Winterize Your Lot, Before Problems Snowball
Winter is your parking lot’s worst enemy. When it comes to maintaining the usefulness, safety, and appearance of your parking lot, neither summer’s heat and rays nor autumn’s accumulating leaves can do more damage in a single season.
The stress of constantly freezing and thawing, being covered in ice and snow, the subsequent rivers and puddles of slushy water, the wear caused by snowmelt chemicals and sand, snowplows with blades set too low, even chains on car tires – yes, that’s still a thing.
Not addressing preexisting parking lot issues like these prior to a harsh northeast winter is a surefire way to turn potential small problems into definite big ones. And as those problems compound, so do their financial impacts, often exponentially.
Your parking lot is one of your biggest investments. Protect it with these three simple winterizing tips.
Take a walk around your parking lot.
Identifying most areas that could use repairs shouldn’t be all that difficult. Is your lot clean? Have any potholes or cracks developed? Do you notice any sunken areas where water can collect? Are pathways for drainage unimpeded? Are wayfinding signs and lines clearly visible?
As temperatures and snowflakes start to fall, those cracks and potholes will collect water. That water can seep below the surface of your lot and compromise its integrity from inside, turning surface blemishes into more problematic foundational issues. Standing water also freezes, creating safety hazards for cars and pedestrians.
Also be sure to take a look at the state of your catch basins. A drainage system that is already clogged, will become even more taxed by melting snow and runoff, and that will only exacerbate water issues. Make sure to check the lot’s storm grates for any visible debris or stoppage.
Fix what you find.
Did you notice collecting debris – for example, along curbing or drainage pathways? Then you could benefit from a lot sweeping. Did you see alligator cracks, potholes, or any other possible points of entry for moisture to collect on, get into or under your lot? Have those patched. And when was the last time your lot was seal coated? A fresh coating is one of the best ways to protect your lot against the elements year-round, and especially in the wintertime.
Another excellent way to make sure that water doesn’t turn your parking lot into a skating rink, is to have broken curbs and stuffed up catch basins fixed before the winter weather hits. Curbing and catch basins work together to make sure that water doesn’t park itself on your lot, which can be even more unsafe than it is unsightly.
After everything’s cleaned and sealed, consider putting down new traffic and parking lines. With the potential for snow coverage, sharp and distinct lines increase visibility and, therefore, safety. They also hold up better to the fading and chipping that snow plows and salt trucks can cause.
3. THEN PLAN FOR THE REST
Once your lot is in fighting shape for the winter, hiring a professional snow removal team for the season is the best way to keep your property user friendly. Removing snow and debris as quickly and thoroughly as possible after a storm keeps your lot open and safe for customers, and helps prevent new damage from forming.
Of course, regular lot maintenance should be a four-season priority.
Regular maintenance prolongs the life of your lot, maximizes your investment, and preserves overall property value. A good looking lot delivers tons of curb appeal and a solid first impression with customers. But most importantly of all, a well-maintained parking lot ensures an accessible and safe environment for everyone who visits your property.
Want to talk about having your parking lot inspected and winterized? We’re ready when you are. Give ECIS a call today, and be sure to ask us about year-round maintenance plans to meet your needs and budget, too.
We’ve got lots of great ways to help!