Keeping Customers Comfortable

How To Upkeep An Asphalt Parking Lot

Small business owners have plenty to worry about--there's no reason to include maintaining an asphalt parking lot to that list. The good news is that it doesn't take much to maximize the lifespan of asphalt. If you would like to learn more about what you need to do to ensure your parking lot remains in the best possible shape, read on. This article will offer some key tips.

Every Year

Yearly maintenance efforts come down to two main things. The first is attending to any oil leaks or spills. While many people assume that this is simply a cosmetic improvement, the fact is that it also helps to protect your asphalt from premature breakdown. As oil seeps into the pavement, it will be absorbed by the binder, thus causing the asphalt to become soft and more prone to damage. Prevent unwanted cracks and potholes by cleaning up all such oil stains.

The second annual maintenance task involves sealing any open cracks. Those cracks are especially vulnerable to water damage, meaning they will tend to spread and widen over time. Filling such cracks with an asphalt sealer--a thick, black paste that can be applied with a caulk gun--prevents water from working its way into and below your asphalt.

Every Five Years

Those who are vigilant about performing their yearly maintenance tasks will greatly delay the need for a new asphalt parking lot. Yet the asphalt will still be subject to degradation and wear as the result of its exposure to elements such sunlight and water, not to mention the near-constant presence of automotive traffic. These factors tend to cause the surface of the asphalt to wear away, becoming brittle and exposed.

Fortunately, you can combat general wear and tear by applying a layer of seal coat to your parking lot roughly every five years. Seal coat is a type of so-called asphalt emulsion. That simply means that it is an asphalt derivative which has been diluted to a  consistency thin enough to apply with either a spray wand or a super-sized squeegee.

Seal coat acts to refresh the oils on the surface of your asphalt. This increases its resistance to damage-causing factors such as ultraviolet light and precipitation. Likewise, it combats the loss of traction caused by cars and trucks. Assuming you are also undertaking the other maintenance efforts discussed above, having seal coat applied on a regular basis will double the longevity of your business's pavement.