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How to Fix Poor Drainage Problems to Protect Asphalt and Concrete

One of the most common causes of damage to asphalt and concrete surfaces is water. Virtually every paved surface has tiny cracks – often so tiny that they’re difficult to see. But those cracks are large enough to allow water to seep through the surface. Once that happens, the cracks expand. Eventually, potholes form in the pavement. Worse yet – the sublayers underneath the pavement can be compromised, and that can leave your surface in need of some serious – and costly – repairs. While it’s true that a certain amount of damage can come as a result of heavy rains falling directing onto the paved surface, most damage comes as a result of poor drainage, misplaced irrigation emitters, and runoff. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to resolve these issues and prolong the useful life of your paved surfaces. Here are a few of those precautions:

  • Gutters and downspouts – If you don’t have gutters on your home or business, you have no doubt seen the sheets of water that run off your roof during heavy rains. That water comes down with such force that it can very quickly cause damage to whatever pavement is on the receiving end – whether that’s a sidewalk, driveway, or parking lot. But this kind of extreme runoff can also compromise the integrity of the foundation of your home or business. The answer is simple: install gutters and downspouts that direct water away from your foundation and all paved surfaces. Ideally, downspouts that are directed at nearby landscaping can not only save your pavement; they can also help your plants at the same time.
  • Proper irrigation – Most of us enjoy landscaping around our homes or businesses. But when the irrigation needed to keep those plants alive is misdirected — ending up on your parking lot, driveway, and/or sidewalks — it can quickly damage those surfaces. The solution is, once again, a simple one: Make sure that sprinklers are actually watering your plants instead of your paved surfaces, and that your irrigation isn’t left running for hours on end. Better yet, install drip irrigation, which will not only keep your landscape healthy, but will also save your pavement and conserve water.
  • Proper drainage – Most skilled paving contractors understand the damage that can result when water doesn’t drain properly away from paved surfaces. They typically address that issue when installing the pavement by making sure that it slopes away from your foundation and toward a street/gutter so that the runoff is directed away from the asphalt or concrete. But over time, depressions may form in the pavement, creating areas where water can collect and damage the surface. If you believe that you have poor drainage, contact a local paving contractor. Many times, these issues can be resolved without having to replace the entire surface.

Protect your paving investment by following these simple steps to avoid water damage.