If your parking lot looks worn out because it is faded and full of cracks and weeds, then it may be time to have it resurfaced. As long as the base under the lot is still in good shape and water can drain from the surface freely, then restoring your lot could be as easy as putting down a layer of new asphalt. Other times, it might be possible to improve the appearance of the lot by applying a sealcoat. Your paving contractor considers the amount of damage to the asphalt when determining the best way to make repairs. Here are some factors that come into play.
Old asphalt often forms crumbles along the edges. The crumbles continue to spread and get worse as more and more water seeps under the asphalt. Crumbles can't be covered over with a sealcoat or with a new layer of asphalt. The crumbles must be repaired first. This could entail patching the cracks or digging out the crumbles and putting in completely new asphalt in the affected area.
Potholes are similar to crumbles in that they get bigger over time due to the accumulation of water in the hole. Holes need to be filled before the parking lot can be restored. They can be filled with patch material, asphalt, or even gravel. First, the paving contractor must consider the cause of the potholes. Sometimes, they start as a crack and get bigger slowly over time. Other times, they develop because of poor drainage, such as in sunken areas of the lot. If that's the case, the drainage problem must be corrected before the parking lot is restored so potholes won't return.
Cracks are common in asphalt due to exposure to the sun, weather, and heavy automobiles. Cracks aren't usually a big problem, but they should be filled to keep water out of the asphalt and base of the lot. You can keep the lot in good condition by having cracks repaired on a regular basis rather than waiting until they get big or turn into potholes. Cracks can be filled in with paving machinery when a new layer of asphalt is put on. They must be filled before a sealcoat is applied too, or they will just show through the new coating.
Fading is the easiest problem to fix when it comes to restoring an old parking lot. Fading happens due to UV exposure, and one of the best ways to slow the process down is to have a sealcoat applied to your lot every few years. The sealcoat makes the surface of your lot dark again and it adds a waterproof barrier that protects the lot from sun exposure and rain.
If your lot only has minor cracking and fading, then a sealcoat may be all that's needed to bring your lot back to life. If your lot has crumbles, potholes, and extensive cracking, then resurfacing is probably in order. Once the new layer of asphalt has been applied and it has had time to cure, then you can have a sealcoat put on to protect the lot and prolong its life.