pothole_200Frequent inspections and early detection of damages to your asphalt parking lot prevents potentially expensive asphalt repair costs in the future. Filling or patching a crack is much less expensive than repaving the entire area because of extensive damages that went unnoticed for far too long. Your business and your customers deserve a well maintained parking lot, entry, and exit. A successful business is one that is properly inspected and cared for on all fronts. I’m going to go over several ways you can detect problems with your asphalt parking lot.

Inspect Often

Inspection doesn’t take a lot of time or effort. All you really need to do is walk around the parking lot, keeping an eye out for potential damages. Dips where the asphalt once was smooth and flat, cracking, a crocodile like appearance – all of those are early signs of potentially expensive damage.

Early Pothole Detection

Potholes don’t just appear overnight. In fact, it often takes several months for a crack to become a pothole. Potholes are caused by trapped water underneath the soil that supports your parking lot. Traffic compacts the area and the underlying water weakens the soil bedding. Continued use causes the problem to worsen, and heavy traffic speeds the process even more. Here is how most potholes evolve over time:

  1. The first thing you’ll notice is a few cracks. These cracks will, over time, become what we call crocodile cracks because they resemble the scales on a crocodile.
  2. Most crocodile cracks eventually leak water. The underlying water beneath the soil bedding is pressed up toward the surface with each vehicle that travels across the crocodile cracks.
  3. Crocodile cracks break into smaller pieces and are carried away by weather and tires. Each piece that is carried away adds to the depth of the pothole.

Asphalt Potholes with Cracking

You can generally tell how big the pothole is going to get by the amount of cracking in the area. Some areas may be several feet in each direction, meaning you’re going to have a very large pothole where others may be very small and isolated. Both must be repaired or you’re going to have extensive damage in the relatively-near future.

Repair and Avoid Potholes

As I said earlier in the blog, early detection is the key to avoiding costly repairs. Inspect your parking lot frequently, and make sure to tell your asphalt company about problem areas. They can install proper drainage to help prevent future problems. Not all potholes can be prevented, but those in problem areas may be significantly stopped over time.

Preventative Maintenance

Prevent water penetration by sealing your parking lot often. Water sealing prevents many of the problems associated with asphalt parking lots and the formation of potholes. Your asphalt company may choose to use temporary patches during the winter in lieu of permanent fixes due to the freeze and thaw process creating even more problems with new asphalt.

Discuss your options with your chosen asphalt company when you call for repairs. If you’re looking for someone in Franklin, IL or the greater Chicago area, give us a call here at RAPCO Asphalt Maintenance. We currently service and maintain some of Chicago’s most prominent areas, and we would love to assist you with your business’s asphalt needs.