A brand new, professionally installed asphalt parking lot requires a great deal of care and maintenance to make it last as long as possible. Despite the fact that asphalt is one of the most durable and reliable paving materials on the market, some wear and tear over the years is still inevitable. When you start to notice minor cracks, damages, dirt, or debris, it’s your responsibility as the property owner to take care of these issues right away. Not only will this ensure the safety of everyone who uses your asphalt parking lot, but it’ll also extend its lifespan and keep it looking beautiful and clean.
Here are some useful tips to help your asphalt pavement last longer at a minimal cost.
Give It Time to Settle
Whether you just installed a brand new asphalt pavement or portions of your parking lot needed to be removed and replaced with new aggregate, the pavement needs time to settle before you can resume usage. Prematurely using your asphalt parking lot before it has time to fully settle can damage the structural surface and cause dips and depressions to form. If the new aggregate was applied in the summer, it’s recommended that you wait about two to three days to let it fully cool down and harden. In the fall, the asphalt should be ready to use in about 24-48 hours. This is a minor inconvenience for business and property owners compared to the damages that will be incurred if the asphalt isn’t given enough time to properly settle in place.
Keep It Clean
Proper maintenance is one of the key components of extending the lifespan of your parking lot and making it work harder for you. Leaves, stray grass blades, dirt, rough sand, litter, and other debris combined with the use of heavy machinery and vehicles of all sizes and weights can wreak havoc on the health and longevity of your asphalt pavement. The more vehicular and foot traffic your parking lot gets, the more these organic and inorganic materials will be compressed into the pavement, which can weaken and tarnish its overall structural integrity, causing potentially expensive damages.
Plus, having a commercial parking lot that’s covered in garbage and organic matter just doesn’t bode well for your business. When passersby see a parking lot that’s in complete disrepair and full of litter, it gives the impression that you don’t care enough about your property to keep it clean. Regular maintenance improves business and maximizes the curb appeal of your property.
Remove Oil and Coolant Stains
Oil and coolant stains are unavoidable throughout the lifetime of an asphalt parking lot, especially if your property gets a lot of usage. To prevent further damages, these types of stains must be dealt with immediately. Otherwise, they get a lot harder to remove the more time they have to settle.
There are a few simple methods you can use to remove oil stains. Applying kitty litter and letting it sit on top of the stain is arguably the most effective method. Over time, the kitty litter loosens the oil stain, making it easier to scrub out with a brush once it’s removed. Another method is to use warm water and baking soda.
For coolant leakages, applying a degreaser is your best course of action. Degreasers can be purchased at any local hardware store. Apply the degreaser, let it sit for about five minutes to soak up the coolant, and then use a stiff brush to scrub it out as hard as you can. When you’re done hose down the area with water and soap. Use a pressure washer to remove the remaining residue.
Repeat both of these methods as often as needed until the stains are completely gone.
Sealcoat Your Asphalt Parking Lot Regularly
As strong as asphalt is on its own, unfortunately, it’s far from invincible. And for that reason, it needs a little extra protection to prevent unavoidable damages that come with being exposed to external elements for a long time.
Sealcoating your asphalt parking lot once every two to three years or as you see fit depending on how much traffic it gets will help you get the most out of your pavement. Not only does regular sealcoating help protect your asphalt from damages, but it can also extend its lifespan and make it last for about 20-30 years before it needs to be replaced. Just make sure that you hire a professional parking lot paving company in your area to guarantee that the job is done properly using high-quality materials like POLY-TAR High Durability Sealcoat.
Remove Standing Water
A freshly paved asphalt parking lot shouldn’t have any standing water, even after a heavy rainfall. If your parking lot was recently installed and you notice water pooling in certain areas, then that means the job was done incorrectly and repairs need to be made.
When it comes to maintaining your asphalt parking lot, consider standing water public enemy number one. Even if your asphalt is a few years old, standing water is a potentially big problem. It either indicates that there are some structural issues that need to be looked into or it’s the cause of those structural issues. Either way, standing water is a sign that your asphalt is in disrepair and needs immediate attention. Fix all cracks and potholes immediately to prevent water from getting in and infiltrating the surface of your asphalt pavement. Standing water will erode your asphalt pavement over time and compromise its structural integrity, which is both a safety and financial issue for you.
To learn more about what you can do to extend the lifespan of your asphalt parking lot and maximize its usability, contact the asphalt parking lot paving experts at Sure-Seal Pavement Maintenance Inc. We have over 20 years of experience installing, repairing, and maintaining commercial parking lots in Toronto and throughout the GTA. All of our materials and work are backed by a comprehensive seven-year warranty, giving our customers the peace of mind they need to know that our work will last many, many years.