Has your parking lot transitioned from a freshly paved asphalt masterpiece to a fading and cracking eyesore?
If this is happening on your property, your asphalt could be in the final stage of its life span! The reality is that now your parking lot can never be considered “perfect” because you can’t “un-crack” the cracks!! And, if left untreated, there is a 70% chance of a pothole forming over the next few years. However, you can do the next best thing which is to fill-in the cracks and keep an eye on them to prevent further damage to the asphalt and sub-base. What do the cracks mean? They are the “canary in the coal mine” of asphalt and they tell you that your asphalt parking lot has started to lose its elasticity and needs some protection.
Why do cracks develop? There are many reasons including, poor drainage, excessive traffic, oxidation from the sun, inadequate sublayer construction and degradation of the asphalt. Once the cracks develop, the asphalt and sub-base will be subject to more abuse from water, deicing products, motor oil and changing temperatures. The more extreme swings in temperature the quicker the damage occurs so be especially vigilant in New England and other cold regions of the country.
One approach to slowing down the speed of damage is to hire a professional asphalt maintenance company to apply a high-grade crack-sealing compound and a fresh layer of sealcoat to help preserve the existing asphalt. The crack sealer contains a rubberized mixture that bonds to the asphalt to provide a strong seal. Be sure your contractor uses a crack sealer that minimizes shrinkage, has high polymer content and is easy to spread. There are “cheap price” vendors in the business so be careful which provider you pick, or you may find yourself spending twice the money you budgeted.
Once you have applied the cracksealer, monitor the condition of your lot especially after snowplows have cleared the lot throughout the winter. Consider re-applying the cracksealer every 2-3 years or as needed.
As with any significant part of your property management responsibilities, be sure to work with a professional asphalt maintenance company. Contact T&K Asphalt at www.tkasphalt.com if looking for a plan to protect your asphalt and eliminate problem areas.