What Causes Potholes in Parking Lots?

Municipalities and commercial property owners are complaining about the increasing incidents of potholes in parking lots. The potholes typically begin as small openings or cracks in the pathway but eventually expand. Failure to quickly fix the pothole can lead to accidents in the parking lot and damage to vehicles. Here are common causes of potholes in parking lots.

Natural Aging

Even the most durable materials eventually wear and tear. As the material weakens, it forms cracks and holes. Eventually, the cracks and holes will destroy the underlayment of your parking lot. If you don’t replace materials in the parking lot on time, potholes will appear.

Harsh Weather Conditions

Asphalt materials are susceptible to sweltering heat and extremely cold temperatures throughout the year. In particular, the freeze-thaw cycle reduces the durability of the asphalt. On the one hand, freezing conditions in winter will expand cracks in the parking lot. On the other hand, when summer eventually arrives, UV rays will damage the materials that bind asphalt materials together.

One of the best ways to protect your asphalt parking lots from harsh weather conditions is to hire a professional to install the materials on your parking lot. The professional installer will use the appropriate seal coating to create a protective layer on your parking lot and prevent water damage.

Dirt, Debris, and Engine Oil

Engine oil is a common problem in frequently used parking lots. The oil leaves ugly stains that make the parking lots unattractive. Engine oil can also penetrate the parking lot material, especially one made from asphalt. The engine oil breaks down the asphalt material, making it weak.

Debris and dirt can also accumulate in a parking lot, causing cracks that eventually become potholes. Proper maintenance and regular cleaning are the best way to prevent dirt, debris, and oil from damaging your parking lots and causing potholes. Hire a professional cleaner to wash your parking lot every few weeks to remove the stains.

Water Damage

Water is the leading cause of asphalt parking lots. Water damage is not initially noticeable since the water seeps inside the asphalt material and slowly begins to damage it. Over time, the water will eat away and dissolve the asphalt material.

The first signs of water damage are depression and dips in the parking lot. Over time, these spots will become weaker and lead to large cracks and groves in the parking lot. The water might even freeze and melt, further expanding the cracks. As vehicles drive over the groves, the force of the water will become greater, increasing the size of the cracks.

Seal coating your parking lots and having proper drainage can help prevent water damage.

Late Repairs

Potholes don’t just appear in your parking lots in a short time. Instead, the potholes begin as tiny cracks that expand and enlarge gradually. Owners of commercial parking lots ignore the cracks until it’s too late. The best approach is to repair any parking lot damage as soon as it occurs, no matter how minor.

Poor Construction

The parking lot has to support a lot of weight, including vehicles, buildings, and lamp posts. If the parking lot is poorly constructed, it will start to show signs of wear and tear a few months after installation. The problem usually occurs if the installer does not follow all steps when installing the asphalt material in your parking lot. While expediency is preferable when you want to quickly construct your parking lot, it might cause long-term problems.

If you’re planning on constructing a parking lot for your commercial space, work with a reputable contractor like Pinnacle Paving & Sealing. We use high-grade asphalt materials that will last for a long time in your parking lot. Our team of experts has the proper equipment and the right knowledge to properly install the asphalt. Contact us now to get started.

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