Your asphalt parking lot is strong. It has to be to support the weight of all the cars that use it. However, asphalt isn't immune to decay and destruction. Without proper care, even regular wear and tear can quickly destroy your parking lot, forcing you to spend a fortune on repairs. Check out these five hazards to your asphalt parking lot, so you can best protect your investment.
You can't stop oxidation. It's a natural step that occurs, but it causes the asphalt to lose its flexibility. Basically, oxidation starts occurring the moment the parking lot is paved. During oxidation, the asphalt is trying to find a stable state. This takes a long time, but when it happens, the asphalt loses its flexibility. As a result, when heavy cars drive on it, the asphalt is more likely to crack because it isn't bending with the weight of the car. Routine sealcoating will help slow the oxidation process and should be performed about every four years.
Rain and Shine
Another factor you can't control is the weather. If you live in a climate that sees freezing temperatures, the water can seep into small cracks and holes. When the water freezes, it expands, causing more damage to occur. Unfortunately, the sun isn't much better for your asphalt. The sun damages your asphalt because of dangerous UV rays. These rays bleach the asphalt, dulling the color. However, these rays also cause physical damage to the asphalt. Like sun rays can damage your skin, they can breakdown the asphalt, causing cracks.
Clean standing water isn't usually a problem, but standing water is rarely clean. It usually contains some contaminates. If this causes the water to have a high pH, it can corrode the asphalt like acid. If your parking lot has a problem with standing water, you may simply need a repair to fix holes and cracks. However, it's also important to make sure you have adequate drainage. Make sure all of the drains in your parking lot and located so the water will run to them instead of pooling.
It may seem silly that weight can damage asphalt because asphalt is design to support cars. However, each car that drives on the asphalt causes some wear and tear. Overtime, this wear and tear may lead to uneven groves, cracks, potholes, etc. Just like the city must frequently repair roads just because of normal wear and tear, you need to do the same to your parking lot. The heavier the automobile or equipment, the more damage it will cause, so try to limit the amount of heavy equipment, such as dumpsters, cranes, etc. on your parking lot.
Just about everyone has seen a puddle of oil on the ground after a car pulls away. This isn't just harmful to the environment. It's harmful to your parking lot. Oil is extremely damaging to asphalt. It doesn't just cause cracks. Oil can affect the asphalt on a molecular level. As a result, the asphalt loses its ability to hold together and it crumbles away. You'll want to make sure to clean up any oil on your parking lot. Sealcoating will also help protect your parking lot from oil.
Don't let your asphalt parking lot deteriorate just because you think it's strong enough to do anything. Like any part of your property, you must keep it well maintained or spend a lot of money on repairs and replacement. Even by trying to avoid these five hazards, however, you'll want regular professional maintenance and repair. For more information about asphalt repair, contact a contractor in your area today.