You invest a lot of time and money into keeping your commercial property clean, presentable, and visually appealing for your customers and employees to use and enjoy. Installing and maintaining durable and flexible asphalt pavement is part of your overall property upkeep. A fresh and clean asphalt application can completely revamp the entire aesthetic of your commercial parking lot, which is great for business. There’s no doubt that you’d do everything in your power to make that aesthetic last as long as humanly possible. As you can imagine, there are a few things you should and shouldn’t do immediately following an asphalt paving project that can help keep your parking lot in tiptop shape and extend its lifespan.
What to Do After an Asphalt Paving Project
Asphalt paving, repairs, and replacement projects can be expensive but worthwhile endeavours that can help you boost business by vastly improving the condition of your property. Here are several things you can and should do to protect your freshly paved asphalt parking lot:
Do Wait 24 Hours Before Using It
Fresh asphalt is extremely vulnerable and susceptible to damages. It needs time to fully set and cure before it can be used. Asphalt typically takes a full year to completely cure. Of course, that doesn’t mean that your parking lot will be totally out of commission during that time because that would be very bad for business. But it does mean that you shouldn’t drive on it immediately after completing a paving project. You need to allow your new asphalt approximately 24 hours to dry before using it. For that reason, it’s best to start an asphalt paving project during your least busy business hours.
Do Drive Carefully and Encourage Others to Follow Suit
As mentioned, fresh asphalt is more susceptible to damages. Driving fast on a brand new asphalt parking lot is more likely to result in tire marks, scuffs, as well as dips and depressions in certain spots that are still curing.
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to control other people’s driving habits on your property aside from demonstrating a good example, installing traffic controlling speed humps, and installing speed limit signs throughout the parking lot. Most motorists tend to stick to 10 km/hr when driving through busy or tight parking lots, but there are always those few speed monsters that ruin it for everyone else. Try your best to encourage other motorists to adhere to traffic rules on your property by actively enforcing them on a regular basis.
Do Keep the Parking Lot Clean
Depending on the size of your property, keeping the parking lot clean can be challenging on your own. If you have a particularly large parking lot, then you might want to hire an asphalt contractor to maintain it for you while you take care of your business.
Removing snow, water, and debris from your parking lot after finishing a paving project is absolutely pivotal because these are all elements that can wreak havoc on your pavement. Exposure to the elements over time is inevitable, but you should do everything you can to keep your asphalt parking lot clean to prevent potentially costly damages. When water penetrates the porous surface of your asphalt parking lot, it typically freezes in the cold months and turns into ice. Ice causes the asphalt to expand, harden, and crack under pressure which allows all kinds of debris to also penetrate the surface.
It’s better to avoid these problems altogether by removing standing water, applying de-icing agents in the winter, and cleaning up your property regularly.
Do Clean Up Spills and Leaks Immediately
Oil spills and fluid leaks from vehicles are inevitable occurrences from time to time for commercial parking lots, but with proper maintenance you can stay on top of this issue. Even if you’re asphalt is fully cured, you should still do your best to clean up spills as expediently as possible to avoid permanent staining and internal damage. Chemicals from oil spills and other fluids can break down and eat away at the binding agent in your asphalt, which will eventually compromise its structural integrity.
What Not to Do after an Asphalt Paving Project
The following is a short list of what not to do after an asphalt paving project.
Don’t Park in the Exact Same Parking Spot Every Time
Have you ever noticed in other parking lots that the parking spaces closest to the stores typically have little dips and depressions whereas the ones that are further away are almost perfectly smooth? Those dips and depressions are caused by overuse. Most people tend to go out of their way to try to park as close to the front of a store as possible to avoid walking across the parking lot.
As the property or business owner, try to encourage your staff to park further toward the back of the parking lot to ensure that all of the spaces are being used equally.
Don’t Sealcoat Your Asphalt Right Away
Sealcoating your parking lot has a lot of advantages. It protects your asphalt pavement against damages and extends its lifespan considerably, while also saving you a lot of money down the line.
With that said, you should wait at least one full year post-installation before applying sealcoat to allow your asphalt to completely set and establish a strong foundation.
Don’t Drive Too Close to the Edge
After an asphalt paving project, the edges of your parking lot are the most vulnerable. Since the asphalt is still new, any amount of pressure on the edges can cause pieces of it to disconnect and break off.
Placing concrete barriers along the edges of your parking lot will prevent others from driving too close to the edge as well.
For more dos and don’ts following an asphalt paving project, consult the experts at Sure-Seal Pavement Maintenance Inc. As one of the leading paving contractors in Toronto and the GTA, we have over 20 years of experience installing and maintaining asphalt parking lots. Contact us today to book a consultation!