As a business owner, we only want to give the best customer experience, but the best customer experience begins from the moment they stepped into your property which means your parking lot is the first thing that your customers will see. That said, maintaining general upkeep is important to keep your customers happy, safe, and satisfied. However, your parking will not stay and look the same without you doing the necessary steps to keep it in good shape.
If you’ve been dealing with a distressed parking lot for a while now, perhaps it’s time to evaluate whether it’s time to ask for some professional help. Look out for these five signs and see if it’s time for a repair or a new parking lot.
1. Alligator Cracks
Alligator cracks are characterized by large interlaced cracking that resembles an alligator’s hide. These are different from ordinary cracking you’d normally see in asphalt surfaces because usually when alligator cracks appear, they indicate a much larger problem. Sometimes fissures of this magnitude could be a symptom of a drainage issue or it could also be just due to old age. If this is the case, no amount of patching or repaving can fix the issue. The old asphalt surface will have to be removed and replaced. On the contrary, if these alligator cracks are only on the surface level, a repaving service would suffice.
Potholes are typically a result of a water problem. When cracks are not filled as soon as they appear, you expose your driveway to various elements that can seep through the cracks and damage your driveway. When water gets through the rifts in your asphalt surface, it expands and contracts as the temperature changes and as a consequence, voids develop and they only get bigger the longer you ignore them. Potholes are not only unsightly for customers, but it’s also a safety hazard to pedestrians and can even potentially damage tires. They’re a turnoff for customers and small it may seem, but it can ruin the whole customer experience.
3. Pooling Water
If you’re starting to notice water settling in various areas of your parking lot, then you may want to check your drainage because pooling water could be a symptom of a drainage problem. Otherwise, it could also be due to a poorly leveled surface. Ideally, your asphalt pavement should be slightly sloped to drain away rainwater. If it isn’t and you just got your pavement installed, then you may want to discuss this with your contractor. Or else, you may opt to have it resurfaced because if you don’t, it will just pose more problems in the future so better deal with as soon as possible.
Warping is normally caused by heavy vehicles. If you’re business usually takes in heavy vehicles or just heavy traffic, then your pavement might be suffering from buckling and warping. But don’t worry because it’s normal especially with the nature of your business. In that case, consider regular touch-ups or repaving as part of your maintenance budget. However, if you’re not experiencing heavy traffic or heavy vehicles in your area then the warping could have possibly stemmed from a faulty foundation. If yes, then you would need to have the whole structure re-installed.
5. Old Age
Asphalt pavement does last forever regardless of how much we take care of it, there’s just really a limit as to how long they can serve you and your customers. The average life of a regular asphalt parking lot is between 10 to 15 years. It has a shorter life span compared to residential driveways because parking lots hold more foot and vehicle traffic on a daily basis, but if you’ve been neglecting your parking lot for years then it could easily deteriorate in as fast as 5 to 7 years depending on usage. With old age, there’s really nothing you can do extend its use, it would be safer and more cost-efficient to get a newly paved commercial parking lot.
While natural deterioration is inevitable, you can prolong the lifespan of your parking lot by making sure to have regular maintenance such as cleaning and removing oil stains as soon as they appear, patching tiny cracks immediately, and sealcoating your pavement. Remember that a clean and well-maintained parking lot will serve you and your customers well so treat it as an investment.