An asphalt parking lot isn't something you can install and forget about — it needs regular maintenance if it's to perform well over a long working life. There are 5 keys to proper asphalt maintenance that are sure to keep the paving in good condition.

1. Regular Cleaning

Cleaning a parking lot does more than keep it looking nice, it also helps prevent damage by removing car fluid spills, pollutant build-up, bird droppings, and other chemicals that can slowly eat away at the asphalt. How often a parking lot requires cleaning depends on several factors, including weather conditions and how heavily it is used. Generally, all lots should be cleaned in the spring and fall to remove grime from the wet winter and busy summer, but heavily used lots may require monthly cleaning. 

2. Crack Filling

Small cracks aren't an immediate problem, but they can develop into major damage if left to grow and widen. Annual crack filling removes any debris in the small cracks so that they can be filled with a polymer-asphalt filler. This type of filler is able to expand and contract slightly in response to temperature changes, which prevents the crack from becoming larger after it is repaired. 

3. Hole Repairs

Unlike small cracks, holes of any size need to be repaired right away or they can quickly get wider and deeper. Eventually, a full pothole that descends down into the base layers of the paving can form. Fortunately, repair can be done easily by a professional. Much like cracks, the hole is first cleared of debris. Then, the surrounding asphalt is heated before a hot asphalt patching compound is poured into place. The hot asphalts will bond together, creating a permanent patch that won't break apart.

4. Drain Maintenance

Drains are an important part of the asphalt parking lot that are all too often overlooked. Most lots have storm drains around the perimeter, and there may also be internal drains at low spots in the lot or as part of the entrance drive. Standing water, which will eat away at the asphalt until potholes form, can be a problem if the drains aren't maintained. Your service should be able to clean out drains and verify that everything is flowing away from the lot as it should.  

5. Seal Coating

Seal coating is an infrequent maintenance need, but it will extend the life of your parking lot by many years. It consists of a thin coating of an asphalt-sealant mix, which will fill in the pores of the parking lot paving so that it won't absorb moisture or stains. Seal coatings are typically applied every couple of years, with a frequency determined by local weather conditions and how heavily your lot is used.

Contact an asphalt maintenance service to schedule an appointment today.