Why Drainage is Important for Maintaining Asphalt Pavements

asphalt drainage

Asphalt drainage is essential for keeping your parking lot safe.

If your parking lot develops flooded areas, this can be a huge safety concern for drivers and pedestrians. Water can also damage the asphalt itself, which is why regular drainage of your asphalt pavement is essential for maintaining a safe and stable parking lot. Depending on where the water is flooding, you can encounter different damages. Read on to learn how to drain your asphalt properly, so your pavement remains intact and safe. 

Water Damage from Above

If water floods on top of asphalt, it can destroy the material over time by breaking down the bonds between the rocks, the sand, and the asphalt binder. This binder is an oil byproduct, and oil and water do not mix. This means that any water sitting on the surface of asphalt will start destroying your asphalt if it isn’t drained effectively. 

How to Drain Surface Water

The slope of your pavement is the most significant factor in whether your asphalt is adequately drained or not. If the pavement is sloped correctly, it will prevent areas of water from pooling and sitting. Asphalt pavement should have a slope of at least one percent so that the water can flow away. If your pavement is installed without that slope, focus on sealing cracks and patching potholes so that the water is not increasing any current damages. 

Water Damage from Below

From underneath the asphalt, water can wash away the subsoil and weaken supporting material. This will make the asphalt crack under pressure, and it usually happens when there isn’t adequate drainage, and the ground becomes saturated. 

How to Drain Subsurface Water

The approach you take to subsurface drainage depends on the soil underneath your pavement. In some cases, a class-5 aggregate base is enough to allow proper drainage. In other cases, you may need to install at 12 to 18-inch drainable sand layer below the aggregate base, particularly in heavy clay soil. You could also install drain tile below the pavement, as well as a channel to funnel water away from storm drain systems. 

Water Damage From Winter Weather

Any water resulting from winter weather poses a risk to your asphalt. This water can get into cracks that are forming, and make them worse through the freeze-thaw cycle. Water can also freeze in the layer beneath the asphalt, which causes it to heave upward and crack. These damages can be addressed by employing the drainage solutions mentioned above. 

Maintenance You Can Trust from PTG Enterprises

If you want to protect your pavement and ensure it has a long lifespan, choose PTG Enterprises for your community sidewalks, parking lots and pavement maintenance needs. We offer commercial concrete, asphalt, masonry, paving, consultation, and survey report services throughout Baltimore, Harford, Anne Arundel, Howard, and P.G. Counties. If you are interested in hearing how we can help you, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 636-8777. For more tips and tricks, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Flickr.


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