When installed and maintained properly, asphalt roads and parking lots can hold up under pressure and heavy use year after year. Asphalt is a strong material that’s perfect for a range of paving jobs, but like other structures, asphalt surfaces can deteriorate over time. Let’s review five leading causes of parking lot damage:
- Weather: The weather plays a key role in the breakdown of asphalt parking lots. From hot direct sunlight in the summer to freezing and thawing cycles in the winter, it’s no wonder asphalt paving in Washington begins looking worse for wear after a while. The heat can break down the binders holding the asphalt materials together, which causes the asphalt to decompose. As for freeze-thaw cycles, these can lead to small cracks that turn into bigger ones, and eventually result in more serious issues.
- Standing water: Whether there’s standing water on your parking lot from rain, melted snow, ice or your sprinkler system, the longer it sits on the surface, the more damage it can cause. Even worse, cracks and other small openings in the asphalt can create areas of standing water. The water is capable of breaking down the chemicals in your parking lot, which causes the asphalt to weaken. The weaker the asphalt, the greater the chance that cracks and divots will turn into potholes.
- Motor oil: Since you don’t have much control over the vehicles that park in your parking lot, it’s up to you as the property owner to inspect the surface for motor oil puddles. Motor oil leaks are a leading cause of asphalt damage. When oil is allowed to sit on top of parking lots and other asphalt paving in Washington, it has the opportunity to penetrate the material and break it down. The more it breaks down, the more susceptible it becomes to cracks and crumbling, and the more damage it leads to.
- Heavy weight: Parking lots are meant to stand up to a lot of weight. However, too much weight rolling over the parking lot and too little maintenance will take a toll in time. This is a big concern for commercial parking lots that get driven over by heavy trucks, machinery and vehicles on a regular basis, as well as for busy store parking lots. Heavy weight applied to asphalt again and again will eventually start breaking it down, and if a problem area is already there, any extra weight will just make matters worse.
- Neglect: Preventative maintenance is the key to a long-lasting asphalt parking lot. Sure, you can do some very basic maintenance yourself, but you should hire a reputable asphalt company that knows how to care for and clean your parking lot. A professional can help preserve a parking lot that’s in good condition, as well as repair surfaces that have suffered damage. An understandable maintenance suggestion is to sealcoat your parking lot every two to three years as an added layer of protection against the elements and other forces.
If you are in need of commercial asphalt paving in Washington, contact the team at Jimini Paving. We pour and pave quality parking lots both big and small, and we ensure your asphalt surface stands strong against wear and tear. Don’t hesitate to call us for more information!
Categorised in: Asphalt Paving
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