Asphalt can handle a lot of wear-and-tear, but exposure to water, chemical spills, oil spills, and UV rays accelerate the deterioration process. Major asphalt damages can become very costly if neglected, but there are multiple preventative maintenance measures you can make to offset expensive repairs. Here are a few steps you can take to extend the lifespan of your driveway/parking lot and save yourself lots of money in the future.

6 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Asphalt Pavement:

1. Routine Sweeping/Blowing

Cleaning your property’s pavement once a week may be challenging if your lot sees a lot of regular traffic. However, routine clean-up efforts are imperative to ensuring that your parking lot is free of damages and safely accessible for all visitors. Regularly removing trash, debris, leaves, snow, ice, and shopping carts allows you keep a close eye on the condition of your asphalt. The sooner you spot pavement damages, the sooner you can repair them for a much lower cost. Also, leaving debris sitting on the surface of your parking lot or driveway can disrupt water’s natural run-off patterns. Pooling water will eventually soak into the asphalt, making your pavement more prone to cracks, potholes, and crumbling.

By having a maintenance person regularly sweep or blow the lot, it stays free from safety hazards like loose glass. Aside from improving safety, a clean lot raises your curb appeal and leaves a wonderful first impression for visitors.

2. Seal Cracks ASAP

If your asphalt has existing cracks, crack sealing needs to be done as soon as possible. Sealing cracks as soon as you notice them is the first line of defense in pavement preservation. Even the smallest of cracks allow water to seep down at gallons per minute, ultimately washing away your investment. Repairing cracks of all sizes helps to delay the asphalt pavement deterioration process.

3. Seal Coating

Seal coating your parking lot/driveway offers protection from water damage, chemical spills, oil spills, and UV rays. Small cracks and holes will be sealed over and the asphalt’s aggregate will be retained. What’s more, seal coating makes the pavement look brand new with its rich black color. A smooth, freshly seal coated lot is much easier to clean and maintain than a worn-down, oxidized pavement surface.

How often your pavement requires seal coat depends on your weather climate, level of use, and degree of upkeep. But we recommend seal coating once every 2.5 years to help keep it in great shape. However, applying seal coat should always come after all other necessary repairs have been made. Sealing over damaged and deteriorated asphalt pavement can be counterproductive in the long-run.

Sealcoating on commercial parking lot.
Sealcoating on commercial parking lot.

Seal coating your parking lot/driveway offers protection from water damage, chemical spills, oil spills, and UV rays. Small cracks and holes will be sealed over and the asphalt’s aggregate will be retained. What’s more, seal coating makes the pavement look brand new with its rich black color. A smooth, freshly seal coated lot is much easier to clean and maintain than a worn-down, oxidized pavement surface.

How often your pavement requires seal coat depends on your weather climate, level of use, and degree of upkeep. But we recommend seal coating once every 2.5 years to help keep it in great shape. However, applying seal coat should always come after all other necessary repairs have been made. Sealing over damaged and deteriorated asphalt pavement can be counterproductive in the long-run.

4. Repair Drainage Issues

Inadequate drainage/water issues are the most common reason why pavements fail. Standing or pooling water truly is asphalt’s biggest enemy. Puddles are not only a potential safety hazard, but are an indicator that your drainage system/catch basin is defective. The longer that standing water is left ignored, the more depressions start forming throughout your lot. Water erodes through asphalt surfaces by weakening the structural integrity of the pavement, causing dangerous cracks and potholes.

After snowmelt or rain, examine your lot for puddles. If you notice a lot of standing water, it’s time to have your catch basin evaluated. A clogged drainage system can cause flooding which may result in you being forced to pause business operations until repair.

5. Regulate the Vehicles That Use Your Property

Lightening the load can do wonders for the lifespan of your parking lot and driveway. It’s important to know the types and amounts of vehicles that your property is capable of supporting. Too many large trucks and load-bearing vehicles on your parking lot/driveway at one time can be bad news for the integrity of the asphalt.

The pressure from the large trucks causes intense friction, especially when in motion. When you factor in the traction from winter tires, snow plows, delivery trucks, semi-trucks, forklifts, and pickup trucks, things can turn into a disaster quicker than you’d think.

Constantly regulating the flow of traffic on your property will extend the lifespan of your pavement. It’s best to have larger vehicles, like garbage trucks or semi-trucks, to access your lot only when necessary. Even better, you can move the garbage dumpsters as close to the roadway as possible.

6. Invest in an Asphalt Maintenance Plan

Every property is different. Preventative maintenance and repair work is best left to professionals who do this on a daily basis. Pavement Solutions paves, maintains, and repairs asphalt surfaces across the country and we help our clients get the most value from their investments. By customizing a maintenance schedule for your specific property and budget, we make sure your lot gives you decades of use. Follow these tips and reach out to us for a free estimate for your pavement maintenance plan.

Posted by C. Butler on 10/28/21