A properly sealed and maintained asphalt parking lot can be a benefit to users by safely keeping their cars clean and damage free while driving or parking there. Asphalt is pliable and adapts well to changing weather conditions. Because of its pliability, you will need to fill in cracks and low spots that occasionally appear. To maintain an asphalt parking lot properly, it should be repaired and resealed every 6 months to a year. If you have an asphalt parking lot, here is the procedure to keep it well maintained:
- Measure the Parking Lot - Accurately measure the parking lot. Discuss your measurements with your parking lot contractor and together you can decide how much seal coat is needed to cover your parking lot. You can purchase seal coat at a hardware store or tool and heavy equipment store. With your measurements, store personnel can help you calculate how much seal coat you will need for your job.
- Sweep and Prepare the Parking Lot - Before scheduled maintenance, completely empty the parking lot of any foreign materials and cordon it off. Thoroughly sweep and remove all loose aggregate, rocks, and soil from the lot. Clean and excavate all cracks and holes with a trowel to dislodge any loose materials and discard them. Use a large roll of brown kraft paper to mask off any areas that you wish to keep from being sprayed with the seal coat. Affix the edges of the kraft paper with duct tape to keep it in place.
- Repair All Cracks and Holes - Have your paving contractor fill all visible cracks, holes, and depressions with the fresh asphalt. Large loose chunks of the existing parking lot can be reattached to the original substrate with the fresh asphalt. Finish the edges of the parking lot with fresh asphalt that joins to existing curbs, walkways, and landscaping.
- Spray Seal Coat - Ask your parking lot contractor to spray seal coat on your parking lot with a seal coat sprayer. If your parking lot contractor does not own a seal coat sprayer, you can purchase or rent one from a tool and heavy equipment store. Ask your contractor to start at one end of the parking lot and spray the seal coat onto the lot in long sweeping strokes. Ask your contractor to spray the seal coat from one side of the lot to the other side to keep the surface even. As your contractor sprays, have him or her smooth and level the surface of the lot with a seal coat squeegee. Have him or her pull any excess seal coat off to the edges and smoothly join it to adjacent curbs and walkways. Allow your newly-sealed parking lot to completely dry for 1 or 2 days before allowing cars to drive on it.
- Stripe the Parking Lot - After your parking lot has been resealed, you can paint new space markings on it to indicate where cars should park. To do this, use a snap chalk line to measure and indicate where you want the lines to be painted. Ask your parking lot contractor to paint the drawn lines with oil-based paint. Also, ask your parking lot contractor to paint space numbers and any other desired road signage on the parking lot. Your contractor will have large numerical stencils for this purpose or they can be purchased at any hardware store or rented from a tool and heavy equipment store.
By keeping your parking lot well-maintained, you will have a smooth and level lot that is easy to drive on and safe for all cars that park there. You find that your parking lot will attract many drivers to return there to park their cars.