The Effects of Spring Rain on Asphalt Parking Lots

April, 27, 2020 By CASSIDY PAVING 3 min read
Spring has sprung in Massachusetts and this beautiful weather may bring more than you’ve bargained for when it comes to your asphalt parking lot. Although rain makes nature stunning, it has the opposite effect on your asphalt pavement. Rainy days are completely unavoidable, but there are ways to educate yourself on the ways that water rain/water retention on your asphalt can be dangerous so that you can help mitigate them before they become a problem.

Why is rain bad for my parking lot?

On a well-maintained parking lot, rain should not cause massive failure to the asphalt. But, if you’re like a lot of others, there may be some maintenance overdue on your lot. In that case, April showers may bring May repairs. If the pavement in your lot has cracks or lifting, these are ways that water can get underneath the top layer and into the base course. This is where the trouble happens. The water weakens the bonds between the asphalt binder and the aggregates. These broken bonds weaken the asphalt. Also over time, the water can wash away the subbase, or even stay there until wintertime when it freezes if it has no way to drain out. When water freezes it expands and pushes out the outer layers. Frost heaving pushes up, causing a longitudinal crack. This freeze and thaw cycle is absolutely disastrous to parking lots. If left untreated, cracks will only expand and cause potholes and even larger cracks. The larger the crack, the easier it is for water to get in. Cassidy Paving highly recommends getting a plan in place to take care of cracks before they become a much larger issue. Don’t wait until they are prevalent throughout the entire lot.

How to avoid water damage?

The trick to avoiding water damage in your parking lot is to complete the recommended repairs. You should have a maintenance plan in place to take care of cracks when they happen. This is not about if repairs will be needed, it is about when they will be needed. This is unavoidable. One of the best things you can do to help get rain drained properly is sealcoating. The purpose of sealcoating is to keep water from penetrating the surface and causing damage. It is also helpful for keeping UV rays from breaking down the surface. We recommend that you schedule sealcoating for every 3-5 years, at least. The next thing you can do is address any drainage issues you might find in your lot. Standing and pooling water is not supposed to happen. According to Asphalt Magazine, reducing the moisture content of the granular layer and subgrade through the use of effective drainage directly affects fatigue cracking. If you’re noticing this, it is time to call in professionals to get drainage in the form of curbing and even sloping. And the best thing you can do to prepare for rain and water is scheduled preventative maintenance. We cannot stress its importance enough. A professional contractor can help you take care of your parking lot investment and fix issues before they cause complete failure in asphalt.

Let’s Make a Rainy Day Plan

The Cassidy Paving team understands the full cycle of water prevention for parking lots. We want to make sure that spring rains don’t cause problems year-round. If you’re in the New England area, we want to help! Give us a call today at 866-978-9788 to get your parking lot into shape.
Filed Under: Asphalt

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Based in Haverhill, MA, Cassidy Paving is a commercial paving company serving southern NH and Massachusetts.

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