The Art Of Asphalt Parking Lot Maintenance

The Art Of Asphalt Parking Lot Maintenance

Key Takeaways:

  • Sweep the lot regularly to remove dirt, muck & debris.
  • Consider investing in the occasional street sweeper designed explicitly for use on asphalt parking lots.
  • If you notice oil or grease on the pavement, you can remove it by applying mild dish soap & scrubbing it with a stiff brush.
  • It’s imperative to repair cracks in asphalt immediately to prevent further damage.
  • Cracks can form for various reasons, including aging, drying out, extreme weather, or heavy traffic.
  • Keep tree roots from coming close to the edges of your parking lot.
  • A seal coat is a simple process involving applying a specialized asphalt coating to the pavement’s surface.
  • Seal coating is essential to maintenance, so don’t neglect it!

Parking lots are a popular choice for commercial property managers owing to the relative ease of development & management. However, like all paved assets, asphalt lots require regular care and supervision to keep them looking their best. Neglect it, and you’ll likely be left with cracks, potholes, an ugly appearance, and low traffic volume.

So, how can you ensure that your parking spaces stay in good condition for years? We’ll discuss the art of asphalt lot maintenance, including cleaning and sealing, repairing any damage, and preventing future problems.

Sweep the Lots Regularly – Clean Dirt & Debris

One crucial aspect of parking lot maintenance is sweeping the asphalt regularly. This helps to remove dirt and debris, including leaves and small twigs, before they have a chance to become embedded in the top layer of the pavement. A stiff-bristled broom is all you need for this job; however, consider investing in regular street sweeping plans designed for use on asphalt pavement.

In addition to sweeping regularly, you should also hose down the lot if conditions allow; otherwise, the occasional rain is sufficient. This will remove any remaining dirt and debris that you missed during sweeping. Use a gentle stream of water; too much pressure can damage the asphalt surface.

Ensure the lot design has appropriate drainage & grates integrated to allow for water runoff, as pooling water can present more complications.

Remove Oil and Grease Promptly

If you see oil or grease on the asphalt, removing it as soon as possible is essential. Oil and grease can cause the asphalt to deteriorate over time. There are numerous ways to extract grease stains from the pavement.

To remove a stain, apply mild dish soap to the area and scrub it with a stiff brush. Another way is to mix a cup of baking soda with a gallon of warm water and pour it over the stain. Let it sit for 30 minutes before scrubbing it with a brush.

If your paved asset is extensive, consider a professional maintenance plan to deal with constant oil drips from parked vehicles.

Repair Cracks Immediately

If you notice cracks in the asphalt, it’s important to repair them immediately. Cracks can form for a variety of reasons, including as a result of aging, extreme weather conditions, heavy vehicles, or even bad pavement design. Regardless of the cause, it’s important to fix cracks as soon as you discover them.

If left unrepaired, cracks will only get bigger and can eventually lead to significant damage. Water can seep into them and cause the asphalt to deteriorate from the inside out. Once this happens, you’ll be facing much more significant repair costs.

To repair cracks, you’ll need to clean them out & edge them first. Use a wire brush to remove loose asphalt, dirt, or debris. Once the cracks are clean, you can fill them with either cold patch material or hot asphalt. Ideally, rubberized fillers last longer & help curb the propagation of active cracks.

Don’t Let Tree Roots Come Close to the Edges

Although commercial lots are constructed in many ways in urban settings, there is still the matter of open-air lots at supermarkets & retail stores that are close to natural flora. So, there is a chance of root encroachment that can induce edge cracks.

That’s why parking lot inspections should include the edges, curbs, islands, and ramps around plant growth. If you see any upheaval or raveling at the edges, there is a root system there.

It is best to trim the trees or plant growths regularly and install subsoil barriers to keep the roots from breaching the lot edges.

Seal the Lot Every Few Years

Another maintenance tip is to seal the asphalt every few years. This will help protect the asphalt from raveling or fading and keep it looking fresh. Sealing the parking lot is a simple process, and it’s well worth the effort to do it every few years.

You can avail of a range of seal coats from hot emulsions to coal tar & acrylics for optimal surface protection. Surface prep involves thorough cleaning to remove dust & loose soil to allow for the seal to adhere & cure properly. Just remember not to seal a freshly paved lot until it is at least over three months to a year old. After that, ensure a seal every few years.

Limit Heavy Vehicle Entry

Unless your lot design incorporates specialized concrete for docking points or dedicated lanes for heavy vehicles, it is best to limit their entry. That is because the weight can deform the flexible asphalt over time & lead to rutting with extensive path usage.

That means adhering to special signage for visitors and pavement design to cater to a range of vehicle weights. Nonetheless, ensure your paved asset is designed for the intended purpose of the establishment.

Shovel Snow Carefully

The number one enemy of an asphalt lot is snow. And while it does not snow that much in NC to be a cause for alarm, a bit of proactive caution is needed. While smaller commercial lots are easier to shovel after a flurry, bigger lots need specialized plowers. The one thing they’ve got in common is the scrapping damage they leave behind that any deicers can seep into.

So, for smaller lots, use a plastic shovel to remove snow. Metal shovels tend to rip the seal coat off. Extensive parking lots call for intensive plowers; just make sure to edge the plow right so as not to scrape the top surface off.

Avoid Using Deicing Chemicals

One of the worst things you can do to your asphalt is to use deicing chemicals. Yes, they are necessary at times, but excessive use can affect the pavement as well as the environment. Shoveling snow at the first opportunity is a far better way to preserve the pavement than copious amounts of deicers, which can result in slushy black ice that can become a liability.

If you must use deicing chemicals, use them sparingly and only on the edges where snow and ice tend to accumulate. Also, ensure you sweep up any chemicals spilled on your parking lot’s surface as soon as possible.


Asphalt parking lot maintenance is essential to keep your pavement looking its best and lasting for many years. Following the tips, you can ensure your asphalt pavement is well-protected against the elements and will continue to look great for years.

Check out our blog post about the benefits of hiring a professional commercial pavement maintenance company.

If you’re seeking crack-filling services in Cary, look no further than Paved Assets. Our professionals can effectively fix any asphalt pavement defects, ensuring a smooth surface. We use the latest techniques and materials to repair cracks and offer a warranty on our work. Paved Assets is licensed and insured, and we provide quality service.

Get a free estimate today!

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