Using asphalt instead of concrete for your drain, or catch basin, surround creates a hazard for water deterioration. Water infiltrating asphalt causes serious structural damage, compromising both the base of your asphalt pavement and your pipe system. This water penetration could even cause a sinkhole. Reinforced concrete provides much more structural integrity and strength surrounding your drain or catch basin.
The ADA ensures equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities, and its regulations apply to employment, State and local government, public accommodations, transportation, telecommunication and commercial facilities. As a federal law, the ADA’s regulations apply whether your business is in Indiana or Arizona. The ADA requires that parking lots have a certain number of accessible and van accessible parking spots located on the shortest route to an accessible entrance to the facility. The size, striping, location and number of these spots have certain specifications that we go over in detail with you.
Even small cracks and gaps in your parking lot’s surface can pose a trip hazard for your customers. These liabilities can leave you vulnerable to legal issues. Personal injury or property damage lawsuits, regardless of merit, are expensive, time-consuming and can increase insurance premiums, or hinder your ability to maintain appropriate coverage. Putting a regular maintenance plan for your parking lot in place helps to reduce these hazards, ensure your customers’ safety and guard against potential lawsuits.
Sealcoating is an important preventative measure for maintaining your asphalt. Sealers consist of emulsions that combine asphalt or refined coal tar with clay, mineral fillers and water. Sealer provides a sleek, black protective layer over the asphalt. This creates a barrier against water and other stresses and increases the longevity of your asphalt.
Resurfacing is not a regular preventative treatment but rather remedial maintenance that becomes necessary when asphalt experiences severe deterioration. If asphalt is very old or has not been regularly sealed, it may require resurfacing. This process involves ensuring that the asphalt base is sound, cleaning and filling the existing pavement and then placing a new layer of asphalt over that existing layer.
Because sealcoating is regular, preventative maintenance, you should not wait for signs that your asphalt needs to be resealed. Instead, reseal your asphalt every 2 to 3 years to prevent severe deterioration in your pavement. If your asphalt is suffering from severe deterioration such as deep cracks, depressions, potholes and alligator patches (areas where a large web of small cracks resembling scales have formed) your asphalt is in need of resurfacing.
On average, asphalt has a lifespan of 15-30 years. When properly installed and regularly maintained, asphalt can last closer to 35 years. Concrete generally has a slightly longer lifespan of about 20-40 years. Quality work and a proactive maintenance schedule are key to preserving the integrity of a parking lot.
Keep traffic off your new asphalt for 24 hours or even longer in hotter temperatures. Even after the asphalt has cured, don’t expect it to be as hard as concrete. It will remain pliable for 8 – 12 months until the liquid asphalt has totally cured.
Your new asphalt will soften as temperatures rise throughout the day. Use a hose to water your new driveway or parking lot to cure and harden it.
Over the first 8 – 12 months, try not to park cars in the same spot every time. Avoid turning the steering wheel while your car is not moving, which can create “power steering marks”. Instead, turn the wheel slowly and gradually. As the pavement cures, this “scuffing” will subside.
The edges are the most vulnerable to cracking and breaking. That’s why it’s helpful to backfill up to the side of the pavement with topsoil to support the edge. This will also enhance the appearance and allow for easier maintenance.
Bicycle and motorcycle kickstands, if placed on the asphalt while the weather is hot, can sink into the asphalt leaving a hole or a mark. To prevent this, place a protective barrier (e.g. a board) between the asphalt and the kickstand. Or, consider building your bicycle and motorcycle parking spaces from concrete.
Gas, motor oil, transmission fluid and power steering fluid will penetrate asphalt. The damaged surface should be repaired as soon as possible. You can repair small areas with “cold patch asphalt”, available from a hardware / home improvement store. Professionals should repair large areas.
Asphalt should be sealcoated every 2 – 4 years depending on the amount of traffic on the surface. Don’t sealcoat new asphalt during the first 12 months because it can cause asphalt to soften and prevent it from curing. Sealing asphalt will enhance the appearance and preserve the life of your asphalt, as well as protect your blacktop from oil, gas and other harmful fluids. Unsealed asphalt may dry out and become rough, reducing its useful life.
Line striping in a parking lot must be clear and visible to meet ADA requirements and to prevent confusion and accidents. Your re-striping schedule will depend on the weather conditions and amount of traffic your parking lot experiences. As a general guideline, a parking lot should be re-striped every 12 to 18 months. However, if the lines in your parking lot are faded, difficult to see and causing confusion, do not wait to get them re-striped.
Asphalt has a varied textured surface because it contains different sizes of stone and sand. It’s natural for areas that have been raked and worked by hand to appear a little rougher than areas paved by a machine. Don’t be concerned. When the ground expands and contracts, it’s natural for random cracking of the pavement to occur. The cracks should be sealed promptly to prevent water from penetrating the asphalt and causing further deterioration.
Asphalt should be sealed first just after it has been initially paved and cured. After that, asphalt should be resealed every 2 to 3 years as regular preventative maintenance. Without regular sealing, asphalt will break down much more quickly.
Initially, small cracks are an aesthetic problem. However, when left untreated these cracks can expand and allow water to penetrate and damage the base of the asphalt. Like resealing, crack filling should be used a pretreatment and as regular maintenance for asphalt — every 2 to 3 years or sooner if cracks are large and/or numerous. Crack filling is one of the least expensive asphalt treatments and should be performed regularly.
Concrete typically requires less regular maintenance than asphalt. Concrete expansion joints allow the material to contract and expand, preventing serious cracking and deterioration. That said, to extend the life of your concrete the material should be annually cleaned and the joints and cracks should be regularly sealed.
There is no blanket answer for this question. It really depends on what your priorities are and what your project entails. In general, concrete is a little more durable, requires less maintenance, has lower toxicity and absorbs less light and heat than asphalt. Concrete endures warmer climates better, and come with a variety of aesthetic options. On the other hand, asphalt is still very durable, more easily and less expensively repaired than concrete, 100% recyclable and offers a sleek aesthetic and a smooth ride. Asphalt can be better for milder and colder climates and is overall the much cheaper option. Ultimately, your decision is about weighing these differences.
A damaged or deteriorating drain surround will not work properly, which can lead to serious and costly issues. If the drain surround is not repaired, excess rainwater and standing water will pool on your asphalt pavement. This water will permeate the asphalt, erode the base of the pavement and cause serious structural damage and possibly sinkholes. This kind of damage is extremely serious and costly and should be prevented by replacing the damaged drain surround promptly.