Asphalt is an excellent choice for paving driveways and parking lots. It offers practical, aesthetic, and financial benefits to property owners.
That said, your precious asphalt pavement requires vigilant care and ongoing maintenance. You simply can’t leave asphalt at the mercy of the factors like weather, sunlight, and vehicle pressure.
At Asphalt Specialties LLC, we pave and maintain commercial and residential pavement all over Magic Valley, Idaho. Click here to get a free quote.
In today’s article, we talk about the top 3 enemies of your asphalt surface and how you can fight them.
Asphalt contractors need to check for drainage before paving a driveway or parking lot. This is because any form of water on the surface is deadly for asphalt.
For one thing, pooling water makes the surface slippery and dangerous. And if the water infiltrates the surface into the sub-base, then it’s only a matter of time before you will have large cracks and potholes on your pavement. This is especially true for areas with heavy freeze-thaw cycles.
So how to protect your paving from water? Here are five ways to go about it:
- Use porous asphalt
- Install a catch basin
- Ensure the pavement is sloped correctly
- Sealcoating the driveway or parking lot
- Quick snow removal in winters
Bottom line: Whether it’s rainfall, stagnant water, or melted snow, you cannot afford to have pooling water on your pavement.
2. UV Rays
Sunlight is another common enemy which weakens the surface over time. As a result, your asphalt will fade and turn grayish, ruining the property’s curb appeal.
More significantly, UV rays cause oxidation, where sunlight combines with oxygen to break down the binders holding your pavement together. And once the binders loosen, you can expect pieces of asphalt to break away every now and then.
Thankfully, you can prevent fading and oxidation with a cost-effective technique known as sealcoating. High-quality sealants repel sunlight and act as the binder, slowing down deterioration.
Not to mention, driveway or parking lot sealcoating also helps maintain the shiny, blacktop appearance that gives visual appeal to your curb.
3. Heavy-Duty Trucks
This type of damage is common on parking lots and roads. The load of trucks and other heavy-duty traffic causes rut and deterioration. Moreover, depressions can form where trucks park for a long time, and these depressions then become water puddles when it rains (see #1).
This type of damage can be prevented in two ways:
- Proper asphalt installation
- Clear pavement markings
Proper installation includes everything from sub-base preparation to maintaining the adequate thickness required for heavy traffic.
And there should be clear markings on parking lots and roads to divert heavy-duty vehicles towards pathways and parking spaces designed to withstand the pressure.
These are the three most common enemies of asphalt surfaces. Other sources of damage include:
- Gas/oil spills
- Cracks or chipping caused by snowplows and shovels
- Clogged or broken drains
When you recognize the potential risk factors, you can better preserve your pavement’s integrity.