You may be unwittingly causing extensive damages to your parking lot. Most damages to an asphalt lot are a symptom of neglect, so it's important to know the most likely damage culprits so you can address them before problems arise.
1. Standing Water
Poor drainage leads to standing water, which then causes the asphalt to degrade. Throw in some freezing temperatures and expanding ice, and large potholes can form seemingly overnight. If water is collecting in the lot, a commercial paving service needs to assess the drains to see if they need to be cleaned or if additional drains should be installed. It may also be necessary to repair low depressions so that the slope of the lot drains more efficiently.
2. Automotive Fluids
A parking lot sees a lot of different cars, and a few of them are bound to leak oil, antifreeze, or other automotive fluids. These fluids aren't just bad for the environment, they can eat into the surface of the parking lot and make it more prone to degradation damages. Periodic cleaning is the best way to counteract this concern. A paving service can clean your lot monthly so you don't have to worry about fluid damage.
3. Grit and Debris
Grit and debris are also hard on asphalt, particularly on the coatings that are applied in effort to prolong the life of the paving. Combine a dirty, gritty lot with heavy traffic or large vehicles, and the surface can begin to crumble. Fortunately, monthly lot cleaning helps minimize this concern, too. You should also sweep the lot regularly, particularly in autumn when leaf debris builds up.
4. UV Exposure
UV light from the sun will gradually break down the surface of the asphalt. As this progresses, the granules inside the asphalt break free and small pits form. Eventually, these small pits become holes and the parking lot crumbles. The good news is that there is an easy way to prevent them and add years, if not decades, onto the life of your parking lot. A sealcoat is a thin layer of asphalt and a protective seal that makes the lot look like new and prevents damage from happening. You should have the lot sealcoated every few years for best effect.
5. Overgrown Landscaping
Landscaping that isn't properly managed can begin to encroach on the parking lot. First, some weeds or grass will sprouts along the seams, perhaps in the gutters, and then the growth will expand to every crack and divot in the paving. Plant roots can force apart paving, causing it to crumble. Maintain your landscaping and make sure any weeds that invade the lot are promptly removed.
Contact a commercial paving service. They can help you repair any issues with the paving and provide strategies to prevent more damage in the future.