It’s a story as old as time. Okay, maybe not quite as old as time, maybe just as old as 1870, which is when modern asphalt came into being.
Picture this: Two parking lots sit across the street from each other. One is glossy and pristine and boasts a rich, dark, unmarred surface while the other wallows in its cracked, bleached, and faded misery. The plot twist is that these two surfaces are the same age, about a decade into their life cycle.
How is it possible that these twin lots, existing in such close proximity, weather the fates so very differently? The answer can be found in four parts.
Part 1: Maintenance Matters
You just can’t get around the vital fact that consistent maintenance keeps your surfaces looking better, longer. Sealcoating, crack mitigation, and patching hold environmental elements such as moisture and UV rays at bay—elements which can otherwise wage a steady attack on the asphalt’s aggregate, sand, and bitumen both on and below the surface.
Part 2: Tidy Up
A clean surface not only looks better, it performs better in the long run. Puddles of unsightly vehicle effluvia such as brake fluid, transmission fluid, and oil not only create slip hazards on your property but also contain chemicals which can break down the bitumen and accelerate corrosion. The damage can really add up in situations where designated parking means a leaking vehicle may be dripping onto the surface across days or weeks. Periodic cleaning can help, as can policies about keeping under-maintained vehicles off the property.
Part 3: Heavy Hitters
Depending on where your property is located and how many visitors it welcomes on a daily basis, you may have occasional or regular traffic that’s heavy enough to put a real strain on your asphalt. Big trucks can create rutting and cracking of the surface which allows those aforementioned natural elements to seep in and do even more damage. Being mindful and proactive about delivery vehicles and what areas they are allowed to access can help minimize deterioration. If you have a property you know will be subject to a slew of heavy vehicles daily, making adjustments to the surface in the initial stage of planning your pavement is always helpful.
Part 4: Old Fashioned Challenges
Nature is a beast and one that routinely tries to take down what man has created. The big war of nature against asphalt generally comes down to water and tree roots. Lack of good drainage often means puddles form and water is allowed to migrate through the surface. Providing a pathway for water to make a speedy exit is imperative. Trees can also wreak havoc as their roots creep under the surface, popping up where you need them least. Keeping on top of these sneaky devils can be challenging, but well worth the effort in the long run.
When you’re writing the story of your pavement, keep the main character looking youthful throughout the ages with proper maintenance and attention to details…and by partnering with the best paving and concrete contractors in the industry, of course. Call Black Diamond today to help rewrite your asphalt’s story!