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How Paving Contractors Manage Water Drainage On Asphalt Parking Lots

Parking lots sometimes develop problems with water drainage. Puddles in parking lots are annoying for pedestrians, and standing water also is hard on the asphalt. Puddles can take a long time to evaporate, while gradually causing pavement deterioration in the form of cracks and holes. An asphalt paving contractor can make the necessary repairs and install a catch basin if this would be advisable. 

About Catch Basins

A catch basin is similar to municipal storm sewer inlets on streets, only the opening is entirely covered by a grate. The contractor adds one or more of these devices in areas where low spots have developed. The basin, typically made of concrete, connects with a storm drainage system so the water flows away.

This work is done when the parking lot is due for resurfacing or a complete repaving job. The crew excavates the areas where the basin is to be placed. They build a slight slope for the entire lot so rainwater and melting snow travel to the basin instead of puddling up on the pavement.


The property owner holds responsibility for making sure the grate stays clear of debris. Just as municipal streets can flood when storm sewer grates are blocked, the catch basin will not work properly in similar conditions. Leaves, twigs, and litter flow down to the grate during rain showers and become trapped there.

Worse problems develop if water starts flowing under the asphalt because the grate is blocked. Significant deterioration can occur, and the entire structure of the basin may begin to sink down. This creates a hazard for vehicles and people on foot.

Inspection and Repairs

As part of routine professional maintenance, paving contractors inspect catch basins when they are called to perform other tasks. They may be hired to fill cracks and potholes or to apply sealcoat, for instance.

Resurfacing should be done when fatigue cracking is prevalent or block cracks have developed. Fatigue cracks interconnect with the appearance of alligator skin. By this time, the asphalt has usually faded to a dull gray. Adding an overlay makes the lot look new again. The contractors also paint stripes and other features on the blacktop. 

Concluding Thoughts

Without effective drainage, commercial parking lots may develop areas of standing water. The owners can schedule an inspection with paving contractors to determine what should be done. When it's time for resurfacing or repaving, a drainage system can be added.

Reach out to an asphalt repair contractor for more information.