Tips For Preventing Parking Lot Damage
Naturally, you want the exterior of your business to look its best, which includes the parking lot area. This can be challenging if your lot keeps developing cracks or potholes. Resurfacing an asphalt lot can often fix these issues, but you need to read the following guide first to make sure the problems don't reappear down the road.
Determine the cause of the lot damage
Cracks in asphalt paving occur either because of exterior issues or structural problems. Exterior issues include basic maintenance, snow removal tactics, and the amount of use. You can take steps after resurfacing to mitigate these issues and prolong the working lifespan of the paving. Structural problems need to be identified and solved before you resurface the lot. The most common issue is that the base under the paving isn't stable. Sinking and settling of the ground leaves a space, which the asphalt settles into. On the surface, this low area may crack or become rippled because of the settling. If moisture collects in the sunken area, it can freeze and expand. This leads to potholes. Addressing structural issues, such as this, can prevent damage in the future.
Keep the lot clean
After resurfacing, it is important to set up a schedule for regular lot cleaning. Automotive fluids can eat away at paving over time, which allows moisture to seep into the asphalt pores and cause cracking. Professional lot cleaning on a monthly or bimonthly basis prevents this sort of damage. Follow up regular lawn cleaning with a sealcoat application every couple of years. The sealcoat creates a barrier between damaging fluids, including moisture, which further minimizes the chances of lot damage.
Practice safe snow removal
Winter is the cause of most damage to parking lots. In part, it's because water gets into small cracks, where it then freezes and expands. This turns a small crack into a gaping hole. Salt and de-icing products that contain salt can speed this process, resulting in even more damage. Avoid salt based de-icers whenever possible. A better option is to have the lot plowed by a professional to remove snow instead of depending on chemical de-icing products.
Fix small issues quickly
A small crack or a low area isn't a major problem if you have it fixed before it has time to expand. If small cracks are ignored, plants can root in them and force them open, or water can cause the crack to expand. Low areas tend to collect puddles, which can freeze and turn the low spot into a pothole. Prompt patching of these areas is an inexpensive way to avoid costly repairs later.
Talk to a parking lot maintenance contractor for more help.