Having a parking lot paved for your business or apartment complex is no small investment. But it is one that comes with many benefits. It’s safe to say that you want your paving job to last as long as possible, and it’s understandable that finding a crack or other imperfection can cause a significant amount of panic. Unfortunately, your asphalt is going to be exposed to many different things, and it is going to face damage. With that in mind, knowing what can damage your asphalt can help you take proper preventative measures.
Sunlight causes your asphalt to oxidize, which decreases flexibility, causing cracks. The more exposure to sunlight (those areas in direct sunlight for several hours), the faster this oxidation happens. Of course, there’s no way to prevent sunlight from hitting your asphalt (unless you have some kind of covering constructed), but you can still protect it and slow the oxidation process. Make sure to have your parking lot seal coated by a professional asphalt contractor at least once a year.
While vehicles are supposed to be on your asphalt parking lot. But excessively heavy vehicles – delivery trucks, garbage trucks, busses – can cause damage. These vehicles lead to bending and cracking of asphalt. If you can, try to minimize the amount of heavy vehicle traffic that passes over your parking lot, or designate truck routes and bolster those routes with deeper sections of asphalt.
Fuel and oil, which are essential to cars (which park in your lot), are quite detrimental. These substances can quickly absorb into, eat through and destroy your asphalt. Left too long, these materials will cause areas of your parking lot to completely fall apart. In order to save money on costly repairs, do periodic parking lot inspections and clean any stains you find. Significant damage will most likely require the help of an asphalt contractor to fix.
Of all the weather related events that could damage your parking lot, surface water does the most harm. Water seeps through the asphalt and attacks the base. This can cause potholes and destroy the base. And when the base is ruined, the asphalt becomes weaker, which means that even normal, everyday cars can damage the parking lot. Once the base layer is destroyed, your only real option is to have your parking lot completely redone, but all of this damage can be prevented with routine maintenance, and the help of a proper drainage system.