How to Extend the Lifespan of Your Asphalt Parking Lot

istock.com/H_Barth
istock.com/H_Barth

Major repairs or asphalt replacements can be costly but are sometimes necessary in order to keep your parking lot safe and running as smoothly as possible. Regular maintenance such as cleaning up the exterior of your property, repainting line markings, repairing small cracks and potholes, and removing ice and snow in the winter are a few simple steps you can take to extend the lifespan of your asphalt pavement. While some larger maintenance projects such as sealcoating your entire parking lot can have potentially high upfront costs, they’re worth it in the long run because they protect your pavement from the perils of everyday use. Keep reading to learn more.

Why Regular Pavement Maintenance Matters

Over time, it’s perfectly normal for your asphalt pavement to endure some wear and tear, some of which is beyond your control. Weather and natural elements come to mind here. Depending on where your commercial property is located, you might get a lot of snow or rainfall throughout the year and this can certainly affect the quality of your asphalt, especially if you fail to maintain it and keep it clean.

On top of the weight from the vehicles that use your property regularly, heavy snow buildup and other debris can eventually damage or weaken the foundation of your asphalt and this can lead to costly repairs in the future. If the foundation of your asphalt was insufficient to begin with, then the structural problems will be magnified and manifest themselves much faster.

It’s important to regularly maintain your asphalt parking lot and always be aware of any potential or minor damages so that you can repair them right away at a lower cost. You should also always be considerate of your customers because you’re technically liable for their safety and need to make sure that your asphalt parking lot is free of large cracks, potholes, and pooling water.

How to Protect Your Asphalt from Potential Damages

Here are a few tips on how to protect your asphalt parking lot from potential damages as recommended by asphalt maintenance companies in Ontario.

Regulate the Types and Volume of Vehicles That Use Your Property

As a property or business owner, you need to always be aware of the types of vehicles that your property is capable of supporting. Having too many heavy load-bearing vehicles on your property all at once can actually accelerate the deterioration process of your asphalt parking lot.

The pressure from these vehicles places a great deal of grinding weight on your asphalt and causes a great deal of friction, especially when they’re in motion. Add on the traction from winter tires, pickup trucks, delivery vans, forklifts, snow removal vehicles, and semi-trucks, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

Depending on the nature of your business, it’s important that you always regulate the flow of traffic on your property to help extend the lifespan of your parking lot and keep it well maintained at all times.

Protect Your Property from Water Damage

This can’t be emphasized enough. Standing or pooling water is one of the greatest detriments to your asphalt parking lot. Not only are large puddles a potential hazard for anyone who uses your parking lot, but the water could also be a sign that your catch basin may be defective. That water should be draining into your property’s sewer system, not pooling in the middle of your parking lot. Furthermore, the longer it’s left unattended, the more depressions will start to form throughout your parking lot. Water naturally erodes through asphalt surfaces and this can weaken the structural integrity of the entire parking lot, causing cracks and potholes which are damaging to vehicles.

If you notice a lot of standing water throughout your parking lot, it’s time to check your catch basin to make sure it’s working properly. A clogged catch basin prevents water from draining properly, rejects water deposits, and causes a massive overflow of runoff water on your property that could lead to potentially damaging flooding. Even if you have excellent property insurance to protect you against flooding, that’s the last thing you want to have to deal with as a business owner as it could mean having to shut down your operations for an extended period of time, which results in a loss of income.

Clean Up Your Asphalt Parking Lot Regularly

If you happen to be in a very busy location, cleaning up your parking lot on a daily or weekly basis can be challenging without obstructing the flow of traffic. Regardless, it’s important to keep up with regularly scheduled clean up initiatives so that your parking lot is free of damages and can be used as safely as possible. Taking the time to remove debris, snow, shopping carts, and other discarded items gives you a prime opportunity to examine your parking lot for any potential damages or repairs that need to be made. The sooner you catch minor damages, the sooner you can fix them for a lower cost.

Aside from a damaged and dirty parking lot being a massive safety hazard for your customers and employees, it also lowers the curb appeal of your business and leaves a bad first impression. Customers and passersby should marvel at how clean, organized, and visually appealing your outdoor space is.

Repair Cracks and Potholes

If your parking lot is covered with cracks and potholes, this could actually deter people from wanting to support your business. Nobody wants to risk injuring themselves or damaging their vehicle just because you’ve failed to properly maintain your property. Plus, the longer you leave cracks and potholes unattended, the worse they’ll become and it’ll cost more to repair them in the future.

Sealcoat Your Parking Lot

Most asphalt paving and maintenance companies recommend that you sealcoat your asphalt parking lot at least once every two to three years to help keep it in tiptop shape. A fresh layer of sealcoat should only be applied after all necessary asphalt repairs and replacements have been applied. Otherwise, you’re just sealing in the damaged parts of your parking lot and this will make repairing them a lot more difficult or nearly impossible. Sealcoating your parking lot on a regular basis can help extend its lifespan to at least 25-30 years.

Sure-Seal Pavement Maintenance Inc. is one of Ontario’s leading asphalt installation and maintenance companies. For over 20 years, we’ve set the standard for high quality asphalt repairs and installation throughout Toronto and the GTA. All of our work comes backed up by a comprehensive seven-year service and material warranty. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule a free consultation!