The Top 4 Causes of Asphalt Damage

First impressions of your business are formed before a customer even sets foot in your store. Your commercial parking lot is where that impression starts

Customers take note of whether your parking lot is freshly sealcoated or if there are pesky potholes to drive around causing them to feel like they’re navigating a maze.

To negate any adverse impressions, you first have to be aware what causes asphalt to break down. These factors include:

  • Environment (ie. sun, water, UV rays)
  • Heavy trucks/traffic loading
  • Maintenance efforts
  • Motor oil and gas leaks
  • Deficient draining systems

According to Retail Customer Experience, 70% of customers have had a negative experience, including parking lot issues, at an establishment in the past six months. To really drive the point home, 64% of customers have left an establishment because of poor physical appearance. Don’t let those customers be yours!

Here’s a more in-depth look at causes of pavement deterioration, as well as ways to prevent them and really W-O-W your customers.

1. Environmental Factors Deteriorating Your Asphalt

The sun and its UV rays aren’t only giving you that gorgeous Florida tan, they are also creating a chemical reaction in your asphalt pavement. If you muttered, “uh oh”, it’s understandable. 

This is called oxidation. The heat and UV rays combine with oxygen in the air to weaken and break down the chemical bonds of your asphalt. Your asphalt will eventually turn gray, become brittle and cause fatigue cracking and edge cracking.

In the long and short run, this process isn’t ideal for your wallet or your potential 5-star reviews.

Keeping up with routine parking lot maintenance like patching holes and sealing fatigue cracking is very important in locations like Florida. The sun beats down on your asphalt constantly and you don’t always notice its effects right away! But, the cracks are there, and waiting for repair.

2. Traffic Loading

Wheel load, speed, tire pressure, and heavy traffic are all things that can bear extra weight on your commercial lot. Unfortunately, many of these are just part of commercial business but you will have to pay the consequences if you experience asphalt damage because of them.

This is where routine maintenance to prevent the deterioration of asphalt comes in handy. Routine asphalt sealcoating is one of the most supportive things you can do for the quality and longevity of your commercial parking lot.

3. Motor Oil and Gas

Besides being unsightly, oil and gas stains cause your asphalt damage over time. These liquids literally break down the bonds of what’s holding your asphalt together.

You know those small, barely there cracks, or cracks that have already turned into potholes? Well, gas and motor oil will have their way with those in no time causing:

  • Full discoloration/gray-blue asphalt
  • Cracks, brittle and weak asphalt leading to more cracks
  • Potholes

Pro Tip: A little dish soap goes a long way! Along with a hard bristle brush and some elbow grease, you can sparkle up your asphalt from oil and gas leaks and prevent any further cracking and damage. Keeping your lot clean helps too. Any debris or trash should be removed immediately to prevent stains and/or leaks.

4. Water and Drainage Deficiencies

Last but certainly not least, water and drainage deficiencies are always plotting against your freshly laid or older asphalt.

Water, like all the other asphalt enemies, erodes your asphalt at a speedy rate causing cracks, potholes and discoloration.

Catch basins, and sewer drains are absolutely imperative to the structuring of your commercial parking lot and longevity of your asphalt.

Contact Us for a Free Repair Estimate

As Florida’s top paving company, our team is experienced in asphalt repair and prevention processes, as well as designing parking lot plans that prioritize longevity, and proper drainage. 

Our team can handle asphalt paving, sealcoating, concrete work, and striping for commercial properties, including condos, HOAs, hotels, shopping malls, and more.
Get a FREE quote for your commercial paving job today!