Now that winter is over, it’s time to start preparing your property for the spring months. Throughout winter, retail and commercial properties take on a lot of damage, both interior and exterior. Some of the most serious issues can be found in your parking lot. The pavement goes through wear and tear from vehicles all winter long. And on top of that, the constant freezing and thawing of water leads to cracks and potentially potholes. Your parking lot is your first impression for customers, so don’t let the damage from massive salt trucks carry over into the beautiful spring months. Follow these spring maintenance tips for your parking lot to ensure your property is prepared for the upcoming year.
1. Inspect your parking lot
This should be the first step for any property manager. There are always obvious spots around your parking lot that will catch the eye, but walking the entire lot and giving it a thorough inspection will help property managers identify any areas that need attention. You’re looking for cracks, potholes, faded striping – or potentially even issues that have nothing to do with winter, such as inefficiencies in customer parking. After a full scope inspection of your lot, you should have a better understanding of what needs to be done moving forward.
2. Clean the lot
Once you’ve inspected your parking lot, the next step should be to perform a full cleaning. Over the winter, debris tends to pile up, especially along curbs and drains. Once you have removed all the ugly debris that has been stacking up, it’s time to clean the physical surface of your lot. For maintenance like this, it may be easier to hire a professional contractor, like DMG. Luckily, DMG offers full scope parking lot services, including lot sweeping, lot striping, lot repair, etc., to make property managers’ lives a little easier. However, if you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person, here are some tips on how to get the job done.
3. Fix the pavement
After you’ve thoroughly cleaned your lot, the next step – and perhaps the most important – is to begin fixing any issues with your pavement. Potholes and cracks occur most often throughout the winter months, so it is more than likely you will see a few new ones pop up during your spring inspection. Every store owner wants to make a great first impression on customers, and messy pavement will keep you from doing so. Below is a list of the most common pavement issues property managers will find post-winter:
- Heaving asphalt: This occurs in the tiny gap between the concrete and asphalt. Throughout winter, water can seep through this gap and freeze, causing a separation between the two pavements. Make sure to check and fix this to avoid major problems down the line.
- Pavement settlement: This refers to pavement surfaces with a slightly lower elevation than the surrounding pavement. A number of factors can cause this, including poor construction or water washing out the base. Regardless of the cause, pavement settlement is both unattractive and bad for vehicles driving over it.
- Raveling asphalt: You have more than likely seen this before. Raveling asphalt occurs when larger stones on the asphalt surface become dislodged, resulting in a rigid appearance. If caught early, the problem can be fixed. However, these issues normally intensify throughout winter.
- Cracking: Cracking is inevitably going to occur, and spring is the best time to fix cracking issues before they intensify. Smaller cracks can be sealed off with a hot-pout rubberized crack sealer. Anything over 1 1/2″ wide should be sealed off with a hot mix of asphalt.
4. Schedule your work
Cleaning your lot and fixing your pavement can be time-consuming and disruptive for customers coming into your store. It is best to make these important fixes during hours that see the least amount of traffic. It’s also best to put together an an efficient plan after completing step one of inspecting your lot.
5. Maintain your lot
Unfortunately, parking lot maintenance never goes away. It requires constant care and attention in order to be up to your customers’ standards. However, DMG has the resources to take all parking lot maintenance off your hands. We perform the following parking lot services: lot striping, sealing, patching, sweeping, snow removal, landscaping and many more interior and exterior services.