Winter is right around the corner and the frigid conditions can definitely take its toll on your parking lot. Freezing precipitation can put a lot of pressure on your asphalt and create deep cracks along the surface which can ultimately create foundation problems. The next thing you know, those minor problems have become MAJOR ones, and those inexpensive fixes are now EXPENSIVE repair projects. To prevent this from happening it is important to inspect your parking lot now and take the necessary preventative steps to prepare for the cold months ahead.
Three important preventative maintenance steps you can take to make sure your parking lot is winter-ready are asphalt patching, crack sealing and sealcoating. Below is a little more information about each of these procedures:
Asphalt patching consists of removing the failed asphalt material to a specified depth and replacing it with new hot-mix asphalt. The depth of the repair is determined by the extent of damage to the existing pavement. Asphalt patching strengthens the weak areas and extends the overall life of your asphalt investment. After the asphalt patching has been completed, crack sealer and asphalt sealcoat are often applied to protect the pavement from further damage.
Sealing cracks is the most economical way to prevent future asphalt deterioration. Large cracks have much more movement with changing temperature conditions and need to be filled with a material that also has a high elasticity. Cracks more than a few tenths of an inch should be sealed with rubberized hot pour filler that seeps throughout cracks and hardens to prevent water from penetrating. Crack sealing is an important step for proper maintenance of your asphalt pavement and offers dramatic savings to your long-term pavement maintenance budget.
Sealcoating protects and maintains the life of your asphalt by keeping water from seeping into the asphalt, causing it to break down more quickly. It should generally be done every 2-4 years depending on traffic conditions and weather. The ideal time to seal a road is when deterioration is first discovered; thus saving expensive patching or repaving.
Don’t take the chance of costly winter damages when you can prevent them now. For more information about asphalt patching, crack sealing and/or sealcoating or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today at email@example.com or 855.976.8465 x1008.
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.
Those involved in planning parking patterns for businesses and buildings across the country have a strong incentive to be familiar with the federal guidelines for handicapped parking spaces. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was most recently updated in 2010, and it includes the complete list of federal guidelines for handicapped parking compliance in the United States.
Number of Spaces
The number of handicapped parking spaces required for a business depends on the size of the parking lot. Up to the first 100 spaces, only one spot in 25 is required to be handicap-accessible. One spot in 50 is needed for the next 100 spaces, and one spot in 100 for any additional 100 up to 500 spaces. If a lot contains between 500 and 1,000 spaces, 2% of the spaces must be handicap-accessible. If a lot exceeds 1,000 spaces, 20 accessible spaces are required, plus an extra accessible space for each additional 100 spaces.
Certain facilities are required to have more accessibility depending on their function. Hospitals and outpatient centers, for example, must have 10% of their spaces meet modern accessibility guidelines. Physical therapy and rehabilitation clinics must have 20%.
Parking Space Locations
Per the ADA regulations, handicap-accessible spaces must be located on the shortest accessible route to the entrance of the building or site that the parking lot services. For general-use parking lots, handicap-accessible spaces should be located close to a public walkway, such as a sidewalk, with an accessible means of reaching it.
Parking Space Specifications
Handicap-accessible spaces have explicit guidelines on how they are to be sized and proportioned. Spaces with car accessibility must be a minimum of 96 inches wide, while spaces intended for use with vans must be a minimum of 132 inches wide. Both types of spaces must have an access aisle adjacent to them.
Access aisles connect accessible parking spaces to entrances. These aisles must be at least 60 inches wide, but they can be shared by adjacent accessible spaces. Access aisles must extend the entire length of the accessible space it services, and they should be clearly marked to discourage parking within their boundaries. Both access aisles and the spaces adjacent to them must have 98 inches of vertical clearance.
Accessible spaces should not generally be placed on a sloped surface – there is a strong preference for building accessible spaces and aisles on flat ground to better serve the needs of their users. Building accessible parking on grades is only permitted if the grade is very shallow (1:48 or lower).
Accessible parking spaces must also be adequately labeled to signify their use. Spaces must be labeled with the International Symbol of Accessibility – the well-known pictograph of the figure sitting in a wheelchair in front of a blue background. For a space to be in compliance with accessibility guidelines, a sign with the accessibility symbol must be placed at least 60 inches from the ground to mark the space in question. If the space is to be designed to be van accessible, a sign should be added beneath the first to reflect this as well.