Paving My Driveway Again

3 Hazards To Your Asphalt Parking Lot

by Minnie Larson

Owning your own business is a lot of responsibility, and one aspect of caring for your business is maintaining the physical structure, including the asphalt parking lot. If your parking lot is in bad condition, it poses a danger, but it also may turn potential customers or clients away. If you want to protect your investment, check out these three hazards to your asphalt parking lot, so you know how to protect against them.

The Natural Oxidation Process

The biggest threat to your parking lot is oxidation because it is a natural occurrence. Oxidation in asphalt is simply the molecules becoming steady. Asphalt has a little flex to it, which is why it is great for withstanding powerful pressure. It bends with the weight just enough to reduce the risk of cracks and damage due to heavy trucks and cars. The reason asphalt has flex, however, is because the molecules are unstable.

Unfortunately for you, the moment the asphalt is placed, it immediately begins trying to find this stable form. The more stable the molecules become, the more flexibility the asphalt loses, making it more likely to crack under the weight of vehicles. The best way to fight oxidation is to slow it by having your asphalt parking lot seal-coated once every four years. This give the parking lot a fresh, new surface.

Rain, Snow and Sun

One of the main reasons you don't want cracks in your parking lot is because of rain. Rain can get into these cracks and freeze and expand. This causes the crack to become bigger and deeper. If a crack becomes deep enough, it may allow water to seep below to the ground, causing it to become soft. As a result, cracks and holes may appear on the asphalt. This is why you shouldn't have standing water on your parking lot for too long. If you do have a drainage problem, clean all storm drains, and install more if necessary.

The sun can also damage your asphalt parking lot. The sun damages asphalt the same way it damages everything else: with UV rays. While your skin may get darker when exposed to the sun, other items tend to bleach in the sun. This is why fabrics and other materials constantly exposed to the sun appear faded. The sun can also bleach your parking lot, making it look dull. The UV rays can also weaken the asphalt, making it more likely to develop cracks. Sealcoating is also the best way to fight damage from the weather.

Corrosive Substances

Corrosive substances can wreak havoc on your parking lot. This is another reason you don't want standing water on your parking lot. Standing water alone may not break down the asphalt, but a lot of standing water contains contaminates that may corrode asphalt. These include pesticides, fertilizers, etc.

Engine oil is particularly corrosive when it comes to asphalt. The oil doesn't just cause cracks to appear. It actually breaks down the asphalt, causing it to be crumbly and unable to hold itself together. As a result, a large, circular groove begins to form in the parking spot. Overtime, this can cause a major pothole. You can fix some of the damage with sealcoating, but you should also try to prevent corrosion by cleaning oil spills and ensuring your parking lot has enough drainage.

Your asphalt parking lot has a lot of enemies, so you need to protect your investment from oxidation, weather and corrosion. Sealcoating is an excellent option, but there are also many steps you can take to avoid problems. For more information, or if you need maintenance, contact an asphalt repair service, such as J R Paving Co, today.