Parking lots are a large investment that should be properly protected. Water is the biggest danger to asphalt. Damage from moisture decreases the bonds of the asphalt elements. As this bond deteriorates, pavement damage increases.
How Water Damages Asphalt
Every time pavement becomes wet, whether through rain, snow or manmade causes, there is the potential for damage. Water enters the asphalt through cracks and pushes the binding elements apart. Water further damages by stripping and rutting, often through running or pooling water. Forming ice widens cracks as it expands. Much of this damage is frequently not visible from the surface until it is extensive.
How Repairs Are Made
There are several things that can be done to decrease the potential for damage from water.
- Crack Filling
Filling cracks, especially with a hot rubberized filler material, will stop cracks from growing. Any crack with an opening of a quarter-inch or more should be filled and sealed. Unrepaired cracks will continue to grow and create potholes and crumbling asphalt.
- Asphalt patching
Patching and filling holes and large separations will slow degradation. Open potholes grow each time they are driven over or get wet. Water can reach the base of the pavement through these holes and compromise the material from underneath. Proper patching slows this damage.
Not only improving the look of the asphalt, sealcoating does much to extend the life of the parking lot and protect against future damage. The seal protects from UV damage and automobile fluids in addition to water.
How Issues Are Identified
Cracks are not the only way to identify problems from water. Collections of small rocks, sand and dusty residue reveal that the asphalt is breaking apart and producing this debris. Ruts and striping are also things that may be present.
Paving professionals can quickly identify any problems with your asphalt and present the best solutions for further care and protection. Contact NVM Paving & Concrete today by calling (703) 372-9335 or sending an email to [email protected] to get a free estimate for your next project.