It’s been a long, hot summer so far in the Maryland/Northern Virginia area, and the season has taken its toll on residential and commercial parking lots across the Capital Corridor. High summer temperatures can soften asphalt, causing it to slowly expand and split, as well as forcing existing cracks wider than they were last season. While many properties schedule their annual lot cleaning and street sweeping in Virginia’s hot summer months, it’s easy to overlook the next logical step: lot striping and crack repair.
Regular Lot Striping Improves the Safety of a Property
Parking lots are difficult to protect from the effects of rain, snow and daily sun. Heat from direct sunlight makes asphalt expand, while cool nighttime air and the occasional dusting of snow cools and contracts the surface of your parking lot. This regular push-and-pull from Northern Virginia’s always-exciting climate can wreak havoc on the toughest lot surfaces, and cracks inevitably form and widen over the years. This makes the surface rough and uneven; it wears down tires faster than normal, and it can create potentially unsafe conditions for customers and employees who have to walk across the lot without tripping. Perhaps worst of all, once a crack has opened, the weak point has a tendency to spread and widen in much less time than it took for the split to open in the first place. This all makes regular maintenance and small repairs crucial to extend the useful life of your pavement.
Taking Advantage of the Season to Repair and Resurface Your Lot
By far, the best time to fill in cracks and smooth out the growing imperfections in your parking lot is in the summer, right after your regular pressure washing and just before the stripes get repainted. Doing repairs in the summer not only gives you a clean surface to work on, but it also ensures the repairs take place when the asphalt is close to its maximum expansion and growing splits are close to their maximum width. Summer is also a good time to put down fresh asphalt, because the generally warm temperatures help dry out the new patches a little faster than in a wet spring or a cold winter. This puts your lot back in service much sooner than at any other time. Once the repairs are finished, it’s time to lay down some fresh stripes over the repair sites to create a smooth, unbroken pattern that helps control traffic and keep things orderly in the lot.
Get the Ball Rolling
Atlantic S&C is Northern Virginia’s leading full-service lot maintenance and repair provider. We have the teams and the equipment to cover your whole lot rehab project, from the street sweeping Virginia’s weather demands to the necessary repairs and resurfacing work to the final lot striping and cleanup. Summer can be a busy season for us, but you can schedule a visit by calling one of our knowledgeable customer service reps and getting an estimate for the work your lot needs.