Do Tire Marks and Scuffs Affect My Parking Lot?

November 14, 2018 Published by Leave your thoughts

New asphalt parking lots can be more susceptible to tire marks and indentations, especially during particularly hot weather. This is especially problematic here in Phoenix, where hot weather is a staple for most of the year.

Owners of parking lots often believe the appearance of scuffs and tire marks is a sign that their asphalt paving in Phoenix, AZ was done poorly and that it will not last for long, but this is not true—in fact, the tire marks and scuffing are usually merely an aesthetic problem. While it might not look great, there is no reason to be concerned about the long-term functionality and stability of the road if those issues pop up.

Causes of tire marks and scuffing

So what exactly causes scuffing and tire marks to appear, beyond the obvious factor of vehicles driving on the surface? Here are a few of the other things that could play a role:

  • Surface pavement mixture requirements: Parking lot mixes are usually required to have more sand, fine aggregates or fewer crushed particles. The maximum sizes for stones used in the pavement mixture for parking lots are usually much smaller to provide a tighter texture and more aesthetically pleasing appearance. However, this also makes that type of pavement more sensitive to tire scuffing in warm conditions.
  • Structural design: The pavement must have an adequate structural design to be able to withstand the type of traffic load expected. There is a possibility that parking lots that have a lot of scuffing and marks were not properly designed to withstand the amount of traffic they see.
  • Membrane use: There are some circumstances in which it may be beneficial or even required to place the asphalt pavement on top of a type of membrane. This often occurs over ramp structures, for example. Therefore, you should carefully evaluate whether this would be a benefit for your parking lot.
  • Workmanship: There are rare circumstances in which poor workmanship could be a factor. However, this is not usually the primary factor, especially given the massive advances the industry has seen in technology, equipment and quality control. Nevertheless, equipment that is used on newly constructed pavement could leave behind marks and indentations, and a lower compaction of the asphalt pavement caused by light compaction equipment on top of thin pavement structures could lead to the formation of such marks and imperfections.
  • Softer asphalts: There has been a large-scale switch to performance graded asphalt cement, which has improved the mixture’s durability by reducing the potential for cracking in colder temperatures. However, this can result in a softer cement, which means it will be more prone to scuffs and marks from tires in hot temperatures. This is the price to pay for its flexibility and durability in a wider variety of conditions.

Again, marks and scuffs are merely aesthetic flaws—they are not symptomatic of structural issues or anything you need to be concerned about. For more information about asphalt paving in Phoenix, AZ, contact Sunstar Seal Coating, Inc. today.

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