How Do You Know When To Get Your Parking Lot Re-Sealed Or Re-Paved?
Maintaining your commercial parking lot is important; the lot gives the first impression of your business. Left unprotected, asphalt deteriorates under the stresses of water and the daily and seasonal cycles of heating and cooling. An old, cracked lot can deter customers or, even worse, cause safety and legal issues. That said, many business owners struggle with the key question: How do I know when to re-seal or repave my asphalt? This blog will provide a guide for maintaining your parking lot so that your asphalt will last as long as possible. You can protect your investment, and your business can look its best.
Sealers consist of emulsions that combine asphalt or refined coal tar with clay, mineral fillers and water. Once the sealer dries, it provides a sleek, black protective layer over the asphalt. Sealcoating is an important preventative measure for maintaining your asphalt lot. Sealcoating initially and regularly helps to prevent and minimize future damage to your asphalt. After your lot has first been paved, allow it to “cure” for 6 to 12 months. Then, apply an initial sealcoating to create a barrier against water and other stresses. After this first application, sealcoating should be performed every 2 to 3 years as regular, preventative maintenance.
Industry experts agree that, without sealer, asphalt parking lots will only last 5 to 6 years before breaking down. It’s critical to perform regular sealcoating maintenance to prevent this early deterioration and protect your commercial lot. If your lot has not been regularly sealed and is beginning to show some minor cracking, have the cracks filled and the asphalt cleaned and sealcoated. Begin your sealcoating maintenance plan as soon as possible.
When your commercial lot begins to experience severe deterioration, sealcoating is no longer the answer. If your parking lot suffers from deep cracks, depressions, potholes and alligator patches (areas where a large web of small cracks resembling scales have formed), repaving is the only solution. Sealcoating can help delay this severe deterioration, but if your asphalt is either unsealed or very old, repaving is likely necessary. Sealcoating is preventative maintenance; repaving is remedial maintenance.
When you repave your asphalt, a 1.5 to 2-inch compacted layer of hot mix asphalt will be placed over the existing asphalt. This essentially creates a new surface. However, before this new layer can be added, the base or subgrade of the asphalt must be tested for stability. If the base is sound, the asphalt can be repaved. If the base is failing in areas, it must be repaired before repaving can occur. As with sealcoating, the asphalt must be filled and cleaned before repaving. Once your asphalt lot has been repaved it can be sealcoated as any newly constructed lot would be. If properly maintained with filling and sealcoating, your repaved lot can last up to 25 years.
While repaving can help repair a severely damaged asphalt lot, it is preferable to prevent that damage in the first place. Studies have shown that neglected asphalt pavement can cost up to 5 times as much to repair as asphalt that has been regularly maintained. Industry experts advise you on how to best protect your investment. Consult a professional to set up a regular maintenance plan for your commercial lot.