Do I Need To Clean A Parking Lot Before Having It Painted?

When customers pull into your parking lot, the condition of the lot is the first impression they will have concerning the professionalism and quality of your sales or services. A parking lot with a clean surface that doesn't have potholes, crumbling asphalt, and missing or faint strips are just as important as having clean floors and surfaces inside your establishment. If your parking lot is well maintained and brightly lit, your customers unconsciously perceive your business as one that cares about its customers and their well-being.

 Cleaning Asphalt Orange County

Decision to Clean and Paint the Parking Lot

It doesn't matter if you are a new business looking to increase your consumer base or if your business has been established at the same location for many years, a clean parking lot is essential to getting and keeping customers. When loyal customers notice the parking lot to your business is lacking maintenance and needs a good cleaning, they will naturally start wondering what other services are starting to decline.

And when prospective clients notice a dirty parking lot that also needs re-painting, they may enter your business, but it is very possible that a decision to make a purchase will be affected. A dirty parking lot indicates either a lack of staff to keep the entire place clean or a lack of concern about pleasing patrons.

If your parking lot is dirty, that means the lines to designate parking spaces are less visible. If the lines are not visible then the possibility of another driver parking too close and dinging a car is more likely. A clean parking lot ensures every customer has no problem distinguishing parking lanes, handicapped lanes, and special lanes for oversized vehicles.

When you are deciding if your parking lot needs cleaning before painting, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are oil spills and other stains noticeable on the asphalt surface?
  • Are the parking lines so dirty that they are less visible?
  • Is the asphalt dull and lackluster from accumulated grime, dirt, and grease?
  • Is it time to have the parking lot re-painted and therefore it needs cleaning?

How Often Should I Clean A Parking Lot

If you have a large parking lot, it may make sense to partner with a parking lot maintenance company that will routinely perform cleaning, re-striping, and other maintenance on your parking lot. This way, you'll never worry about the condition of your parking lot because the #1 goal of a professional parking lot maintenance company is to keep their customers lots in pristine condition.

If you're cleaning the parking lot yourself, it's a chore that is performed when needed. Some businesses choose to clean the parking lot when the seasons change as part of a complete exterior sprucing. After spring and fall especially, there may be an abundance of fallen or dead leaves and twigs that need to be swept away. During the summer, since more people are out with children, you may find more trash and food that needs to be swept away or hosed down.

Parking Lot Cleaning

When Cleaning Before Painting is Needed

If you've decided to have your asphalt parking lot re-striped, then cleaning before it is painted is a good idea - sometimes. When a parking lot is going to be striped, it should start with a smooth, clean surface. Before the painting crew arrives, the concrete or asphalt parking lot should be thoroughly clear of dirt, debris, leaves, twigs, and food.

When you properly clean the parking lot surface before painting, you can expect the parking space lines to be applied more smoothly and adhere better. Depending on the type of surface - concrete, cement, or asphalt, different methods for removing dirt and oil stains are used. Most residential or commercial parking lots are concrete or asphalt paved. Here are the best ways to clean those surfaces:

How to Clean an Asphalt or Concrete Parking Lot

  1. Asphalt and concrete parking lots will require some regular maintenance, therefore invest in a good quality, large outdoor bristle push-brush to remove accumulated dirt and large debris from the pavement surface. A brisk sweeping of the entire lot prepares it for striping that will go on smoothly and without visible lumps or cracks.
  2. Or you can use a gas powered blower to remove any debris, dirt and dust particles that were cannot be swept up by a broom. You would be surprised in the difference when a parking lot is cleaned well before having it painted.
  3. When the parking lot is extremely soiled with grease, oil, or gasoline stains, use a pre-treatment solution to lift these stains from the parking lot surface.
  4.  Next, apply a professional scrub solution before painting. In this case a street cleaner or a detergent made specifically for asphalt or concrete is used to deep clean the parking lot surface.
  5. Finally, the surface of the parking lot should be allowed to fully dry before painting.

If you are having your parking lot painted, depending on how dirty or stained the surface is, will dictate how much cleaning is required. A clean surface will always provide for a better parking lot striping that will result in lines that will last longer and remain clear and visible. If you're not sure if the lot needs to be cleaned before painting, then speak with a professional parking lot service provider on the best way to revamp your parking lot.


Case Study Example:

Below is an example of a parking lot recently cleaned and painted by Empire Parking Lot Services. The customer was a large logistics company located in Los Angeles California, and they were looking to have their parking striping formation changed. When we met we walked the project and decided to clean the parking lot first. We used our in house sweeper to clean all of the loose dirt and gravel on the lot and ended up with over 30 tons of dirt and debris that needed to be hauled of and dumped. Although this level of cleaning does not typically happen on most of our projects, it illustrates the point that every project is different. 

parking lto sweeping and cleaning



  • Cleaning and repainting your parking lot is necessary to maintain good business impression
  • Before painting, a parking lot should have a smooth asphalt surface, without potholes or cracks
  • Sometimes the lot should be thoroughly cleaned before painting, depending on the amount of dirt, worn asphalt and grime that accumulated.
  • Schedule a lot re-painting when temperatures are not freezing and heavy rain is not forecast

Contact Empire Parking Lot Services in Southern California to discuss their parking lot maintenance services for both asphalt and concrete surfaces. We specialize in crack repair, patching, paving, grading, and drainage. We are also experienced in ADA compliant updates and repairs including painted handicap spaces and concrete access ramps.

Empire Parking Lot Services is a full-service parking lot maintenance and repair firm, so when you need to install parking lot striping, concrete wheel stops, or to have your parking lot repaired and re-sealed, we provide a team of experienced workers that provide fast and friendly service.

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