Winter is a hard season for asphalt. The freezing temperatures and frequent precipitation put wear and tear on your parking lot, and the snow plows only add to the stress. As a property owner, it is in your best interests to prepare your parking lot for the challenges that winter brings. By doing a little work now, you can often extend the life of your asphalt and enjoy the cost-savings that result.
THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PREP YOUR PARKING LOT FOR WINTER
HAVE THE PARKING LOT SEALED.
Seal coating is an affordable service that can make your parking lot look better and last longer. It will seal all the small cracks that are inevitable as asphalt ages, and it will help to protect against the degradation that UV rays bring when they hit asphalt.
PAINT NEW LINES ON THE PARKING LOT.
One of the nice things about having the parking lot seal coated is that it means you will get new, clear lines painted on the lot. But even if you don’t want to get the lot seal coated, it is worth looking at your existing lines. If they are worn down and difficult to see, it could be beneficial to get new ones painted.
New lines make navigating the lot much easier for you and customers. This is especially true when the lot is dusted with snow or ice, or the lighting conditions are low.
FILL IN CRACKS.
If you get the lot seal coated, minor cracks will be filled in during the process. But bigger cracks need special attention. And if you are not going with a sealcoat, you definitely want to have existing cracks repaired now before winter hits.
Cracks allow water to penetrate the asphalt surface. Once the water gets into the crack—and usually below the asphalt—it can freeze and expand. The expansion of the water will widen cracks and demolish the subsurface. Once the water melts, all that destruction will result in breakage. You may even wind up with potholes.
TALK WITH A SNOW REMOVAL TEAM.
It is always a good idea to have snow removal lined up before the winter gets into full swing. That way you know that someone will be there to get the snow cleared as soon as possible so you can get back to business. However, if you want to keep your parking lot from being damaged unnecessarily, you want to have a talk with the snow removal company before they get to work.
Let the company know of any potential problems you see with plowing, like irregularities in the asphalt, curbs that might be hit accidentally, etc. You want to be clear that avoiding asphalt damage should be a priority.
CHOOSE YOUR ICE MELT CAREFULLY.
Asphalt can be damaged by ice melt, so you want to be sure that what you are using will be safe for your parking lot. You can talk with an asphalt repair specialist to determine what kind of material you have in your lot and what type of melting chemicals are preferable. As a general rule, you want to avoid melts that contain ammonium, as it is known to break down asphalt. There are ice melts composed of primarily calcium that are much more asphalt-friendly.
CLEAN THINGS UP.
Debris can lead to unnecessary wear and tear on your parking lot. Much of the damage is caused when snow plows grind the material against the surface of the asphalt, although debris accumulation can also cause damage by holding moisture over a location for an extended period of time. Cleaning up debris is a sensible thing to do even if it didn’t help the asphalt—your customers and/or clients will find your business more appealing if you keep up appearances.
GET READY FOR WINTER.
Winter weather requires you to do a bit of work to keep your business operational, like shoveling snow and making sure pathways are ice-free. You will need certain tools to take care of these jobs, like a snow shovel, push broom and ice melt. You don’t want to discover that your shovel is bent or your broom is broken as the snow is falling. Check your tools now and make sure they are all in order so you are ready to go when you need to be.
HELPING WITH ALL YOUR ASPHALT NEEDS
The team at Roadbuilders is here to assist with preparing your parking lot for winter. We offer driveway paving in Nashville, as well as sealcoating and crack filling maintenance. Please contact us to learn more.