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Asphalt Maintenance is not something that we think about often. In fact, the only time that asphalt is typically thought about is when we’re sitting in traffic due to a roadway renovation. However, asphalt pavement is the top choice for roadways, highways, and parking lots. In fact, over five hundred million tons of asphalt material is used each year.

Preventative Maintenance

Asphalt has a tendency to develop small cracks and if left to their own devices, those cracks will propagate and cause much worse damage to the asphalt surface. This not only creates a risk of damaging vehicles driving on the cracked surface, but is also more expensive to repair than initial preventative maintenance actions. Preventative maintenance includes a scheduled surface treatment, as well as, regular inspection and repair of cracks. Removing weeds and other debris early is also a good way to prevent cracks from forming.

Corrective Maintenance

Corrective maintenance takes place once damage to the asphalt surface has already occurred. It is more costly than preventative maintenance as the amount of work required to repair is much greater. Corrective maintenance includes the fixing of potholes and larger cracks. Depending on the length of neglect and the damage that is now existing, crack sealing and asphalt patching will be needed. Contact your local contractor to review the damage and go over the services needed to repair your lot.

Drainage

Have you ever noticed that potholes seem to spring up after a heavy rain or once the winter snow starts to melt? This is no coincidence; water is the biggest contributor to asphalt damage. Flowing water will deteriorate the particles holding your asphalt together, eroding at cracks much like a river does. Standing water can be equally risky, as it seeps through and damages your foundation layers.

Weather

Any maintenance performed on asphalt should ideally be done when the surface is dry; preferably after a few days of sunshine. While a light drizzle isn’t a catastrophe, a dryer surface is better suited to the adhesion of repair substances as well as surface treatments.

Surface Treatment

One of the most effective forms of maintenance you can do to an asphalt surface is applying an appropriate surface treatment. Seal coat is often applied when your surface is first put down, but with time this wears away. Seal coat should be applied every 2-3 years after initial application. The seal slows the natural breakdown of the asphalt, and also prevents water and sun erosion. For each situation there is a different sealing product that can be used. Consult a local asphalt contractor for the best solution to your requirements.

Properly maintaining your asphalt parking lot will save you thousands over the years.