3 Parking Lot Maintenance Tips That Preserve Its Structural Integrity Along With Your Curb Appeal

The appearance of your parking lot says a lot about your business – a dirty gray parking lot filled with potholes and alligator cracks doesn't give customers a very good first impression. Maintaining your parking lot is important for developing your business' curb appeal. In addition, good maintenance practices also save you money in the long run. Leaving potholes and cracks in your parking lot unfilled leads to water damage capable of compromising its structural integrity. Follow these maintenance tips to keep your asphalt parking lot looking great and in good structural condition for its entire lifespan.

1. Fill Potholes Immediately to Stop Them From Spreading

Potholes are one of the worst things that can happen to an asphalt parking lot. They allow water to pool and they present a danger to pedestrians and vehicles. If they're not blocked off and vehicles continue to drive over them, potholes will continue to grow larger. To top it all off, they're a complete eyesore.

Whenever you notice a pothole in your parking lot, call an asphalt paving company to come fill it. A binding agent will be applied to the pothole and new asphalt will be poured into the hole, filling in the pothole and creating a level surface.

2. Prevent Water Damage to the Sub-Surface by Filling Cracks

Not only are cracks in your asphalt parking lot unattractive, but they present a danger to its structural integrity. Deep cracks allow water to enter into the sub-base of your parking lot, which is a layer of coarse aggregate underneath the surface that provides support and stabilization to the asphalt.

Water that enters into the sub-base can erode the aggregate and cause it to shift, causing the asphalt parking lot above to become unstable. A damaged sub-base will result in unsightly alligator cracks in your parking lot, which are difficult to repair. Additional cracks lead to more water entering into the sub-base, which can cause a runaway cascade of sub-base damage.

Even worse, a damaged sub-base is impossible to repair. When the sub-base can no longer support the asphalt surface above it due to water damage, you will have to tear out and replace the entire parking lot and lay down a new sub-base. Those small cracks can lead to massive expenses later down the line if they're not filled!

3. Sealcoat Your Parking Lot Every 3-5 Years to Shield It From the Sun

An asphalt parking lot has two main enemies: vehicle traffic and the sun. You can't do much about the traffic, but you can protect your parking lot from the sun by having an asphalt paving company sealcoat the parking lot every three to five years. A sealcoat is a protective coating applied to the surface of your parking lot that protects it from ultraviolet rays and heat. As an added bonus, it also improves the appearance of your parking lot by giving it a uniform black color.

Why does the sun damage asphalt parking lots? The term asphalt refers to the binding agent that keeps the aggregate together. When asphalt is exposed to air, it begins to oxidize. Heat and sunlight considerably speed up this process. As asphalt oxidizes, it becomes rigid and brittle – vehicle traffic will cause small granules of your parking lot to break off, giving your parking lot a pitted appearance and slowly wearing down the asphalt surface.

Maintaining your parking lot by sealcoating it regularly and filling in potholes and cracks will maximize its effective lifespan. The money used to maintain your parking lot now will delay the huge expense of having your parking lot entirely reconstructed. To successfully maintain your asphalt parking lot and extend its useful life, work with an asphalt paving company to draft a comprehensive maintenance plan that includes regular inspection and sealcoating.

Contact a company like Azzarelli Paving & Site Development for more information and assistance.