The Importance of Spotting and Repairing Parking Lot Sinkholes

parking lot sinkholes

Parking lot sinkholes can cause extensive damage if they aren’t repaired as soon as possible.

The parking lot is a crucial space for any business. Your customers need access to it to visit your business, and if it is too difficult to travel through, they may stop visiting you altogether. Damages like cracks and potholes can occur in any parking lot, no matter how well-cared-for it is. What matters is how quickly and successfully you repair the damages. One of the damages you should look out for is parking lot sinkholes. Sinkholes don’t always need to be large; a sinkhole of any size is dangerous to cars and pedestrians. Read below to learn how sinkholes happen and why it is necessary to repair them as soon as possible.

How Parking Lot Sinkholes Form

A sinkhole is not the same thing as a pothole. A pothole is created when asphalt breaks away and is worn down over time. A sinkhole is a gap formed in the soil, often under pavement, that forms due to erosion. Erosion can be caused by heavy rainfall or by burst pipes placed underneath roads. The water eats away at the soil until a large void is created. Without strong soil support, the pavement that acts as the “roof” of this void caves in. What results is a huge hole that seemingly appears out of nowhere. 

Sinkhole Damages

Often, when you hear of a sinkhole, it is enormous in size, but most sinkholes that occur are not so extreme. Most parking lot sinkholes are small, close to the size of golf balls or basketballs, but they can often appear close to buildings or walkways. Like pavement cracks and potholes, sinkholes can lead to car damage or personal injuries. Sinkholes may even be more dangerous because if they are allowed to spread, you may lose a large chunk of your parking lot!

Addressing the Problem

Unlike potholes, it is not enough to simply cover the parking lot sinkhole with new asphalt. The cause of sinkholes is erosion, and so that must be addressed. If the sinkhole is near your catch basin, that may indicate the basin is working incorrectly. It may also suggest that the pipes from your basin have corroded or burst. Have your catch basin inspected before having the hole repaired.

If the sinkhole appears under a concrete slab, you may be able to jack the slab up and fill in under it to level it, but you still must find the source of erosion first. If sinkholes appear near your building’s foundation, the stability of your entire building could be impacted. In this case, you should have a safety inspection done immediately. Sinkholes near buildings often indicate that a broken or damaged drainage system isn’t working properly, so you should have that inspected as well before filling the hole. 

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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