There’s a reason why asphalt is the most popular choice of aggregate material for paving commercial parking lots and roads. Its reputation as being one of the most durable and longest lasting paving materials in existence sets the precedent for all other paving materials that came after it.
However, even the strongest paving material on the market still needs proper care and maintenance to sustain a long lifespan without presenting signs of structural issues. Failing to take care of your newly paved structure will result in a plethora of future asphalt pavement problems. That’s why many pavement repair companies and asphalt paving services in Toronto advise their customers to adhere to the following asphalt maintenance tips.
Things to Do after an Asphalt Paving Job
Give Asphalt Plenty of Time to Fully Cure
Newly applied asphalt pavement is usually dry to the touch and fully functional within about 24 to 48 hours after being poured. But did you know that it can still take up to 12 months for it fully cure?
That’s not to say that you have to wait that long to start using it, though, because that would be a ridiculous expectation, especially if you own a commercial property. What it does mean is that you should take special precautions to avoid rough usage as much as possible during the first year of your asphalt pavement’s life to ensure its longevity.
During the first year or so, you should have vehicle weight restrictions in place and monitor how long vehicles are parked in a single spot to prevent depression formations. You should also enforce low speed limits to reduce reckless driving on your property.
Clean Your Asphalt Pavement Right Away
Cleaning should be a normal part of your asphalt pavement maintenance routine at all times.
To enhance the performance, functionality, and lifespan of your fresh asphalt pavement, it’s important to keep it absolutely spotless. Remove all loose debris and be sure to clean up any oil spills or fluid leaks from vehicles immediately, so that they don’t cause any permanent damage or staining.
Oil leaks can very quickly penetrate the surface of the asphalt and break down internal aggregate binding agents and this weakens the structural integrity of your asphalt pavement before it’s even had a chance to fully set. Give your new asphalt pavement a fighting chance by keeping it clean from the get-go.
Remove Snow and Ice in the Winter
Winter elements like snow, ice, and even the extreme cold temperatures can cause a lot of asphalt pavement problems. If left neglected for too long, piled up snow can weigh heavily on your pavement, causing it to dip in certain areas. As the temperatures continue to drop, the snow will freeze and become ice, which is even heavier. The combination of freezing temperatures and the weight of the snow and ice will eventually cause the asphalt to crack under the pressure.
New asphalt is especially susceptible to structural breakdowns as it hasn’t had enough time to fully cure, so it’s especially critical to remove snow and ice in the winter after each snowfall or storm.
Perform Regular Maintenance and Cleaning
Scheduling routine maintenance checks will help you stay on top of all of your necessary asphalt repairs, so that they can get done in a timely manner before they get to be too much. Neglecting to fix even the smallest cracks and damages could end up costing you a lot more money in the long run.
Some cracks may seem minor at first, but unless you do a little investigating, you don’t know how deep down they actually go and that can be a problem for the structural strength of your asphalt pavement. Performing regular maintenance and cleaning allows you to identify and fix these problems faster and avoid future headaches.
Maintain Safe Driving Standards
Driving safety standards should always be a top priority on your asphalt parking lot, regardless of its age. Commercial property ownership is a huge liability, so it’s important to ensure the safety of everyone who uses your parking lot. But it’s especially crucial to adhere to strict speed limits and safe driving habits after applying a fresh layer of asphalt aggregate to your parking lot.
Unfortunately, you can’t always control how other people drive, but you can put certain measures in place such as traffic controlling speed bumps, speed limit signs, and even cameras to help mitigate and prevent dangerous driving on your property.
Driving too fast on fresh asphalt that hasn’t fully cured beneath the surface can cause it to malfunction sooner than it should. In addition to surface damages such as tire scuffing and scarring, putting the pedal to the metal can also apply undue pressure on an asphalt structure that hasn’t yet reached its complete strength capacity. This can lead to future structural weakness and failure, which costs a lot of money to repair and maintain.
Don’t Do These Things after Asphalt Paving
Park in the Exact Same Spot All the Time
Even weight distribution is extremely important for freshly applied asphalt that hasn’t had time to fully cure yet. Parking your car in the exact same spot during the first year of your asphalt pavement’s life is problematic because it means that same spot will continuously be exposed to the weight and pressure from your vehicle, eventually causing it to buckle. The same can be said for stationary loads such as large trucks and pallets.
Try to move them around every couple of days so that they’re not always sitting in the same spot.
Ignore Small Cracks
Small cracks and damages are the catalyst for pothole. Oftentimes, they’re also a sign of deeper structural damages and weaknesses beneath the surface of your asphalt pavement. Address and repair them immediately to prevent them from getting worse over time.
Let Weeds Grow
Weeds are extremely persistent and can grow in virtually any conditions, even breaking through concrete and asphalt pavements. This causes surface cracking and irreparable internal damages. Once rooted, weeds are difficult to remove and their seeds can spread very quickly. It’s not enough to simply cut the heads off weeds. They need to be pulled out from the roots or killed completely using a strong weed killer.
Hire Professional Asphalt Paving and Maintenance Services
For over 25 years, Sure-Seal Pavement Maintenance Inc. has been the go-to pavement repair company in Toronto. Whatever asphalt pavement problems you have, you can trust our team of highly skilled contractors to fix them immediately. Contact us for more asphalt maintenance tips and to learn about our services.