gray and ages much faster than than the areas that are generally in the shade. To help protect the asphalt from the sun, it is advised to apply sealcoat which basically works like a sunblock to the lot.
- Corrosive Substances – substances such as oil and fuel can quickly make their way through and speed up deterioration on asphalt pavement surfaces. If these substances are left over time, the asphalt can become saturated and can break up the aggregates. This then can cause depressions to form and eventually, the asphalt will crumble. The best way to prevent damages from these harmful substances is to do a routine inspection and cleaning for any visible marks on the asphalt. If there are damaged spots, asphalt patching or milling and overlay may be necessary.
Now that you are informed of the main causes of asphalt damage, it is better to prepare and properly maintain your parking lot. For asphalt pavement repairs and service, please call us at 615-266-6451!