Parking lots are one of the first things a customer sees when they drive up to your business. With good upkeep and parking lot care, your commercial parking lot can last between 20 – 50 years. Caring for your commercial parking lot will make your business look clean and keep overall maintenance costs down. Letting its condition worsen doesn’t only make you look bad, but can actually be dangerous for your customers.
The Importance Of A Well Maintained Lot
When someone falls over in your commercial parking lot, you may be liable for their injuries, and can even be sued. Cracked, uneven or lifted pavement and asphalt can leave you exposed to expensive lawsuits. If your parking lot has slippery areas from ice or snow, it is down to you as the business owner to clear a lot of any risks.
Studies suggest that someone can make an impression on a business within 7 seconds of seeing it or meeting the owner. Your parking lot is often the first snapshot of your business your clients will see. Not only actual customers, but potential customers driving by, will be making a judgment on the appearance of your business.
Parking Lot Care And Upkeep
Every season brings a different challenge to the commercial parking lot owner. In winter, ice and snow may crack or damage your pavement, and also leave several slippery surfaces for customers to slide on. The summer could bring a spray of weeds. A parking lot care is something that requires annual upkeep but will make your parking lot last longer.
Snow And Ice
Snow and ice can get into pre-existing gaps and cause cracks and potholes. To protect your asphalt from the effects of ice, put down an anti-icing agent before the snow begins. Salt is actually harmful to wildlife and ecosystems, so it is better to avoid using road salt if possible. Clearing snow as soon as you can help ensure your pavements are safe, and that the snow doesn’t get into small gaps and cause any more damage.
Adding A Seal Coat
Adding a seal coat to your asphalt will create a protective barrier between ice, snow and asphalt. It stops small cracks from becoming potholes and generally slows down damage to the commercial parking lot. Asphalt sealing coats should be applied the first year after the asphalt is laid, and at least every three years after that.
There are two main types of seal coat:
– Coal tar sealers – a thick black protective layer that is spread over the parking lot. Coal tar is the least environmentally friendly seal coat.
– Asphalt emulsion coatings – a more sustainable and coal-free alternative that achieves the same effects as coal tar.
A seal coat is a cost-effective treatment that is cheaper than full asphalt repair but will still prolong the life of your commercial parking lot.
Basic sweeping and cleaning of your parking lot is an easy way to prolong the life of your commercial parking unit. Basic cleaning includes clearing the lot of weeds – which could widen cracks – and clearing out clogged drains. Removing debris from your lot will make it a safer space for your clients to cross.
Removing Oil And Tough Stains
Oil stains are common enough in commercial parking lots but are slippery and hazardous for wildlife. Mop and blot oil stains as quickly as possible and use an absorbing agent to draw in the oil. Wipe any remaining stains away the following day with warm water. Tough stains like grease spots can be removed with bleach and baking soda on asphalt. Before you use more industrial means like a power washer, remember that it won’t work on oil and grease, as it might just drive it deeper into the asphalt.
A commercial parking lot requires seasonal parking lot care to ensure it lasts for decades, looks presentable, and doesn’t pose a hazard to customers. Having a seasonal plan for your lot is essential to being prepared for adverse weather like ice and snow. Adding seal coats and checking drains doesn’t have to be done by the lot owner, either. Sometimes it’s more cost-effective to outsource these to professionals – otherwise, you may be reaching out for concrete repair services. Taking these simple steps to prolong the life of your parking lot will prove a money saver when it lasts a few years longer than expected.