Causes And Repair Options For Parking Lot Puddles

Puddles and standing water on your parking lot surface can pose a hazard -- both to the parking lot and to your customers. Puddles can lead to potholes, cracks, and crumbling asphalt. Further, the depressions that allow puddles to form can be an inconvenience to those navigating the parking lot on foot and can even damage a low-profile vehicle.

Types of Depressions

There are three common types of depressions that can form on a parking lot -- rutting, birdbaths, and raveling. Rutting falls into two categories: mix ruts and subgrade ruts. A mix rut forms when the base of the asphalt wasn't properly compacted before the parking lot was installed, whereas subgrade ruts form when heavy traffic causes a depression in the asphalt that eventually reaches into the subgrade, creating the surface rut.

Birdbaths are low depressions in the asphalt surface that are typically formed due to low drainage, but occasionally, they appear as a result of uneven settling of the parking lot base. Water collects in these depressions and creates the puddles. Over time, cracks and potholes may develop inside a birdbath, particularly in climates that experience winter freezes.

The last type of depression is caused by raveling. The surface of the asphalt begins to break down, resulting in loose gravel. As the gravel washes away, divots and depressions are left behind. Further weathering leads to the development of potholes, cracks, divots, and a rough surface.

Repair Options

Shallow ruts and birdbaths can sometimes be repaired by patching followed up with a fresh layer of seal coat to camouflage the repair and protect the asphalt from future damages. Deeper ruts and birdbaths require more in-depth repairs, which can include patches and repaving over the old surface with a fresh layer of asphalt.

If the ruts or birdbaths have formed due to problems with the parking lot base, a full replacement may be necessary. Your paving service will need to remove the old lot, reconstruct the base to address the problems that led to the puddles, and then pave the entire lot with fresh asphalt.

Raveling is more difficult to repair since it is the result of the failure of the asphalt paving. You may be able to have only the damaged area removed and replaced, but extensive raveling will require the removal and repaving of the entire lot.

Contact a parking lot paving service in your area for more help.