The age-old debate: asphalt resurfacing vs. asphalt replacement. Which one is best? Which one is right for my budget and situation? These questions, and more, need to be answered before determining a proper course-of-action.

Did you know that 63% of Americans choose not to park or visit businesses due to parking challenges? Having too few parking spaces, too small of a parking lot, or having multiple potholes or cracks in the lot can cause the driver to be frustrated. If your parking lot is not properly surfaced, there is a possibility that your business could be in jeopardy.

When you start to see structural damage in your parking lot, it is up to you to decide when and how you are going to take action. Structural damage may start with a small hole which, under different temperatures and pressures, can eventually turn into a pothole. In this blog, we will be discussing the types of asphalt damage you can encounter, when you should resurface or replace, and ways to maintain your lots.

Asphalt Damage

There are two types of asphalt damage: cracking and rutting. Cracking can come in a variety of shapes and forms. These forms can include shrinkage, widening, edge cracks, and slippage. Cracks are caused by water penetration, sun oxidation, freezing and thawing, and poor initial construction. As stated prior, when cracks are beginning to form, it’s important to seal them as soon as possible since these cracks can eventually become a bigger issue.

The other type of asphalt damage is known as rutting. Rutting is when the pavement takes wear and tear damage due to wheel loads. You can tell if your pavement is suffering from rutting if the pavement shows depressions or grooves. These are dangerous because if it starts to rain, rutting makes it easier for a driver to hydroplane and lose control of their vehicle. As a business owner, you must know when to replace if you have deep ruts. If it’s less than ⅓ inch, then it is not urgent to repair immediately. However, if it is any deeper than a ⅓ of an inch, we highly advise you to level it and resurface.

When Should I Resurface?

Resurfacing pavement is when you lay new asphalt on top of the old layer to simply cover the cracks. There are signs to note when action is needed. Some criteria to help you to know when you should resurface are if the cracks are a quarter-inch wide when a depth of more than a third of an inch.  If you find that your lot meets the two criteria, then we highly advise resurfacing. When you are deciding if you should resurface, other factors that you should keep in mind is if the foundation is structurally sound, less than 25-30% of asphalt pavement needs repairs, and if the pavement is less than 20 years old. Over time, due to weather and usage, your parking lot will depreciate and become worn. When it rains, water can seep into holes. This could become troublesome because if the temperature drops, the water will freeze and expand. This will make the crack worse than it was prior. The winter months are when parking lots will become the most damaged.  During these months, you should be monitoring your parking lot closely.

When Should I Replace?

Resurfacing your asphalt pavement is the ideal scenario as a business owner. It is cost-effective and takes no time to fix. There are times where you should explore other options such as asphalt replacement. You should look into replacement if more than 25-30% of your asphalt is in need of repairs, cracks are a few inches deep, the pavement is older than 20 years, and the foundation is unstable.

Alternative Repairs

While it is important to know when to resurface or replace, you should also know there are ways to be cost-efficient while protecting your parking lot. Crack filling is a common method used to maintain parking lots. This alternative is to prevent moisture penetrating under the surface of your asphalt. It’s also useful to prevent vegetation from growing through the cracks. Crack sealing is an important part of lot maintenance because it ties into the activity of resurfacing by repairing all the cracks and existing holes.

Another alternative to consider when maintaining your lot is sealcoating. The purpose of sealcoating is to make your asphalt look new and retain the original structure. If you want to learn more about sealcoating and the benefits of it, check out our last blog post. Just note that while these are alternatives, they act more like a band-aid. Meaning that these will work for only a short period of time, but need to be monitored very closely to prevent future damage to your property. Either repaving or replacing will have to be done shortly after sealcoating, as these provide more of a long term benefit.

How Can We Help?

We believe that your parking lot is a reflection of your business. When you have damage to your pavement, it can make customers and bystanders form an opinion about your company and can affect the brand you are trying to build for yourself. The parking lot is often the first experience customers have with your business. Asphalt fails for a reason. It could be because of surface failure or sub-grade failure. We recognize these issues and that’s why we are the best for the job. It’s important to tailor the asphalt repairs to how the lot is being used. An example is when trash and dump trucks destroy your current pavement. We will recommend a thicker, heavy-duty specification that can stand up to the wear and tear.

If you need help identifying whether you should resurface or repair, contact Tolliver & Curl today to learn more about our asphalt paving techniques and discover the benefits of using a high-quality paving contractor.

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