Think about how much you spend on things that will grow your business, like advertising, marketing, customer support, quality assurance, and product development. Now, imagine all that time, money, and effort going down the drain. Do your customers feel unsafe driving in your pothole-ridden parking lot? Are your raw materials unable to be delivered due to snow and ice?
The outside elements will inevitably wreak havoc upon our man-made structures, but it’s up to us to fight back. Parking lot maintenance may look different across the seasons. Let’s look at how each season’s weather impacts the health of your parking lot.
Wintertime is perhaps the worst for the asphalt. Temperatures fluctuating to the cold extreme will cause asphalt to contract, creating cracks and potholes. Run-off from snow and ice melts can compound this effect. As snow and ice repeatedly melt with the morning sun and freeze again overnight, it erodes and perpetuates the pre-existing system of cracks in the sublayer.
Parking lot maintenance in the winter should include a winter weather contingency plan. In other words, you’ll want your local snow and ice removal company on call anytime a snow storm blows through. Not only will they use plow trucks and shovels to clear your parking lot and pathways, but they may also apply de-icers to keep the area safe and slip-free. The only downside to de-icers is that certain kinds, like rock salt, can further speed up the erosion process.
As April showers bring May flowers, they also bring further erosion. Especially after a rough winter, your asphalt may have weakened enough to become penetrable. Deterioration of the sublayer will result in recessed areas that hold water like a bowl. When water pools like this, it’ll only make these issues worse and worse. Thus, springtime parking lot repairs should include filling in cracks and refreshing your seal-coating to recover your asphalt from the damaging effects of water and de-icers.
Just as asphalt contracts under freezing temperatures, it will likewise expand when exposed to scorching heat. As a result, the top layer may stretch from the subsurface and soften under heavy vehicular traffic, increasing the chances for potholes to develop. Additionally, if your parking lot gets plenty of sunlight, the UV rays may cause the surface to fade or become discolored. Your summertime parking lot repairs should include repairing potholes as soon as they appear, resurfacing, and fresh line striping.
In autumn, the atmosphere begins to cool off but maybe not quite to the point of snowstorms. Depending on your region, you may get some heavy coastal rains or a few light showers. Generally speaking, fall is the mildest season in terms of damaging weather events, making it an excellent time to fully repave your parking lot or upgrade the quality of your asphalt before winter.
Your business comprises many interconnected parts. If one element fails, it renders other parts useless. Your parking lot, for instance, may seem like an innocuous piece of the puzzle. Yet, if your parking lot is severely damaged or blocked, it could interfere with your customers’ and suppliers’ ability to access your location.
As the physical threshold between your business and the world, your parking lot is not something to take for granted. Regular parking lot maintenance will keep your business flowing smoothly in and out your doors all year long, no matter the seasonal weather.