A shiny, pitch-black asphalt parking lot increases the attractiveness of your business and tells your customers that you take care of your company’s premises.
Asphalt is the most common surface for a paved parking lot. This is because of its affordability compared with more expensive solutions like concrete and brick.
An asphalt parking lot is a cost-efficient solution. Moreover, it has a life-span of 15-20 years. If properly paved, it should leave you care-free during this period.
However, if your parking lot is starting to look a bit rough around the edges, you might need to start repair work as soon as possible. Here are some specific signs to look for.
1. The Edges Are Disintegrating
Disintegrating edges occur largely due to poor installation practices, like spreading the asphalt beyond the four- to eight-inch granular fill layer underneath it or spreading it too thinly around the edges. Anything thinner than two-to-three inches of asphalt may cause the edges to crack and flake off when driven over.
2. Your Parking Lot Looks Faded
Oxidation comes as a result of the asphalt sealer’s constant exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. This causes your parking lot to lose its black color gradually. Later on, it will begin to take on a dull gray appearance.
Although this does not itself pose a fundamental problem, it does give the surface an aesthetically unappealing appearance.
In this case, you only need to refill the cracks and apply another layer of a seal coat to restore its shiny, black look. Ideally, this should only be done once every three to four years on average. If you do it more often it is restoration overkill.
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3. It Has Spiderweb Cracks
Sometimes cracking is inevitable. Caking up your parking lot with excessive layers of asphalt seal coat will inevitably lead to cracks. This is one of the direct results of the aforementioned overkill. Cracks may also be caused by substandard installation or use of inferior quality products.
Deep cracks that cover a wide area of the pavement will get worse over time. This may indicate underlying issues. Therefore, consult certified asphalt contractors before the cracks start expanding further. They will help you fill the cracks and offer other road repair services.
Cracks may lead to potholes, which are among the main factors causing vehicle damage. Apart from being unpleasant to look at, they pose a risk to your customers’ road safety. Besides, customers could start avoiding your business because of the potholes in your company’s parking lot.
4. It Has Hairline Cracks
Thin, threadlike cracks should be filled with hot sealers to prevent them from getting wider and causing further repair costs. Ignoring this problem may lead to your having to replacing the entire asphalt paving.
5. It’s Wavy-Looking
If you see uneven, wavy parts on your parking lot, it may be due to pressure from heavy-duty vehicles, or a weakened base. Sometimes, only affected areas of the asphalt pavement need to be filled and leveled. At other times, both the base and the asphalt have to be completely replaced. Consult an asphalt professional after checking the affected area. It’s always a good idea to take pictures that you can mail in advance.
6. Multiple Areas Are Damaged
This is another tell-tale sign that you might need to consider giving your parking lot a complete overhaul. Endless patches on a stretch of the parking lot look unattractive and also compromise the smoothness of the surface.
7. You Have Drainage Problems in Your Parking Lot
Drainage issues may arise when your asphalt isn’t properly sloped. Standing water is usually accompanied by other issues such as potholes and cracks. This problem can become more severe during winter as the asphalt expands and contracts.
Binding agents can be damaged if moisture lingers on your pavement and finds its way in between different layers. Ensure that you address this issue immediately.
8. You Parking Lot Is Sinking
Sinking can occur when the base beneath the asphalt surface starts eroding. In a worst-case scenario, water could even seep under your company’s building from the parking lot during rainy seasons. Therefore, make arrangements to repair your gutters also, whenever your paving contractors are around.
9. There Are Missing Pieces
Weathering will likely set in if you fail to protect the edges of your asphalt. So don’t hesitate to get rid of the broken pieces and apply fresh asphalt to the affected areas.
10. Your Parking Lot Has Stains
Industrial solvents and other chemicals can seep into the asphalt layers and erode the binding agents. This can have far-reaching consequences if left unchecked. Therefore, most business owners opt for seal coating when they encounter this issue. It is advisable to do this at least once every two years.
Repave Your Parking Lot for an Updated Look
With a single instance of any of the above situations or a combination of two or more of them, you need to contact an asphalt paving company and schedule a repair.
Fortunately, due to the durability of asphalt, you won’t need worry about it again for the next few years.
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