A new asphalt parking lot is an investment, and chances are you want to protect this investment. The following are a few dos and don'ts that will prolong the life of the asphalt, which will save your company money over time.
Do Restrict Weight for Awhile
Although asphalt can usually be driven on within a day or two of installation, it can take several months to fully cure. Allowing heavy vehicles to drive on the asphalt too soon can lead to ruts and waves on the surface. How long to restrict weight will vary depending on several factors that affect curing time, such as climate and the specific asphalt mix, so consult with your paving service to determine when to allow heavier vehicles.
Don't Sealcoat Right Away
Sealcoating is one of the best things you can do for asphalt, but it shouldn't be done too soon after installation. If you sealcoat too soon, the excess oils and moisture in the paving from installation won't have time to evaporate out and the asphalt surface will remain too soft. Much like restricting weight, environmental factors can affect how long you wait to sealcoat, so defer to the expertise of your paving contractor.
Do Keep It Clean
Dirt and debris don't just look bad; they can damage the asphalt. Pollution residue, vehicle fluids, and chemical spills are all capable of eating away at the asphalt. Regular cleaning should begin even if the asphalt isn't fully sealed. Lots that experience heavy use may need to be cleaned as frequently as once a month, while lesser-used lots may only require seasonal cleaning.
Don't Ignore Minor Cracks
Even the smallest crack can develop into a large pothole in short order. Ideally, new asphalt won't develop any cracks for years, but sometimes weathering, usage, or settling results in a small crack. Having it filled in immediately prevents it from growing larger and leading to greater damage. Depending on the cause, your contractor may do minor repairs at no charge if the parking lot was recently installed.
Do Schedule Regular Maintenance
The best way to prolong the life of your new parking lot is with regular maintenance. Simple maintenance you can do yourself includes picking up garbage, keeping drains clear and flowing, and clearing snow and ice promptly and with the proper tools to avoid weather damage. Your lot installer will provide you with guidelines on the regular maintenance your paving requires.
Contact an asphalt paving company for more help.