Asphalt pavement is utilized in a variety of different applications because of its durability, cost-effectiveness, simplicity of construction, and strength. It is the material of choice for parking lots across the nation because asphalt withstands heavier loads and, when combined with proper asphalt maintenance, lasts for many years.
In order to maximize the life of your asphalt parking lot, it is important to develop a pavement management plan involving routine inspections and ongoing preventative maintenance. The following are common asphalt maintenance procedures for parking lots:
Asphalt Repair & Patching
Patching is a common asphalt repair on areas of pavement with potholes. Potholes occur when water seeps into pavement through unsealed or improperly sealed cracks. When the water freezes, it expands and enlarges the crack. When the ice under the pavement melts, a void is left. Surrounding pavement falls into the void and forms a pothole.
Asphalt Repair Procedure
This process consists of filling the affected areas with hot or cold asphalt mix, depending on the season and/or site location. Detailed specifications on asphalt repair are available for download in our Technical Specs library.
Asphalt Removal & Replacement
As asphalt pavement progresses through its performance lifecycle, its appearance diminishes over time. Fine hairline cracks spread and deepen within the asphalt. Without ongoing maintenance, water may enter through cracks and holes may form, undermining the substrate. In this case, the most effective form of repair is to remove and replace the deteriorated area.
This process consists of several important steps to ensure that the repair is performed properly. Detailed specifications are available for download in our Technical Specs library.
The cost for asphalt removal & replacement depends upon the geographic location, the amount of grading and substrate work required, and other site-specific factors.
Asphalt Resurfacing In more severe cases of asphalt failure, a long-term and cost-effective solution is to resurface the asphalt pavement (also referred to as overlay). If you notice grade depressions (standing water on the pavement) and/or large sections of alligatored areas (interconnecting cracks forming a series of blocks resembling an alligator’s skin), it is a good idea to have your pavement resurfaced.
Asphalt Resurfacing Procedure
This process consists of several steps including preparing and cleaning the area prior to performing work, leveling asphalt of low areas, grinding of all transitions, adjusting of all drainage structures, and many other steps unique to each site. Detailed specifications on asphalt resurfacing are available for download in our Technical Specs library.
Geotextile Reinforced Resurfacing – An option that may be included with asphalt resurfacing is Petromat. Petromat is a non-woven, petroleum-based geotextile fabric used to retard reflective cracking between the existing pavement and the newly installed asphalt surface. This fabric acts as a waterproofing membrane, while also adding structural support and strength.
Leveling Binder – In low areas, hot asphalt is installed at various depths to adjust pitch to proper grades while increasing parking lot strength.
Butt Joint/Grinding – In areas requiring the resurface to tie into other existing surfaces (i.e., concrete, etc.) asphalt is removed along the perimeter to allow proper depth of asphalt on the edge.
Transitional Milling – In areas requiring the resurface to tie into other existing surfaces (i.e., concrete, etc.), asphalt will be milled and replaced to allow proper depth and transitions. An asphalt milling machine is used to remove an appropriate depth of pavement in a grinding process. The spoils can then be hauled off and recycled.
Infrared Asphalt Repair
Infrared asphalt technology is an effective solution for critical repairs. This unique method blends hot-mix asphalt right in with the original and then compacts the area to create a seamless restoration. If you notice potholes–especially in high-traffic areas, pavement heaving or uneven surfaces surrounding catch basins (this is a common problem resulting after several freeze-thaw cycles), or rough surfaces in drive lanes or parking stalls, it is a good idea to consider infrared repair.
Infrared rays allow deep penetration asphalt repair and reclaiming without causing burning, scaling, or separation of the asphalt from the aggregate. Additional benefits include: cost savings, as the project is completed with fewer raw materials; time savings, as this repair option takes less time than traditional asphalt resurfacing; seamless repairs, as the patch bonds to existing surface and produces no joints for water to penetrate; and fewer traffic interruptions, as the patch can be driven on almost immediately. For more information about this unique option, please contact us.
Asphalt Maintenance Facts
As soon as freshly laid hot asphalt pavement mix begins to cool, the aging process begins.
When oxygen in the air and water combine with asphaltic binder of the pavement, a chemical change takes place. At first, this process is necessary for the pavement to become hard and firm. Later, if this process is not arrested, a complete deterioration of the asphaltic binder will take place and reduce the pavement to a layer of loose stone.
Enemies of a parking lot include: gas, oil, sun oxidation, salt, water penetration, and hot or cold weather.
Protect Your Investment
In addition to routine inspections and ongoing maintenance, sealcoating asphalt pavement with a coal tar or asphalt-based emulsion slows pavement deterioration by protecting against the enemies of a parking lot. However, for maximum benefit, sealcoat needs to be applied approximately 12 months after the initial application and then on a regular basis, about every 24 to 48 months, thereafter.