Do you have alligator cracks in your parking lot? Here’s how professionals will fix them.
If you’ve ever driven down a long row of parked cars on an empty parking lot that’s nothing but asphalt, you’ll know that sometimes the hard surface can create deep cracks in the pavement. These deep lines are commonly called alligator cracks, and they can be unsightly. Below is a quick rundown of how professionals fix alligator cracks in asphalt.
1. Asphalt Paving Professionals will Repair the Damage
First, experts will investigate the damage to see if it is an alligator crack. It means they will look for a series of similar cracks in straighter lines. The cracks can run from two to ten feet long and are created when asphalt shrinks as it cools or dries out. These cracks can be unsightly but aren’t harmful to the pavement.
To repair alligator cracks in parking lot asphalt, pavers will slightly overfill the voids left from the cracking process. Then level out the asphalt with a concrete leveling tool or trowel and smooth it with a hand roller. The process is easiest if a metal tool or trowel is driven along the parking lot asphalt to widen the cracks and create a uniform surface.
2. How to Fix Alligator Cracks in Asphalt – Patch the cracks!
Once the parking lot crack damage is repaired, pavers can begin parking lot crack filling for any large cracks using one- to two-inch asphalt patching materials. Then, they can sand down any patches that stick out by hand until they are flush with the surrounding area.
3. Polish the Surface
Polish the surface to prepare the parking lot for sealcoating. Professionals will simply sweep away loose debris and then sand the area with coarse sandpaper. Then, they will sweep the sanded parking lot to create a smooth surface.
If there is moisture or water puddling, repairs must be completed before oxidation occurs.
After the parking lot has been swept up and sanded down, professionals will sweep the surface with a broom while wetting it. It will create a layer of foam that will get dried and then polished by a sweeper or rotary machine. The result is a gleaming asphalt parking lot ready for sealcoating.
4. Sealcoat the surface
Sealcoating is when sealer is applied over the damaged asphalt. It protects it from further damage and improves its appearance. It’s also easy to use common tools like a pressure washer, broom, and paint roller.
5. Maintain the Surface
The best way to maintain parking lot asphalt is to sealcoat it at least every three to five years. If you notice any parking lot cracks that are deeper than an inch, you should sealcoat the area right away.
Parking lot maintenance is important to ensure the pavement lasts a long time. The surface of a parking lot should be free from debris and water. Make sure any debris is removed and the area is kept clean.
6. Keep Parking Lots Clean of Debris
When sealing a parking lot, professionals will keep debris off of the asphalt. Clumps of dirt and debris build-up under the asphalt surface and can affect durability.
7. Provide Protection from Pavement Corrosion
Asphalt parking lot surfaces are subject to damage from freezing and thawing in some areas. These two processes can cause pitting that destroys the surface of a parking lot. It is why you should consider a pavement preservation seal to protect it.
8. Examine for Contaminants
Before a parking lot is sealcoated, an inspection should be made to see if there are any contaminants other than moisture. For example, if a parking lot has a layer of oil or fuel stains, those need to be treated before sealing.
9. Protection Against Water
A parking lot should not be sealed if there is a concern about water getting through the sealer. The sealer needs time to dry, allowing water to escape through any porous material in a parking lot. To avoid this, sealant should be applied to porous objects and left in the sun for a few hours before applying the sealer.
10. Consider Resealing
Re-sealing is the process of reapplying a new layer of asphalt over an existing layer. For example, if a parking lot has been sealed annually, but the damage keeps piling up, professionals will consider resealing it every six months.
11. Beware of Potholes
If potholes are forming in the asphalt of a parking lot, professionals need to do something about them. Potholes can be repaired by simply filling them with hot asphalt and letting it dry completely before sealing them over time.
12. Keep a Clean Sidewalk
Another trick for keeping the asphalt in a parking lot looking sharp is to sweep up any debris or dirt accumulating on the edge of the sidewalk. It can cause unsightly cracks in the asphalt surface.
How to Fix Alligator Cracks in Asphalt – Call PLS today!
Parking Lot Services (PLS) has years of experience repairing alligator cracks in parking lots in Tampa Bay, Florida. Our team will inspect your parking lot and provide the best solutions for crack filling, sealcoating, and pothole repair to keep your property and parking lot in great shape!
Contact our team today for a free quote!