The high desert is an incredible place to live, but it can be rough on your pavement. The hot summers and bright sun cause your asphalt to absorb extremely high amounts of energy, causing the pavement to expand. In cold winters, the pavement contracts and shrinks. Between these two extremes, your asphalt parking lot will quickly develop cracks and other imperfections that need to be treated on a regular basis in order to keep your parking lot in good working condition. Here are some suggestions for keeping your parking lot healthy:
Apply a regular sealcoat
One of the most important things you can do is apply a sealcoat regularly to your parking lot. This acts as a barrier against winter weather in addition to working as a protectant against UV radiation. Because of Santa Fe's climate, it is important to get this taken care of in the first year after your parking lot is laid. While you can sealcoat every other year after that, to keep your parking lot in the best shape for the longest time, you should sealcoat yearly. By doing this, your parking lot could last more than 30 years before you have to get it redone.
Use a hot crack filler regularly
While a regular sealcoat will help to avoid the need for crack sealing, even with the most rigorous asphalt care program, you will need to do periodic crack repair. Do this annually whenever you notice that you have cracks in your pavement. It is especially important to do this before the winter freeze, because water can get into the cracks, freeze, and make them much larger than they were. When summer comes back around, the flexibility of the tar sealant will allow the asphalt to expand and contract along the crack without causing additional issues.
Don't put deicing salt on your parking lot if it is too cold
If you're trying to remove snow and ice from your parking lot and it's below 15 degrees, don't use road salt. It is ineffective below that temperature and will just pollute the water and hurt your asphalt. Instead, give your parking lot an initial plow and then wait for the temperatures to increase above 15 degrees to apply road salt. If you wait until the temperature is above 20 degrees, the ice will melt even quicker and it won't refreeze in cracks in your parking lot as quickly, extending the life of your parking lot even longer.
As you follow these steps, you'll be able to extend your parking lot's life for many years to come! Talk to experts like Armour Pavement Inc for more information.