As soon as freshly laid hot asphalt begins to cool, the aging process begins. From that moment on, asphalt is broken down by oil, gas, sun oxidation, salt, water penetration, and cold weather.
Refer to the following tips when making decisions regarding preventative maintenance on your parking lot(s):
- Carefully inspect your pavement on a regular basis for cracks, fading pavement markings, and other signs of failure or liability issues.
- Seal coating a parking lot helps to slow pavement deterioration; for maximum benefit, asphalt should be sealed every 24-36 months.
- Seal coating should only be performed under the proper weather conditions (50°F during sealer application and for 8 hours afterward).
- Traffic must be kept off a newly sealed surface for 24 hours to allow for drying (curing) time.
- Proper attention to cracks will prevent problems from spreading and greatly extend the life of pavement.
- Singular cracks that are between ¼-inch wide and 1-inch are good candidates for crack sealing.
- Crack widening or “routing” has become the new standard and greatly improves the effectiveness of the repair, however cracks that have been previously sealed cannot be routed but can be resealed with hot rubber.
- Fixing “birdbaths” as soon as they appear will lessen the chance of water seeping through to the base and becoming a pothole.
- Catch basin installation can be a possible solution for improper parking lot drainage.
- All pre-existing problems such as cracking, low spots, poor drainage, and base or sub-base damage should be resolved before resurfacing pavement.
- Concrete is especially durable when it is mixed properly and caution is taken during the curing process.
- Concrete needs at least 4-7 days to cure, though there are faster curing mixes available if your project requires.
- Lot marking using a “straight-in” design (at 90°) allows for the most stalls and accommodates two-way traffic flow.
- It is important that your parking lot has the proper amount of handicapped-accessible parking stalls, and required van parking spaces, in accordance with ADA guidelines.
Looking for more ways to maintain your pavement and protect your investment? Download our detailed guide here (.ppt)