Your guide to asphalt parking lot repairs

mm Paul Verbiton January 14, 2020
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asphalt repair

Asphalt pavements are constantly subjected to natural wear and tear that are usually due to usage or oxidation so no matter how much care and maintenance you put into your pavement, it’s still going to deteriorate eventually whether you use it or not and especially if you have a commercial parking lot where you have lots of both foot and car traffic going in and out of your property. That said, expect that it’s going to go through distress and sooner or later you’ll have to deal with repairs. Along the course of 7 to 10 years or so depending on the load of traffic that passes through, your asphalt parking lot will start to show some abrasions or damages.

What you can do when this happens is to continue following industry’s best practices to slow down its deterioration. While you can DIY some minor repairs, it is still best to leave major ones to a professionals like this local paving company in Richmond VA.

Types of Damages

Potholes

Potholes are the depressions on the pavement that are largely a result of water penetration. Potholes happen when there are long-term unsolved pavement issues such as cracks where water has passed through thereby eventually undermining the surface underneath and ultimately resulting to the top layer caving in or it could also be because of a base failure.

Potholes are a safety hazard and should be repaired as soon as possible else so as to avoid accidents or damaging your customers’ car tires.

Alligator Cracks

Alligator cracks are large interlaced cracks resembling the patterns of an alligator’s skin. Alligator cracks occur when minor cracks are not addressed immediately, when there’s excessive loading, insufficient pavement thickness or when water accumulates further into the cracks crossing through the layers beneath weakening the compacted aggregates below. It is then further aggravated by natural elements of oxidation, freeze-and-thaw cycles, and heavy foot and car traffic from above. This is especially common to parking lots particularly since trucks and delivery vans constantly batter the pavement.

Raveling

Raveling is a common asphalt pavement problem that occurs when loose aggregates are knocked out from the top layer of the surface. This results in a progressive disintegration of the aggregate particles beneath. Loose debris will expose inner layers thus forming holes and fissures that would collect rainwater and consequently soften the surface and the subgrade below.

Rutting

Rutting is a permanent deformation on the asphalt that is characterized by engraved wheel paths usually caused by heavy loaded trucks that exert more pressure onto the surface. Other causes are inadequate compaction during construction or insufficient asphalt mix.

Deteriorated Joints and Base Failure

Deteriorated joints and base failure are massive flaws that typically root from poor construction, overloading, not enough compaction or thickness or lack of binding agents. Deteriorated joints can be fixed by sealing however, a failure in the foundation would require an immediate replacement.

Type of Repairs

Patching

Patching is done for minor potholes. Normally, you have to remove all the loose aggregates and debris from the affected area. When patching, make sure that you extend the repairs beyond the visibly damaged spot to ensure that all possible holes or weak areas are covered. Upon clearing, you may now fill the hole with hot mix asphalt or a cold patching mix. Apply more layers of patching mix until the hole is leveled against the ground. Lastly, see to it that you fully press and compact the area so as to avoid deformation or water penetration.

Crack-Filling

Crack-Filling is the application of ready-to-use asphalt emulsion to prevent water from percolating the surface. It’s a cost-efficient way to repair minor cracks in your asphalt parking lot but just be reminded that this isn’t a quick fix for major depressions or alligator cracks. Depending on the severity of the damage, you might need to seek professional help.

Resurfacing

Resurfacing or asphalt overlay is your best option if you want to save on paving costs, although resurfacing is not always the answer. The premise used here is that you have a structurally sound base despite a heavily damaged top layer. And this is done to replace the damaged outer surface while you can still preserve the original foundation. In this case, you can have a brand new surface without spending too much on unnecessary repairs or on a full replacement. In general, a depth of 1.5 – 2 inches of asphalt is paved on top of the old base.

Resurfacing your blacktop can add at least 8 to 15 years more to the life of your asphalt parking lot, but do note that this is not a DIY project because this needs heavy and not to mention, expensive equipment and so this is only done by experienced and seasoned paving experts. Id you’re in Hanover, Virginia, we recommend giving Hanover Asphalt Paving a call to help you with commercial parking lot repairs.

Replacement

A full replacement is always your last resort. You should only ask for a replacement if your existing asphalt parking is beyond repair or isn’t salvageable. The circumstances in which you should go for a complete replacement are total base failure, a faulty drainage system, and a very old pavement exceeding the 25 or the 30-year mark.

Sealcoating

Sealcoating is the added protective layer applied to blacktop surfaces to preserve its midnight black finish, reduce oil and gas stains, slower oxidation and water filtration, and fundamentally extend the life of your asphalt pavement. Applying a fresh layer of sealcoat will make a smoother and more even texture texture thereby making your blacktop easier to clean and maintain.

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Paul Verbiton

I enjoy spotting opportunities and doing my best to grab them if I can. I am eager to see the world, I love taking photos and writing, coming up with topics that are pleasant to read, funny, and interesting at the same time.

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