The Effects of Spring Rain on Asphalt Parking Lots and How to Keep Them Safer?

It is that time of the year when that next heavy shower might be just a few hours away. Rainy seasons deliver a lot of useful water to the earth. However, for asphalt parking lots, this water can have diverse implications. Some more modern driveways are porous. These will withstand rainwater much better than non-porous ones. However, most commercial parking lots are non-porous and made from solid thick layers of asphalt. This is because of the large heavy vehicles use on them.

Also, by treating and maintaining your parking lot right, the effects of spring rain can be minimized. Rainwater is different from fresh water. It has more destructive properties for adhesives and other similar types of materials. General maintenance for the spring season is very important to maintain the health of an asphalt parking lot. Read through to find out more on the topic:

Rainwater Breaks Up the Bond Between Asphalt Binder and Aggregates

Cracks are commonly found on many asphalt pavements including parking lots. Cracks provide access to rainwater right into the underlayers of the pavement. Pooling water in time will slowly erode the unprotected asphalt. From there, rainwater can access and weaken the structural layers of the pavement. Parts of the world that have fluctuating weather conditions have this problem greatly.

 Also, if your part of the world gets very cold in the winter, springtime-delivered water can go through the freeze cycle as well. the thaw cycle will shrink and expand those water molecules. This specific process will cause debonding of the aggregate and binder.

Due to this bond between the aggregate and the binder weakening, the pavement will become weaker overall. It will become prone to future damage. Water getting under the sub-base will even compromise the overall structural integrity. Also, smaller cracks will grow bigger when left untreated causing more damage. It is best to seek advice from a professional asphalt paving company in these situations.

Some Ways to Keep Safeguard Your Parking Lot for Longer

Improve the Water Drainage

Planning a proper water drainage system for your parking lot is very important during installation. Contractors must plan to use the grassy areas and inlets to direct the water using slopes and asphalt curbing. There must be water escape ways installed correctly to help the water get off the pavement.

In the case of porous pavements, the water from rain or snow will melt to drain through the pavement. It will find its way into a stone recharge bed. From there, it will filter back into the soil and groundwater below. This is a great way to manage water drainage and can also bring potential tax cuts for the business as well.

However, not all parking lots can be laid with porous asphalt. It is not as strong and durable as thicker denser layers. In the case of driveways for houses and residential properties, porous asphalt is the best material type available. It will also be somewhat cheaper as well.

Maintaining Your Asphalt Paved Parking Lot

Of course, asphalt pavements are durable. They are made that way. However, standing rainwater and extensive rainfall can exploit whatever weaknesses they may have. For the rainwater to damage the pavement, there needs to be some damage to it already in most cases. This can be in the form of small cracks and may be indentations in the surface that can pool water.

Managing these smaller problems is very inexpensive. Cracks filling is a quick service that doesn’t require much work at all. Pothole repair is also an available option as well. Pooling water in crevices or surface indentations can also be repaired. Also, parking lots that get heavy vehicles parked in the same spots for longer periods of time, will eventually develop indentations.

Puddles can be a result of surface depressions. These may form when a section of the pavement settles lower than the rest of the pavement. This could indicate sub-base problems. All these repairs and maintenance jobs can prolong the life of your parking lot keeping it safe from rainwater and snow.

Sealcoating to Protect from Rainwater

Sealcoating is a great way to protect your asphalt from rainwater. When you seal coat your asphalt parking lot, the asphalt paving contractor will add an additional layer of protective liquid to it. This layer will protect the surface from elements like UV rays, rainwater, snow and also oils from vehicle engines.

A good seal coat also prevents cracks from forming when done in good time. it helps extend the life of your driveway as well. Also, crack-filling before getting your seal coat is a great way to add many more years to the parking lot as well.

Usually, it is recommended to get a fresh sealcoat every 3-5 years. For very heavily used parking lots, getting a fresh sealcoat before the rainy or winter season every year is a great practice as well. It is inexpensive and can add many years to the life of your pavement.

Bottom Line

Parking lots are expensive investments for businesses. Depending on the nature of your business, the parking lot usage will vary. Cracks, potholes and surface indentations might be common for parking lots that get a lot of heavy traffic.

Also, these small problems in any parking lot may give rise to rainwater causing further damage. Make sure to get your timely asphalt parking lot maintenance in order to keep more damage away. A good asphalt parking lot should have a life of 2-3 decades. Maintenance is needed to ensure that.