How to Get More Mileage Out of Your Commercial Parking Lot

As the owner of a commercial and/or industrial building in the Mid-Atlantic region, there are a host of property maintenance issues you have to address regularly to ensure the longevity, safety, and appeal of your property. One of the more time-intensive and financially costly components of your property is likely the upkeep of your parking lot. Over the years, continuous usage by customers, vendors, and your team inflict wear and tear on the asphalt, reducing its safety and attractiveness.

However, there are some steps you can take to help preserve your asphalt parking lot that lets you save time and capital in the long run. These steps will enhance the appeal and safety of your property for your customers, business partners, and team members. Discover below more about asphalt parking lots and how you can extend the life of the one on your property.

In this blog piece, you will learn:

1.) How long asphalt parking lots tend to last.

2.) What causes asphalt parking lots to deteriorate in quality.

3.) How you can extend the lifespan of your asphalt parking lot,

How long you can expect your asphalt to last

A prudent investment in asphalt for your parking lot may well pay dividends for the long- term. The technology continues to improve for asphalt and you can sleep easy knowingthat a well-designed and constructed asphalt parking lot can last for many years. For example, asphalt sections of an interstate highway in the state of Washington have proved durable for more than 35 years requiring no structural rehabilitation. In Auburn, Alabama, the National Center for Asphalt Technology is testing for means to enhance asphalt lifespan. They are examining the effects of applying 10 million ESALS (Equivalent Single Axle Loads) on pavement samples for over two years and have so far found few indications of distress on the surface. As technological improvements come online, it seems likely industrial and commercial property owners will need to dedicate less time and resources to asphalt maintenance.

What causes your asphalt ’s lifespan to shorten

Several factors impact the lifespan of your asphalt parking lot. The prime factors include weather, erosion, usage, and lack of consistent maintenance efforts. Failing to clean off small rocks and pebbles, glass, and other debris for your parking lot will cause deterioration of the asphalt. Keep in mind that snow plows have the capacity to cause damage, while storm water runoff can transport oil, metals, and sediments to your lot. It is vital to keep an eye on the development of cracks and potholes on your asphalt lot as well. When you see cracks, it is important to fix them right away to prevent them form expanding. These cracks typically occur when the surface of your parking lot oxidizes and subsequently shrinks the asphalt. The cracks can expand when water enters them and freezes.

Ways you can extend the lifespan of your asphalt parking space

Given the risks to the integrity of your asphalt parking lot, there are several ways you can help prevent the erosion of your surface including regular sealcoating, drainage maintenance, cleaning and repairs, appropriate lighting and landscaping, as well as restriping.

Seal coating
Seal coating offers maintenance and cosmetic benefits for your asphalt parking lot. The process of seal coating, which you should perform approximately every three years, entails implanting an asphalt emulsifier or coal-tar into the asphalt. The seal coat is best for filling minute cracks in your surface typically less than 1/8th of an inch in width. The process protects the surface from moisture, sun damage, and chemical spills such as antifreeze, gasoline, or oil. Moreover, regular seal coating enhances the aesthetic appeal of your parking lot. It revitalizes the color making it seem like new for the enjoyment of your associates and customers.

Proper drainage systems, cleaning and repairs
Ensuring proper drainage enables water to travel away from your parking space. This prevents water from settling on your surface. As discussed above, resting water tends to seep into your asphalt precipitating cracks and erosion. Sweeping off dirt, leaves and rocks enhances the appearance of your lot as well as increases the safety of your property for your customers and team members. Should cracks appear from water or debris damage, immediately act to repair them. Although sealcoating works best for addressing cracks less than 1/8”,  for larger ones seek to use a mix of rubber and asphalt that is easy to apply and inexpensive.

Lighting and landscaping
Echoing the benefits and importance of restriping, ensuring that you have high-caliber lighting for your space is essential. Improper lighting makes your space vulnerable in terms of safety. Appropriate lighting prevents people from tripping and falling as well as reduces the risk of theft of property. Along these lines, maintaining high standards with regard to landscaping will boost the appeal and shelf-life of your asphalt packing lot. Planting and caring for plants, bushes and trees not only adds life and color to your space, but also assists in reducing storm water damage, preventing erosion and reducing levels of carbon dioxide.

Combined with regular maintenance and cleaning, consistent restriping boosts the appearance, safety and longevity of your asphalt parking lot. The importance of restriping is often underestimated by commercial and/or industrial property owners. Restriping makes your space more appealing to customers and your business associates. With well-defined parking lot lines, you will create a more organized lot that is compliant with laws and regulations as well as more aesthetically pleasing. Ultimately, as technological applications in asphalt surfaces continue to evolve and improve, there may well come a day when minimal to even no regular maintenance will be required to preserve the longevity of your asphalt parking lot. In the meantime, investing the necessary resources and time in the steps described above will enable you to increase the practical lifespan of your parking lot while also boosting its attractiveness and appeal to your customers and clients.