There are several factors that will affect the quality of your pavement and the length of time that it will last. Being proactive about mitigating some of these issues will allow your pavement to last longer.
One of the major factors affecting the life of your pavement is correctly assessing the amount of traffic that will be driving on your pavement. If you are a retail location that will be undergoing reconstruction and might have heavy machinery on your pavement it is important to take note of that when getting your pavement done. Pavement should always be laid for the heaviest traffic load it will need to carry. Pavement is made from a flexible material, but if the traffic load is too heavy it will cause cracking. Talk with your paving contractor about the use of your parking lot and ensure that it is able to bare the correct traffic load.
The second factor affecting the life of your pavement is water. Water can have devastating effects on your pavement if your pavement is not protected correctly. Water can get in and cause cracks and if these cracks are not taken care of then they will grow into bigger and multiple cracks. The way to prevent water from negatively affecting your pavement is by creating proper drainage for your asphalt pavement. Your paving contractor should ensure to create proper drainage for the pavement project so that no water pools on the pavement. Also making sure that your pavement is properly sealed will help protect against water seeping into the pavement.
Another factor that will affect the life of your pavement is the subgrade and subbase. If the underlying layer of your pavement is not built up correctly then the weight of the traffic on your pavement will not be evenly distributed and will cause too much weight and pressure on the asphalt, causing cracking to occur. There are many different ways that an improperly constructed subbase can cause pavement to fail. To guard against this make sure to hire a trusted contractor who will make sure that you have a strong, solid subbase.
The quality of your pavement and its life will be effected by the amount and type of maintenance that you perform. Asphalt needs maintenance to ensure that it is protected from external elements. To increase and protect the quality of your pavement, be sure to get cracks filled promptly and to deal with the root issue of the cracks to ensure that they do not come back again.