— By Jaron Srain —
How to tell if your parking lot meets commercial standards.
The first thing a client sees when they pull up to your business is not your sign, your landscaping or even your building. It’s your parking lot. You don’t want your new client driving over a bumpy, faded driveway only to step in a giant pothole full of water when they park the car.
Believe it or not, the quality of your parking lot makes a lasting impression on your business. That’s why it is essential that you take steps to ensure your parking lot and driveway are not only safe to drive on, but a beauty to look at. In this article you’ll learn how to tell if your parking lot meets commercial standards and whether or not you need to call in the experts to repave.
How to Tell When It’s Time to Repave
Your parking lot needs to be safe, but it also needs to look good and be compliant with state and local ordinances. Below you’ll find nine questions that you should ask to determine whether or not your need to repave your parking lot.
- Does Your Parking Lot Flood or Hold Water?
Water management is critical to the lifespan of your pavement. Your contractor should have planned for appropriate drainage to ensure your parking lot doesn’t flood or hold water.
Drainage issues can be a major problem and lead to excessive damage and costly repairs. Water flowing over and around your parking lot can also erode the base layer of soil below your pavement.
The lack of support will cause your parking lot to cave, buckle and crack. That’s why it’s incredibly important that your parking lot is properly designed with adequate drainage and a minimum slope of 2%.
- Is Your Parking Lot Cracked & Faded?
If you’re staring at a cracked and faded parking lot, then it’s long past time to repave. Years of regular wear and tear will degrade the integrity of any asphalt structure when given enough time. Thankfully, there are several preventative measures that you can employ to seal cracks and improve the aesthetic of your parking lot, like cracksealing and sealcoating.
- Does Your Parking Lot Have a Good Gravel Base?
One of the most important parts of your parking lot is a part that you can’t even see. The gravel sub-base below your pavement is the foundation that prevents your parking lot from buckling under the weight and strain of multiple vehicles.
- Is There Smooth Integration With Existing Pavement?
One way you can determine whether or not you need to repave your parking lot is if the transition between your parking lot and existing pavement is rough and uneven. Your parking lot should integrate smoothly with existing pavement that has been refurbished and precision cut.
If you find yourself tripping over uneven pavement when you walk from your parking lot to your sidewalk, then it’s time to call the experts to complete the job the last paving contractor left undone.
- Is Your Parking Lot The Right Thickness?
The durability of your parking lot depends heavily on how thick it is paved. The thicker your parking lot, the stronger and more reliable it will be. Exactly how thick your parking lot should be is determined by the quality of the soil and the type of traffic that is expected to drive on it. Generally, the heavier the traffic, the thicker your pavement should be.
- What About Your Storm Drain?
Storm basins are designed to collect water that runs off your parking lot. If a storm basin is cracked, sunken or installed incorrectly, water can drain onto your parking lot or flood your entire street.
Heavy rain can also shift the soft earth surrounding a storm basin, so it’s relatively common for storm basins to need adjustment. Just before the rainy season is the best time to check your storm basin for cracks and damage.
- Is Your Parking Lot Striped?
If your parking lot isn’t striped, then it’s just a large asphalt slab — a poor investment and a liability. Parking lot striping and re-striping adds essential traffic markers and restores the visual aesthetic of your parking lot.
- Does Your Parking Lot Comply With Accessibility Laws?
Did you know that your parking lot needs to comply with state and local accessibility laws? The number of handicap accessible space required depends on the size of your lot. If you have between 26 and 50 spaces in your lot, then you must have at least two handicap accessible spaces to be compliant.
— Jaron Srain is director of national sales for Bridgeview, Illinois-based Rose Paving, LLC. He has been with Rose Paving LLC for more than 13 years. Rose Paving’s solutions include: pavement maintenance, portfolio management, national service, structural repair and design/build. For more information, visit www.rosepaving.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.