When anyone comes to visit your business, they are most likely arriving by car. That means that the first interaction that a person will have with your institution is the parking area. If your business has its own parking lot, then that is what will leave the first lasting impression on you clients, business partners, and workers who visit. It’s paramount to keep your parking lot in tip-top condition.
Not only does it make the first impression, but there are various other reasons to keep your parking lot in good condition.
- A parking lot in bad condition can cause damage to cars and be hazardous to pedestrians.
- Severe damage will require more heavy-handed repairs. Letting your parking lot get into a severely bad state will result in more expensive repairs and renovation later on.
- The city may fine you or take other action if the parking lot gets bad enough.
Tip 1: Perform a regular visual inspection
This can’t be stressed enough. Checking on your parking lot is the best way to make sure that no damage has got out of control. It’s also a good way to look for non-damage problem areas. Perform a visual inspection at least once every two weeks, possibly more often during bad weather seasons.
- Check for damage to asphalt and concrete. Asphalt paving can get cracks, ruts, and develop areas that aren’t level.
- Check for other potential problem areas, that aren’t just damage.
- Look for areas that need better lighting and signage.
- Are there any trees growing nearby whose roots could be problematic?
- Ensure that drains and runoff gutters are free of debris.
- Look for pools of oil, solvent, water, or other liquids. These can cause massive asphalt damage over time. Check for liquid buildup in your runoff areas as well.
- Are there any large bottlenecks that cause problems for drivers/walkers?
- Do you need a bike rack anywhere?
- How is the handicap space (or spaces)?
Tip 2: Keep it clean
Adding to what you may see when following tip 1, clean up the debris you find. Parking lots build up grime over time. It needs to get removed. Cleaning makes the paint and signs look better. It also ensures that people can see important markings, such as directions and parking space lines. Clean up oil and liquid puddles. Clean off debris from tree branches, car parts, broken glass, and anything else that doesn’t belong on your parking lot. Remember to check the drains too. They can fill with debris, leading to clogging and improper drainage. Remember the big three:
- Clean drains
- Clean of oil/liquid build up
- Remove debris
Tip 3: Seal coating
When you have new asphalt paving of any kind, you should have it seal coated. Make sure to reach out to a quality paving contractor to get your paving and seal coating done as well as possible. The frequency of how often you seal coat it will vary according to traffic and weather conditions. Here’s how to ensure you are seal coating properly, and often enough:
- A new parking lot should be seal coated 6 months after the asphalt is first laid.
- In the case you don’t know when the asphalt was laid and/or if it has been seal coated in the past, then get it seal coated when it first shows signs of damage.
- After the first seal coating, do it every 2-4 years. Whether it’s every 2 years or 4 years depends on weather, traffic, and any other conditions.
Seal coating helps extend the lifetime of asphalt into multiple decades. Basically, seal coating is providing a layer of weatherproof material on top of the asphalt. This prevents leakage into the asphalt, which only results in worsening damage over time. We’ve extensively gone over why you should seal coat.
Tip 4: Fill in cracks and potholes
If you nip smaller cracks in the bud, then they won’t become bigger cracks. Handling cracks can also help potholes from developing as well. Now, filling in cracks and holes can be a complex and painstaking procedure. It doesn’t have to be, but it can be if you don’t have the right tools and know how. It’s a good bet that this is something you will want a paving contractor to do for you. Cracks and potholes filled in improperly can look unsightly and unprofessional. They can also not actually provide the benefit they should be if they aren’t done right.
- Here’s a great guide on filling them in from AsphaltSealcoatingDirect.com.
- Here’s our guide to potholes.
- Also, check out our guide to filling in cracks.
Tip 5: Paint/re-striping
Remember way back in tip 1 when we mentioned looking for worn paint? Over time, with many vehicles passing over, paint will wear off. Other factors that wear down your paint will be rain, UV rays from the sun, and other repairs to the lot. It may seem like a no-brainer, but business owners often forget to re-stripe their lots often enough. This leads to confusion for motorists who may not know where to park or drive. It can also be confusing for pedestrians who don’t know where the walkways are in the lot. Re-striping improve:
- Professional appearance of the lot
- Safety for those using it
- Acquiescence with the law
- Easier entry and exit
Have a professional paving contractor get your parking lot up to snuff
If you are worried about the state of your lot (why else would you be here), then you happen to be in the right place. Reliable Paving has been in the business for over 35 years. We are professional paving contractors, with a long history, advanced techniques, and a large team. We have the skills, tools, and personnel to fix parking spaces of just about any size and scale. Our services range from laying new asphalt to assisting you with any of the tips mentioned above. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.