Winter is well behind us, and the weather here in St. Louis is getting warmer now that the seasons have changed — which also means it’s time to adjust our approach to summer asphalt maintenance. Because roads, parking lots, and other paved areas usually aren’t sheltered from the elements, it’s crucial to take extra steps to extend the life of any asphalt paving investment. Here are some great tips from our paving pros.
Start with an Inspection
The first step to take for anyone looking to maintain their asphalt is performing an inspection. Check carefully for signs of damage, like cracks, breaks in the pavement, bubbles, bumps, or potholes. These seemingly minor issues can turn into much more costly repairs that can take a huge bite out of your budget.
Take your time with the inspection and recruit a team to make the job quicker and more comprehensive. Pay close attention to even the smallest details, and record any damage by writing it down or taking pictures. This way, you can track the progression of the damage to see if there are areas of your pavement that need more TLC than others.
Do a Deep Clean
Dirt, debris, and other contaminants can do serious damage to your pavement. Think about all of the cars that travel on roads and park in paved lots — oil leaks, radiator fluid, and other chemicals can wear on the surface and cause cracks to form and deepen. Cleaning asphalt pavement can mitigate this risk while giving pavement a fresh new look, adding to the curb appeal of your facility.
This cleaning process will vary based on how your pavement is used and where it’s located, but it generally includes scrubbing or cleaning chemicals designed to maintain the integrity of pavement while also removing a layer of grime. Keep up this cleaning throughout the summer so the job is quicker and less involved while being effective. Pavement professionals can advise you on the best practices for cleaning asphalt — consult a contractor with questions.
Repair and Sealcoat
Once you’ve identified damage through an inspection, it’s time for repairs. This is not something you should DIY; it takes expertise and specialty equipment to get the job done right the first time and avoid creating an even bigger headache. An added benefit of working with paving professionals? It could increase the value of your property and reduce liability from accidents or injury that could result from pavement damage.
Take the process one step further and have asphalt professionally sealcoated if it’s been a while or you don’t remember the last time it’s been done. Sealcoating protects asphalt from further exposure and damage and restores the asphalt surface to look like new again. Sealcoating also replenishes the oils and binders used for the installation, fills in gaps, and smooths out the appearance.
Prevent Water Damage
Summer storms can cause water to pool on top of asphalt paving, along with presenting runoff challenges that can impact the integrity of the ground beneath the pavement. This, in turn, can increase the risk of vehicle hydroplaning, deepen dangerous cracks, contribute to potholes, and detract from the aesthetic look of pavement.
Take a look at your paved surfaces after a summer storm to identify problem areas and bring them to the attention of your paving partner. Quality installation and repair is a surefire way to help ensure that water doesn’t pool on or underneath your pavement. Contactors will help design a drainage system and control the slope of the ground beneath the asphalt to allow proper runoff.
Watch Your Weight
Because the sun and heat are particularly damaging to asphalt, it’s important to redistribute the weight on your pavement surfaces. While you likely can’t tell visitors to park elsewhere or reduce the number of spots you provide, you can minimize damage by not allowing heavy items to sit on your asphalt for too long. Keep this consideration in mind on construction job sites; piles of building materials like lumber or masonry can cause paved areas to sag and crack.
While summer asphalt maintenance can be an efficient way to extend the life of your pavement, it takes some extra steps and help from the professionals to get it done right. When you use Leritz Busy Bee for asphalt maintenance and repair, you’re going to be working with a commercial asphalt paving team that creates a plan custom-tailored for your property. Get your asphalt project built and maintained by the best commercial asphalt contractor in the St. Louis Metro Area — get in touch to schedule a consultation.