Asphalt is one of the most common paving materials for large surfaces like roads, walking paths and parking lots. Its smooth finish allows your customers or tenants to get around comfortably, park their cars and navigate. But the extreme contrasts in temperature here in New England can make maintaining these surfaces rather costly.
Poorly maintained paved surfaces reflect poorly on your business or condo. You’ve likely seen or had to deal with it before: car-wrecking potholes, clogged catch basins, unsightly salt stains, and bumps that are tripping hazards.
Your asphalt can last anywhere between 12 to up to 20 years when you look after it well. In this post, we’ll go over the benefits of asphalt and tell you how to maintain it.
Why choose asphalt?
Asphalt is an ideal choice for your parking lot for a number of reasons. Here’s why:
- You’ll spend less up-front — Asphalt tends to cost between 35-50% less than concrete, but this smaller up-front cost is offset with its shorter life.
- You can have it ready quickly — Asphalt is usually installed and ready to use in a matter of days. If you don’t have time to wait around for concrete to cure, asphalt is the better choice.
- You’ll protect the environment — Did you know that asphalt is America’s most recycled product? According to the Environmental Protection Agency and Federal Highway Administration, 80 million tons of asphalt is reclaimed each year. And nearly 100% of that total is recycled. In fact, asphalt can be recycled again and again without using its value. It can also be installed to be permeable, meaning that rainwater can drain through the pavement rather than pool and flood. These two factors make asphalt an environmentally-friendly choice!
- You’ll be better prepared for the winter — This might be the deciding factor for those of us in Massachusetts. Asphalt is far better for wintertime. Its smoother, seamless surface is easier for plows to navigate — and less likely to cause them damage. And its black color makes it easier for snow and ice to melt in the sun!
How to get your asphalt to last
While it’s less durable than concrete, asphalt repairs typically aren’t too expensive. Here’s an example of what a long-term asphalt maintenance plan might look like:
- Keep it clean — Whether its vehicles leaking fluids or oil, salt stains after a long winter or a buildup of debris, a dirty parking lot is an uninviting one. Keeping your asphalt clean and removing the stains and debris will lengthen its lifespan. Our crews at Landscape America will sweep or blow away all of the dirt and debris, making sure your lot is always presentable.
- Unclog or repair the catch basins — Some of the most common issues with asphalt parking lots are clogged catch basins — or cracked asphalt surrounding them. Over time, the grates that should drain water clog with debris like leaves, sticks or gravel. This can cause drainage pipes to fail. Other times, water might seep in between the grate and asphalt, causing more erosion once it freezes. In other cases, the grate could be incorrectly installed. Regardless of the cause, these repairs are all ones that Landscape America is happy to take on.
- Seal the cracks, smooth the bumps & fill the potholes — By nature, asphalt deteriorates, cracking or forming dips and bumps. If left untreated, these can quickly become a hazard. By sealing cracks when they first appear, smoothing over the bumps and dips with fresh asphalt and filling the potholes with compacted, crowned patches, your asphalt will last much longer.
- Keep the curb smooth — Curbs are a bit like teeth: when they’re chipped or broken, they don’t look very good. And they can turn into liability risks for injuries or automobile damage. Landscape America can pour and finish new concrete curbs, so your parking lot looks straight and orderly for years to come.
If you’d like some help repairing or maintaining your parking lot, give us a call. We’d be happy to discuss your options — and make sure your asphalt surfaces stand the test of time.