Winter weather can have extremely damaging effects on asphalt and for that reason, as a property manager, you need to implement stringent commercial parking lot maintenance on a regular basis. This is especially true in the winter when snow, rain, hail, ice, and other elements such as rock salt and de-icing agents are just lurking in the shadows waiting to unleash their destructive forces on your precious pavement. To avoid potentially costly repairs after a particularly harsh winter season (which we seem to get a lot of in Canada), you need to take active steps to prepare your asphalt for the colder climate. The first step towards proper preparation is understanding exactly how winter weather can impact your asphalt parking lot and what you can do to prevent these damages.
What Does Winter Do to Your Asphalt Parking Lot?
While you could certainly blame the weather for the damages your parking lot endures during the cold and harsh Canadian winter months, unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated than that. Weather and the elements certainly have a lot to do with it, but human intervention and influence should also bare a good chunk of the fault for damaged asphalt.
Rain, snow, sleet, ice, and hail can all be attributed to Mother Nature but snow plows, shovels, de-icing agents (which are usually comprised of harmful chemicals), negligence, and the weight of vehicles can also contribute to a faltering parking lot. The combination of these factors can lead to cracks, potholes, water damage, depressions, faded line markings, and so much more.
Fluctuating temperatures throughout the year can also cause your asphalt to constantly expand and contract, which can also lead to internal and surface cracking and allow water to seep through the facade.
Tips to Prepare Your Parking Lot for Winter
Here are a few useful tips you can use to protect your asphalt parking lot this winter:
Secure Snow Removal Services
Winter parking lot safety should be your top priority during this time of year, especially since you’re likely to have a lot of holiday shoppers milling around your property. Regular snow removal is an absolute must, particularly in areas that get a lot of the white stuff. Removing snow as often as possible is a great way to prevent slip-and-fall injuries, extensive water damage to your parking lot, and ensuring that designated parking and driving areas remain clearly marked.
Maintain Your Parking Lot Drainage System
This is a crucial time of year to make sure that your parking lot drainage system is in excellent working order. Excess runoff water from the melting snow and ice needs somewhere to go and if your drainage system is blocked or damaged, you’re going to have to deal with a lot of pooling water and puddles. Not only do these conditions deter customers from wanting to visit your property, but they can also lead to the need for widespread and expensive parking lot repair services.
Use All-Natural De-Icing Agents
Just like standing water and large puddles, chemical de-icing agents can have extremely harmful effects on your asphalt parking lot by causing it to erode at a much faster pace than it normally would. You should also keep in mind that certain de-icing agents are formulated for specific temperature levels. The colder the temperatures, the harsher the chemicals will be. But, there are all-natural de-icing agents on the market that are more environmentally friendly and less harmful than their chemically-ridden counterparts.
Mark Your Parking Lot Before the First Snowfall
Part of providing excellent and responsible property maintenance is demarcating your parking lot on a regular basis. Faded line markings in your parking lot can actually cause a lot of confusion for your patrons and may even lead to injuries. This is a potentially serious liability that you can avoid by simply hiring a contractor who specializes in parking lot line painting. That way, when the time comes to remove the snow in the dead of winter, at least you’ll still have somewhat freshly painted lines separating your parking spaces.
Perform All Necessary Property Repairs in the Fall
This tip is a no-brainer. The fall is the perfect time of year to perform a complete inspection of the exterior of your property to identify and repair any damages. Regardless of the severity of the damages, they should be repaired immediately. Even minor cracks have the potential to become large potholes. Combined with the snow, sleet, and rain, not to mention constantly being driven over by vehicles, potholes are a big source of aggravation for a lot of commercial property owners. Repairing cracks while the weather still allows for it is a smart idea because it means a lot less hassle for you.
Keep Your Commercial Parking Lot Clean at All Times
Removing debris such as discarded litter, flyaway leaves, and even animal droppings (those Canadian geese have no shame!) is essential to preserving the durability and longevity of your parking lot. It’s a messy job, but somebody’s got to do it. If you don’t have the time, equipment, or desire to clean your parking lot yourself, then you should consider hiring parking lot maintenance services in your area to do it for you. It could end up saving you a great deal of time and money in the long run that you could use to focus on managing your business and taking care of your customers.
The way you present and take care of your parking lot speaks volumes about your business. This winter, make sure you’re sending the right message to your customers.
Put an end to your search for “parking lot maintenance near me” by calling on the experts at Sure-Seal Pavement Maintenance Inc. For over 20 years, we’ve built up a strong reputation as one of Ontario’s most renowned parking lot contractors. From installing, repairing, and replacing asphalt parking lots to sealcoating and providing top notch winter maintenance services, we’re the right company to handle all of your asphalt pavement needs. All of our work is backed by a seven-year warranty that includes materials and labour because we believe in delivering only the best services for our customers. To learn more about our parking lot winter maintenance packages, please feel free to contact us today!