There are several things you can do to help extend the life of your asphalt parking lot. Without proper maintenance, the asphalt can start cracking and crumbling. Debris and standing water will need taken care of so the lot doesn’t start deteriorating.
Keeping it Clean
Rocks, sticks, and other debris can cause your asphalt lot to start breaking down. Vehicles driving over it will press them down into the asphalt, which will start the formation of cracks. You need to keep the lot swept off on a regular basis.
This is another thing that is hard on asphalt. Water can pool on top of the lot or work its way underneath. Either way, it will start breaking down the asphalt, causing cracks and soft spots to form. The lot should be designed with drains and sloped so water runs off. The edges should also be landscaped to where water won’t run underneath the asphalt.
Oil and Gas
Any spills and leaks should be cleaned up immediately. If not, the oil based products will mix with the asphalt, which will cause softening and deterioration. Holes and crumbling will form in the parking lot if not cleaned properly.
Plants growing up through the asphalt needs to be taken care of. Over a period of time, these weeds can eventually spread and cause cracks and holes to form. Some weed killers can damage asphalt, so make sure you read the label.
If you are painting parking lines on your lot, you need to purchase the right type of paint. Some oil based paints will soften the asphalt, which will allow water to seep in. This will cause further deterioration and the formation of cracks and holes.
The formation of holes, cracks, and soft spots should be taken care of before they grow bigger. A good brand of filler/sealer should be applied and allowed to cure before traffic drives on the lot. Soft spots might need dug out and an asphalt patching product needs to be poured in.
The parking lot will also need a good coat of sealer applied every couple of years, more often if there is heavy traffic. Most problems with a parking lot occur because the asphalt isn’t thick enough. Depending on the amount of traffic on the lot, the asphalt needs to be four to six inches thick. A well maintained parking lot will last several years longer than one with no upkeep.