Single car in otherwise empty parking lot, in the rain

Maintaining Your Parking Lot

Most people know the importance of maintaining their commercial buildings. But if you own a commercial building, you likely also own a parking lot as well. And unfortunately, the parking lot can get neglected. Unfortunately, if the parking lot is neglected, it may deteriorate faster, decrease your property value and subject you to potential lawsuits. If you own a parking lot, here are some of the tips you will want to follow to properly maintain your parking lot.

Fixing Cracks

One of the most common types of maintenance that an asphalt parking lot will need is to have the cracks fixed. Asphalt can crack for multiple reasons. It can crack when land beneath the surface settles, it can crack due weather elements and it can crack due to exposure to the sun. When cracks are caught early enough, a crack filler can be used to fill in the crack and prevent it from growing or expanding. If cracks are not caught early enough, they can turn into potholes, which are more costly and time consuming to fill.

Filling Potholes

Another type of maintenance that asphalt parking lots frequently need is pothole management. Potholes are typically caused by cracks that have not been tended to in a timely manner. Additionally, they can be created if the dirt, soil and sand below the asphalt surface sink quickly, causing the surface to crumble. Potholes need to be filled in with new asphalt. The asphalt then needs to be leveled to ensure there are not any tripping hazards in your parking lot. If you fail to fill in potholes, the potholes can expand in size, and repair may no longer be an option.

Maintaining Proper Drainage

One of the lesser known elements that goes into properly maintaining your parking lot is ensuring your parking lot drains properly. When a parking lot is first constructed, it should be graded so that water can properly drain away from both the parking lot and your commercial building. But as the asphalt wears down or settles, it may not drain properly. This means water may drain toward your building, which can damage the foundation, or can cause puddles to form in the parking lot. If you notice either of these issues, your asphalt parking lot may need to be re-graded or drains may need to be installed in your parking lot.

Sealcoating the Surface

Asphalt is a porous material. It naturally absorbs water. And when it absorbs water, it expands. This can cause the asphalt to crack or crumble. Sealcoating coats the top of the asphalt so that it cannot absorb water. This helps to minimize the frequency in which your asphalt surface cracks. But the sun, rain, snow and people walking and driving over the parking lot cause the sealcoat to wear down. Sealcoating should be reapplied as needed. If you are unsure if your asphalt surface needs to be sealcoated, sprinkle some water on it. If the water balls up or pools, the sealcoating is working. If it seeps into the surface, sealcoating needs to be reapplied.

Ensuring it is Safe

The last tip for maintaining your parking lot is to ensure your parking lot is safe. Parking lots can be a liability if not properly maintained. If someone trips in a pot hole and breaks their leg, you can be held accountable. Likewise, if the lighting is poor and a car hits a pedestrian in your parking lot, you may have some liability. When you are maintaining your parking lot, be sure that is well-lit, that driving directions painted on the ground are clear and that the surface is safe for both drivers and pedestrians. This can help to minimize any liability you may have if someone is injured while walking or driving in your parking lot.

Properly maintaining a parking lot can help to increase the value of a commercial building, extend the life of the asphalt surface and reduce your exposure to lawsuits. If you do not yet have a commercial building and connected parking, MH Williams Construction can help. We are a construction company who can help business owners who are in need of having their commercial property developed. Contact us today to see how we can help you.