Five Signs Your Parking Lot Foundation Has Failed

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The base or foundation beneath your asphalt parking lot is made to last for decades. This is why most asphalt issues can be repaired with a bit of patching or a resurfacing job. Unfortunately, even the best-built asphalt foundation will begin to fail. Know these signs of failure so you can have the entire parking lot replaced once problems surface.

1. Alligator Cracks

Alligator cracks form in a loose grid-like pattern. There will be vertical cracks connected by horizontal cracks, with a result that is reminiscent of alligator skin. Unlike other cracks, which are usually caused by surface stresses and can be patched, alligator cracks are a symptom of a deteriorating foundation. Patching won't solve the problem, and the cracks will quickly resurface. Tearing out the parking lot and rebuilding it from the foundation up is the only permanent solution.

2. Slumping

Slumping or waving is when the paving seems to slump down, producing a wavy asphalt surface that looks as though it is collapsing. It often occurs at the edges of the parking lot if the base is washed out beneath the asphalt, but it can also happen if the base collapses in the interior regions of the parking lot. Poor drainage or shifting soil is the likely culprit. The lot will need to be removed so proper drainage and a firm base can be installed.

3. Uneven Cracks

Most patchable surface cracks will feature a level asphalt surface on either side. When the foundation is the problem, though, one side of the crack may be higher than the other. This unevenness makes it impossible to patch the crack effectively. It also indicates that the base has either collapsed on one side of the crack, or a soil shift has raised the foundation in one part. Removal of the lot and releveling of the base is necessary.

4. Deep Potholes

Most potholes only affect the asphalt layer of your lot and not the foundation. As long as you have them repaired quickly, the base of the lot won't suffer any damage. The one exception is if deep potholes that penetrate into the foundation become an ongoing issue that no amount of repair seems to remedy. In this case, the cause of the potholes is likely foundation failure and a replacement lot is needed.

5. Washouts

Sometimes you can't avoid damage to the foundation. Flooding can result in overloaded drainage systems, which means that the foundation may be completely eroded and washed out by the floodwaters. In this case, you will need to replace some or all of the foundation and lot.

Contact a commercial paving service for immediate assistance.

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30 September 2020

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