The sun is a good thing. Not only is it a beautiful sight, but it provides heat and can even provide a nice tan. Unfortunately, it doesn't stop there—for a paved parking lot, the sun isn't so complementary. The powerful UVB and UVA rays from the sun can damage asphalt, drying it out and inducing premature cracking and fading. Knowing how to protect your parking lot is important.
When the paved surface was first installed, you likely had a seal coat application applied. Asphalt sealing provides somewhat of a protective layer over the top of asphalt that helps to safeguard it from the sun. You could almost think of it as the sunscreen of pavement.
However, just like sunscreen, it is not permanent. Over the life of the surface, you will need to have the seal coating process reapplied. Just how frequently you need this process performed depends a lot on the location of the surface and the amount of use it gets, so let a professional help you come up with a schedule.
Sun protection also begins with you in the form of inspections. One ray of goodness about sun damage is the fact that it is progressive, meaning it gets worse overtime. This is a good thing because it provides you with the opportunity to both recognize and repair this damage before it turns into something greater.
As a property owner, make it a point to at least take a few moments to look over the condition of the surface, looking for signs of cracking, dents or other damage. Repeating this process even a few times a year can be helpful.
In addition to repeat sealant application, microsurfacing is something else to keep in your arsenal. This process involves the use of residual and polymers that are applied over the top level of pavement. The result is a paved surface that looks brand new, without the extra time and, most importantly, cost. This process is fast and typically provides significant results.
This is an excellent option when the pavement is fading. It's important to note that should you have significant sun damage, microsurfacing might not be an option for you until you have the damage addressed and repaired.
You don't have to let the sun have its way with your paved surfaces. From parking lots to driveways, these practices can keep your pavement looking better and even functioning better, so make sure you are protecting your surfaces.