While some stopgap repairs can be done prior to winter or during cold months of the year when there’s an emergency, you’ll need to assess the damage in the spring after a particularly harsh winter. It’s unlikely that you’ll end up with a sinkhole in your parking lot, but you don’t want to be held liable for damages to vehicles or injuries to people. There can be many reasons that you’ll need to repair your parking lot in the spring, and these are just a few of them.
1- Winter was Especially Harsh
Over time, snow and ice can cause problems with asphalt. Until there’s a future in which concrete de-ices itself, you’ll have to make sure you’re taking care of your pavement in the winter. Each time salt is added to the parking lot, it can begin to eat through the material. Along with the salt added to the surface of the parking lot, the truck’s plow can scrape the asphalt, which can create cracks and issues with it.
While it is possible to patch with cold asphalt patch, it’s not recommended as a long-term solution. It’s not safe to allow a large hole to remain unfilled because you’re waiting for spring. People can trip and fall in the hole, snow removal equipment can be ruined or break the parking lot further or vehicles can see serious damage from a pothole in the parking lot. It’s important that you patch the hole as soon as possible, but that’s often a temporary solution.
2- There’s Alligator Cracking
Alligator cracking is a spider web of cracks that look like the scales on an alligator, which is how it got the name. While you should definitely add a patch and seal coat the cracking to reinforce it for the winter, it should be repaired correctly in the spring.
This type of cracking in the pavement is often due to pressure and deterioration in the sub-base. Wright Construction Company said, “The damaged areas will have to be removed to expose the sub-base, repair it and add fresh asphalt to the parking lot.”
A contractor will be able to evaluate the extent of the damage and let you know whether you’ll need to repair the entire surface of the parking lot or if it can be removed and patched in that area alone.
3- Drainage Issues
Pooling water, residue left after a storm and water running down the middle of the asphalt means that there are drainage issues in your parking lot. Some contractors tell the owner that if there are drainage issues, there will always be issues. If the issues are not addressed, that is very true, but the areas can definitely be improved.
For drainage issues, the asphalt will need to be removed, so the lot can be graded properly with the drainage issue in mind. The slope of the parking lot will be measured to ensure that drainage isn’t a problem. Depressed areas can be patched to remove drainage problems in the winter, but eventually the area should be fixed with a more permanent solution.
Curbing as well as drains and inlets might need to be strategically placed to ensure that standing pools of water are not assaulting the parking lot. When there’s pooling water, it leaves you with frozen lakes in the winter that can cause serious issues. People can be injured on the frozen, slippery areas. The ice can cause the asphalt to expand and contract, which leads to serious cracking in the parking lot.
Many problems like pooling water and alligator cracks can become visible as the winter progresses. You shouldn’t leave the issues until the spring. Instead, take the time to seal coat the cracks or patch the depressed areas until work can be done in the spring. That’s the best time to make repairs because it’s also before the harsh summer sun starts beating down on the asphalt too.