Discussing Paving Contractor Services

2 Frequently Occurring Causes Of Damage To An Asphalt Parking Lot

Asphalt is a durable paving substance with a relatively long lifespan. Yet that doesn't mean that it isn't vulnerable to premature breakdown caused by certain factors. If you would like to learn more about avoiding some causes of damaged asphalt, read on. This article will discuss two common enemies of asphalt and the problems they cause.

Standing Water

Poor water drainage tends to lead to the erosion of an asphalt surface. This is especially true when the water in question has a higher pH. Such water has a higher alkaline content, and tends to cause the breakdown of asphalt into smaller, less cohesive pieces. This leads to a phenomenon known as raveling--essentially the crumbling away of surface aggregate.

Even water with a neutral pH will lead to problems over time, especially during the wintertime. This is especially true for asphalt that is already suffering from problems such as potholes and cracks. When water penetrates into such areas of damage and freezes, it expands, thus causing the damaged area to grow. Regrading the surface and regularly applying sealcoat are the best ways to reduce the ill effects of standing water. Contact a company, such as Sealcoating America, for more information. 

Motor Oil

Motor oil stains are a common problem, especially for asphalt driveways and parking lots. Such stains tend to mar the appearance of the asphalt in a displeasing way. Yet that's not the worst of it. You see, over time that motor oil will begin to affect the stability of the asphalt, making it subject to various types of deformation and damage.

The problem here is that oil is simply related too closely to the binder material in the asphalt. Both are derived from petroleum. This similarity means that, as the oil penetrates into the pavement, it binds with the asphalt and essentially loosens up its chemical nature. This only tends to happen with oil that is left in place for long periods of time.

To test the severity of a particular oil stain, reach for a flat head screwdriver. Use this tool to gently probe the surface of your asphalt. If the surface seems hard, and the screwdriver simply scratches against it, you're in luck. The asphalt has yet maintained its chemical structure. As long as you clean up the oil stain in a timely manner, you should be able to avoid more serious issues.

If, on the other hand, the head of the screwdriver sinks easily beneath the surface of the asphalt, you can be sure that the damage is more severe. This generally requires the intervention of a professional to fix. They will carefully remove the damaged area, and then fill in the resulting hole with an asphalt patching compound.