12 Tips on Parking Lot Maintenance for 12/12/12

In honor of today being 12/12/12, we have whipped up 12 tips on how to maintain the parking area or driveway at your office, home, or other property.   If you own or oversee a parking lot, please keep in mind that the better care you take of it, the longer it will last and the less it is likely to cost in repairs.  Now onto the tips!

1.  Sweep up dirt, leaves, and other debris:  Obviously, having your parking lot covered in any type of debris looks bad but more importantly it can also be a hazard for pedestrians and drivers.  Not to mention it can diminish your property value if you’re looking to sell.  Also, if you happen to have porous pavement installed, you need to have the pavement swept more regularly so that the dirt does not clog up the holes that allow the water to drain.

2.  Fix potholes and cracks:  This is particularly important as winter weather approaches since water that gets in potholes and cracks can freeze, expand, and make the problem areas even worse.

3.  Sealcoat every 2-4 years:  Sealcoating helps to maintain the surface of the asphalt and slows the break down effect that water and other elements can have on it, thus enabling the pavement to last longer.  Note that 2-4 years is a guideline, but this is largely dependent on weather and usage.  If you find that the surface is fading and/or cracking more quickly or slowly, then adjust your sealcoating plans accordingly.

4.  Freshen painted markings:  If your parking space lines, curbs, handicapped signs, and other painted areas are looking faded, discolored, or chipped, then laying down some fresh paint (preferably after sealcoating) can really make a huge difference in curb appeal while also helping to make the area safer since drivers and pedestrians can see the markings better.

5.  Clear out drainage basins:  If you have leaves and other items clogged into your drainage basin, water will not be able to drain away and will quickly back up in a bad storm, causing the road surface to flood.  Not only is a flooded road surface a driving hazard, but standing water can also wear down your pavement more quickly.

6.  Repair tripping hazards on sidewalks:  Sometimes tree roots can lift up slabs of concrete sidewalk, or other tripping hazards can develop over time.  Have these problem areas fixed up quickly so that nobody gets hurt (which thus reduces your liability as well).

7.  Clearly mark address numbers on your curb:  Emergency personnel may need to see your street number on the curb in front of your house or building, so having numbers clearly demarcated will help them get to you more quickly in the event of an emergency.

8.  Kill weeds growing in cracks:  Weeds growing in cracks have the same effect as ice on your pavement (see above).   Once you remove them from your lot, you should fix the crack or pothole where they popped up to prevent their return.

9.  Clean up oil stains:  Oil stains from automobiles parked on your lot are not only unsightly, but they also contribute to breaking down the asphalt more quickly.  Here are some suggested ways of removing oil stains.

10.  Keep rock salt and sand on hand for snowy and icy conditions.  When the weather outside turns frightful, rock salt will slow the onset of ice from forming and help to make it easier to shovel or plow your lot, while sand will help improve driveability by providing more traction.

11.  Rotate parking areas, when possible.  If you can alternate parking spots, you will help prevent dips and sink holes from forming since your pavement wears when you continually park in the same areas.  In addition, avoid making hard turns when the car is not in motion since this digs into the asphalt and causes depressions

12.  Avoid driving or parking heavy equipment near the edge of your asphalt (where the road meets concrete, brick pavers, etc.) since this area is more susceptible to breaking down compared to the main part of your asphalt.

We hope these 12 tips help you in maintaining your asphalt and concrete parking lot, enabling you to maximize your asphalt’s lifespan and minimize the cost of having to replace it.  If you have any questions along the way, please feel free to contact us here at APCON at 215-672-8000 or info@assocpaving.com and we will steer you in the right direction.

Thanks for reading and safe travels!