Your Guide To Interpreting The Cracks In Your Commercial Asphalt To Assess For Damage

If your business has a parking lot, it's likely made of asphalt. That asphalt will eventually sustain damage or wear-and-tear that will make timely maintenance and prompt repairs essential. Since the indicators of damage or excessive wear are often quite subtle, it's a good idea to watch for the following indicators that your commercial asphalt needs some time with a qualified professional.   

Watch For A Series Of Thinner, Connected Cracks In The Asphalt

One common issue in asphalt is cracks, which are often too easy to disregard until significant damage has occurred. Small or minor cracks in small numbers may not be a problem and, in fact, should be taken care of as part of the annual maintenance that all commercial asphalt should receive. However, their presence in a series of connected imperfections often indicates the need for professional intervention.

The series of cracks is frequently referred to as crocodile, alligator, or fatigue cracking, and its existence may establish that too much weight has been inflicted on a weak or damaged section of asphalt. Other causes of those unfortunate cracks include a failure of the sub-base and inadequate drainage of the area.

Regardless, when you see a series or large number of cracks in the asphalt outside your business, it is best to have it examined by a professional at your earliest convenience. Delaying that work can lead to a complete and early failure of the affected asphalt or potholes that similarly diminish the usability of the pavement.            

Assess The Asphalt For Long Cracks

It is important to note that long cracks in the pavement can be just as much of an indicator of an underlying issue as the problematic, connected cracks discussed previously, Specifically, those long cracks might occur lengthwise or sideways within the asphalt, but a single, long and continuous line within asphalt is rarely a good sign.   

If you see that the cracks are wider in some areas than others, especially if you see that any part of the cracks is 3/4 of an inch or thicker, the damage is probably significant. This type of damage is most likely in particularly hot areas and often manifests as the result of buckling pavement. It should be addressed immediately, as the issue can quickly make the asphalt unsafe to use.

In conclusion, commercial asphalt is expected to successfully support millions of pounds of weight over many years of use. However, even the strongest asphalt will eventually need some work, and therefore, it's essential for you to be aware of the indicators discussed above of that damage or subtle wear. When they appear, it's best to contact a professional commercial asphalt service to address your concerns so that he or she can restore functionality of the unit.