The 3 Biggest Reasons Your Parking Lot Has Cracks

Parking lots serve one primary purpose: to provide a place where your customers can park their car and visit your business. If the parking lot is in a state of disrepair, however, this could make for an uncomfortable experience for your customers or, even worse, turn them away completely.

In general, you should expect your asphalt parking lot to last around 20 years before needing to replace it completely, though that number can go up or down depending on a number of factors. Below are three reasons why your parking lot may show signs of wear and tear prematurely.

  1. Weight

The maximum weight that a semi-truck is allowed to carry is around 80,000 pounds (which is significantly less than road trains that can carry upwards of 300,000 pounds). By comparison, the heaviest minivans on the market today top out at 5,000 pounds, which means that a parking lot that mainly handles big rigs undergoes a lot more stress than one that services commuter vehicles. Because of that, the asphalt is usually much thicker.

If a parking lot was not initially designed to handle heavy loads or was installed improperly, the parking lot will form cracks and potholes much earlier than the 20-year average life span.

Fortunately, asphalt is relatively inexpensive to use, and professionals have a lot of experience in knowing how to not only refinish a parking lot but lay a brand-new lot in a way that will protect your investment for years to come.

  1. Weather

If you have ever stood on a parking lot in the middle of a summer day, you know how hot it can get. The UV rays that beat down on the parking lot can cause the binders — the base coat that binds the asphalt together — to fail quicker, which makes the asphalt crack.

In Ohio, you sometimes have another issue to worry about: precipitation. Ohio gets wetter every year, which means more rain in the summer and more snow in the winter.

When precipitation falls on an asphalt lot, the water pours into the cracks and can expand and contract according to the temperature. This literally pushes the asphalt apart and, when combined with the breakdown of the binders, creates significant damage to a parking lot.

  1. Maintenance

Like everything else, a parking lot needs proper maintenance. The best time to reseal a parking lot is when you notice large ruts appearing in your parking lot, but you don’t have to wait that long to establish good maintenance habits.

Installing shaded areas around your parking lot (trees or awnings for example) will help cut down on the attrition from weather, and putting up a sign that forbids trucks from entering your lot if it’s not designed for that will reduce damage as well.

In the event that you do need to resurface your parking lot, make sure that the drainage systems are installed well to keep water from staying inside the cracks of your parking lot. All reputable resurfacing projects should include sealcoating as well to provide an initial barrier from the elements.

All of these steps together — good habits and regular resurfacing — will ensure your parking lot lasts as long as possible and sends a signal to others that this is a business that cares about their reputation and the safety of their customers.

No matter what has caused your parking lot to age prematurely, we can help! We pride ourselves on doing outstanding work at an affordable price, so contact us today to receive a great quote on your asphalt parking lot. We look forward to speaking with you.

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