Proper parking lot maintenance is essential for any type of lot. Whether you’re operating a paid parking lot where managing traffic is your primary job or you simply have a free lot to care for in front of a commercial building, you can’t afford to ignore the needs of your lot. When a parking lot receives optimal maintenance, it enjoys many benefits. You’ll have greater curb appeal, fewer liabilities, and lower repair costs.
Though parking lot maintenance is a significant investment, it’s more affordable to maintain your lot than to replace it early because you didn’t take care of the surface. Here’s what you need to know to keep your lot in great shape.
Inspect and Clean the Lot Often
Regularly sweeping and inspecting your parking lot will help preserve the surface between more extensive maintenance tasks. Never underestimate the importance of this simple routine. A street sweeper can handle day-to-day cleaning. Periodically clean the lot with high-pressure water to blast away caked-on dirt. Use hot water to soften especially tough stains. Address oil and fuel stains immediately, as these accelerate the deterioration of the parking lot surface. Keep a stock of specialized degreasing agents on hand for regular application.
Pooling water will seep into your parking lot, damaging the surface and speeding the development of cracks and potholes. Keep a sharp eye out for any places where water pools on your pavement. If you have predictable puddles in the same spots, get a professional to assess the slope of your lot and make the appropriate alterations so water naturally runs to the appropriate drainage points.
If you don’t know where you want your lot to drain, you need to address this question immediately. Proper planning is the only way to ensure that it has adequate drainage. There are many drainage systems that you can incorporate into a parking lot. It’s best to install these when you’re initially paving the lot, as your options become more limited and increasingly expensive when you’re retrofitting an existing lot. Some popular choices include catch basins, trench drainage basins, and French drains.
Look over your drainage system as you’re inspecting the parking lot to make sure there aren’t any clogs. An obstruction of any kind can lead to pooling water and parking hazards.
Seal cracks every one to three years to keep your parking lot in prime condition. Cracks may open up as the result of shifting ground, an uneven layer beneath your existing pavement, or simple wear and tear. When cracks aren’t addressed promptly, they’ll simply widen with time, leading to bigger problems. Sealing the crack keeps moisture out so the area cannot widen or expand into a pothole.
Sealcoat on a Regular Basis
Sealcoating your parking lot is the process of applying a protective top layer over its surface. This helps protect the parking lot from fuel spills, oxidation, and the elements. Sealcoating gives the lot a sleek, attractive finish and goes a long way toward extending its lifespan. Pavement that’s sealcoated lasts over 50% longer than pavement that doesn’t receive this protection.
You should schedule the first sealcoating within three to six months of your initial parking lot installation. After that, plan to sealcoat the parking lot at least every three years. If your lot sees a lot of wear and tear, you may want to increase the frequency of this maintenance task and sealcoat it every two years instead.
Repair Potholes as Soon as Possible
Though proper maintenance will go a long way to preventing potholes, these hazards may still develop over time as continual wear breaks down the surface of the parking lot. If you have potholes in your lot, you should address them promptly, as they only get worse over time. Potholes aren’t just unsightly. They can present a danger to vehicles and people in your parking lot. This may open you up to serious liabilities if you don’t take action to remedy the situation.
In most cases, the best way to repair a pothole is to cut out the damaged material entirely and replace it with fresh hot-mix asphalt. However, pothole repair isn’t a one-size-fits-all job. If you’re in the Florida area, contact our experienced repair team for a thorough assessment and personalized repair plan.
Restripe the Lot
The striping on your parking lot is essential to its functionality. Proper striping lets motorists know where to drive, which way traffic should flow, and where the designated parking spots are. Parking lot striping also designates fire curbs, loading zones, crosswalks, and accessible parking spots. If the paint in your lot isn’t bright, clean, and clearly visible, you should invest in new striping.
Address Seasonal Issues
Consider your climate and the annual hazards that your parking lot faces. It’s important to incorporate seasonal maintenance routines that address the particular dangers of each season. The warm weather months are the ideal time for routine maintenance, such as striping, sealing cracks, repairing potholes, and sealcoating. Other seasons may present certain issues that you need to manage, such as:
- Removing leaves and debris in fall to keep them off the lot and out of drainage ditches.
- Clearing drainage obstructions and addressing potential flooding in heavy spring rains.
- Applying a de-icer to the lot in freezing temperatures.
- Removing snow from pavement promptly before it compacts.
Know When to Resurface
If you maintain your parking lot well, you won’t have to invest in full resurfacing very often. Your parking lot can last up to 30 years with proper maintenance. If the parking lot hasn’t been well maintained or has suffered from extreme wear and tear, it may need resurfacing closer to the 20-year mark. As a good rule of thumb, you should resurface any lot that’s sustained damage to more than 25 to 35% of the total surface area.
If your parking lot needs maintenance, contact U.S. Pave today for a free estimate. Our friendly teams in the Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Tampa areas of Florida will be happy to evaluate your lot and offer a detailed quote and proposed plan for your needs.
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U.S. Pave is a full-service paving maintenance and installation company serving all of Florida with Parking Lot Maintenance, New Asphalt Construction, Asphalt Patching and Repair, Parking Lot Crack Repair, Pothole Repair, Parking Lot Resurfacing (Overlay), Parking Lot Sealcoating or Resealing, Concrete Maintenance, Concrete Flatwork, Concrete Car Stops, Flow line / Curb & Gutter, Trip-hazard Removal/Grinding, Parking Lot Striping, Signage, Bollards, ADA Compliance and Upgrades, Catch Basins, Sweeping and Porter Services.
Whether you’re in need of a small repair or a new construction project, U.S. Pave's dedicated team has you covered.
For more information on our services contact us today at (954) 210-7481.