Why It’s Beneficial to Crack Seal an Asphalt Parking Lot

parkingThere’s no denying the many benefits inherent to asphalt paving, including cost-effectiveness, durability, comfort, noise reduction, and sustainability, just to name a few. However, your asphalt parking lot is not immune to wear and tear, and if you live in a region with extreme weather conditions in the summer or winter (or both), or your parking lot gets a high volume of traffic on a daily basis, you could eventually start to see wear and tear.

In some cases, preventive maintenance like sealcoating every 2-3 years can help to stave off damage and extend the life of your asphalt surface. On the other hand, you might start to see cracking related to environmental stresses. If this is the case, you’ll want to consider crack sealing your asphalt parking lot periodically, or as problems arise. Here are a few benefits you’ll enjoy from crack sealing.

Improve Appearance

Cracks in your parking lot can present an unsightly mess that causes visitors to the property to wonder about your commitment to upkeep. In other words, this curb appeal issue could lead to negative first impressions of your property. Filling in cracks shows that you pay attention and you care about the state of your property, even the parking lot. Crack seal looks a lot nicer than gaping rifts in your pavement.

Stop Further Cracking

When a crack begins to form in your asphalt, it’s not going to get better on its own. The best you can hope for is that no further damage will be done, but if you fail to treat cracks, you can bet they’re going to get worse over time. Applying crack seal will help to stop the damage from progressing any further by filling in gaps and making your pavement whole and strong once again.

Stop Moisture Penetration

One of the worst offenders when it comes to damaging asphalt is moisture, and cracks in the pavement allow water to seep in, even to the base and subbase layers. When this happens, your asphalt surface could start to shift and settle, leading to instability and much more severe cracking. Plugging up cracks with crack seal is the best way to avoid this situation.

Extend Life of Asphalt

With proper care and maintenance, asphalt can last for decades. Sealcoating every few years is a given, but when you start to notice cracks, the best thing you can do is seal them properly. This will help to prevent further damage and ensure a long life for your asphalt parking lot.

What Causes Asphalt Pavement to Crack?

old asphalt
Asphalt is an extremely durable paving surface that can last for years with proper care and maintenance. It not only holds up well in a variety of weather conditions, but it is also cost-effective, quick to install, and extremely eco-friendly, due to the fact that it is the most commonly recycled material in the U.S. In short, there are a lot of reasons to choose asphalt when paving a driveway, roadway, or parking lot.

That said, asphalt is not indestructible, and over time, it can definitely suffer from wear and tear that causes damage and deterioration. With regular maintenance, including repair, resurfacing, sealcoating, and so on, you can keep your asphalt looking great and functioning at peak capacity for years. However, you shouldn’t be surprised if you eventually start to notice cracks forming. What causes asphalt pavement to crack?

Sun

When the surface of your asphalt is properly protected with sealcoating, the elements, including sun, rain, and snow, should not have a negative impact. However, this protective coating will wear away over time, and this is when the oxidation begins to occur under the assault of the sun. When this happens, the surface of asphalt can dry and become brittle, leading to the formation of cracks, chips, and worsening damage.

Water

When installing asphalt, drainage should be one of your top concerns. Moisture can cause serious problems with your asphalt, especially if water penetrates to the base layer of asphalt and pools. When this occurs, the base can shift, settle, and generally create conditions that destabilize the asphalt and lead to cracking and serious damage.

With sun damage, repairs and sealcoating may be able to correct the problem and extend the usable life of your asphalt. When you’re dealing with water damage, chances are you’ll eventually have to replace asphalt in order to regain stability. This is why it’s so important to install proper drainage or opt for permeable asphalt if water is a concern.

Fatigue

Fatigue cracking, also known as crocodile cracking (due to the textured pattern of interlaced cracks), is generally related to overloading, although improper installation and environmental factors could also play a role. If the surface base or subbase is not adequate to support traffic load, the asphalt will eventually fail and the result will be fatigue cracking.

If it goes untreated, potholes and other serious damage can occur. Ideally, preparations for asphalt installation will take load forecasting and environmental conditions into account in order to prevent fatigue cracking, but if it occurs, speedy remediation is a must to salvage the surface.

Different Ways to Prevent Asphalt Deterioration

Asphalt Deterioration
You might choose asphalt as your surface material of choice for any number of reasons, from its durability and plasticity, to the fact that it aids in noise prevention. Even though asphalt is extremely resilient, holding up to traffic and extreme weather conditions with aplomb, it will eventually begin to deteriorate over time due to aging and wear and tear.

The good news is that you can extend the usable life of your asphalt roadway, parking lot, or driveway in several ways. Here are just a few different strategies to help you get the most from your asphalt and prevent deterioration.

Proper Installation

Installing an asphalt surface is not as easy as dumping asphalt on dirt and hoping it all works out. The base layer must be properly compacted, the asphalt must be properly mixed, applied, and smoothed, and there are a number of other factors that could affect installation. This is why it’s always best to hire trained and experienced professionals to install your asphalt. When the job is done right from the get-go, you’re going to avoid a lot of early and unnecessary deterioration.

Weather Considerations

Asphalt holds up well under a variety of weather conditions, including extreme heat, cold, and inclement weather. However, it will deteriorate over time if you don’t take steps to combat weather concerns. This could begin with laying down porous asphalt, especially if rain and flooding are common issues in your region.

You also want to make sure you pay attention to the state of your asphalt paving. If you notice minor chips and cracks before seasonal weather like rain or snow sets in, don’t wave it off until conditions dry out. This could result in much more serious damage as the elements find a foothold to attack your asphalt. Instead, undertake repairs immediately and consider whether it’s time for a seal coating or other preventive maintenance.

Scheduled Maintenance

It’s easy to fall into the trap of waiting for something to go wrong before you take action, but this reactionary approach to your asphalt is likely to result in unexpected hassle and expense. Before you end up with a pothole that could swallow a Lincoln whole, you might want to consider the benefits of scheduled maintenance.

With regular inspection, maintenance, and repairs, you should be able to stave off deterioration for years, ensuring that your asphalt serves you well. While you might pay a little for this ongoing service, you’re going to save a lot over major repairs or early replacement.

5 Things to Look for When You Hire an Asphalt Contractor

contractor
Whether your asphalt drive is looking a little janky and could use some repairs or your business parking lot is in need of a total overhaul, you may find yourself in the market for an asphalt contractor. If you don’t know a lot about asphalt yourself, you might not even know what to look for. The good news is, you’re not the first person to seek this professional service. Here are just a few tips for finding the perfect asphalt contractor for your needs.

1. Local experience

Asphalt is a robust and reliable surfacing materials that can last 20 or more years when properly installed and maintained. However, this may require the services of a contractor that is familiar with local concerns, including traffic, weather conditions, and so on. Out-of-town contractors or chain operations could suck you in with bargain prices, but subpar work and nickel-and-diming for maintenance and repairs could end up biting you in the end.

2. Expertise

It’s kind of a catch-22 that you want a service provider with experience, but they have to get jobs to gain experience. Fortunately, this isn’t your problem. As a consumer, you want a service provider that can deliver the best product at the best price, and when it comes to asphalt contractors, this means having the training and experience necessary to ensure your job is done right the first time.

3. Satisfied customers

Going about finding a reputable, reliable, and experienced asphalt contractor is made easier by seeing what satisfied customers have to say. Asking for trusted referrals is great if you know someone who has had asphalt work done, but in lieu of that you can certainly read consumer reviews or even contact prospective hires to ask for references.

4. Availability

Whether you live in a region that has seasonal constraints on outdoor work (i.e. harsh winter weather conditions) or there simply aren’t a lot of asphalt contractors in your area, you don’t want to wait until the last minute to schedule work or you could find yourself waiting for spring thaw as your asphalt deteriorates further.

5. Forethought

Asphalt installation is not a one-and-done proposition. In order to get the most from your asphalt pavement, you’re going to need a regular schedule of maintenance and repairs. A good asphalt contractor will have a plan in place to ensure that you see the greatest longevity from your asphalt surfaces.

6 Ways You Can Increase the Value of Your Property with Parking Lot and Driveway Maintenance

6 Ways You Can Increase the Value of Your Property with Parking Lot and Driveway MaintenanceFrom exterior paint to indoor renovations, there are a lot of things you can do to increase the value of your property, but none of them are more important or effective than concrete and asphalt maintenance.

The surface you have in front of your property—be it a small residential driveway or a massive commercial parking lot—is the first impression anyone will have of your home or place of business. If it’s rundown, cracked, stained or otherwise damaged, then you can bet it will, at best, leave a bad first impression, and, at worst, make it tough for folks to trust you and your business.

That being said, it’s critical that you keep your surface in tip-top shape if you want to maximize the value of your property. And it’s actually a lot easier than you might think, provided you know the right surface maintenance steps to take and when to take them.

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The Benefits of Sealcoating

The benefits of seal coating

No matter how high-quality your materials are nor how perfectly your surface was applied, the fact of the matter is: all surfaces—be they concrete or asphalt—have an expiration date. Fortunately, for asphalt, there is a way to extend this date for a very long time.

Over time, surfaces inevitably take quite a beating. The constant flow of heavy traffic, destructive vehicle leakages, and harsh climates will eventually take their toll and cause your surface to deteriorate. Fortunately, there are, indeed, measures you can take to protect the integrity of your surface and prolong its lifespan considerably. Most helpful among those measures is sealcoating.

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How to Choose the Right Asphalt Company

How to Choose the Right Asphalt Company

How to Choose the Right Asphalt Company

Choosing the best company to address your asphalt and surface needs is no easy feat. There are a wealth of companies out there claiming to offer the best services for the best price, but figuring out which ones can actually back those claims is a mighty big challenge–but certainly not one that’s insurmountable with the right information.

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How to Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal

home curb appealThere’s no better time to add much-needed curb appeal than during the summer. Sprucing up your home’s exterior will increase your home’s value and appeal to potential buyers. Here are some easy summer upgrades to complete before the cold chill of fall and winter arrives.

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When to Repair, Resurface or Replace Your Driveway

repair or replace your driveway

What Causes Driveway Damage?

To keep your driveway in one piece as long as possible, it’s important to first understand what factors lead to unwanted cracks and crumbling. Many homeowners might notice their driveway seems to be in a sorry shape during or after the winter months. Temperature and moisture levels can severely affect the structural integrity of asphalt and concrete. During winter the constant freeze-thaw cycles, precipitation and snow melt cause driveways to repeatedly expand and contract. While this movement isn’t easily visible to the naked eye, small cracks and fissures form within the asphalt or concrete as the cycle repeats. The cracks eventually expand, becoming a much larger issue for homeowners.

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What’s the Difference Between Asphalt and Concrete?

asphalt vs concreteWhen constructing parking lots, buildings or roadways, asphalt and concrete are two popular choices that can stand up to the demands of the job. Boasting both strength and reliability, these two stone-like materials can withstand pressure and the elements better than other building materials like wood or brick.

However, asphalt and concrete are often mistaken for one another, despite their dramatically differing properties and applications. By choosing to use one over the other during a large construction project, you can ensure your structure or infrastructure remains solid for years to come.

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