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Puddles in Your Parking Lot? Here’s What They’re Telling You

Puddles and pooling water on a commercial parking lot’s pavement can indicate several issues that often turn into more severe problems. If you notice puddles forming on your parking lot, it might be telling of issues with the structural integrity of the parking lot’s surface.

Whether your parking lot was poorly constructed from the start or has simply become compromised over time, pooling water can be a big problem. It’s crucial to call your preferred commercial pavement partner to take care of puddles, poor drainage, and other parking lot problems as soon as they arise.

What Causes Puddles Formation in Commercial Parking Lots?

Damaged parking lots are unsafe for both pedestrians and vehicles. When puddles arise, they must be dealt with right away to avoid further damage to your parking lot’s surface, structure, and stability. If you’re noticing numerous puddles on your asphalt parking lot’s surface, it’s important to identify what is causing the issue before it becomes unmanageable. Several factors can contribute to the creation of puddles on your parking lot’s surface. Some of the most common culprits include:

1. Rutting

One of the main reasons puddles form on commercial parking lot pavement is rutting. Rutting refers to depressions and indentations on the asphalt’s surface. Two different types of rutting can affect asphalt pavement:

  • Mix rutting: Many times, mix rutting occurs due to incorrect asphalt installation. Poor compaction causes mix rutting and does not relate to issues with the parking lot’s subgrade.
  • Subgrade rutting: Just as the name says, subgrade rutting is characterized by divots and indentations in the parking lot’s subgrade. This type of rutting causes the parking lot pavement to collapse under heavy vehicular traffic.

The indentations inflicted on your parking lot by either type of rutting will quickly collect rainwater run-off and result in improper drainage. Call your local commercial paving company to take care of your parking lot repairs before rutting becomes a real issue on your commercial property.

2. Raveling

Another problem that often arises due to improper installation is raveling. Raveling is characterized by loose gravel and other debris on the pavement’s surface, which can cause water collection and a loss of skid resistance resulting in the hydroplaning of vehicles in your parking lot. This issue occurs when the bond between aggregate pavement particles and asphalt binders break down in your parking lot. Raveling can be extremely dangerous and should be dealt with immediately.

3. Heavy Vehicular Traffic

For the most part, a busy parking lot is an excellent sign for business owners. However, heavy vehicular traffic can cause your parking lot to breakdown over time, and pooling water may occur. The high pressure from heavy vehicles like trucks, vans, RVs, and delivery trucks is problematic for parking lot pavement. Over time, depressions and uneven pavement will collect pooling water and create even more extensive problems for your commercial parking lot.

4. Poor Parking Lot Drainage

Drainage systems are a crucial component of commercial parking lot construction. If you notice puddles of water that weren’t there before, it often indicates inadequate drainage. If excess water isn’t draining properly, it’ll penetrate the asphalt pores and cause internal damage to your parking lot.

The Problem With Puddles

Most people lacking in professional paving experience might wonder, what’s the big deal? After all, it’s just a few puddles in an expansive parking lot, right? Wrong.

Although a few puddles are bound to arise after heavy rains or an influx or melted ice, if the problem persists, it is often indicative of a much bigger issue that can lead to some expensive repairs in the end.

Asphalt is already weighed down enough by the intense pressure from passing vehicles. But when combined with the stress of pooling water and other debris collected in the divots, the damage can become extensive. Puddles and pooling water can potentially cause further problems to your parking lot pavement. If left untreated, pools of water and uneven asphalt surfaces can lead to:

  • Networks of cracks
  • Potholes
  • Failed parking lot edging
  • More dips and depressions

Commercial parking lot pavement left in disrepair will ultimately require an entirely new overlay of asphalt, which can be an incredibly expensive undertaking. To avoid this significant expense, commercial property owners should take every preventative measure possible to stop puddles from forming in their parking lot.

Preventing Puddles in Parking Lots

There are several methods to make sure your parking lot stays structurally sound by preventing puddle formation. Continual parking lot maintenance is crucial in keeping your parking lot functioning correctly. It’s also essential that property managers make minor repairs when small issues like cracks and potholes form on the parking lot’s surface. To stop puddles from causing further problems for your asphalt pavement, take note of the following tips:

  • Replace your parking lot’s drainage system right away.
  • Ensure your asphalt is sloped to allow adequate water run-off.[1]
    • The slope of the center of a parking lot can be 1-5%.
    • The shoulders should have a minimum of a 2% slope to allow positive drainage.
  • Implement and enforce a vehicle weight limit in your lot.
  • Be aware of inclement weather and prepare for flash flooding or snow and ice melt after the winter months.

While preventative maintenance is an incredibly important part of caring for your commercial parking lot, sometimes puddles are unavoidable. If you experienced an improper parking lot installation, your efforts to stop puddles from forming might prove futile. When you realize that your preventative measures aren’t producing results and pooling water continues to develop on your parking lot, it’s probably time to invest in professional asphalt parking lot repairs. 

An experienced asphalt paving company can come to the rescue and revive your parking lot right before your eyes. Innovative technologies like infrared asphalt repair make it easier than ever to eliminate unsightly parking lot issues like potholes, cracks, and uneven pavement. The workers you hire will inform you if pavement repairs are possible or if a parking lot’s total replacement is preferred. When you notice pools of water forming on your commercial parking lot, don’t wait! Contact a reputable parking lot repair company like Richfield Blacktop to come to fix your puddle problems right away.

Sources

1. U.S. General Services Administration (2017, August 13). 2.5 Grading. Retrieved November 12, 2020, from https://www.gsa.gov/node/87139

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