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Although an asphalt parking lot costs less to construct than a comparable concrete lot, it still represents a sizable investment that deserves protection. Timely repairs and routine maintenance can often double the life of a parking lot. However, before you can remedy an issue, you need to know that it exists. The easiest way to spot potential problems early is to assess your parking lot. Conduct a visual inspection at least every 12 months to assess your parking lot’s surface, foundation, drainage, and striping.

How Do I Assess the Condition of the Surface of My Asphalt Parking Lot?

The best way is to walk through your parking lot when there are the fewest vehicles parked there. Jot down or record notes about what you observe, including the location and type of any damage. Look for the following problems.

1. Cracks that are wider than about a quarter of an inch should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent water infiltration.
2. Potholes also need immediate parking lot repairs.
3. Signs of pavement distress include ruts, wavy lines, loose gravel, and shiny, exposed stones or rocks. You should contact a reputable asphalt paving company to recommend the appropriate steps to address pavement distress.
4. Small depressions could indicate a minor error in the asphalt paving mix that the contractor used when constructing your parking lot. However, there are other possible causes, so contact your asphalt company for advice.
5. Make note of the color of your asphalt. New asphalt paving has a dark, rich color. However, over time, exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation can turn the color from black to brown or gray. Color fading can usually be reversed by sealcoating the pavement. Furthermore, color fading also indicates that your asphalt is being drained of its moisture, which will make it more prone to cracking. Fortunately, sealcoating can block UV rays to protect your pavement’s health as well as its appearance.
6. Look for spots where oil or other vehicle fluids have dripped onto your pavement. These petrochemicals soften asphalt pavements, resulting in a crumbly mess that will evolve into a pothole. Sealcoating a parking lot pavement helps protect against damage from petrochemicals, but it cannot stop it forever.

How Do I Assess the Condition of My Parking Lot’s Foundation?

Foundation damage is usually the result of water that has penetrated deep into the pavement’s structure. Foundation damage will usually manifest on the surface in a limited number of ways.

1. Alligator cracking is virtually always the result of a weakened, unstable foundation. Since there can be other causes, however, you should ask your contractor to conduct a more thorough inspection.
2. Sinkholes, large depressions, and major potholes that develop rapidly can also indicate foundation damage.
3. Although foundation damage is usually caused by water that has eroded the base, it is important to note that the water could come from a hidden source. While unrepaired pavement breaks are the most common source, a break or leak in an underground pipe is another potential source. An undetected underground spring, a drastic change in the level of the water table, and a hidden sinkhole are other potential sources.

How Do I Assess the Drainage for My Asphalt Parking Lot?

After a rain, look for puddles that remain long after the rest of your pavement has dried. Make sure that the grates over catch basins have not become clogged by debris. Verify that your curb and gutter system is intact, and that runoff moves freely throughout the system.

How Do I Assess My Parking Lot Striping?

Your pavement markings and stripes are a vital part of making your parking lot meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. They are also an important part of keeping your parking lot safe and orderly.

1. Make sure that you can clearly see all markings and stripes regardless of the weather conditions. Repaint your stripes and markings once their original visibility decreases by more than 25%.
2. Check for paint that is peeling, cracking, blistering, or flaking.
3. Look for large stains or damage, particularly on your pavement markings.
4. Verify that a recent parking lot repair has not obscured part of a line or marking.

The Surface Masters is an asphalt paving contractor, and we would be happy to help you assess the condition of your asphalt parking lot. We offer asphalt repairs, sealcoating, asphalt paving, crack sealing, concrete curbing, asphalt overlay, pavement markings, and asphalt milling. We are a highly respected company with an impeccable reputation for workmanship, dependability, and service. To request a free quote, call 770-250-6392, submit our online form, or email Info@TheSurfaceMasters.com.

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