As a business or property owner, your parking lot is a crucial aspect of your business, contributing to your business’ overall value and appearance. A freshly sealed parking lot with new striping gives a more mature, complete and professional feel to a business. Incorporating the best preventative and corrective maintenance plans of action into your overall property management and budget will help your business make a solid first impression.
Since parking lots are big part of your property, they require timely and appropriate maintenance. Parking lots sporting many potholes can leave a poor impression on visitors. As a property owner or manager, you should evaluate your entire parking lot and note the types of distress and the severity of those deficient areas. Here is a high-level list of what to look for:
- Number of potholes
- Approximate square footage of damage and severity of the holes (low, moderate, severe)
- Cracking, the amount of square footage and the severity (how wide is the cracking, etc)
Plan of Action
After the evaluation, which can be conducted individually or with the assistance of a professional, a plan of action should be developed for maintenance and incorporated into the facility budget. The maintenance plan should be split into two areas, preventive and corrective. Remember deferred maintenance is often more expensive and larger in scope because of the neglect. Pavement technologies change rapidly, which means plans and costs can change too.
- Preventive maintenance is a proactive approach addressing the needs of normal wear and tear. We recommend developing annual, five year and ten year plans. Annual programs should include sweeping, crack sealing and a periodic check for any areas that might show the need for patching before it turns into a full blown pothole or worse. Many of these can be repaired fairly quickly by the use of an Infra-red machine. Next create a detailed five-year plan. It would include the yearly maintenance plan along with a seal coat to renew the asphalt surface and seal the surface from the possible penetration of water. A seal stops water from entering the ground under asphalt, which would allow the expansion and contraction by seasonal temperatures. Projecting out to a ten-year plan, you would include the annual maintenance and add a slurry seal, which would replace some of the thickness that may have worn away and fill ion minor ruts and cracking.
- Corrective is the type of work involving removal and replacement of material — think of potholes as a general rule here. Corrective care often involves cutting the area(s) and removing the material, replacing it with fresh asphalt and compacting the asphalt to the level of the existing surface. If the area is large, you now have equipment removing large areas of failed asphalt (or concrete), then re-compaction of the afflicted area and new asphalt laid — a very expensive procedure. Worth noting, irrigation is a common culprit of asphalt failure. Water will find into the weak point in a paved surface and will work its way to the sub-surface where the strength and stability will degrade. This often results in the start of a pothole.
Proper and regular maintenance of parking lots are often susceptible to tight budgets. Try to protect this line item and you will reap the rewards later when you do not have to invest heavily in major repairs. A professional company can help with recommended repairs and the timeline for future maintenance.