Another New England autumn is quickly approaching. Temperatures will gradually drop, the leaves will begin to change, and days will get shorter. Just as we must adjust during these seasonal transitions, so must your property’s asphalt surfaces. Environmental fluctuations will have an impact on the appearance, integrity, and maintenance needs of your commercial parking lot. It’s important to understand the specifics of these seasonal effects so you can keep your parking lot in great shape all autumn long. And who better to help you than a trusted parking lot paving contractor?
Here are a few things to ask your paving contractor this fall.
The Autumnal Threats to Watch For
You’ll have a hard time maintaining your asphalt parking lot this fall if you don’t know what to expect. Odds are you’re well-familiarized with fall conditions, such as fallen leaves, rain, strong winds, temperature fluctuations in the morning and evening, etc. – the key is knowing which of these factors threaten your pavement the most and how they do damage. Moisture intrusion and thermal shock (rapid temperature changes) are the biggest threats to your parking lot pavement and often act as a one-two punch. When temperatures quickly rise and fall, asphalt expands and contracts. This movement leads to stress cracks in the pavement. Then, when moisture lands on your parking lot via rainfall, fallen leaves, or other means, it can easily enter these cracks and do further damage from the inside out.
You can’t control these seasonal factors, but you can take steps to reduce their impact. Sealcoating your parking lot, for instance, will reduce the frequency and severity of fracturing and shield your asphalt from moisture intrusion and other threats.
How to Best Protect Pavement from Fall Foliage
There’s more to consider than temperature changes and moisture, however. Fall is famous for its foliage – not only the color, but the rate at which it winds up on the ground. Fallen leaves might not seem all that threatening, but they can slowly damage your parking lot if left unchecked. For starters, leaves can carry loads of moisture, bacteria, insects, and other contaminants that you’ll want to keep away from your property. Dry leaves can also scratch up your parking lot when carried by the wind. If nothing else, a parking lot riddled with leaves is more challenging and less safe to navigate for pedestrians and drivers alike. As such, it’s crucial to talk to your paving contractor about how to best protect your parking lot from leaf-related damage, as well as optimal methods for removing leaves from the premises.
Will They Be Able to Pave Your Lot in Time?
If you’ve been putting off parking lot paving for some time, know that autumn offers your last opportunity of the year to get it done, especially in a region like New England, where winter comes fast and harsh. As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, hot-mix paving is best performed under the following conditions:
- When air temperatures are no lower than 45 degrees Fahrenheit at night
- When the pavement’s temperature is somewhere between 70 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit
- When there’s little wind and no chance of rain
Following this rubric, most asphalt parking lot paving chances expire around mid-late October (with some exceptions). So, if you don’t want to wait until next spring to repave your parking lot, reach out to a reliable contractor sooner rather than later. The clock is ticking. And if your contractor tells you they can’t get to work until after winter, you can at least schedule your future services, so you’re first in line when asphalt paving season resumes.
Prepare Your Parking Lot for Fall and Beyond
Autumn can take a major toll on your asphalt. The experts at Cassidy Paving are here to help you contend with everything fall has to offer and more. Whether you need fresh paving, asphalt repair, or ongoing maintenance, we have you covered. Call us today at 866-978-9788 to learn more!