When it comes to parking lots, asphalt is usually competing with its main rival concrete for becoming the material of choice for parking lot pavers. In such cases, asphalt paving often wins the day – and it does so for several very good reasons. For one thing, it is a versatile and flexible material that can effectively pave over even the most uneven of surfaces while remaining smooth and secure. It is also exceptionally durable and can take a great deal of stress without being damaged.
Furthermore, it tends not to crack or rupture like concrete. Moreover, vehicles can grip asphalt more securely than concrete, making it safer in adverse weather conditions. Make no mistake, asphalt paving for parking lots has a lot going for it. However, it would be wrong to say that it requires no maintenance at all. Parking Lot Pros, paving experts out of Dallas, Texas, advised that, after a number of years, you may want to think about some asphalt maintenance.
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What is Asphalt?
But before getting on to some top asphalt parking lot maintenance tips, it is wise to learn what asphalt actually is. Asphalt is mixed in a similar way to concrete but uses completely different substances. Asphalt makes use of a very fine aggregate mixed with water and a binder. While, in the case of concrete, the binder is the familiar cement, asphalt makes use of a sticky black crude oil-derived substance known as bitumen. This hot viscous substance is then poured over an underlying layer of courser aggregate and steamrolled flat. By filling up the cavities in the underlying layer and being pressed firmly over the top, it can make a smooth surface of even the most uneven terrain.
Asphalt Parking Lot Maintenance
So, you are responsible for the maintenance of an asphalt parking lot. Here are some top tips:
Leaves, debris, and dust will not damage your asphalt parking lot, but they can make it look pretty unsightly. Trash can also make any parking lot look abandoned and uninviting. Accordingly, while it might not be strictly maintenance of the asphalt structure, cleaning regularly is a very good idea to keep the parking lot looking its best.
Potholes are something that you will not need to worry about unless you have quite an old asphalt parking lot or it was incorrectly installed, or the wrong asphalt was used. Potholes in asphalt arise from the expansion and contraction on account of varying quantities of underground water. Once they appear, they can spread very quickly. So, it is important to fill them in as quickly as possible.
Sealcoat the Parking Lot
Sealcoating is a relatively new procedure that can seriously extend the life of any asphalt surface. It works by applying a protective coating to the asphalt, which is weather-resistant and, importantly, can stop water from penetrating underneath the asphalt. Furthermore, more than this, seal coating gives an attractive, glossy look. It needs to be reapplied every couple of years, but it will have your parking lot looking great.
Apply Salt in Winter
Asphalt can be pretty good at resisting the elements and it is certainly easier to drive over in wintery conditions than many of the alternatives. However, cold weather can cause water expansion, which can cause cracks and potholes in time. A little grit in the winter can go a long way to ameliorating this problem.
Ultimately, asphalt already does a lot to maintain itself on account of its own unique properties, but a little maintenance can have your parking lot looking great for many years.