With proper long-term maintenance, the average asphalt parking lot can endure for about 25 years. That said, a commercial parking lot will begin to wear down much sooner than that. After just five years you can expect to find various cracks and minor holes – by the ten-year mark, your parking lot will likely begin to show its age even more strongly. Understanding what asphalt surfaces go through over the years will help you better care for your parking lot as it gets older. Here are our top three recommendations for repairing and maintaining an aging commercial parking lot.
1. Cut and Patch Repairs
A parking lot doesn’t fall apart all at once. Rather, certain sections will undergo more damage than others due to their level of activity and other factors. So, while the majority of your pavement might remain intact for several years, you might find larger cracks and potholes periodically strewn across your lot. If so, cutting and patching represent the most cost-effective pavement repair for your aging parking lot. As its name suggests, this process involves cutting away the damaged area(s) with a powerful diamond blade and then filling the newly-cut hole with fresh pavement material.
As time goes on, those isolated cracks, divots, ad potholes can become larger, more frequent, and more widespread. While you could still cut and patch these problems individually, it’s more practical to simply resurface your parking lot via overlaying. An asphalt overlay is a commercial paving patch job done on a stretch of asphalt without the need for in-depth pavement replacement. Put simply, resurfacing applies a fresh layer of asphalt over the deteriorating surface, using the existing layers as a base. Overlaying/resurfacing becomes an important part of long-term parking lot maintenance, keeping your lot smooth, sturdy, and fresh-looking as the years pass by.
3. Asphalt Milling
When your commercial parking lot surpasses the decade-mark and beyond, cutting, patching, and/or resurfacing aren’t always enough to keep it safe and operational. If most of the top layer of your asphalt has been through the wringer, it might be more prudent to grind it down and perform commercial paving over the entire stretch. This process describes asphalt milling, an effective and convenient compromise between resurfacing and full-depth reconstruction. Whereas a full-depth reconstruction requires the complete grinding down of asphalt and replacement of its base material, milling merely removes up to 2 inches of thickness off the top. This ground down layer of asphalt is collected and recycled for future projects, and the newly-milled surface serves as a new base for fresh pavement. Properly milling your lot prior to commercial parking lot paving can extend its life by several years and greatly reduce the number of repairs you’ll need to invest in down the road.
Don’t Let Them Know Your Parking Lot’s Age
It’s no secret that asphalt surfaces gradually erode over time. With the proper maintenance and repairs, however, you can keep your commercial lot looking and feeling like new for many years to come. Cassidy Paving offers comprehensive asphalt repair and maintenance services for clients all throughout New England. Call us today at 866-978-9788 for a free estimate on your next asphalt project.