Although driveways and parking lots are made to last a long time, they won’t last forever. Concrete can last up to 30 years while asphalt lasts up to 25 years. However, to reach these lifespans you’ll have to engage in proper concrete services maintenance of and perform driveway or parking lot repairs as needed. If you’ve neglected this maintenance you’ll start to notice damage that indicates that a repair or replacement is needed. Here are the top signs that you may need driveway or parking lot repairs soon.
There are 5 signs you can check that your concrete parking lot needs to be repaired:
Warping of a parking lot can be a sign of a more significant issue, like soil washout, which is the washing away of the sediment base. Washout and warping may be the most dangerous and detrimental causes of lot damage and degradation. This can happen because of poor drainage. Essentially, sediment is washed away leaving a gap between the bottom of the parking lot and the soil beneath, if neglected this gap can cause a significant crack or hole to form in the lot, also referred to as a sinkhole. For the washing out of soil and warping of a lot, a concrete contractor will likely need to remove the lot in the affected area and fix the foundational issue before resurfacing can happen.
Another common sign of warping and foundational issues is the puddling of water in areas where there shouldn’t be. Parking lots vary in size and therefore have different drainage concerns. Some will have sewers with the outside edges of the lot angling toward them. Other lots will be small enough that they drain out toward streets or fields. If you notice significant and persistent pooling in an area that is away from sewers and not in a designated drainage area, then you should contact a concrete specialist to inspect the area for signs of warping.
The top sign that you need driveway or parking lot repairs is that you begin to notice cracks. Cracks will form normally over time in both asphalt and concrete surfaces, but they can be made worse by chemicals that penetrate the surface in (such as oil, gas, and de-icing salt) and water that seeps in, particularly during winter months where the water then freezes and expands the crack.
When evaluating cracks, you’ll want to take notice of how wide they are, how long they are, and how deep they are. Longer, wider, or deeper cracks indicate more extreme damage. Sometimes these cracks can be dealt with through driveway or parking lot repairs, or other times you’ll need a complete replacement.
Potholes are caused when the ground underneath the paving expands and contracts. As this occurs over and over, the pavement begins to weaken and cracks begin to form. Eventually, traffic over the weak spot will cause the material to break down and the pothole to develop.
Potholes are a common problem for paved surfaces. Depending on the extent of the damage, driveway or parking lot repairs could fix the issue or a replacement may be in order.
4. Drainage Issues
Drainage is also important to the lifespan of your driveway or parking lot, and if you’re noticing issues then it’s time to fix the problem before it becomes worse. Common signs of drainage problems include pooling water or water running down the middle of the parking lot.
Parking lot repairs for drainage include adjusting the slope, adding curbing to help direct the flow of water off the parking lot or driveway, and drainage or inlets to provide a place for the water to go.
5. Aged, Weathered Appearance
That beautiful pavement you installed will start to fade over time, as the sun’s UV rays penetrate and oxygen starts to oxidize the surface. Fading is often cosmetic (in which case seal coating will bring back the appearance you are looking for), but oxidization can also weaken the driveway, requiring a repair or replacement.
If you are noticing any of these signs, then it may be time to perform some driveway or parking lot repairs, including patching cracks, seal coating, resurfacing, addressing drainage problems, or getting a replacement. Seek a paving expert to get professional advice, and have your repairs performed early before winter weather makes things worse.
If a concrete lot is taken care of, it is not unusual for it to last 20 to 30 years. However, every parking lot regardless of care and maintenance will eventually begin showing signs of warping, cracks, and potholes. Thankfully, many issues are cosmetic and can be repaired, but some problems may be so significant that they require the complete removal and replacement of the lot.