All asphalt parking lots are susceptible to fluid leaks that could cause a breakdown in the appearance and durability of the asphalt paving. However, there is one type of commercial property in particular that is more susceptible than others: a vehicle repair shop. Here are several reasons why the parking lot of a vehicle repair shop is more susceptible to damage than the parking lots of other establishments.
More prone to damage from leaks and heavy vehicles
Take a look at any parking lot, and you will see evidence of oily liquids and corrosive chemical leaks from vehicles. In a parking lot where vehicles with oily leaks are briefly parked while waiting to be serviced, the leaks from those vehicles can be more profound. Oil is a threat to asphalt paved surfaces due to the way oil interacts with the binders that hold the aggregate together in the pavement.
Asphalt binders, oil, and gasoline are all products from the process of petroleum refining. The leaks make the asphalt binders soft and thus susceptible to breaking down. Corrosive chemicals in vehicles, such as battery acid and anti-knock agents, can also cause damage to asphalt pavements. Degreasers can also be considered a corrosive chemical to asphalt paving.
Parking lots of vehicle repair shops also typically have more traffic from heavy trucks and vehicles, particularly when tow trucks and flatbeds bring broken down vehicles to the shops. This extra weight on pavement that is already compromised by leaks can add to the damage and make the parking lot more likely to have cracks and rutting than typical parking lots.
Parking lot paving to combat the damages from leaks and heavy vehicles
If you have damaged asphalt in your parking lot, it's important to repair the damage and regularly seal the parking lot. The reason for this is because, once damaged, rain and snow melt can enter into the cracks and compromise the structural integrity of the subsurface of the parking lot. Also, it is recommended that you install deeper asphalt sections along the portions of the parking lot where heavy trucks and flatbeds will transport inoperable vehicles.
Ask your parking lot paving contractor about what methods you should use to clean leaks in the future after your parking lot has been repaired or repaved. Also, it may be a good idea to dedicate several parking spaces to the vehicles that are waiting to be serviced, particularly if they have leaks. That way, in the future, you can cut down on the amount of damage the leaks cause.