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Protecting An Asphalt Parking Lot From Two Common Forms Of Damage

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There is no doubt that asphalt is one of the most durable paving materials available today. Yet unless you take proper care of your asphalt, you may find it needing to be replaced long before it should. If you would like to improve your knowledge of common asphalt issues, read on. This article will discuss two frequent problems and how to address them.

Motor Oil

Most everybody is familiar with the negative appearance of an oil-stained asphalt parking lot. But what few people realize is that that oil is more than just unattractive--it also compromises the structural integrity of the asphalt. That means a greater likelihood of cracks and potholes developing as time goes on.

What makes oil so pernicious where asphalt is concerned is that the two substances are very closely related. In other words, both asphalt binder and oil are petroleum products. This means that the two substances have a natural affinity. As the oil seeps into the surface of the parking lot and binds with the asphalt, it causes the asphalt to become soft and malleable, thus increasing its susceptibility to damage.

The first thing you want to do when facing an oil stain is determine how severely it has affected the asphalt. Use a screwdriver to gently prod the area. Count yourself lucky if the asphalt still appears to be hard. If this is the case, all you will need to do is remove the stain promptly, and the asphalt should be okay.

If your screwdriver readily penetrates the asphalt containing the oil stain, you've got a bigger problem on your hands. This means that the damage has progressed to a more serious state. The solution usually involves removing the soft asphalt and then patching that area with either a hot or a cold patching compound. Because this can be an involved process, it might be a good idea to contact a professional for help.

Ponding Water

Another frequent cause of damaged asphalt is puddles of standing water. These are generally the result of either poor drainage or subsurface settling that has led to the formation of slight declivities. This problem is exacerbated in areas with water containing a high alkaline content. The high pH of such water accelerates the process of breakdown, leading to unwanted cracks and raveling.

Any instance of ponding should be addressed as soon as possible. Regrading the asphalt's surface may be necessary to promote improved drainage. Likewise, be sure to fill any nearby cracks, as these are especially vulnerable to water damage. Finally, consider having sealcoat applied to your asphalt. This will give it an added degree of protection against the destructive influence of the elements.

For help with repairing any damage on your asphalt parking lot, contact a company like ACPLM.