Parking lots may appear to be the same for years, with people not noticing any changes unless there is a lack of parking spaces. However, supervisors in charge of these lots must always be aware of their condition since it is often the first impression customers get when visiting a business. Factors such as weather, oil deposits, heat and traffic can wear down the pavement until it needs to be replaced. To make sure asphalt lots last as long as possible, facilities managers need to implement an annual maintenance plan. This plan should include certain procedures for preserving the lot's surface.
Perform Visual Inspections of the Lot
It is essential to regularly inspect the lot for any potential issues such as forming cracks, standing water, or pools of hazardous oils or gasoline. If these problems are found, they need to be attended to promptly in order to fill and seal the cracks, clear drains or eliminate chemicals. Neglecting these matters will only lead to more serious repercussions down the line.
Routine Lot Sweeping
Regular sweeping of the lot clears away dirt and other material that builds up. If there is too much dirt, it can lead to pooled water which weakens the area and starts to damage the base beneath it. Additionally, cleaning allows you to identify any potential issues that may have begun forming.
Check Lot Drainage
If rainwater is not draining properly on your parking lot, you may be experiencing blockage in the drainage system which can be a cause for concern. It is important to take appropriate action to prevent long-term damage and ensure that the drainage system is functioning correctly. The first step in resolving this issue is to open the drains and inspect for blockage and accumulation of debris. Any debris that is found must be removed to allow water to flow freely. If the blockage is too large to be cleared manually, it may be necessary to call in a professional to use specialized equipment to clear the obstruction. Additionally, it can be beneficial to check for any cracks or damage in the drainage system. If any damage is found, it should be repaired immediately to avoid further issues. Taking the time to inspect and clear the drainage system can help to ensure that rainwater is able to drain properly and prevent long-term damage to your parking lot.
Stay on Top of Crack Filling
As a result of weather conditions and heavy use, cracks will inevitably appear on asphalt surfaces. While small cracks may not seem like a major problem, it is important to understand that when water begins to seep into even the smallest voids, the asphalt will continue to deteriorate. If left untreated, the cracks can become larger due to freeze-thaw cycles, where water in cracks freezes and expands during colder months. This can lead to an exponentially larger fracture, causing further damage to the asphalt.
Fortunately, there are products available to help prevent cracks from getting worse. Filling and sealing small cracks is far easier than trying to make a large one disappear, so it's important to address them as soon as possible. A sustainable PAH-free sealant like BioSealcoat®, produced from renewable soybean oil, is an ideal product for sealing these cracks. It lasts longer and is better for the environment than traditional sealcoats, so it's a great option for those looking to protect their asphalt surfaces. BioSealcoat® is easy to apply and provides superior protection against water intrusion, cracking, and other damage that can occur due to weather conditions and heavy use.
Clean Up any Oil and Gas Drippings Quickly
Harmful materials such as oil, antifreeze, and other automotive fluids that drip from leaky engines are a serious problem. Not only do these materials present a slippery and dangerous surface, but they can also cause significant permanent damage to asphalt and concrete surfaces. The chemical makeup of these materials slowly eats away at the “glue” that holds asphalt and concrete together, leading to rapid deterioration. This can create cracks, potholes, and other damage that can cost significant money to repair. It is important to take steps to prevent these materials from entering the environment, and to remove them as soon as you see them. This could involve using absorbent materials such as kitty litter or sand to soak up the fluids, or using a shop vac to vacuum them up. Taking the time to properly clean up these materials can help to prevent costly damage to asphalt and concrete surfaces.
Don’t Forget the Sealcoating
Sealcoating the entire lot with a top-notch product is a vital step in protecting and preserving your asphalt. How often you should sealcoat depends on many factors such as the amount of sun, rain, and snow the lot is exposed to, as well as the amount of traffic it receives. Sealing your lot every few years is a smart move that will not only make a drastic improvement in the appearance of your lot, but will also help extend the life of your asphalt. The process involves applying a specialized sealant over the top of the asphalt, which will fill in small cracks and protect against water damage. The coating will also help prevent the sun’s rays from drying out your asphalt over time. A fresh coat of sealant will make a huge difference and is the best way to protect your asphalt from the elements and keep it looking great for years to come.
Revise Traffic Flow
Once the sealcoating is applied, it is important to change the traffic flow to spread the wear and tear of vehicles using the surface. This can be done by re-orienting parking spaces and traffic lanes. Additionally, adding planted areas with shade trees will help protect the surface from the sun, while also creating a more attractive environment. Not only will this help to keep the sealcoating in good condition, but it will also provide a pleasant space for people to enjoy. The shade from the trees will also act as a natural cooling agent, helping to reduce the temperature of the area and the car interiors, and providing a respite from the heat of the summer sun. Furthermore, the trees will create a more aesthetically pleasing environment, making the area more inviting for people when they come to visit.
Edmonton Parking Lot Maintenance has a great deal of experience and expertise in all things related to asphalt, parking lots, driveways, and more. If you are looking for a team that can tackle all of your parking lot maintenance needs, reach out to them for a free quote.
Interested in learning more about lot maintenance? We suggest reading this article.