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How to Fix Cracks in Asphalt Parking Lots

With a proper installation and maintenance regime, asphalt parking lots usually come with a warranty of up to 20 years. However, due to common wear, exposure to elements and damage, these lots will at some point need some repairs.

The most common sign of damage and deterioration associated with these lots is cracks. These occur when the ground below the lot settles and shifts after a deep nearby construction activity. As the ground shifts or settles, it makes the asphalt develop cracks.

During wet seasons, rainwater seeps and expands during winter. The freezing temperatures of winter seasons make the water expand, thereby widening the cracks further. 

In addition to lowering the aesthetic appeal of the yard, they may put the property at risk of collapse or caving in due to hydrostatic pressure created by underground water. This article gives information regarding how you can fix the cracks on your asphalt parking lots. 

Asphalt Parking Lot Crack Repair

Planning for the Repair

The quality and success of the process relies heavily on effective planning. First, you have to study the weather correctly. This is because asphalt crack fixing should be scheduled on a calm day; not too cold or too hot. Rain could hamper the seamless process and destroy the filler, while too much heat may melt the filler further, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the repair. As you plan for the job, be sure to gather the right materials. Putty knife, flat-end screwdriver, leaves blower, hammer, heat gun, pressure washer, and asphalt cracks filler are some of the items that will come in handy in the process. 

Cleaning the Cracks

Armed with a flat-end screwdriver, start by scooping debris trapped into the cracks then use your fingers to pull out vegetation thriving in and along the edges of the cracks. Since the screwdriver may not fully remove all the debris, use a leaf blower to lift the remaining debris and dirt from the cracks. If there is mud in the cracks, use the pressure washer to clean it. Be sure to set the washer in the ‘low power’ mode to avoid widening and deepening the cracks further. Cleaning the cracks helps to reveal them for a better fix. 

Prepping the Cracks

Now that you can clearly see the actual size and depth of the cracks, you can accurately determine the appropriate filler. For cracks less than ½ inch, use a grinder with a diamond pad to widen and deepen them a little further. This is because very small cracks will be hard to fix and the repair may not last as long. Then use a leaf blower to lift dust off the cracks. 

Filling the Cracks

With the cracks ready and clean, lay the asphalt filler and use a hammer to force it inside. The filler should be slightly below the surface. Then use a heat gun to heat the filler in a side-to-side technique. As you heat the filler, it should start to melt and spread over the crack evenly. Should the filler fall so low below the surface, lay another filler and repeat the hammering and heating process. Repeat this process until all the cracks and the rest of the parking lot are level.  

Finishing and Fine Tuning

Let the filler sit overnight to allow it to cool and cure evenly. The curing process and waiting period depend on the type of filler you choose and the climate of the location in which you live. Very hot areas may call for longer curing periods than cold areas. After the filler cures completely, then apply a sealant to protect it from damage by elements and achieve a more appealing parking lot and longer life of the fix. Then let the sealant cure for another 12 hours before you can use your parking lot again. The curing period allows the sealant to adhere to the filler completely for a pristine finish and longer lifespan of the parking lot. 

Following the above easy steps, fixing cracks on an asphalt parking lot should be easy. However, as easy and simple as it may seem and sound, it can still be a daunting process to some people. This is especially true when you are not handy or have a very tight work schedule. However, that should not condemn you to a lifetime of unappealing cracks on your parking lot. By contracting a professional, you are guaranteed of a pristine fix of the cracks while you get enough time to do your things or enjoy your family. 

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