As a commercial property owner, a sound facilities management and maintenance program is paramount to maximizing the value of your property. Maintaining a parking lot can seem like a daunting task. As a business property owner, however, you know this task is a necessary one. The parking lot is a customer’s first introduction to your business. It should be clean, welcoming, easy to navigate and free of potholes, bumps and other imperfections in the pavement. Investing in a company who will perform routine maintenance and repair services is the best way to ensure your customers do not bump and bounce their way right out of your parking lot before ever setting foot into your establishment.
Here are the types of services a parking lot maintenance company can provide:
The messy look might be stylish for a hairstyle, but it does not make for an appealing parking lot. Regular sweeping, trash removal and power washing is important. Keeping a parking lot looking tidy and attractive can help ensure repeat business. Potential customers should not have to worry about running over discarded cans or containers, slipping on banana peels, or tripping over other debris on their way into your building. Power washing will get rid of dirt and grime that settles into cracks and wears down pavement over time.
Parking spaces, including those designated for disabled persons, should be clearly marked. Fresh paint should be applied routinely to keep the parking lot looking new and fresh. Fire lanes and loading areas should be clearly visible at all times. Clear markings help avoid parking confusion. It provides not just an aesthetic benefit, but increases safety, as well.
Concrete can sink over time, creating an uneven surface. To remedy this, the concrete is filled in from the bottom with a mixture consisting mainly of cement. This brings up the sunken concrete back up to the level it should
Applying a sealant to pavement not only keeps the parking lot looking new, it helps prevent corrosion over time. The sealant repels damage from every day exposure to environmental toxins and elements like salt, water, gas and ultraviolet rays. Sealcoating extends the life expectancy of your pavement by increasing its resistance to leaks and spills. Because sealant is black, it absorbs heat, making your pavement more flexible and less likely to crack.
The smallest crack should be sealed as soon as it rears its ugly head. If it is not tended to immediately, it will only grow and become a bigger problem. It can allow dirt or water to settle inside, which can expand the crack, cause additional cracks and compromise the integrity of the pavement. A weakened pavement is more vulnerable to the elements. It will be more likely to succumb to erosion and sink.
Without preventative maintenance, your pavement may deteriorate at an alarming rate, which can put off your potential customers, and which can in turn cause you to lose business. Preventative maintenance is a worthy investment and will help you avoid the high costs of repairs like the following:
Overlooked cracks and wear and tear can cause uneven ridges in the asphalt and noticeable depressions in the ground. Various resurfacing methods exist to correct these problems, including grinding and reinforcement. Grinding is used to smooth down ridges and level erratic and uneven surfaces. Reinforcement involves the use of a special waterproof fabric that helps strengthen and support the asphalt.
Asphalt removal and replacing
The best solution for badly damaged asphalt is to remove and replace it. Temporary fixes just stall the inevitable. The new asphalt should then be properly maintained to prevent a repeat scenario.
Paving repair is an important component of parking lot annual maintenance that will result in longer asphalt life and lower replacement cost. Sealcoating is a significant ingredient in a paving repair program.
Sealcoating protects and prolongs the life of any parking lot by filling surface holes which reduces exposure to ultraviolet rays, oxygen and the depth to which gas or oil can penetrate the pavement. Over time, the surface oxidizes and becomes faded in appearance. Fresh sealcoat paving repair adds new life to pavement in appearance and use.
There are two methods to apply sealcoat: either spray or squeegee. However, before pavement sealing can begin, the surface must be free of all dirt and debris, cracks need to be filled, potholes repaired, and oil spots must be cleaned or primed to ensure better adhesion to the surface. The air and pavement temperature should be ideally at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit during application and for 8 hours afterward. It is best to keep traffic off a newly sealed surface for 18-36 hours to allow for proper drying and cooling time.
The price of asphalt will always be affected by crude oil prices, which fluctuate when supplies vary. Sealcoating preserves asphalt for pennies per square foot.
Sealcoats generally consist of a mixture of emulsified asphalt, water, mineral fillers, and various other admixtures. Sealcoats are applied directly to the surface of an asphalt pavement. They can be applied by rubber squeegee, broom, or mechanical spray.
Sealcoats serve to seal the top of the asphalt, preventing water from penetrating the surface of the pavement and protecting the top layer of asphalt from oxidation and wear caused by exposure to the sun and air. Sealcoats also beautify the pavement by providing a smooth, black, even surface ideal for painting lines and sweeping.
Sealcoats are designed for off highway use where there are low traffic speeds and tight turning radiuses such as parking lots, mobile home parks, schools, shoulders, etc.
Parking lots are the official hangout spots of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles. They may look peaceful, with rows and floors of resting vehicles, but looks can be deceiving. Whether you use them at work, restaurants, hospitals, or other places of business, parking lots pose serious risks for tripping.
On The Surface
Uneven pavement accounts for the majority of trips in parking lots. Sunken or sloped pavement and speed bumps abruptly change the elevation, making it unstable. Many businesses are removing speed bumps, but sunken pavement is not always as obvious of a issue. Uneven surfaces caused by cracks, holes, and lumps in broken pavement can quickly catch the toe of a shoe or cause a misstep. Conditions like these greater than 1 cm need immediate repair. Utility grates and drain covers need to be flush with the pavement and not have openings wider than 1 inch.
Botts dots are non-reflective round or reflective plastic or metal raised pavement markers used in some parking lots to alert drivers to stay within a boundary. However, for pedestrians, these can also pose as a trip hazard.
Icy, oily, or wet surfaces easily cause shoes to lose traction. Other fluids commonly found in parking lots are leaks and spills of engine oil, anti-freeze, and food spills. Decorative tile flooring at stairway and elevator entrances pose a high risk when they become moist or icy. Ironically, safety yellow reflective paint can be very slippery when wet, even with abrasive additives.
This is especially true at the ends of ramps or inclines where Botts dots exist to aid in handicapped areas. Not only can they trip a pedestrian, but the reflective paint used to make them more visible becomes noticeably slippery when wet.
A parking lot layout can enhance or hinder safety. Wheel stops and tire stops are notorious trip hazards more often being replaced by posts and bumper guards. Litter and thoughtlessly-discarded items can also trip someone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 50% of parking lot and sidewalk slips and falls occur in the morning between 6:00 a.m. and noon, because poor lighting impedes visibility.
Falls occur even in the most meticulously maintained parking lots when people fail to observe safety guidelines for using them. Worn soles or improper footwear for the environment can cause slips or trips. High heels, leather soled, and open toe shoes have less traction on wet or icy surfaces than boots or rubber soled shoes.
Thank you to everyone who visited us at the PMEXPO 2014. We hope you had as much fun as we did! Pavement Corporation is a full service parking lot and roadway repair and maintenance service company. We serve lots of satisfied customers in Maryland, Virginia, DC and Delaware.
Congratulations to A.J. Dwoskin and Associates, Fairfax, Va. and Avison Young, Washington, D.C. These two distinguished property managers were our top prize winners. A.J. Dwoskin was the winner of our top prize at the Property Management Expo. The top prize was the Parrot A.R. Drone 2.0. The drone can be used to survey parking lots to better determine repair requirements. Avison Young was the winner of our second prize, a high capacity bluetooth headset. Congratulations to both of our winners.
Pavement Corporation is ready to assist with all of your parking lot repair and maintenance needs including pothole repair, striping and concrete. Contact us today for a property assessment or a free estimate.