It’s February, which means by now most of the roads, driveways and parking lots in Maryland have already been covered with snow, salted, scraped with plows and covered in ice on more than one occasion. All these activities, combined with the regular freezing and thawing cycles, often leave you with an asphalt riddled with cracks and pits by April. Should you do something about it? And how should you approach this problem? Our Maryland parking lot paving experts are here to offer a few tips.
Why You Should Take Measures
A shabby-looking parking lot is bad for business for a few reasons. First of all, it’s simply not a good look and not the best first impression. If you care what your customers think about your establishment, parking lot maintenance should be on your mind. Second of all, a severely damaged parking lot can be outright dangerous. What if someone steps in a pothole at night and twists an ankle? This could potentially be your liability that may cost you far more than you would pay for asphalt repairs. Hopefully, now you realize that something needs to be done about that deteriorating parking lot. But what?
Option 1: Spot Repair
Although it’s rare that only a few areas on your parking lot are affected, sometimes 2-5 separate potholes is all you need to fix. If that’s the case, you could get away with patching these holes and cracks for now. Asphalt patching is typically not a permanent solution (although a few durable products exist on the market) but it can make your parking lot safe and presentable until you can set aside a budget for a bigger job.
Option 2: Parking Lot Resurfacing
Resurfacing simply means adding a new layer of asphalt on top of the current one. It works well for residential driveways, but can be tricky for large parking lots. Due to the sheer size of the lot, resurfacing may not always be your fastest or cheapest solution. Be sure to have a paving professional evaluate your lot before deciding on the best way to repair it.
Resurfacing should only be performed after all the existing cracks, pits and holes have been filled in. If a crack is left open, it may eventually manifest itself onto the new surface. While this new layer of asphalt may look nicer, keep in mind that it’s only as strong and durable as the layer underneath.
Option 3: Repaving a Parking Lot
Repaving essentially involves removing the asphalt, installing a new subgrade and laying a fresh new surface. It can be expensive, but it doesn’t take as long as you think. The work on a large lot can be done in sections, so that you never lose your entire parking space. Repaving is typically recommended for parking lots that are 10-15 years or older and show considerable damage throughout the entire surface. Over time, tree roots, heavy trucks and the elements tend to disrupt the smooth asphalt surface. When you see depressions or upheaval, this usually means problems with the subgrade, which can only be helped with asphalt replacement.
Do you have other questions or need help assessing the state of your parking lot? Give us a call today and our Maryland paving contractors will be happy to take a look and offer recommendations.