When you start your own small business, you end up wearing many hats -- from accountant to marketer. One hat you probably didn't know you'd be wearing is that of parking lot maintenance manager. Your parking lot is an important part of your business because all of your customers utilize it and see if whenever they visit, so you need to make sure it's maintained properly. The answers to these frequently asked questions about parking lot maintenance should serve as guidance.
How often does the parking lot need to be resealed? How can you tell when it needs to be resealed?
Most parking lots should be sealed every 2 - 3 years. Keeping a good layer of sealant on the parking lot will reduce cracking and help prevent pot holes from forming, which not only keeps your parking lot looking good, but also keeps your customers safe.
If you just acquired your property and are not sure how long it has been since the parking lot has been sealed, take a good look at the asphalt. Does it look dull and gray rather than black and ever-so-slightly reflective? Can you see small cracks starting to form? If so, chances are good that it's time to have it sealed. Call a local asphalt company, and make plans to have this done. You'll want to plan ahead and schedule the sealer application for a day you're not open, since your parking lot will need to remain closed for a day or so while the sealer dries.
When do you need to have the parking lot entirely removed and replaced?
When properly cared for, an asphalt parking lot should last about 20 - 30 years. If the old owners did not take good care of the lot, then you may find that you have to replace it prematurely. If you're not sure how old your parking lot is, ask the asphalt technicians from a site like http://armourpavement.com the next time they come to seal it. They should be able to give you an approximation of how much longer your parking lot will last.
Are there ways to slow down parking lot deterioration?
Absolutely. Even if your parking lot is in good shape right now, you want to be proactive about taking care of it, so you don't face the big expense of having to replace it any sooner than necessary. In addition to having it sealed regularly, you can take good care of your parking lot by:
- Using liquid, chemical deicers rather than salt during the winter. These are easier on the asphalt and don't cause so much pitting and cracking.
- Having your parking lot swept regularly. This ensures debris does not get ground in to the asphalt or trap moisture against it. There are companies you can hire to come sweep your parking lot weekly or biweekly.
- Maintaining proper drainage. Do not allow drainage grates and tubes to become blocked, as moisture buildup on the asphalt decreases its lifespan.
What should you do when a pothole or large crack appears?
Every couple of weeks, walk around your parking lot and make note of any potholes or cracks you may see. Then, make plans to have these filled in by an asphalt company. The longer you ignore a pothole, the larger it will become and the more effort it will take to fill, so take care of it when it's small so it does not cost you as much. While you're waiting to have the potholes filled, you may want to place cones in or by them, so customers know to use caution.
Maintaining a parking lot requires some vigilance. However, as long as your parking lot is relatively new, your tasks should be mostly limited to making plans to have it sealed every few years and keeping it clean. If potholes are becoming a frequent issue, that's a sign that it's time to replace the whole lot.