Whether you run a commercial property or own one, having to complete parking lot repairs is inevitabile.
While regular maintenance can prolong and protect the life of the asphalt, constant exposure to inclement weather, sunshine, and the wear and tear from daily traffic will eventually take the form of cracks, potholes and uneven areas.
By completing the step-by-step guide below, you can repair your parking lot effectively and avoid a time-consuming lot overhaul.
Step One: Clear Your Parking Lot of Debris & Contaminants
All parking lot repairs begin with a clearing of debris and contaminants from the asphalt surface. Walk along your parking lot from perimeter to perimeter and look for fuel and grease stains, surface dirt and gravel, and loose items like leaves, garbage, and crumbling asphalt.
- Fuel & Grease: an effective way to remove fuel and grease stains is with a formulated degreaser like trisodium phosphate (TSP). You can also try using bleach or baking soda to help lift and lighten the stain.
- Leaf Stains: if you have mulch or leaf stains, you can use soap or vinegar to scrub away the stain. If it is a deep, set-in stain, mix one capful of bleach per 1 gallon of water and let it sit for 30-minutes before scrubbing it away.
For general cleaning of surface dirt, gravel, or loose items you can either use a broom, a blower, or a pressure washer to clear the area. If you opt for a pressure washer, do not use this on oil/grease, as this can worsen stains by driving them deeper into the asphalt’s surface.
Step Two: Identify Damage Type & Appropriate Solutions
Once your parking lot is clean, you’ll be able to get a good idea of what type of parking lot repairs are needed.
Cracks & Potholes
As your asphalt ages, it loses its flexibility and becomes brittle. Water from rain, snow, or improper drainage runoffs can seep into the asphalt’s foundation, weakening it. A weak foundation will crack and split, especially during the winter-spring freeze-thaw cycle, resulting in potholes if left unattended.
How to Fix? Remove any debris or vegetation in the cracks and potholes with either a stiff broom or power washer.
- Cold-pour crack filler are best used with cracks that are 1/2” deep.
- Hot-pour rubberized crack filler is best used for 1” deep cracks.
- For alligator cracks, you can use a patch like Gator Patch.
- For potholes, you can use a cold patch asphalt repair kit.
Ruts & Uneven Depressions
If you have large holes, ruts, or depressions in your parking lot, it is recommended that you simply cut the damaged section out. This can be done with a gas-powered pavement saw. Once the section is removed, clear out any leftover debris and fill in the area with a cold pothole repair patch. To make the patch flush and smooth, you can use a handheld tamper for smaller areas, or if the area is larger, use an asphalt roller or a vibrating plate compactor. Make sure to sealcoat the area afterwards!
If your parking lot has turned light grey in color or appears faded, then oxidation has occurred. This is when the bitumen in the asphalt evaporates due to sunlight exposure, leaving the asphalt dry and brittle. To fix this faded look, apply a sealcoat which will restore the asphalt’s black colour and protective barrier.
When aggregate begins pulling up from the surface in chunks, the nearby asphalt is likely beyond saving. For smaller, mostly intact areas, this can be repaired using an infrared asphalt heater to reform the surface. If the affected area is too large or deteriorated, a professional can either recycle the aggregate or re-pave it for you.
Improper Water Drainage
Your parking lot should be professionally graded so that water drains properly, both away from the building and the parking lot. If you notice puddles forming, you may need to get the parking lot re-graded or you may need to install drains. If you have drains, make sure that these are clear from debris and if there are depressions or ruts preventing proper drainage, address these immediately.
Step Three: Sealcoat & Block Off Parking Lot Access
Once all parking lot repairs are complete, block off access to the lot while the new asphalt hardens and cures. Finish the repair with a fresh sealcoat to prevent oxidation, asphalt decay, and protect against water saturation.
If you are a property manager, contractor, or business owner, contact us about our FREE annual parking lot walk thru and maintenance program. Once a year, we will send out one of our parking lot experts to discuss and address the needs of your parking lot. Our goal is to save you time and money by planning and budgeting for future needs. Contact us now to get started! You can give us a call today at (407) 618-9646 or fill out a contact form.