Tips To Avoid Cracks In Your Commercial Parking Lot

Posted on: 17 June 2016

As a commercial business owner, you want your parking lot to look its best. The parking area is a reflection of your company and can serve as the first impression for new customers. One of the most common problems that business owners can encounter with asphalt parking areas is shallow, interconnected surface cracks often referred to as alligator cracks. They are so named because the pattern resembles alligator scales. Here's a look at what you should know about this kind of surface damage and what you can do about it.

How Do Alligator Cracks Happen?

Alligator cracks usually develop as a result of fatigue and stress. In many cases, they are the result of excess traffic and weight on the pavement. If your parking area routinely sees traffic from trucks that exceed the weight limit of the space, that can be the culprit. Sometimes these cracks happen because the foundation isn't strong enough to support the traffic and the activity. If you don't maintain the parking area well or keep up with routine sealing, that can lead to those cracks as well.

What Can You Do To Avoid Alligator Cracks?

The first step in preventing the development of alligator cracks is ensuring that your parking area is created and paved by a paving contractor so that you can be sure that the foundation is stable. You need the stability from the beginning to ensure that the surface doesn't weaken or collapse.

If there is a weight limitation on your parking area, make sure that you have signs posted at all entrances that clearly define that limit. If you have large industrial vehicles traveling through your parking area and the lot is only rated for medium-sized commercial trucks, you may find that the excess weight causes strain.

Schedule an annual appointment with your paving contractor to apply sealcoating to the entire parking area. The fresh sealcoating layer will help to prevent stress cracks from forming. In addition, the sealcoating will fill in any shallow cracks that are forming. Don't neglect the cracks when they appear, because any water that seeps below the surface can freeze and then cause structural problems under the surface of the asphalt.

The more proactive you are about taking care of your company's parking area, the less risk you'll have of surface cracks forming. With these tips and the help of your asphalt contractor, you can keep your parking lot in good condition.