Asphalt Pavement begins to deteriorate as soon as it is laid down. Fuel and lubricants dissolve it, water softens it and sunlight accelerates oxidation to break down the binder. Unsealed blacktop can lose half its thickness in twenty years.
Within a year or so, the original black color begins to pale. The binder asphalt begins to lose plasticity. Hairline cracks form. After five years the entire thickness has oxidized and become brittle. The color is light gray. By the eighth year, cracks extend clear through the pavement. Material is loose on the top. The base fails as water soaks through. Within a year or so, areas with alligatoring cracks become potholes. After fifteen years, the entire surface will have broken up.Do you want to learn more? Visit sealcoating tips for pavement repair.
Does Your Asphalt Parking Lot Need Repairing?
“Important Repair Tips”
When was the last time that you thought about your asphalt parking lot and its upkeep? This is the same place where you park your car everyday and the entrance to your home or office. It is a known fact that first impressions are lasting and this is true for your clients or friends when they drive into your parking lot. They are either encouraged to come and visit you or turn around and drive away, depending on the look of your surroundings and yes, this includes your parking lot!
We will first start with a few statistics of asphalt parking lot upkeep. If your asphalt is sealcoated every three years, it will have an average life span of thirty years! If your asphalt is not sealcoated, it will have an average life span of fifteen years. Asphalt repairs can cost as much as much as $6.00 per square foot. Sealcoat can be applied for as little as 8 cents per square foot. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that sealcoating your asphalt every three years prevents major repair costs in future years.
To determine if your parking lot needs any repairing, go take a look at it. Here are a few signs to look for:
- Rough Asphalt – Is the surface of your asphalt not smooth? Can you see the tops of the rock or aggregate showing through? Are pieces of rock coming out of your asphalt? These are all signs that you need to have your parking lot sealed and repaired. Excessively rough areas usually require installing a new asphalt skin patch prior to sealcoating so that the sealcoat will last when being applied to these areas.
- Cracked Asphalt – Do you have cracks appearing in your asphalt? These can be caused by either excess water under the parking area or lack of proper sealcoat maintenance over the years. These areas can be repaired by either rubber crack filling or removing and replacing them with new asphalt depending on how severe the damage has been. Cracks can also be caused by tree root pressure.
- Worn Stripes – Is your parking space striping and stenciling looking worn? Are the old lines appearing through your old sealcoat? These are signs that it is time to sealcoat and re-stripe the parking area. Striping is the most noticeable part of the parking lot and it is very important that you have a neatly done job.
When choosing an asphalt contractor to do the work, make sure you ask for references to previous jobs that were completed. Call those people to see if they were satisfied with the asphalt contractor’s work. Remember, price is not everything! Some contractors use better materials and do better work than other contractors.
As a rule of thumb, make sure that the asphalt contractor dilutes the sealcoat with a maximum of 10% water. This way you will get a thicker coat of sealer- and that will last a long time. When your asphalt is severely cracked (alligatored) and needs to be removed and replaced with new asphalt, make sure that the new asphalt is installed to a depth of at least 3 inches. This will usually give you a good solid patch. Remember, first impressions are lasting. People like a clean and well kept parking lot.
Stop… Think About Your Asphalt Driveway!
When was the last time that you thought about your asphalt driveway (the path that leads to your humble home and the place where you park your car)? This article will give you the in’s and out’s on caring for your asphalt driveway, whether it is new or otherwise.
If you have an asphalt driveway, seal it! The sun and water are your driveway’s worst enemies. If you do not regularly seal your driveway, the surface will become rough and the asphalt will start to crack, causing further damage. If your driveway is older, has started to get rough, and is forming small cracks it is even more urgent that you seal it to protect your investment.
If you decide to do the job yourself, you can buy asphalt sealer in five-gallon containers at any of your local lumber companies or home improvement stores. You also need to purchase a special sealer broom to apply the sealer and a paintbrush to cut in along walls and tight areas. Applying the sealer to your driveway can be tricky. You need to apply it in even brush strokes. When it dries it will look just the way you brushed it on. The sealer will dry very fast so you need to work very quickly.
There is a big difference between the sealers that YOU can buy and the sealers that are used by asphalt contractors who seal driveways for a living. The sealers that the asphalt contractors use contain silica sand and/or slate which allows the seal to last about twice as long as the kind purchased at the store. The asphalt contractor uses a mixer machine to keep the aggregates agitated. Otherwise, it would stick like lead to the bottom of the container. If you seal your own driveway, it’s good to do it about every year. If you have a contractor do it, have him seal it every three years.