Buying a commercial property is an exciting expansion opportunity for your business. Unfortunately, it also means having to maintain the entire property—including the parking lot. One of the problems you might encounter is the presence of alligator cracks in the parking lot. While alligator cracks may seem like a shallow surface problem, they can actually weaken the structural integrity of the parking lot. Here are a few tips to help you deal with and prevent alligator cracks in your parking area.
Why Do Alligator Cracks Occur?
Although they are most commonly known as alligator cracks, they are technically considered fatigue cracks. They are usually the result of excessive traffic exposure or poor foundation support. Sometimes poor maintenance can also make the asphalt surface crack.
How Do You Prevent Them?
Prevention isn't as difficult as you might think. Have the lot repaved by a reputable asphalt paving company. That way, you can be confident that the parking area is as durable and structurally sound as possible.
Once the paving is complete, you'll want to keep up with sealing, cleaning, and traffic regulation. Make sure you clearly post the vehicle weight limits for your parking area. This limits weight stress, too.
Deal with any visible damage right away. The sooner you patch cracks, holes, and other surface damage, the better your chances of preserving the condition of your parking lot. Remember that any cracks or openings in the asphalt surface can allow water to drain beneath the surface. That may actually cause heaving and other damage if that water freezes. In addition, water flowing under the asphalt can even wash away the pavement. The sooner you address any cracks, the safer the structure will be.
The last key step to protecting the pavement is to work with a local asphalt paving company for sealing. They can apply a seal coating over the surface of the parking lot. If you have this done once a year, it provides a barrier against damage throughout the year. That way, you can minimize the risk of cracking or other surface damage. The sealant is applied in a thin, even layer. Just plan the application for a day when you'll be closed, because it needs to cure overnight in most instances.
The more attentive you are to the condition of your parking lot, the better condition it will stay in over time. When you keep alligator cracks at bay, you can even minimize the risk of more severe damage down the road. For more assistance, contact a commercial paving company like Loflin's Paving.