An asphalt parking lot is often a great option, but when it has completely lost its luster and smoothness, we may wish it were gone. However, the decision to tear the whole thing up and start over again is often prohibited because of cost or time constraints. But you may be wondering, how and why did it became such an eyesore? What can be done to repair the surface? And most importantly, how can it be protected and preserved so that it doesn’t happen again?
A well-constructed asphalt drive is expected to last 25 years. If your lot has reached about 10 years old and it looks like it is in need of repaving, it is a good indication that routine maintenance was incomplete or completely ignored. After a new surface is appropriately put down, proper maintenance is the key, including routine sealing and crack repair yearly.
Even after proper installation and maintenance, the surface is still in constant danger of damage, particularly if regularly used by vehicles. One of the biggest threats is from the oil coming from leaky automobiles. Oil on asphalt results in much more than simply a stain on the surface. Oil is actually a solvent to asphalt that slowly deteriorates the surface in four stages, each becoming more difficult to repair and costing you more money.
- Stage One: The Stain. This is when the oil is first dripped on the surface and before the asphalt is softened. Some suggestions for a removing a small area of oil are using Dawn dish soap, cat litter, Coca-Cola, and baking soda. Regardless of method, quick removal is essential. We recommend resealing the surface after oil has been removed for extra protection.
- Stage Two: Asphalt Softening. The oil has sat long enough that it now has caused the asphalt surface to soften. In order to remove the oil at this point, one recommendation is to burn the oil with a handheld propane torch and then scrape off the burned oil. If not done carefully, this could result in the asphalt being burned or can pose a risk of personal injury. This repair is recommended to be performed by a professional crew, again followed by resealing.
- Stage Three: Surface Deterioration or Flaking. This repair requires removal of the damaged asphalt followed by professional asphalt replacement and the application of sealant.
- Stage Four: Full-Thickness Hole in Surface. If the damage gets this far, it needs to have the edges cleared of affected asphalt and complete replacement.
Don’t let oil and other factors ruin your business and property investment. If your lot has been neglected for too long, or you’ve inherited a space in disrepair, contact us today.