Water damage can cause severe issues to your commercial asphalt parking lot. The following can help you diagnose, prevent, and repair some common issues.
Water and Moisture Damage
Water that flows off the lot is not likely to cause much damage. Instead, the damage comes from standing water in low areas of the lot. Asphalt is porous, so the water will slowly seep into those pores. Then, cold weather comes and freezes the water, causing it to expand and break apart the asphalt further.
Over time, the asphalt crumbles. In some cases, the result is potholes, which will become larger until both the asphalt surface and the base below is affected. In other cases, the result is cracking. Cracks will also become larger over time, eventually crumbling. Water can get into the cracks and cause uplift, which will result in an uneven asphalt surface.
Causes of Standing Water
Before fixing the damage, you must first determine why water is causing damage to the parking lot. Low areas are the most common culprit. These areas can be a result of poor grading and leveling during the initial parking lot installation, or they can form because of base failures that have caused parts of the parking lot to sink. Sometimes these issues are repairable, but in other cases, the lot must be rebuilt from the base upward.
Another common cause is blocked drainage or a lack of sufficient drains in the lot. Most asphalt lots have drains or sewer openings around the perimeter, and some lots also have central drains located in lower areas. If leaves, garbage, or other debris blocks the drains, then water will pool on the paving surface instead of draining properly.
Prevention and Repair
There are a couple of things you can do to prevent water damage. First and foremost, keep your drains clear and consider having additional drains installed if you have a low area that collects water. Another preventative tactic is to have the asphalt seal coated by a paving service on an annual basis. The seal coating protects the lot and helps prevent moisture incursion into the pavement.
The repair depends on the extent of the issue. Most potholes and cracks can be filled and paved over if they have not intruded into the base layer. In some cases, affected areas can be cut out and a spot base repair can be completed, followed by the installation of an asphalt patch. In the case of major damage, replacement of the lot may be the best option.
Contact a parking lot paving service if you need to repair an existing parking lot or rebuild one that has become badly water damaged.