Parking Lot and Driveway Maintenance
Asphalt paving typically has a life-span up to 30 years. To get the longest use out of your asphalt, there are a few normal maintenance items that need to be preformed: seal coating, crack filling, pothole repair and overlay. Even with these normal maintenance items considered, asphalt paving is still a more cost effective alternate to concrete paving in normal-use situations, including driveway paving.
The chemical make-up of asphalt paving leads to a normal deterioration of the top layer over time, therefore seal coating should be performed every 7 years or so. Seal coating is a process of applying a ‘protective’ layer of coal tar or asphalt emulsion sealers on the surface of the old asphalt paving. This protective layer keeps water, sun, salts and other materials away from the actual paving layer. By thoroughly cleaning the existing asphalt, applying the seal coat layer and then re-striping, it also gives a clean, renewed look to any parking lot or driveway.
Cracks that naturally form in asphalt paving due to movements in the asphalt sub-grade are a semi-common occurrence, as well. Unfortunately, the cracks give water a direct path into the paving sub-grade and will lead to moistened or saturated soils that will lead to further sub-grade failure. While seal coating will take care of minor cracks, crack filling is the process of cleaning and applying asphalt emulsion products into the larger cracks. It is commonly performed by itself or prior to a seal coating operation.
This one is somewhat self explanatory. We’ve all noticed, and probably hit, a big pothole hoping it didn’t mess up the alignment in our car. For this obvious reason they need to be fixed, but there is also a maintenance aspect to repairing potholes. Potholes are another way for water to infiltrate the asphalt sub-grade, therefore it is common to over-cut the pothole, replace the sub-grade and patch-back with hot mix asphalt paving.
Overlay is the action of applying a thin layer of hot mix asphalt paving over existing asphalt paving. Overlay may be an option to complete removal and replacement if the existing asphalt is too far gone to warrant crack filling and seal coating.
Removal and Replacement:
Often times complete removal and replacement is warranted due to the poor condition of old asphalt paving. Many years ago, it was common practice to put too thin of a section of asphalt down in parking lots. This has lead to ‘alligatored’ asphalt – asphalt that has cracked into many small pieces, usually six inches or smaller. If the alligatored asphalt isn’t seal coated early on, it will eventually deteriorate enough that these pieces will pop out leading to potholes, water infiltration and sub-grade failure at an exponentially increased rate. Once the asphalt reaches this stage, large sections or complete removal and replacement is warranted.
Call us today for a site visit and to discuss your maintenance needs.