Asphalt Maintenance 101

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Having a parking lot that is smooth, even, and provides clearly marked lines is essential to your commercial property. A rundown parking lot with potholes, cracks, and near-invisible lines can lead to vehicle damage that you may be liable for, and it also sets a poor impression of the property. An attractive, maintained lot is more pleasant for driving while creating an excellent impression that the property is well cared for. It can even improve the value of the property!

Types of Asphalt Maintenance

Repaving your parking lot is expensive and inconvenient, so, in order to keep your lot in excellent condition, you need the proper maintenance. But how do you maintain and extend the life of your asphalt? We’re going to break down the three main types of asphalt maintenance, what they are, and why they’re important. 

  • Parking lot line striping
  • Parking lot crack sealing
  • Parking lot sealcoating

Parking Lot Line Striping

In order for visitors and employees at your commercial property to drive and park safely, straight, visible, and accurate marking is necessary. Without them, drivers can’t clearly make out ADA accessible parking spaces or see designated lines, which can lead to vehicle damage. When done properly, parking lot line striping does last, but high traffic, snow plowing, and exposure to the elements will cause the lines to fade or wear away.

Why Maintain Your Lot Markings?

The number one benefit of making sure your parking lot is clearly striped is for safety and convenience of the people using it. Parking space lines and direction arrows ensure a safer, more organized driving and parking experience for people on your property. If the lines aren’t visible and an accident or damage to a vehicle occurs, you may be held liable. 

Additionally, clean, clear lines simply look better, and improving your exterior appearance will make a better impression and attract more people to your commercial property.

Signs It’s Time for Parking Lot Line Striping

Don’t wait until your parking lot looks bare of any marking. Reach out to a qualified asphalt maintenance company to repaint your lot when you see these signs of wear: 

  • Lines aren’t visible when its foggy, raining, or there’s frost on the ground. 
  • Complaints that people are parking in handicap parking spots is a sign that the color differences and marking may have faded or worn away.
  • More occurrences of accidents in the parking lot because drivers can’t see direction arrows or guidelines.
  • Parking is sloppy with drivers crossing lines or parking over lines because they are difficult to see until you’re right on them. 

Parking Lot Crack Sealing

While small cracks in your parking lot may not seem like a big deal, they can quickly turn into major problems. Asphalt is a strong material, but it’s not impervious to damage. It’s normal for wear, traffic, and exposure to cause cracks to form in the asphalt. If they’re left untreated, as moisture gets into the void, temperature changes cause the asphalt to expand and contract, and continued traffic adds pressure, the crack will grow.

What started as a small, hairline crack turned into a pothole or section of crumbled, buckled pavement in just a few months. 

Crack sealing is a fairly simple, straight-forward process when the cracks are caused by standard temperature fluctuations and daily wear (as opposed to structural flaws in the asphalt).  Our team cleans out the crack of any dirt and debris and a tack coat is applied to ensure the sealant adheres properly. Then, we use a special rubberized asphalt blend to fill in the void so it will expand and contract without cracking during temperature changes. The material fills the space completely, preventing moisture from entering, then it’s smoothed and pressed down to create a flat, even surface. 

Why is Parking Lot Crack Sealing Important?

Not only are cracks and potholes unattractive and a nuisance for drivers, they can cause major damage to a vehicle. Because this happened on your property, if a driver hits a pothole and damages their car, usually a wheel, axle, or tire, you may be liable for the damage. Even a few claims can turn into a major expense for property owners.  

Also, when cracks grow and cause the asphalt to crumble, those repairs are much harder and more expensive. When the damage is extensive, asphalt patching isn’t possible, and the entire lot needs to be repaved.  

Signs You Need Crack Sealing

While having crack sealing done on an annual or semi-annual basis is ideal to prevent extensive damage, when you see cracks wider than an eighth of an inch wide, they should be sealed as soon as possible. 

Sealcoating Your Parking Lot

As we mentioned, asphalt is a flexible material that is great for roads and parking lots, but over time, sunlight, water, road salt, temperature fluctuations, and traffic can cause the asphalt to deteriorate. New, dark asphalt quickly fades to a dull gray, cracks form and turn into pot holes, and your parking lot looks old and rundown. 

Sealcoating your parking lot is a highly effective way to protect your asphalt. Within six to 12 months after new pavement is laid, giving it time to fully cure, this emulsified substance seeps into the asphalt and coats the top, blocking out the UV rays, moisture, and road salt that is so detrimental to your asphalt. 

Why Is Sealcoating Your Parking Lot Important?

Sealcoating is one of the most cost-effective, efficient methods of parking lot maintenance because it prevents damage rather than repairing it. When applied regularly, about every two to three years on average, it extends the life of your parking lot by as much as 300 percent! Plus, the rich black coating provides a more aesthetically pleasing look and improves the overall appearance of your property. 

Signs You Need Sealcoating

Because sealcoating your parking lot is more about prevention than repair, you should focus on scheduling this as routine maintenance. However, if your parking lot lines are fading and cracks are forming, you can have this done concurrently with other tasks.