Asphalt is a sturdy and durable material known for its use in road construction, residential driveways, and commercial parking lots. In essence, asphalt is made up of stone particles and sand combined together by bitumen. Over the years, asphalt has been a popular choice for property owners due to its affordability, traction and low maintenance costs.
An asphalt pavement that has been well-taken care of can last you for 15 - 25 years. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that in that span of time you wouldn’t need any kind of repairs. Of course, you would still definitely need to observe preventive measures and some repairs to keep your asphalt pavement intact.
However, if you are a commercial parking lot owner, how would you know if it is just due for a repair or a full replacement? Be on the lookout for these 7 signs.
1. Alligator Cracks
Cracking is caused by various elements and factors such as oxidation, freeze-thaw cycle, water penetration and poor installation. Cracks are normal most especially in a parking lot where its surface is subjected to heavy vehicle and foot traffic on a daily basis. But what’s great about asphalt is that minor cracks are fairly easy to repair on your own however, these minor fractures in your pavement can grow to tremendous lengths if left untreated. If this happens, it could be a warning signal of deeper pressing issues threatening the integrity and stability of your gravel base.
2. Water Buildup
There are two possible reasons why there is water buildup on your parking lot after raining. First, it could be because the surface was not leveled properly to divert the water off the surface. Second, there could possibly be a drainage problem. Both issues can be attributed to lack of proper planning and poor installation. In this case, the only solution to prevent pooling water from permeating and damaging your parking lot is to redo the whole pavement and replace it with a new one and taking into account the changes and improvements in the drainage system.
3. Buckling and Warping
Have you noticed any wavy sections in your parking lot lately? Buckling and warping is an indication of a base failure or a result of overloading. Depending on the extent of the damage, minor ones can be leveled back up with asphalt whereas in cases that have hit direct damage to the foundation will need a complete repaving.
Rutting is a depression or deformation in an asphalt pavement commonly caused by heavy-loaded vehicles, usually trucks, and or studded snow tires which are frequently used in colder regions. Similar to buckling and warping, ruts can be repaired by leveling back the surface with asphalt to restore it to an even and smooth condition.
However, if rutting is not treated immediately, it can escalate to more severe problems since ruts trap rainwater and prevent it from flowing to the side of the parking lot into gutters or ditches. Consequently, these instances also contribute to hydroplaning where the wheels of a vehicle lose traction against the ground causing difficulties in steering the vehicle. Although rutting can be repaired, it still poses safety hazards and severe ruts can adversely damage the base of your asphalt parking lot.
5. Faded Color of the Asphalt Surface
Certain environmental conditions such as exposure to UV rays, oxidation, and extreme weather causes the dark black color of your asphalt parking lot to fade over time. Eventually, when your pavement has reached it’s 20 or 25-year mark, fading is inevitable. Oftentimes, it is an indication that your asphalt pavement has reached the end of its life, but if you’re not sure if it already has, you can ask for a commercial paving contractor Richmond VA to have a look at your parking lot and they can help you identify what type of treatment is appropriate for your pavement.
Potholes occur when the soil and the material beneath breaks down either because of water that seeped through the cracks, weathering, oxidation or just wear and tear. As soon as this happens, we advise property owners to fix to fill in the hole immediately before it gets worse. But if you’re already in the more advanced cases, the wiser option would be to replace it completely because at that point, patching it would only be a temporary solution to a long-term problem.
7. Underground Pipe Cracks
Once there’s a slip or a crack in the underground pipes of the drainage structure underneath the parking lot, the soil on top will undermine the asphalt surface above. Now, if the base was badly affected, then, unfortunately, you will have to restructure the whole pavement.
Knowing whether to repair, resurface or replace your pavement can be quite confusing for a regular person. But as a general rule of thumb, you can identify if your parking lot needs to be replaced depending on the condition of your base. If it is damaged in any way, the most optimal choice is to go for a replacement. On the contrary, if less than ⅓ of your parking lot is damaged, you can get away with repairs whereas, if you have a damaged top layer but with a solid foundation, a resurfacing will do. Richmond Paving Company will assist you in finding the right fix for your asphalt pavement.
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