Most property managers have facilities maintenance checklists for the interior and exterior of their buildings including the landscaping and parking lots. On a regular basis, the items on these checklists are reviewed; repairs are noted and performed to keep the property in pristine condition. In this article we'll focus on the items on those checklists that refer to the upkeep of a facilities parking lot.
Asphalt Pavement Checklist
1) Asphalt Sealing
Why should I sealcoat my asphalt?
Sealcoating asphalt pavement protects the surface of a parking lot from oxidation and damage from oil, gas and salt. It also minimizes the need for asphalt repairs by weatherizing the surface which helps prevent water from being able to seep into cracks. If not properly sealed, pavement starts to unravel and potholes form.
After installation, asphalt should be sealed between six months and a year and then approximately every two years after depending on weather conditions, traffic patterns, and wear and tear.
2) Crack Filling
What should be done about cracks in your asphalt?
Each year, your parking lot should be inspected for asphalt cracks. Sealing cracks in asphalt prevents moisture from degrading the structural components of the surface. For asphalt cracks that are smaller than a quarter of an inch wide, sealcoat can be used. However, cracks that exceed these dimensions will require your paving contractor to apply a crack sealer.
To perform this necessary maintenance, the crack should be cleaned of all debris, including loose asphalt, vegetation and other foreign objects. Once the crack sealer is applied and has set, the pavement should be properly sealcoated for ultimate protection.
3) Pothole Repair
Why do potholes form?
Potholes occur when water permeates asphalt pavement through a crack in the surface. Combined with wear and tear, the soil beneath the crack will soften, and eventually create a depression. Over time, the asphalt will unravel and breakdown into its sub-particles - gravel, sand and stones.
In northern states, asphalt patches applied in winter months typically do not hold up as well as potholes repairs that were made during warmer months. Due to the mild temperatures in Florida, pothole repairs can be completed almost year-round.
4) Asphalt Pavement Replacement
When should I replace asphalt pavement?
Often it's difficult for someone without years of asphalt pavement experience to determine just by looking at a parking lot whether it can be repaired or, due to cost of repairs, it is a better financial decision to replace it entirely. That's where the professionals come into play.
Over time, even a parking lot that has been well-maintained over the years will eventually deteriorate and need replacement. Asphalt experts will analyze the entire paved area for the current conditions. A few other factors that need consideration are drainage, traffic load and any issues caused by landscape - such as a large tree with roots wreaking havoc under a pavements surface.