Parking Lot Potholes: Why They’re a Major Liability for Property Owners

April 28, 2020 9:38 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Between general business success, meeting sales goals, handling employee payroll and more, business owners already have enough on their plates without having to worry about being sued. This is a reason why parking lot care and maintenance is so important. Here’s what owners of parking lots need to know about parking lot pothole repair in Washington.

Pothole repairs and asphalt maintenance

The top cause of asphalt pavement deterioration is moisture intrusion, which is when moisture—whether from water, rain or melted snow—that seeps into cracks in the surface is unable to get absorbed into the ground. If the moisture in the cracks freezes, it will expand and can weaken the asphalt. The weight of heavy vehicles driving over the weakened parking lot causes chunks of asphalt to break away, resulting in potholes. Potholes are a safety risk to everyone who uses your parking lot. They are trip hazards to pedestrians, and hitting one can cause serious damage to vehicles.

Because potholes are liabilities waiting to happen, it’s in your best interest to repair them as soon as possible. Fortunately, potholes are inexpensive to fix and relatively easy to fill. Lot owners can fix small blemishes themselves, but it’s best to hire a professional to repair big or deep potholes. Once all the cracks and holes in your lot are repaired, be sure to maintain it and apply a regular sealcoat. Your parking lot or driveway will no longer be a safety concern or a liability issue, and it will look nice again.

How potholes form

Potholes start out as small cracks or pits in the surface of pavement. They only become true potholes when rainwater seeps into the cracks and stays between the asphalt layer and the roadbed. Very low to freezing temperatures freeze the water, forcing the asphalt under the surface upwards. This leads to road grooves. Once the ice thaws, the water penetrates the weakened roadbed and leaves behind a cavity. It gets weaker as vehicle traffic drives over the surface, breaking it apart and pushing it down into the weakened part of the roadbed. Larger cracks and potholes form when the crumpled asphalt fills the cavity.

Liability concerns

It’s important to keep your parking lot in good condition to avoid lawsuits. As the owner of a business with a parking lot, you can be held liable for any incidents that occur as the result of contact between a person or vehicle and a pothole. Fill in missing asphalt, fix cracks and patch potholes to reduce the chances of bodily harm or vehicle damage.

Repairing potholes vastly reduces the risk of injuries on your property. If ignored, potholes pose a serious trip hazard for pedestrians, and vehicle drivers and passengers can sustain serious injuries while driving over or near holes in asphalt or when stepping out of the car. And small potholes can be just as unsafe as large ones, and maybe even more so, since they aren’t usually noticed until someone trips over them.

If your asphalt parking lot is worse for wear with multiple damaged spots, contact Jimini Paving. Our team comes highly recommended for pothole repair in Washington.

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