As a business owner, you're interested in the bottom line. Most likely, when presented with two options, you weigh the cost and benefits of each option before making a decision. If you've just had a new asphalt parking lot installed for your office, you're probably wondering if it would be cost-effective to pay for a protective sealant. Before you make a decision, take a look at four issues that could damage the asphalt.
You might not think that water could damage asphalt – you'd be partially right. Small amounts of water won't harm asphalt. However, over time, heavy water saturation can cause extensive damage. If left unsealed, small cracks can develop in the asphalt. Once that happens, water can seep underneath and form puddles between the asphalt and the ground. Eventually, sink holes will develop and the asphalt will collapse.
Direct sunlight can soften the asphalt. When that happens, the bond that holds the aggregate material – such as rock and gravel – and the asphalt together is destroyed. Over time, the gravel begins to break away from the asphalt. Once that bond is destroyed, you'll notice potholes developing in the asphalt. You may also experience shrinking along the edges of your parking lot.
Cars often leak motor oil and other liquids. Those chemicals create a reaction that causes your asphalt to weaken, which will make it soft and pliable. Repeated exposure to chemicals such as oil and gasoline will cause your parking lot to sink from the weight of the cars that travel on it. You may notice areas with deep tire impressions in parking stalls or areas that are no longer level with the rest of the parking lot.
Asphalt develops different types of cracks as it ages. Unsealed asphalt ages at an accelerated rate, which means it will need to be repaired or replaced sooner. As your asphalt ages, it will develop cracks. There are different types of cracks that can undermine your parking lot, including:
- Fatigue cracks – oddly shaped cracks that fan out across the asphalt
- Longitudinal cracks – cracks that run the length of the asphalt
- Edge Cracks – cracks that develop along the edges of the asphalt
How Sealant Helps
Sealant is the protective coating that is applied to asphalt. It's designed to protect asphalt from the damaging effects of sun, water, and chemical exposure. Applying sealant to your parking lot will extend the life of your asphalt, and reduce the need for costly repairs.
You want to keep your parking lot looking new for as long as possible. You also want to save money. Applying a coat of asphalt sealant to your new parking lot will help you do both. Speak with a parking lot sealing professional for more information.