January 17 2020 0Comment

What are Some Common Pavement Distresses Parking Lots Encounter?

Pavement distresses to look out for in your parking lot.

Parking lot maintenance is necessary for any parking lot. The cost of asphalt rehabilitation depends on the level of damage, with some repairs costing more than others. Timely asphalt repair prolongs the lifespan of your parking lot and also helps you optimize your repair budget. It’s best to be aware of specific pavement distresses in your parking lot so you can plan for pavement maintenance and save money on potentially costly repairs.

When doing a visual survey on your parking lot, you need to give extra attention to the type and quantity of pavement distresses. Once you get the idea of the damage, it becomes easy to determine the type of pavement repairs needed. Carrying out a survey also gives you a glimpse into the future condition of your parking lot if you don’t perform the required rehabilitation.
So, what are some conventional pavement distresses parking lots encounter, and how do they affect the overall lifespan of your parking lot?

Common Pavement Distresses

The American Society for Testing and Materials identifies different types of pavement distresses and categorizes them into:

  • Load Associated Distresses
  • Non-Load Associated Distresses

Below are three of these pavement failures and their recommended repair strategies:

1. Cracking

Cracking on asphalt paving occurs due to several reasons, but environmental causes and poor pavement structure are the main culprits. To determine the right asphalt repair method for cracks, you need first to identify the type of cracks you’re dealing with. Common pavement cracks include:

  • Alligator cracks- also known as fatigue cracking, these types of cracks indicate pavement failure of the underlying base material. These cracks are common and spread at a rapid speed if left unrepaired. If only a small portion of your pavement has these cracks, then it should be dug and replaced with a patch. If the fatigue cracks are spread across a large area, then you need to fix it using a durable HMA overlay.
  • Longitudinal and traverse cracking- both types of cracks are non-load related. Longitudinal cracks are parallel to the pavement’s centerline and occur due to wrong paver operation, shrinkage of the asphalt layer, or weak joints. Traverse, on the other hand, are perpendicular to the centerline and occur due to asphalt layer shrinkage. You can repair these by performing a waterproof sealing process.
  • Edge cracking- this cracking occurs in asphalt pavings without paved shoulders. The cracks spread quickly and should, therefore, be repaired using waterproof sealing as soon as you note them.

2. Disintegration

Asphalt paving disintegrates with time and after experiencing a lot of traffic. Conventional pavement distresses caused by disintegration include:

  • Potholes- these are most common in pavements with poor structural standards or when water collects on patches caused by other distresses such as cracking. When erosion combines with traffic pressure, the asphalt is forced out of the surface, creating a pothole. Perform pavement repairs as soon as possible by filling and patching them up to prevent posing dangers to motorists.
  • Raveling- this pavement distress is characterized by the loss of fine aggregate material in some parts of the pavement. It’s most common in areas with high traffic, where it increases the roughness of the surface, consequently reducing the tire friction. Raveling spreads quickly and should, therefore, be repaired by removing the damaged part and replacing it with an overlay or patching up the area.


If your asphalt paving experiences exceeding weight limits for a prolonged period, channeled depressions form on the wheel path. Rutting can also occur due to improper construction of the pavement base. You can overlook rutting if it’s minor in terms of depth and wait until you observe further distress. Rutting is considered heavy and should be repaired by leveling the area and covering with an overlay.

Prevent Pavement Distresses by Working With PLS

Having a professional parking lot repair company check your asphalt paving regularly minimizes the occurrence of these pavement distresses. At Parking Lot Services (PLS), we offer high-quality parking lot repair and maintenance services. We aim to ensure you maintain the curb appeal of your business and that your parking space is safe for both employees and visitors. If you require asphalt repair services, contact us today!