Spring Rains And Your Parking Lot: Problems To Watch For

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With spring comes rain in many parts of the country. Although the precipitation is often welcomed after a cold winter since it means that spring flowers will soon emerge, the excess water can be hard on your parking lot. Spring rains, in particular, are problematic because temperatures can still sometimes plummet below freezing at this time of year. The following issues are ones you must watch for.

Crack Concerns

Small cracks can be almost invisible in the parking lot unless you walk the entire area while keeping an eye out for them. These small cracks become a big problem when spring rains fill them with water, especially in early spring. An overnight freeze causes the collected water to expand, widening the crack. If this happens severely or more than once, the crack can begin to crumble. The result is a network of larger cracks and likely a few potholes, as well. Catch the small cracks early and have them sealed so that you don't have to worry about this type of spring rain damage.

Clogged Drains

Most asphalt lots have a few drains incorporated into the surface or at least a couple of storm drains near the perimeter. During the winter months these drains can get filled with fallen leaves, garbage, and other debris. If these blockages are removed, the lot won't drain during a heavy spring rain. Standing water on the lot can weaken the asphalt bonds. Lots of puddles are also inconvenient for customers and staff that are using the lot.

Surface Slippage

Surface slippage occurs when the surface of the asphalt loses its bond with the layer beneath. Then, the moving tires of a vehicle can cause the surface to slip or buckle, resulting in a crescent-shaped crack or a buckled appearance. Long periods of standing water on the lot increase the chances of slippage since the constant moisture exposure can weaken the asphalt bonds. Entries and exits are most prone to this damage because of heavier use, so make sure these areas drain well and are textured to give tires necessary traction.

Wash Outs

A washout occurs when water leaches beneath the parking lot and washes out part of the base. This leaves a void beneath your asphalt, which means the parking lot may sink, develop cracks, or otherwise become damaged. make sure that water from surrounding landscaping is routed away from the margins of the lot. Building gutters should be routed into sewers or drainage culverts. If an area seems prone to washout, consider having a drain pipe installed beneath the lot to prevent the issue from occurring.

If you suspect that your parking lot has any of these problems, contact a paving contractor right away.

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