Summer Dangers and How to Protect Your Asphalt Parking Lot

A clean, smooth parking lot is an invitation to customers to get off the road and spend some time in your store. Yet, in summer, your asphalt can experience problems that make it difficult to drive over.

Even minor damage can make the lot look old and worn, which gives customers the idea that you’re not really taking care of your store either. When your parking lot goes through a heat wave, a major storm, or even heavy traffic, you need to inspect the lot and search out chips and cracks. You don’t have to do this daily, but you should do it after certain weather events.

When It Gets Hot

When you have a heat wave, keep watch on the surface of the lot daily. Whenever you see a crack appear, call someone to fix the problem immediately. Cars can drive over a crack. They can’t drive over a lump of crumpled or buckled asphalt as easily.

When It Rains

Properly paved asphalt lots can handle rain in general, but lots of rain — especially if the lot already has some cracks in it — can be devastating. The water can work its way through the cracks and under the asphalt, which washes away the base and soil. Then, because the lot surface doesn’t have anything supporting it, it can cave in.

Potholes are also a risk. Maybe the base isn’t gone, but loosened pieces of the asphalt end up being chipped away by heavy cars traveling over the asphalt, which can leave a hole.

When There’s Hail

If a storm with hail hits the area, you may need to inspect the asphalt lot, depending on the size of the hail. Tiny hail won’t do much. It will melt quickly and run off into the gutters.

Large hail, such as the baseball-sized rocks that hit Elkview in West Virginia in May 2019, are another story. Those do have the potential to damage asphalt along with cars and buildings. If the asphalt was already damaged due to heat or excessive rain, the hail would only make it worse.

Medium-sized hail can be a tossup. It would help to give the lot a once-over if the hail was large enough to cause even minor damage to cars. In fact, in this situation, you may want to have professionals inspect the lot because the sealant layer could have been breached.

When It’s Not the Weather That’s the Problem

Summer brings more than just sun and storms. Kids skating or using skateboards on the street and jumping curbs can chip asphalt.

You don’t have to ban skaters or kids from your store or shopping center parking lots. One person merely rolling across the lot on wheels won’t do any more harm than an SUV would when driving across. But you should be on the lookout for people doing skateboard tricks to prevent the impact of the board’s wheels from chipping the surface.

Also be aware of people tossing dockless scooters down onto the asphalt. A scooter falling over won’t do much. But if your lot is the recipient of scooters tossed off the sidewalk by fed-up pedestrians, you should take a look at the asphalt once the scooters are collected. Look for cracks or, if the asphalt has softened due to the heat, even dents.

J R Paving & Construction Co., Inc. can inspect your lot after heat waves, storms, and other potentially damaging circumstances. Repairs for chips and cracks are an essential part of keeping the lot’s overall integrity in good shape, no matter the weather.