The Importance of Storm Basin Repair: 5 Reasons to Consider One

When it comes to maintaining the parking lot, most property owners imagine themselves repairing cracks. Others think about adding a fresh layer of sealcoat or even asphalt restriping to increase their overall curb appeal. However, there's one crucial aspect of maintenance that often gets overlooked: storm basin repair. 

It's easy to overlook storm basin maintenance since, if done regularly, it's largely unnoticeable. But if ignored (or not done at all), you might be left with some serious water issues on your parking lot.

Standing water can be inconvenient for you and unsightly for guests. Worse still, it can damage your entire asphalt by accelerating crack formation. That's why it's prudent to inspect and repair your storm basins regularly. 

Storm Basin JPG-2

What is a Storm Basin?

The storm basin, also known as a catch basin, is where any pooling water on your asphalt drains into. 

Typically, a storm basin consists of two parts: a surface-level grate and a sump. The grate filters out large debris while the sump catches debris and sediment. 

Solids settle to the base of the sump while water filters out of a pipe. This pipe connects to an underground storm drainage unit that deposits the water to a local sewage plant or stream.

Storm basins designed for parking lot pavements are commonly 1-foot by 1-foot boxes. These are made out of concrete and can be strengthened using concrete collars.


Why It Matters

Having a fully-functional storm basin is important to preserve the outlook and efficiency of your parking lot. 

Picture it this way: no one wants to park their vehicle only to step out onto a huge puddle, not to mention the litigation costs you would incur if a pedestrian gets injured while walking around. Maintaining storm basins also saves property owners a large amount of money in maintenance and potential litigation cost that can arise from trip hazards in the form of potholes.

Storm basins not only drain away pooling water but also improve the overall efficiency of your parking lot. Here's how they do it: 

  • Minimize the risk of damage to the pavement that stems from hazardous chemicals (trace metals, grease, oils, etc.)
  • Prevent water pooling that can be inconvenient for pedestrians
  • Reduce the risk of odors due to flooding 
  • Increase the overall curb appeal of parking lot asphalt
  • Minimize the risk of icy patches that form from inefficient drainage and water pooling (depends on your area)

Importance of Regular Maintenance

Storm basins are often out of sight, out of mind-- until they clog or stop functioning altogether.

Neglected storm basins can cause all sorts of problems like flooded structures, hydroplaning cars, and nagging water stains that require power washing. To avoid all the hassle, property owners need to ensure that their storm basins are frequently cleaned of debris. 

When done consistently, maintenance can help property owners to:

1. Avoid Time-Intensive and Costly Repairs 

Catching any potential issues early on makes repairs cheaper, easier, and quicker. Not to mention that catching them early also lowers your chances of wasting money on a full-on pavement replacement. 

2. Prevent Below-Ground and Surface Damage

Standing water might seem harmless at first, but with time, it's doing some severe damage. In a month or so, it will cause cracking of your pavement's top level (which is ideally asphalt). You'll notice depressions in areas with the most vehicular traffic. 

Worse still, the water can seep into the subgrade, eventually damaging the quality of soil under the asphalt. If your parking lot was constructed in a naturally low area (like in the case of South California), you should be particularly careful about the water that accumulates at the edges of the concrete. This water might infiltrate the cracks beneath the asphalt, causing massive damage in the long-run. 

3. Spot Minor Issues Before They Prevail

The simple act of having a cleaning contractor open the lid to the storm basin means that they can spot a clogged outlet pipe right away! This gives you plenty of time to rectify the issue before it gets out of hand.

4. Preserve The Environment

Naturally, groundwater sinks into the soil. When you pour asphalt over an extensive piece of land, there is no soil for standing water to sink into. Furthermore, there are dangerous chemicals found in the seal coat of parking lots- concentrated levels of PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons).

Here's what happens: Vehicle tires break down some of this seal coat into tiny particles that can be carried away in run-off, causing it to infiltrate the surrounding soil and polluting groundwater. This water mixes with grease, debris, coolants, and oils from vehicles, causing contamination. A properly-maintained storm basin is your best bet for preventing further environmental degradation.

5. Keep Your Property Safe

Turning your parking into a huge skating rink with standing water is simply inviting trouble. This is particularly the case with pedestrians trying to walk around flooded areas. 

If a person slips, falls, or gets hurt on your property, you could face a damaging lawsuit. In other instances, excessive water could cause vehicles to hydroplane, leading to multiple injuries. This might seem unlikely, but failure to repair your storm basins regularly could make it a reality.

Storm Basin Replacement & Repair

Proactive maintenance and regular repairs can help you identify and rectify issues before your storm basin deteriorates any further. At Empire PLS, we understand that an ill-maintained storm basin can wreak havoc on your asphalt parking lot and your budget, too. That's why we use only tried-and-tested repair and replacement approaches.  

If the concrete around your storm basins has peeled off or other structural problems are present, we always recommend a full-service repair. Our team will install adjustment rings to restore the level of the storm basin for correct drainage. We'll also add concrete collars to strengthen the mouth of the storm basin.

During a replacement, our experts will first identify all the utilities in your parking lot. Then we'll dig up the existing storm basin and install a new one. An iron frame will also be added to reinforce the storm basin for proper drainage.

Need a hand with your next drainage repair project? Feel free to contact us or call us on (714)-633-0300 and let our experienced team assist you. 

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