When you look at your business's asphalt parking lot, you may feel as though it is still in fairly good condition, even though it may have been a few years since you had it paved. However, there are some early warning signs for which you should be on the lookout. These signs indicate minor damage that could lead to larger issues.
1. Small Cracks Appear in the Surface
One sign of minor damage that you should look for when inspecting your parking lot is small cracks. These cracks, referred to as alligator cracks, often appear in the parking spaces where the weight of parked vehicles causes stress fractures in the asphalt.
While they may only seem like an aesthetic problem, these cracks will eventually lead to larger and more costly damage. Not only will the continued weight of vehicles make the cracks grow larger, but these openings will allow water to seep underneath the asphalt.
This water will then break down the material and cause crumbling. Eventually, if you do not have the damage repaired while it is still minor, you will have potholes filled with broken pieces of asphalt. These potholes will then allow more water to seep under the parking lot's surface, leading to widespread cracking and crumbling.
2. Color Has Started to Fade
When you first had your parking lot paved, the surface was a dark and rich black color. However, after several years of sun exposure, this color will eventually start to fade to a grayish color.
If your parking lot has started to fade, this change in color means more than a change in the appearance of the lot. The reason why the asphalt has become lighter than its original black hue is that the sun has bleached the material and stripped the moisture from the asphalt.
When the natural moisture of the asphalt is stripped away by the sun, the material becomes weaker. As a result, the asphalt becomes more prone to cracking and crumbling. If your parking lot has severely faded, you should have it looked at by a professional, like those represented at http://www.harrispavingindustries.com, even if you do not see any other notable signs of damage.
If you notice any of the above signs while inspecting your parking lot, consider having it repaired or resurfaced before the damage to the asphalt becomes too great. Contact a contractor who offers commercial paving services to have them take a look at the lot, and discuss your options for repairing any minor damage before it gets out of hand.