While winter is when damage occurs most frequently on an asphalt parking lot, summer is the prime season to get the issues repaired. Warm days and dry weather allow you to have the damage fixed before the cold season returns. The following are signs of winter damage that you need to fix while the sun is still shining.
Potholes are the most commonly known issue from winter weather. They are caused when moisture in the asphalt freezes and expands, causing the asphalt to break apart and a hole to form. Potholes get worse over time. Although they get their start in winter, summer rains and traffic simply make them worse. Fortunately, potholes can be successfully patched.
Buckling is the result of frost heave beneath the parking lot. Moisture in the ground freezes and expands, putting pressure on the asphalt above. The cause is either an improperly constructed base or poor drainage that causes water buildup beneath the lot. Minor buckling can sometimes be repaired by installing better drainage under the lot and then resurfacing the damaged area.
Cracks form in much the same way as potholes, and each subsequent freeze makes them wider. Plants will sometimes take root in the cracks come summer, making matters worse. An asphalt service can fill the crack with an expansion joint to prevent additional cracking. They will then pave over it to patch the visible damage on the surface of the lot.
Drainage often gets blocked during winter. Debris gets stuck in the drains, and then increased water flow from spring rains and summer irrigation causes water to pool on the parking lot. Not only is pooling water a nuisance, but it can damage the asphalt surface over time. Have your drains cleaned at the beginning of summer so you won't have to worry about any blockages.
Graveling is when the surface aggregate rocks in the asphalt begin to come loose. In severe cases, the parking lot resembles a gravel lot more than an asphalt lot. Weathering, such as from frequent freeze exposure and snow removal scraping, can make graveling worse. An asphalt service can apply a seal coat in summer, which will stop graveling and help strengthen the surface of the paving. In severe cases, you may need to have the entire lot resurfaced with a thicker layer of asphalt to fix the problem.
Contact a commercial paving service if you notice winter damage on your parking lot.