6 Common Causes Behind Parking Lot Breakdown

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There are a variety of reasons behind parking lot breakdown. While some causes can be avoided, some of these reasons behind parking lot breakdown just can’t. Some causes are unavoidable and happen with natural wear and tear use. However, having a damaged parking lot is not only an eyesore, but it can also be dangerous for customers or those using the parking lot. Not having proper parking can even deter customers from even stopping at your business. You don’t want to lose business on account of a poorly maintained parking lot. 

Six Common Causes Behind Parking Lot Breakdown
Shopping mall parking lot.

The good news is that when installed and maintained correctly, your commercial parking lot can make it through many years of heavy use. Check out the six leading causes behind parking lot breakdown below and learn why the continuous upkeep of your commercial parking lot is so necessary.

1. Harsh Weather Conditions 

One of the most common causes behind parking lot breakdown is unavoidable weather conditions. From the coldest days of the year to the sweltering heat, harsh weather conditions significantly impact the durability of both asphalt and concrete. 

The freeze-thaw cycles that parking lots endure throughout the years significantly impact their overall longevity. Freezing conditions often expand cracks, while UV rays often penetrate the binder that holds asphalt and concrete material together. 

Along with regular maintenance, the best way to prepare parking lots for harsh weather conditions is by working with professional contractors that specialize in asphalt and concrete installation. Expert contractors will be able to not only provide an adequately installed parking lot but also provide proper seal coating to help reduce some of the damage caused by a variety of weather conditions. 

2. Dirt, Debris, or Engine Oil Spills

Another common cause behind parking lot breakdown is the dirt, debris, and engine oil spills that accumulate through regular use. Engine oil spills are frequent in commercial parking lots, especially those that receive a lot of use. However, these spills not only create ugly stains but also weaken parking lot material. Engine oil spills are actually the leading cause of asphalt damage, as motor oil penetrates the material and begins to break it down. Debris and dirt accumulation also leads to parking lot damage, as potholes and cracks often occur. 

The best way to prevent damage to parking lots that occur through dirt, debris, or engine oil spills is through regular maintenance and cleaning practices. It’s a good practice to have your parking lot professionally cleaned at least twice a month, especially if the area receives regular to heavy use. 

3. Poor Drainage System 

Having a poor drainage system within your parking lot can also lead to parking lot breakdown over time. A poor drainage system leads to standing water on your parking lot when the area receives heavy rain or snow. The longer standing water sits on your parking lot, the more damage it can cause. The more standing water you have in your parking lot, the more likely that cracks and divots will turn into potholes. 

When hiring a professional contractor, make sure that they have a firm understanding as well as experience in parking lot design. If the parking lot is designed with a poor drainage system, this can lead to timely and costly repairs later on. 

4. Low-Quality Sealants 

Another problem that can arise when working with an inexperienced contractor is the use of low-quality sealants. While it may seem like a good idea in the present, the use of low-quality sealants to save a few bucks will actually end up costing you more in the long run. 

To better protect your parking lot, it is essential to use high-quality sealants. The use of high-quality sealants helps to prevent water seepage or vegetation growth through breaks in your concrete or asphalt. The bottom line, investing in high-quality sealants now will save you unnecessary headaches in the future.  

5. Heavy Vehicles or Machinery 

Six Common Causes Behind Parking Lot Breakdown
Aerial view of a full parking lot.

If your parking lot receives significant use by heavy vehicles or machinery, this frequent heavy weight will eventually lead to some type of parking lot breakdown as well. Parking lots are naturally designed to accommodate heavy weight, but there is a limit to how much they can take. 

When large equipment, machinery, or vehicles are continuously parked over the same space, this heavy weight can cause asphalt and concrete to breakdown over time. Regular maintenance of your parking lot is necessary to combat the damage that frequent use by heavy vehicles can cause the overall quality. 

6. General Neglect 

A final common cause behind parking lot breakdown is general neglect. Parking lots must be maintained just as any other structure. You can take on essential maintenance yourself, but it is also important to work with reputable contractors to ensure that all maintenance needs are being met regularly. Working with a contractor will not only increase the longevity, but it will also save you money in the long haul.

Working with a professional contractor will not only help you preserve your parking lot and keep it in good condition longer, but an experienced contractor can answer any maintenance questions you have. One general suggestion for parking lot maintenance is to provide a new seal coating to your parking lot every 2-3 years as a part of your regular maintenance. Regular snow removal and pothole repair should also be included as part of your regular maintenance practice. Overall, scheduling routine maintenance and working with professional contractors are the keys to keeping a strong and durable parking lot. 

Need Help With Maintaining Your Parking Lot? 

At Limitless Paving & Concrete, we can help you with all of your commercial maintenance needs. With locations in Frederick, Bethesda, Rockville, and Mount Airy, we are your reputable asphalt and concrete contractors in the Maryland area. We provide services in a variety of sectors including, asphalt, concrete, driveways, heated driveways, parking lot paving, and commercial snow removal. Contact us today for a pricing estimate, and to discuss the details of your project. We would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

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