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What is the life expectancy of a typical asphalt parking lot?

The time line below explains progressive deterioration of the typical asphalt parking lot that goes unprotected. Please keep in mind that certain flaws will vary from lot to lot based on original asphalt mix and compaction, weather, water drainage, traffic etc. It is recommended that asphalt be properly maintained in order to extend the life of the parking lot and before basic repairs become a huge expense.

  • 1st Year - New asphalt is set in place with the appropriate base course (crushed rock), grade and compaction. Looks Great!!
  • 2nd Year - It starts to show signs of oxidation due to the weather and looks faded and gray.
  • 3rd Year - Oxidation continues, asphalt may start breaking up on top surface(raveling). The asphalt starts to lose the properties that help it deter water.
  • 4th Year - Oxidation and Raveling continue and become much more visible. Surface cracks may begin to develop.
  • 5th Year - Surface cracks get worse and deeper, allowing water to enter.
  • 6th Year - Water that has been seeping in will freeze, expand and contract. This will cause movement of asphalt in areas (upheaval) and sink holes.
  • 7th Year - Larger cracks and holes develop where asphalt has been shifting. Large amounts of water are now entering the substrate.
  • 8th Year - The deterioration is so severe now that sections of the asphalt are lose and easily displaced by car traffic, foot traffic and running water.
  • 9th Year - Asphalt pavement is no longer functional and it looks awful. At this point it is beyond repair and must be replaced.

The ideal time to start preventive maintenance would be around year 2. Cleaning and Sealing your asphalt will help extend the life. Cleaning and Sealing your asphalt should be a regular part of your maintenance routine. Any visible cracks should be addresses as soon as possible.
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