Ideally, asphalt parking lots should be free from puddles shortly after a rainstorm ends. Puddles of standing water that linger after a storm can indicate several problems with the asphalt or its foundations. It’s best to troubleshoot any puddle problems before they lead to further (and more expensive) water damage.
Uneven Compaction and Asphalt Ruts
Poor parking practices are often the cause of puddles. When equipment or vehicles that are heavier than the recommended weight limit for the parking are left in the same position on the parking lot day after day, they will compact the asphalt and make depressions on the surface. These ruts allow water to collect and work its way into small cracks in the asphalt – this can cause even more damage to your parking lot.
During the installation process, asphalt pavers should make sure there is appropriate drainage by using the correct slope, grade, and drains. Installing porous asphalt may be an option in some cases. These precautions ensure water drains off and away from the pavement and prevent puddles from lingering after a storm.
Grade depressions are often due to uneven or inadequate compaction during the paving process. The foundation, or sub-base, under the asphalt must be evenly and smoothly compacted before the asphalt layer is installed. A well-compacted sub-base contributes to a stronger and smoother asphalt surface that is less prone to grade depressions and rutting down the road.
How to Handle Puddles
How you handle puddles in your parking lot depends on the underlying cause and the extent of the puddle damage. If puddles are permitted to remain, water can seep down into the sub-base through small cracks. Once there, the water can weaken the asphalt until cracks get bigger and turn into alligator cracks and eventually become potholes. This type of damage can be severe and expensive.
There are several ways to reduce puddle damage and improve your parking lot pavement:
- Patching is an option if the parking lot is in good shape and puddles are due to ruts from poor parking practices. With patching, a strip of pavement is milled, and a new asphalt surface is installed.
- For minor rutting, infrared treatments can be applied wherever puddles have formed. A sealcoating application follows these treatments. This technique improves the surface of the asphalt and protects it from further water damage.
- If it’s time to install a new parking lot, consider having porous asphalt installed to prevent puddles in the first place. Always use a reputable paving company to ensure the sub-base and drainage system is professionally installed.
If you’re dealing with puddles in your parking lot, contact Premium Asphalt Paving & Sealcoating today for a free consultation. We’ll identify the underlying cause of the puddles and find a solution that will save you money and ensure your parking lot lasts longer.