3 causes of commercial parking lot breakdowns

Cracks, potholes and depressions are an all-too-common sight in parking lots. While it’s normal for asphalt to degrade over time, applying the proper maintenance and prevention can significantly slow the process. Here are the three main causes of parking lot breakdowns and what you can do about them.


Asphalt paving is made up of two components: a binder and aggregates, which usually include sand, stone and gravel. The binder is a viscous form of petroleum that holds the aggregates together to form a smooth pavement. When the binder degrades, the pavement begins to lose its integrity, and this is why UV rays and water can damage asphalt paving. Sunlight degrades the binder, which allows water to seep into the pavement. When the temperature drops, the water freezes, causing the cracks to become larger.

Repeated exposure to heavy weights can cause structural damage to your asphalt parking lot. When substantial loads circulate over its surface on a regular basis, the paving will start to break down. Any crack or depression resulting from this will be made worse with every subsequent application of weight. In addition, pavement that’s already weakened because of UV rays, vehicle fluids, de-icing chemicals or water is likely to become damaged more easily.

There are ways to prevent or minimize damage from weather or heavy vehicles. Applying a sealcoat every three to five years helps prevent chemical deterioration due to UV rays and vehicle fluids. This can limit the extent of water damage. In addition, seasonal patching and resurfacing can extend the life of your parking lot by repairing damage as it appears. Skimping on maintenance can cause small cracks to become big problems, which means you’ll need much more extensive, and expensive, repairs down the line.

Proper maintenance is key
A parking lot breakdown is an unfortunate and costly problem to have to solve. Staying on top of maintenance and seasonal repairs is your best bet for maximizing the durability of your pavement and keeping your costs down. Even if you’ve chosen the more durable option of concrete pavement, our harsh Canadian winters can still damage it, which is why you need to keep an eye on its condition.

Commercial asphalt paving in Ottawa
If you need an experienced asphalt or concrete contractor in Ottawa, than look no further than Bytown Paving. We’ve served the regions homes and businesses for over 30 years. Contact us today to schedule repairs, maintenance or a new construction.

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