If it has been a few years since your business's parking lot was paved, you may be wondering whether or not it may be time to have the job redone. While looking at it, the lot may appear to be in good shape with only a minor bit of damage to the surface. However, there are a couple of types of seemingly minor damage that could mean or cause bigger problems.
1. Patches of What Appears to Be Superficial Cracking
One type of damage that you may see while inspecting your parking lot is patches of what appears to be superficial cracking. Resembling the skin of an alligator, these cracks do more than just detract from the appearance of your parking lot.
There are two possible causes of alligator cracks, both of which can indicate an issue with your parking lot's structural integrity. First, the material may have weakened over the years and has started to succumb to the weight of vehicles.
Second, there may be weakening of the substrate layer underneath the asphalt. Because it can no longer fully support the lot, the pavement may be sinking, which causes cracking of the surface.
The major problem with alligator cracks is that they allow water to seep through, which can cause further damage to the substrate. If the water freezes during the winter months, the ice will expand and could bust up the pavement, creating larger cracks and potholes.
2. Small Water Puddles That Were Not There Before
Another seemingly harmless type of damage is the formation of water puddles on your parking lot where water never collected before. If water is puddling, this usually means that the pavement has started to dip down.
When this happens, it is usually indicative of a problem with the substrate being able to support the weight of the asphalt and vehicles passing over it. At first, these areas will only collect water. However, as time passes, alligator cracks will start to appear and potholes will start to form if nothing is done about the issue.
If your parking lot has multiple areas of alligator cracks and puddling water, there could be more damage than you realize. Instead of waiting for larger cracks and potholes to form, contact a contractor who provides commercial paving services to have them fully inspect the lot and discuss with you available options for either repairing the damage or repaving the lot.