Weathering can slowly degrade your asphalt parking lot, but you aren't helpless against this march of time. The following tips can help you counteract the effects of weathering so that your lot is long-lasting.
1. Monitor Drainage
One of the main causes of weathering is standing water on the parking lot. The water slowly seeps into the pores and between the gravel granules in the asphalt, eroding and breaking apart the surface slowly over time. Damage worsens in the event of a freeze when the water expands and breaks apart the asphalt more severely. Most parking lots are equipped with a system of storm drains to prevent standing water. If water ponds in the lot, then an asphalt service should clear any blockages in the drains and determine if further drainage is needed.
2. Sealcoat As Needed
UV damage from constant sun exposure can be just as damaging as water. The sun causes the asphalt to fade and shrink, which can lead to the gravel loosening and coming out of the asphalt. A sealcoat application protects against UV damage, and it also has the benefit of minimizing water incursion into the pavement. A sealcoat is a mixture of asphalt and polymers. It's painted onto the existing asphalt, where it refreshes the color, seals minor cracks, and provides ongoing protection against weathering.
3. Don't Ignore Damage
Any damage that does occur, from a crack in the paving to a developing pothole, should be addressed immediately. Otherwise, moisture and weathering will quickly cause the paving to degrade much more quickly than it would otherwise. Potholes can be patched successfully with a hot asphalt patching compound. A similar compound may be used on smaller cracks as well. Larger cracks may first have a flexible filler applied; then they will be patched over with hot asphalt.
4. De-ice With Care
Ice is both a hazard for those using the parking lot as well as for the paving itself. Ice removal must be done properly so the surface of the asphalt isn't damaged, so it is a task best left to a snow removal professional. Inexperienced usage of a snowplow can lead to constant scraping against the asphalt surface with the snow blade, which can damage the surface and break gravel out of the paving. Even with experienced snow and ice removal, it's a good idea to schedule a spring asphalt inspection so any winter damages can be quickly repaired.
Contact a commercial asphalt paving service for all of your parking lot needs.