An asphalt parking lot is more than just a place where your visitors can park their vehicles, it is the first space that will make an impression on those coming to your property. If the parking lot is damaged, has potholes, or is filled with a lot of cracks, it is going to leave a negative impression on those who pull in and park there. Another ill side-effect of having a neglected parking lot is that it does not keep your visitors safe, leaving you as the property manager, open to financial liability if someone gets hurt while using it. This is why it is so important that you understand parking lot maintenance, because it protects you, your visitors, and saves you money in the long-run.
What Does a Typical Parking Lot Maintenance Program Look Like?
It is highly recommended that as soon as your parking lot is installed, that you plan out a maintenance program. If you are a new property manager that has overtaken a property that already has a parking lot in place, it is a good idea to do a walkthrough with a professional to get an assessment about the condition of the parking lot. Generally, if your parking lot is newly installed or is in excellent condition, filling in cracks on an annual basis and getting sealcoating done every three to five years, would be more than enough to keep your parking lot in great shape and safe to use.
If you notice that your parking lot has cracks that are 1/8” or wider, you need to have these filled in immediately to stop them from expanding. The reason? Massive cracks in your pavement will cause the sub-base to fail. This is how you get large potholes and alligator cracks. If your sub-base fails, you will need to have your entire pavement replaced, which is expensive.
Why Is Annual Crack Repair & Sealcoat Recommended?
When you fill in the cracks on an annual basis and go through the sealcoat process every three to five years, you end up extending the life of your parking lot pavement with minimal expense. The downside to neglecting your parking lot for several years, means that you end up having to either resurface it a lot sooner or you end up with an extremely expensive bill from the crack repair that needs to be done before the seal coating process takes place. If you were to diligently repair your pavement cracks every year, it is likely that you would not have to replace your asphalt parking lot for thirty years, whereas, if you did not do this, you would be looking at a 15-year lifespan instead.
Why Does Asphalt Deteriorate?
Asphalt mainly deteriorates due to contact with the elements. It is constantly hit with UV-rays which can cause the asphalt to grow brittle and completely dry out, and water can get into cracks which will loosen up the sand, gravel, and rocks. When water gets into the cracks in the parking lot and then it dries, the cracks will expand. On top of this, when you have oil leaks and chemical spills from vehicles, this can accelerate how quickly the asphalt breaks down.
While deterioration is inevitable, you can slow down how quickly it occurs by routinely filling in cracks and sealcoating the top layers every few years. Ideally, it is beneficial to do a walkthrough of your parking lot every few months to assess the condition, especially if you live in a climate where you have a lot of hot summer months and cold winter months. If you notice your parking lot becoming gray and dry, have it seal coated to protect it against water, sun damage, and oil. When you have a sealcoat done, make sure that the professional you hire is using a high-performance, commercial-grade sealant that is from a reputable brand.
If you are a property manager and are looking for a new parking lot maintenance company, give us a call today at (407) 618-9646 or fill out a contact form. We’ll be more than happy to walk you through our process and determine the best maintenance plan for you.