Do You Need Parking Lot Maintenance Before Your Property Receives Traffic Again?Posted on April 09, 2021 by Rafael Cantillo
For the last year, streets and storefronts have been empty or sparsely populated. Millions were sent home and told to stay there to remain safe, so stay home they did. Local venues and employer businesses alike continued running remotely - but with empty parking lots. But now that vaccinations are rolling out, we're about to see a massive wave of businesses reopening in need of parking lot maintenance. In-store shopping and dining experiences are becoming available again. Commuters are heading back to the office as each new batch of people becomes vaccinated and safe to mingle again.
(Retail Plaza, Moreno Valley)
The question every building manager and owner should be asking is "Are we ready?" Is your building ready for guests and employees? Are your grounds secure and recently landscaped? Are your pavements ready for pedestrian and vehicle traffic? If it's been a few months or the better part of a year since you last handled on-site traffic, it's time to get your pavement into top condition for the return of in-person business.
Pavement after a Duration of Disuse
Regular pavement maintenance is both scheduled and based on damage observations. Low spots and cracks form throughout a parking lot and driveway area, but are addressed quickly to ensure that they do not cause problems with your business' flow of traffic. However, with months of vacancy or essential-only staff members, your pavement may have fallen into further disrepair than realized. If the pandemic caused you to miss one or two rounds of scheduled pavement or parking lot maintenance, this creates even greater importance to improve your pavement before reopening.
Keeping Your Pedestrian Traffic Safe
When it comes to safety, pedestrian traffic is your number one concern. Pedestrians are more delicate than vehicles with no wheels between them and the pavement. A single twisted ankle or trip-and-fall could create a tragedy in your parking lot. The last thing you need is a front-walk injury or for a customer to fall due to a parking lot irregularity.
Your pavement needs to be smooth and free of cracks, dips, holes, and unexpected rises. Your sidewalks need even seams and each ramp requires reinforced traction. To take good care of pedestrians on your property, it's time for a detailed inspection of the walking and parking areas outside your building,
Preparing for the Demands of Vehicle Traffic
Vehicle traffic places more stress on your asphalt than pedestrians do, and vehicle damage can be costly to cover. Make sure that any cracks that form in the parking lot are prevented from becoming any wider. Especially watch out for low places and widening cracks. Vehicles can roll over small cracks, but large cracks have a high probability of causing wheel damage. Any damage to your pavement that holds an edge is a risk to your customer and employee vehicles. Low places in your pavement will fill with water when it rains and become softer over time.
A parking lot with months of disuse has a tendency to develop unnoticed cracks and low places. Perform a full survey of your pavement or hire a professional pavement team to inspect and repair any problems that have developed during the COVID lull.
Drainage Design Safety
Your parking lot and sidewalks are likely already designed for proper drainage. This discourages water pooling on the pavement and dangerous rivulets of water through high-use areas when it rains. However, pavement shifts over time, which can affect your drainage patterns. When washing your pavement, pay attention to how the water moves. Make sure that low spots and cracks have not caused dangerous, inconvenient, or stagnant water behavior.
Avoiding Litigation from Damage Caused by Pavement
Of course, ensuring the safety and practical design of your parking area is about more than courtesy, it's also a legal protection. Vehicle damage caused by pavement flaws or, worse, damage to a person in a slip-and-fall accident can have costly and sometimes tragic consequences. Personal injury and property liability protection are an essential part of pavement maintenance. A successful litigation can cost hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars from your insurance policy to the injured party, something no business needs to face while rebuilding for the new-normal.
Repainting the Parking Stall Lines
When your pavement is smooth and in good repair, it's time to think about repainting the lines. If your parking lot lines are faded or if they were covered over with new asphalt, be sure to freshen your paint and even update the total pavement design. Check to see if your local laws have changed on handicap parking or safe pedestrian areas since your parking lot was last redesigned.
Planning Ahead for Parking Lot Maintenance
Your final concern when getting your pavement ready for renewed traffic is planning for the future. Small cracks can quickly grow into large ones and soft places can turn into a sinking pit. Don't leave minor pavement flaws for later because you know that traffic is about to pick up significantly. When the daily commute of vehicles and flow of foot traffic is about to increase, prepare your pavement to remain free of serious flaws until your next regularly scheduled round of pavement maintenance.
Well-Kept Pavement Shows Customers that You Care
Parking lot maintenance goes beyond how it looks or even how the traffic flows. Vehicle damage and pedestrian trip hazards throughout the parking lot can be caused by damaged asphalt. If your pavement is not in ideal condition, your property may not be ready for the end of the COVID lockdown. In just a few weeks, thousands to millions of people will be ranging back out of their homes to work and shop more freely. Whether your building is a venue or a place primarily for employees, that traffic will hit your pavement harder than most business managers expect.
Keep your customers and employees safe and show you care by ensuring your pavement is in excellent repair.
Let us help with professional parking lot inspections and asphalt repairs. Contact us today at 714-633-0300 to have our experienced asphalt division assist you with your next parking lot maintenance-related project. We look forward to working with you.