Preventative Maintenance is critical to a beautiful asphalt area. A well planned and funded preventative maintenance program will minimize your lifetime parking lot costs. Allowing minor blemishes in your pavement to grow into major problems will both increase your costs and lower customer satisfaction. No customer likes to hit potholes or step into a puddle of water. Sun, rain, and wind age your parking lot. They harden the pavement, making it more brittle and likely to crack. Friction from tires rolling across the surface wears away the asphalt cement binder and line striping from the top of your pavement. Sunlight oxidizes the asphalt, both hardening it and drawing the oil out of the surface material, which reduces the effectiveness of the asphalt binder and allows aggregate to break away. Improperly drained water is the most harmful weather-related factor. Once water penetrates a paved asphalt surface it begins to wreak havoc on the pavement base. Water usually penetrates a pavement surface through cracks. If a trouble spot turns into a pothole, the volume of water entering and damaging the base layer grows substantially. The longer cracks and holes are left uncorrected, the greater the damage to the base and the greater likelihood of future cracks and potholes. Naturally, the more cracks and potholes, the greater the repair cost. The earlier the signs of wear, especially cracking, show up in your parking lot’s life, the more likely your lot suffers from a serious problem that will require repair and replacement at some point in the future.
Signs of pavement wear include:
- Fading color
- Oil spots
- A rough surface texture
- Loose or missing aggregates in mix
- Cracks that are several feet apart and give the appearance of large rectangular blocks
- Transverse cracks, mostly running at right angles from the main traffic flow
- Longitudinal cracks, running parallel to the main traffic flow
- Bird Baths
- High spots and /or rutting
The (3) basic areas of asphalt maintenance are:
1. Seal coating. This procedure will protect against oxidation and spills while making the asphalt visibly attractive. This application should be applied at least every 3 years or more frequently if use is heavy and deterioration is apparent. Applied at proper intervals, it will prolong the life of pavement indefinitely at a fraction of the replacement cost.
2. Crack Sealing. Cracks are usually caused by either a failure of the base, water damage or excessive weight on the pavement surface. Installing a hot pour mix to fill them can easily repair cracks. The crack sealer provides a waterproof bond and is rubberized to give support while the pavement expands and contracts in changing temperatures. Cracks that go unsealed will continue to allow water into the base structure, causing severe damage to the pavement as the base deteriorates. A pavement crack inspection and correction should be done annually.
3. Patching. If significant deterioration has taken place, removal and replacement of certain areas may be possible. If excessive ground water or poor soil conditions have aggravated the problem, corrections should be performed before applying the patch.
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