7 Things to Look Out For When Maintaining a Parking LotPosted on May 15, 2020 by Rafael Cantillo
Installing a new parking lot is expensive. At some point during the lifetime of your parking lot, it will need to be done. But proper maintenance of a parking lot can lengthen its lifespan and save you money on parking lot replacement costs. There are many other aspects that go into parking lot maintenance besides those directly related to the state of your asphalt. Keeping an eye on these problems will result in a safer, more functional parking lot. In some cases, proper maintenance can prevent you from running afoul of any legal compliance issues.
In this post, we'll discuss all the things you need to look out for during the course of maintaining your parking lot. By monitoring this list of items, and knowing what repairs and preventative maintenance steps are in order at any given time, you'll be maximizing your parking lot repair dollars and extending the life of your parking lot.
1. Crack Repair
Cracks are a first step to worse problems. Cracks are the number one cause of asphalt degradation and failure. Left alone, a crack will allow moisture and the elements to penetrate into your asphalt, further degrading its integrity. Over time, this will result in potholes that will require more expensive repairs. Thankfully, cracks are easy to fill with crack and joint sealant. You should have this done as soon as you begin to notice cracks in your pavement to avoid the cracks becoming larger and then becoming a much worse problem.
Whenever cracks are filled, the sealant will be visible and can be unsightly. Although it will always be visible, it can be masked by the application of sealcoating. Repairing cracks is also a required step before the application of sealcoating, which makes the two procedures a natural fit to be performed together, when possible.
There are a lot of things trying to destroy your asphalt. The biggest offender is the UV rays beaming down from the sun. From the moment your new asphalt is laid, UV rays are at work degrading its integrity. Chemicals leaking from vehicles and inclement weather also give your asphalt a beating. As more and more degradation occurs, moisture is allowed to seep into the pavement. This moisture causes cracks, which cost money to repair. As we've already discussed, unfixed cracks can cause problems that cost even more money to repair.
Sealcoating is a way of adding an extra layer of protection that seals your parking lot from those damaging UV rays, weather elements, and leaky vehicles. In addition to providing your asphalt with a much-needed boost in protection, sealcoating will restore the black color to a faded gray parking lot, enhancing its appearance while protecting its integrity.
3. Asphalt Repair
When asphalt becomes bad enough that crack filling and sealcoating isn't enough, you'll need to take more costly measures. If you only have a few potholes, you may be able to get away with simply patching the hole. Eventually, you will need to repair the whole surface, though. The most affordable way to do that is with an asphalt overlay. An overlay is a thin layer of asphalt that is placed over your current surface. As the asphalt nears the end of its life, it becomes impractical to keep adding layers to it. At this time, you'll need to invest in a complete removal and replacement of the asphalt.
If you call a professional when you first start noticing problems, they will be able to advise you as to which of the procedures is best for your circumstances.
Proper striping of your parking lot is important for a number of reasons. The most obvious is that it makes sure that vehicles are neatly parked in the designated area, which maximizes the space of your lot. Striping is also very important for flow control, which helps keep traffic flowing smoothly even when things get busy. Perhaps the most important aspect of striping though, is that it keeps everyone safe. When pedestrians know where to walk and vehicles know where to drive and when to be on the lookout for hazards, there are much fewer accidents. When your striping begins to wear out and become less visible, it's time to get it replaced.
5. ADA Compliance
The Americans with Disabilities Act contains a long list of regulations that must be followed by businesses to ensure that they remain accessible to people with disabilities. Several of these regulations are relevant to parking lot design. There are rules related to handicap parking, access ramps, and flow control that must be carefully followed to avoid trouble with the law.
Because these regulations are sometimes updated, it is important to stay on top of your compliance. If you do not want to stay up to date on all the laws yourself, you can hire someone to inspect your parking lot for compliance. Please note that if you are hiring a contractor to fix ADA compliance issues because of a lawsuit, you should talk to a CASp consultant before contacting contractors.
6. Concrete Repairs
Asphalt may be the star of the show, but it isn't the only material that goes into a parking lot. Concrete forms the basis for flow lines, curbs, sidewalks, and more. Like asphalt, concrete can become damaged over time and begin to chip away. In the best case scenario, this is unsightly and can make your business look unprofessional. In the worst case, damaged concrete can become a hazard. Loose concrete will almost certainly cause someone to lose their footing or trip at some point. To avoid unnecessary expense, and possible injury, concrete should be repaired as soon as problems are noticed to prevent them from becoming worse.
7. Miscellaneous Replacements
Finally, we come to all the additional elements that make up your parking lot. Elements such as signs, posts, and wheel stops all serve important purposes and should be maintained just as well as everything else. Some of these items may be out of the way and forgotten about, but you should perform regular checks to make sure that they are all in good shape and have any needed repairs performed promptly.
Proper parking lot maintenance will save you money and keep your customers safe. Empire Parking Lot Services is a full-service provider who can help you with every step mentioned above. Contact us online or call us at 714-633-0300 to have our experienced team assist you with your next parking lot maintenance related project. Please check out our "Anatomy of a Parking Lot" blog for a more in-depth view of what makes up a parking lot.