Spring Is The Perfect Time for Preventative Parking Lot Maintenance

Posted on May 14th, by rick in Uncategorized. No Comments

Pavement-MaintenanceParking Lot Maintenance

Now that the final pile of snow has disappeared and spring is here, you may be wondering what the dreadful winter months have done to your parking lot. Winter can cause pavements and curbs to heave, settle, crack, and pothole. In Ohio, there are at least 80 freeze and thaw cycles in the winter.  When the water freezes, it expands causing distress in asphalt; if the cracks caused by the freeze and thaw cycles are severe, they can cause potholes. In addition to the weather, snowplows may have also caused damage on your parking lots.

Spring is the best season to inspect your parking lot pavement’s existing condition and to prioritize work that needs to be done. Walking the entire site with a plan or sketch and making notes of each defect is the best way to inspect your site. A tape measure, flashlight, and camera are also helpful tools to have on hand while collecting data.


Common Pavement Problems Caused by Winter Weather


Heaving Asphalt

Frost heave is a common problem in colder climates. The cause is the freezing and thawing that comes with above and below freezing temperatures that start the formation of ice lenses. Ice lenses form in the soil under the asphalt and push the surface up as they grow.

Heaved asphalt will typically settle back into place as the ground thaws. If the asphalt does not return to a level surface, it can be repaired by cutting the area out and patching.


Pavement Settlement

Refers to localized pavement surface areas with slightly lower elevations than the surrounding pavement. Settlement is typically caused by poor compaction during construction, but may also be caused by subsurface water washing out the underlying base.

If the settling is not caused by a washout, it can be restored to the original elevation using a thin surface patch. Cold mill and overlay are recommended for the perimeter edges of the repair.

Raveling Asphalt

This starts when the fine surface material breaks down, and the larger stones at the surface of the pavement become dislodged. When raveling occurs, the surface will have a rough appearance. Unfortunately, winter can accelerate this process and intensify the raveling condition.

If raveling is caught early enough, it can be controlled by sealing the surface with a sand slurry seal or by applying a small aggregate stone micro-surface.


This is a common issue and it is inevitable as time progress. Crack sealing is the most cost-effective way to prevent further damage. Random cracks should be sealed with a hot-pour rubberized cracksealer. Cracks over 1 ½” wide should be filled with a fine graded hot mix asphalt instead of crack sealer.

If cracking in an area is excessive, or if the asphalt has alligator cracking (resembling the skin of an alligator), cracksealing should not be performed, as the pavement area has deteriorated to a point that cracksealing would not be cost-effective. Removal and replace of the deteriorated area is the best fix.

Isolated areas of pavement cracking will be removed to a depth of four (4) or six (6) inches, and full-depth asphalt is installed to strengthen the area.

To see a list of different types of asphalt cracking, view our blog “A Crack Is a Pothole Waiting to Happen

Need a Hand? Sable Asphalt offers a Free Consultation to help you with your paving and asphalt needs

For more information on repairing pavement in spring, please contact Sable at (330)745.9585


Source:“Spring Pavement Maintenance 101” , Benchmark Inc.)

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