Signs Your Parking Lot Needs Repair
A well-paved parking lot can last a long time—but not forever. Eventually, you will need to have it repaired. But how do you know the right time to call in an asphalt repair specialist? Read on to discover the signs of a parking lot in need of repair—brought to you by experts in Nashville parking lot paving.
Why Parking Lot Repair is Important
Before we get to the signs, it is worth mentioning why you should bother with repair in the first place.
Safety. Asphalt in poor repair can pose a risk to you, your employees, your customers and any vehicles entering the lot. Trips, falls, broken bones, popped tires, bent wheels—you want to avoid all of these.
Aesthetics. If your parking lot is torn up and unsightly, it will be noticed by customers. No matter how well-kept your business exterior and interior is, you cannot keep eyes off your parking lot.
Reputation. Broken asphalt and potholes reflect poorly on your business. If you let your parking lot go like this, what other problems does your business ignore?
Long-term savings. Getting to repairs early on can save you money. Small cracks turn into big problems and can eventually lead to full replacement. Minor repairs are more affordable.
How to Tell if Your Parking Lot Needs to be Repaired
A well-designed parking lot will shed water towards proper drainage areas. If you see pooling water on your lot, there may be a problem with the drainage. The asphalt may have also been poured and leveled improperly. It does not necessarily mean you need major repairs, but something should be done to prevent the pooling. Water can cause damage to the asphalt over time.
Some cracking is inevitable with an asphalt surface. The UV rays of the sun will cause the elastic components in the asphalt to degrade over time, leading to separation. But although you cannot completely prevent cracks, they should still be repaired when they appear to prevent further damage. A simple crack repair is inexpensive and goes a long way to keep water from penetrating through the crack and under the asphalt surface.
Cracks left too long will tend to spread and create more and more cracks. Eventually you will wind up with a crack-covered surface, one much like the skin of an alligator. If the surface gets that bad, your only option will be to have the asphalt replaced.
A perfectly poured asphalt surface will have a solid subsurface underneath, one that is protected from most water penetration by the asphalt above. Of course, not every surface is poured perfectly. Sometimes the extra work is not done to create the ideal subsurface, which can leave gaps where the asphalt sinks in and eventually breaks apart—creating a pothole.
Even if the subsurface is sound, if cracks are left unrepaired water will penetrate to the subsurface. As the water freezes, it expands, damaging the subsurface and the asphalt on top. Once the water melts, a void is created that leads to sinking and crumbling of the asphalt. Potholes result from this process.
Whatever the cause of the pothole, the need for repair is evident. Otherwise, the pothole will present a constant risk to people and vehicles.
Fading is another natural process that occurs with all asphalt. The deep, rich black will eventually fade to gray over time. Fading is caused by UV rays and oxidation. The faded appearance can be remedied by applying a seal coating. However, if the fading is part of a more general degradation of the asphalt that has gone on for an extended period of time, then replacing the asphalt may be the only way to ensure proper function.
How to Decide—Repair or Replacement?
Asphalt repair is obviously less expensive than having the entire surface replaced. It makes sense to try to get the surface repaired for financial reasons. However, there is always a point where repairs will no longer make the asphalt function properly.
Although many of the signs that indicate the need for repair are easy to spot, the signs of a need for full replacement may be less obvious. The best way to know where your asphalt stands is to bring in a professional asphalt repair specialist. He or she can closely examine your surface and give you knowledgeable guidance on what your next steps should be.