Essential Pavement Repair and Maintenance Tips

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Common Questions About the Installation and Maintenance of Asphalt

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When you own or manage a building with a parking lot, you need to keep it in good condition at all times. This is not just so that it looks good but so that you don't face liability claims from damage to vehicles or because of tripping hazards. Asphalt is a very popular and affordable material for a car parking lot, and if you're considering having yours paved with asphalt, you might have some questions about its installation and maintenance. Note a few of those here and then discuss them with your contractor so you know your lot will always look its best.

1. When can the lot be reopened for traffic?

Very often asphalt can be driven on just a day or two after it's been installed, but note that it may take longer for it to set or cure all the way. Before it's properly set, you may notice a few scuff marks that occur from someone turning their tires without moving their vehicle. This grinds or pushes the tire into the soft asphalt, leaving a slight indentation. These scuff marks usually fade over time as the asphalt settles and hardens, but other than this minor issue, your car park can usually be opened within just a few days of asphalt installation.

2. How can you keep asphalt from deteriorating?

Petroleum products tend to break down asphalt, so oil leaks from cars and trucks may cause asphalt to deteriorate in some spots. While you can't insist that everyone who drives into your lot maintain their car properly, keeping your own trucks and vehicles in good working order and without these leaks can keep your asphalt looking its best. You also want to ask your contractor about seal coating, which is the application of a topcoat that protects the asphalt. They can recommend as to how often this should be done for your car park.

3. Why do weeds and grass sometimes grow through asphalt?

If you notice weeds and grass growing through asphalt, this doesn't actually signal a poor installation job. Asphalt has a certain amount of air pockets in the material because of how it's made, and those air pockets can allow for something very small to grow through. You can ask your asphalt car parks contractor about this problem but typically it's safe to simply spray the area with a weed killer, and your asphalt will look smooth and free of unsightly vegetation.