Parking Lot Repair: You May be Doing it Wrong
Between the effects of Mother Nature and the traffic that pummels your pavement daily, it’s no surprise that your parking lots are in need of frequent attention.
You may feel like you’ve got it all figured out: monitoring maintenance needs, scheduling repairs, and inspecting the results. But, could you be doing it wrong? We’ll help you identify some common paving mistakes.
Sealcoating to the Rescue?
While it’s tempting to think a fresh application of sealer is all you need to restore your lot’s luster, it’s not a cure-all for every one of your parking lot woes. There are several things that seal coating does well and chief among them is improving the appearance of your asphalt and protecting it from water, salt, oil, and other irritants. In preventing these substances from permeating the surface, seal coating helps protect and preserve the structural integrity of the pavement. However, even a perfect application of sealer will not repair cracks and other surface defects in the asphalt. Follow these steps prior to seal coating:
- Fill cracks
- Treat oil spots with primer
- Remove and replace any compromised areas
- Prime heavily oxidized areas
The Band-Aid Approach:
With a tight budget, it might seem sensible to patch or crack seal an area of deteriorated asphalt. But sometimes a parking lot is beyond the point where patching, crack sealing, or seal coating will help. If the lot is failing due to lack of maintenance, poor design, sub-base issues, or a structural flaw, no amount of preventative procedures will solve the problem long term. (You are just throwing money away.) In addition, if the parking lot is approaching 20 years of service life or if 25-35% of the total surface area has significant damage, it is generally more effective and economical to rip out and replace the parking lot.
Too Much or Too Little?
To avoid costly, structural repairs it’s important to consider timing and proper application methods for all preventative procedures. Timing involves both time of year and time in between services. When seal coating, for example, the temperature and weather will dictate the best time of year. And, after initial application, seal coating should be performed every 24 to 36 months. If the process is done more frequently, sealer may build up on the asphalt – resulting in cracking and peeling. On the other hand, if too much time has passed without seal coating, pavement will be exposed to the elements. It is also possible to over-apply sealer. Request a pavement evaluation to determine if one, two, or three coats are necessary and which application method is best. These same factors should be considered prior to performing any paving procedure in order for a cost-effective outcome.
We get it – no one likes making mistakes. With decades of experience in the paving industry, our team has the knowledge and resources to help you do it the right way. Ready? Let’s Pave…