How to Prevent Cracks on Your Asphalt Paving Parking Lot

There are numerous reasons to choose asphalt for the construction of a parking lot. Most people mention the affordability of asphalt paving; a concrete parking lot can cost up to twice as much as an asphalt one of the same size. They also tend to mention the speed with which they can place their new parking lot in service. Should a parking lot repair become necessary, the procedure is typically fast and reasonably priced. The most common repair requested is a crack repair. There are several inexpensive and speedy methods of repairing a crack in an asphalt pavement, but it is far better to prevent cracks than to repair them. Asphalt, always the smoother ride!

What Steps Should I Take to Ensure That I Never Need to Pay for an Asphalt Crack Repair?

To be perfectly honest, it is impossible to prevent all types of cracks or ensure that a crack never develops. Certain cracks are virtually guaranteed to form eventually. For example, repeated freeze/thaw cycles can cause shrinkage cracks, especially in areas that receive little or no traffic. However, if your parking lot was properly constructed, there are five things that you can do to help stop cracks from forming. They involve keeping your pavement clean, not overloading it, maintaining your sealcoating, avoiding stationary loads, and prioritizing any asphalt repair that might be required. B&E Coating can assist in setting up a proper pavement preservation program. We also always recommend a sweeping program in place to protect your asphalt investment and liability exposure.

How Does the Cleanliness of My Asphalt Parking Lot Help Prevent Cracking?

Piles of debris, including leaves, paper, gravel, and dirt, can have a negative impact on the health of your pavement. Decomposing vegetation and paper can allow fungi to grow beneath the piles, increasing the likelihood of pavement damage. Dirt and gravel can wear away your sealcoating, which is your pavement’s first line of defense. All of these types of debris can make your pavement more prone to cracks, but the biggest threat comes from the automotive fluids that vehicles deposit while they are parked in your lot. Most automotive fluids are petroleum-based products inflict damage on asphalt pavements, resulting in cracks and even potholes.

How Can Overloading Lead to Cracks in an Asphalt Pavement?

When your contractor designed your parking lot, the depth of the asphalt layers and the construction of the foundation were based on the anticipated number and weights of the vehicles using the lot. Changing the volume or weight of the traffic can cause fatigue cracking. Therefore, you need to avoid overloading the pavement. For example, if you expected that only passenger vehicles would use your parking lot, you should not permit fully loaded tractor-trailers to drive across or park on your pavement. If overloading is unavoidable, you might consider asking a reputable contractor whether your pavement could be strengthened before extensive damage is done.

How Does Asphalt Sealcoating Help Prevent Cracks?

Asphalt sealcoating, which should not be confused with asphalt crack sealing, is an economical procedure that is extremely effective at preventing cracks. It works by blocking harmful UV rays that make asphalt pavements brittle, slowing the progress of automotive fluids so that you have more time to remove them, and enhancing your pavement’s natural waterproofing qualities to help prevent foundation damage that can cause extensive cracking. New pavements or overlays should be sealed within 12 -18 months of completion. Sealcoating is not permanent, however, and most parking lots need a fresh application about every two years. You should avoid letting anyone sealcoat with toxic coal tar sealants for numerous reasons from causing cracking to your new asphalt to the cancer causing concerns, do your research prior to letting just anyone seal your driveway , parking lot or private road. B&E recommends Safe Seal commercial sealcoat material to be used.

Why Should I Avoid Stationary Loads in My Asphalt Parking Lot?

Stationary loads include parked vehicles, displays of heavy items, loaded trailers, heavy equipment, and pallets of products you have stored in your parking lot. After a few days, especially during the summer, the pavement can be deformed by the weight, become too soft to support the load, and begin to crack under the stress.

Why Should I Prioritize Crack Sealing and Other Asphalt Repairs?

No matter how small a crack or other pavement break is when it first develops, you need to address the problem immediately. Cracks virtually always continue to grow until they are repaired, and all pavement breaks have the ability to spawn new or additional cracks. Water trickles through the openings, erodes the foundation/ sub base and inflicts damage that can be much more expensive to repair than it would cost for a simple repair with an asphalt crack filler or sealer. Your contractor will need to evaluate the type and location of the break to determine whether it is best to repair it with crack sealing, crack filling, or another method.

Trust Your Parking Lot Maintenance to B&E Coating Services

We are experts in all types of asphalt maintenance, including sealcoating, parking lot repair, power washing, infrared asphalt repairs, parking lot striping, pothole repairs, asphalt resurfacing and paving, and catch basin and drain repairs. We also offer concrete repairs and construction, sweeping services, residential sealcoating, and gravel driveway repairs. We use the best products, including Deery crack sealants, and the best equipment, including an oil-jacket, heated-hose type pumping application machine to force-fill cracks, which is superior to machines that rely on gravity for filling. We have an impeccable reputation for quality workmanship, extraordinary customer service, and professionalism. We serve customers throughout Michigan, so contact us today to request a free quote. You can submit the online form, or you can call 989-352-7305.