How can uneven asphalt in your parking lot lead to injuries?
If you ask your friends and neighbors how many of them have fallen on asphalt paving, it might surprise you to hear that as many as 30% have had a slip and fall injury on an uneven asphalt surface. While slip and fall injuries may seem to be a bit of a joke, these injuries account for 20% of accidental injuries.
If you’re a business owner or community manager, you need to know parking lot injuries happen, and how you can avoid customer injury through preventative maintenance. Here are seven ways customers can have parking lot injuries because of uneven asphalt pavement.
1) Slips and Falls Due to Raveling
One of the most common ways your customers might be injured is due to the breakdown of asphalt into pieces, which is called raveling. Because the pieces of aggregate are so small, people can slip on them easily, which can cause parking lot injuries. If you notice pieces of grit and gravel, you may have raveling in your parking lot.
Luckily, raveling is usually an easy fix. Parking lot repair for raveling can be completed through localized repair of the raveled spot. Asphalt repair for raveling means applying an asphalt patch to the raveled area. If you’re lucky, and you can catch raveling early, you can eliminate raveling through seal coating to keep the asphalt in place and prevent parking lot injuries.
2) Those Dreaded Potholes…
You only must watch the news for a few minutes to see a pothole story in Florida. Potholes cause parking lot injuries when someone steps directly into a pothole. If the potholes are large enough, they can cause damage to cars and trucks driving through parking lots.
Although asphalt is a hardy material, asphalt maintenance is important to avoid customer slip and fall injuries. Parking lot repair of potholes can be as simple as patching the parking lot to smooth out the potholes.
3) Dips Lead to Drops
Dips are much like potholes, but unlike potholes, they don’t involve a break in the asphalt. Instead, a dip is a part of the asphalt that is not even with the rest of the parking lot. Dips usually happen due to poor drainage or subbase issues during the paving process.
If water collects in the dips, those dips can look like a solid piece of asphalt and can cause dangerous conditions for customers if they step directly on the uneven surface and fall. Like potholes, dips can be fixed with an asphalt patch. If you have regular parking lot maintenance scheduled, you may be able to spot and fix a dip before a client falls.
4) Alligator Cracks
One of the most common issues with parking lot spaces and asphalt paving is alligator cracks. These are small cracks in a pattern that resembles the back of an alligator, hence the name alligator cracks. Like an alligator, alligator cracks make the asphalt surface uneven, and greatly increases the chances that someone will trip and fall. Although the name is funny, alligator cracks are the first sign your parking lot asphalt may be deteriorating, which can happen when owners fail to schedule good parking lot maintenance.
Alligator cracks aren’t as obvious to spot as other pavement issues. In fact, they are often discovered during parking lot striping.
Also, alligator cracks aren’t an easy fix because they happen due to an uneven subsurface. This can often occur when the subsurface isn’t prepared correctly. You may be looking at a partial or total repaving of your asphalt.
5) Block Cracking
Block cracking is like alligator cracks, but the area of block cracking is usually much larger than with alligator cracking. The causes of block cracking are also different than alligator cracking. Block cracking happens when a contractor uses asphalt that has dried out.
Because block cracking makes the asphalt uneven, it is easy for a customer to trip and fall. If the block cracking is in one area of your parking lot, you may be able to have a contractor repair it with sealcoating. Large areas of block cracking will probably have to have an asphalt overlay or replacement to make the parking lot safe.
6) Edge Cracks
Edge cracks occur on the edges of a road or parking lot. Usually, edge cracks happen when there is heavier traffic than expected in the area. This sounds like a great problem to have if you’re a business owner, but not if a customer is injured when they trip over an uneven surface.
Small edge cracks can be fixed by making sure the drainage in the area is good and then checking the asphalt base. If the base is stable, the parking lot can be sealcoated to prevent further damage. However, if the cracking is extensive, you may need to repave in the edge.
7) Asphalt Upheaval
As Florida is extremely hot and humid, asphalt upheaval is common here. When moisture and heat combine, the area underneath the asphalt expands and then contracts when the temperatures cool in the evening. The expansion and contraction of the asphalt can cause the asphalt to push upward, which leads to serious trips and falls if your customers don’t spot the defect. Asphalt upheavals have to be dug up and then repaired.
What Can I Do If I Have Asphalt Issues?
If you are concerned that you have issues with asphalt at your business, don’t wait. Contact ACPLM today and let us help you with asphalt repair and maintenance.
We have over 50 years of combined experience repairing and maintaining parking lots throughout Florida. Our team will help will sealcoating, crack filling and repair, asphalt paving, concrete services, and more. Contact us today for a free consultation.