Whether you own a commercial or private property, the first thing people notice is the condition of your parking lot. A few minor cracks scattered throughout your asphalt parking lot won’t raise any eyebrows or faze anyone, but a parking lot that’s falling part and in total disrepair certainly will.
It’s more than just an eyesore; it poses serious safety concerns for anyone who uses your property. Plus, the condition of your parking lot also speaks volumes about how much you care about the aesthetic of your business. If building and maintaining a professional image is important to you, then the condition of your parking lot should reflect that.
Don’t underestimate the power of a well-maintained parking lot to leave a good impression on your customers and employees. Whether it’s the first time someone is visiting your business or they’ve been there many times before, a well-maintained parking lot communicates that you care deeply about creating a positive customer experience. Unfortunately, there are some factors that could work against you, sometimes through no fault of your own.
Here are eight factors that you should pay attention to that could negatively impact your asphalt parking lot.
A Weak or Poorly Constructed Gravel Foundation
To guarantee a long and stable lifespan, your asphalt parking lot needs a solid gravel foundation that’s impervious to potential damages and weak spots. A poorly laid or applied gravel base could be the start of the downfall of your entire asphalt paving structure.
Eventually, the weight and pressure of constant usage from heavy vehicles such as trucks and SUVs will cause the asphalt pavement to buckle. Not only does this damage your property and the vehicles that are on it, but it could present a serious liability issue for you as the property owner. If you notice a lot of cracking, dips, and depressions throughout your parking lot, contact a local asphalt paving contractor to inspect your parking lot for you.
Inappropriate Thickness Level
The wrong thickness level of the asphalt can also significantly weaken the structural integrity of your asphalt pavement. Busy industrial and commercial parking lots that cater to transport trucks and other heavy, large vehicles require a thicker asphalt base to prevent damages such as dips, depressions, cracks, and potholes from forming. The continued weight and pressure from these vehicles can cause a weak subbase to crumble within a few weeks.
Fixing these structural issues is also no picnic as discovering a weak subbase that lacks a sufficient amount of layering could require an asphalt pavement overhaul, resulting in a lengthy downtime for your business.
Lack of Cohesion between Asphalt Paving Applications and Repairs
Asphalt parking lots come with a lot of responsibilities. As durable and resilient as asphalt pavement is, it’s still going to require some maintenance and minor repairs from time to time. There’s nothing wrong with needing to make a few patches here and there, but if new pavement isn’t properly amalgamated with the existing aggregate, then this can cause some issues down the line.
Pressure points along the connecting or transitional lines between the old and new asphalt can start to crack with increasing vehicular and foot traffic. To prevent disaster from striking following a pavement repair job, you need to make sure that the new asphalt aggregate is perfectly merged with the existing asphalt and that final product is as smooth as butter.
Faded Line Markings
Line markings play an extremely important role in commercial and industrial parking lots because they mark parking spots and give directives for a variety of different types of vehicles and patrons. They can be handicap markers or designated for families with small children, expecting mothers, loading vehicles, and curbside pickup to name a few.
Faded line markings can cause a lot of chaos and confusion and slow down the traffic flow of your parking lot, causing some motorists to drive erratically. As a property owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your entire parking lot is properly marked and lined at all times to prevent potential accidents and other hazards. Although you can’t control other people’s behaviour or driving habits, you can ensure that you’re doing everything in your power to create a safe working and shopping environment for your employees and customers.
Faded Surface Colour
Faded surface colour doesn’t necessarily indicate that your parking lot structure is weak or damaged. But it does indicate that the pavement itself is getting older and a little worn. The lackluster quality could also be due to prolonged exposure to UV rays from the sun, which can overheat the pavement and that can lead to some structural issues.
The best way to protect your asphalt pavement from external elements like too much sunlight exposure is to apply a layer of sealcoating once every two to three years. This will help maintain the structural integrity of the asphalt by establishing a strong barrier to external elements.
Cracks and Potholes
Minor cracking may seem perfectly harmless at first, but it’s actually like a gateway to more extensive damages like alligator cracking and potholes. Over time, neglected cracks can expand due to water, dirt, and debris infiltration that erodes the asphalt aggregate from below the surface. In fact, surface cracks are often major warning signs that much worse damages may be brewing underneath your asphalt. For that reason alone, it’s better to investigate the cause of the cracking and then make the necessary repairs before they get worse.
A Broken or Clogged Drainage System
A broken down or clogged drainage system can cause a backlog of water to pool throughout your parking lot. Pooling water is like public enemy number one for asphalt substrates because it can slowly erode the aggregate over time, causing structural weakness.
Incompliance to Local Building Codes
Throughout the asphalt parking lot design, installation, maintenance, and repair process, it’s important to guarantee that the structure is in full compliance with local and provincial building code structural and safety standards. If it’s not, then you could face a world of legal and financial troubles if someone sustains an injury on your property due to poor workmanship or negligence. A write-up from a building code inspector could also land you in serious hot water, forcing you to either pay a massive fine or completely reconstruct your entire parking lot or both.
The experienced asphalt paving contractors at Sure-Seal Pavement Maintenance Inc. can help you avoid all of that. We provide high-quality asphalt installation, maintenance, and repair services to local businesses all across Toronto and the GTA. Contact us today to learn more.