Maintaining your parking lot is something that should be ongoing. But did you know that the time for action really is now?
The start of spring is the ideal time to start checking your parking lot for signs of distress.
This is because now the winter is (hopefully) passing, it needs to be inspected carefully for the damage that may have been inflicted by issues such as snow, frost, standing water and other weather-related events.
There is a season for asphalt paving companies to do their maintenance and that begins, usually, from March and extends to October.
Here are a few of the things to keep an eye out for when you do your annual checks of your company’s parking lot.
Raveling occurs when the top surface of the asphalt begins to crumble and the bigger stones on the pavement’s layer start to move.
Check for raveling by looking for a rough surface on the top layer of the asphalt.
This is something that is likely to be made worse by winter and the cold weather.
Raveling, like all asphalt damage, is best when it’s caught early on.
Sealing the asphalt surface with a sand slurry seal is one solution. As is the application of an aggregate of stone micro surface.
Heaving is caused by frost and is a probable cause of trouble after the winter months have wreaked their worst on your asphalt.
The inevitable freeze-thaw cycle makes ice lenses appear in the soil beneath the asphalt. These push the surface of asphalt layer as they get bigger.
Heaving usually settles back down once the thawing process begins. However, if the asphalt does not settle back down it can be remedied by removing the affected area and patching it.
Cracking is probably something that is going to happen, after a period of time has passed.
There are various types of cracks, which require different approaches, but one thing that they all have in common is that they need sealing properly.
Small and isolated cracks can be filled with a hot pour rubberized crack sealer.
Slightly larger cracks – of above an inch and a half in width – need filling with a fine grade hot mix asphalt, in place of crack sealer.
Larger cracks or multiple cracks shouldn’t be sealed in isolation, as it probably won’t work and would end up costing more in the long run than a comprehensive solution.
For this problem then the entire area needs to be replaced.
This should be taken down to a depth of four inches or possibly six inches, depending on the seriousness of the problem.
Then a full depth asphalt should be applied to the area.
TYPES OF CRACKING
An alligator crack happens after a period of substantial damage or neglect to your asphalt.
Alligator cracks mean that you have a number of cracks and they look like the scales on an alligator’s skin.
These are the beginnings of a pothole and need to be remedied, fast.
Alligator cracks require a full depth patch and this is quite a big job only for a qualified asphalt paving contractor to carry out.
An expanding crack might affect an already sealed crack, but that has got bigger.
These will need to be resealed and quick, to prevent moisture getting in.
A pothole is an extremely serious situation and one that only occurs after existing cracks have not been treated promptly.
If you discover a pothole, then it is no longer possible to ignore the problem any longer!
As the person responsible for maintenance of the parking lot, you may be risking damage to your customers’ or staff’s vehicles if you do not fix this major fault.
We would not recommend you try and fix a pothole yourself, this is one time you definitely should call a reputable driveway paving contractor to fix it.