Your lot has spent the last several months covered in snow. The wild temperature swings from below zero to above freezing create a lot of water and a lot of ice. This process of freeze, thaw, freeze does a lot to damage your parking lot. Beyond that, plows are scraping their blades and sand and salt is being spread everywhere. Winter is tough on your pavement. If you’re smart and want to extend the life of your pavement while keeping costs down, you should be ready to maintain your parking lot come spring. So, what should you be looking for when the snow starts to clear? We recommend that you review 6 simple things to keep your pavement in top condition.
- Consider sweeping your parking lot
Salt, deicing chemicals, and (especially in Montana) tons and tons of sand have been spread across your lot over the last couple of months. These contaminants stress your pavement and can cause runoff and drainage issues if not taken care of. We constantly see extensive buildup of sand that blocks drainage and keeps water on your pavement longer. Plus, chemicals runoff and can work their way into our waterways. One of the best things you can do is to sweep and remove the debris from your lot.
- Get your cracks fixed now!
Cracks are bad and should be fixed as soon as possible. Sealing or filling cracks is generally the most affordable and the most important maintenance routine that you can do for your parking lot. Allowing cracks to sit open in your lot means that you are allowing water to penetrate beneath your pavement and erode away the base. This erosion leads to far greater problems in the future that will require costly repairs. If you can only do one thing for your parking lot this year, get your cracks fixed! Typically, cracks can be repaired in early spring.
- Check your lines
After the plows have been scraping and the sand has been rubbing there is definitely a chance that your lines have faded a lot since the fall. If they are to getting to a point where they are tough to see it might be time to consider getting a restripe. Refreshing faded lines is going to give you more organized parking, help customers stay safe, and ensure that you are efficiently using your limited parking space. Plus, having fresh lines gives your building a surprisingly crisp appearance that stands out from your competitors.
- Look for potholes
If you have a pothole, you probably know about it. Potholes are a sign of major damage and indicate that you ultimately need to fully replace and patch the degraded area. These larger patch jobs can be costly and probably won’t happen until the weather dries out and warms up a bit. So, to prevent further damage and to keep customers happy consider a cold-mix patch. Cold-mix patches are generally less expensive, and can be done in adverse weather conditions. Most cold patches are considered temporary, but more and more cold-patch companies advertise their products as permanent solutions. Despite this, we always advise to do a full remove and replace with hot mix asphalt, but a cold patch pothole patch is a great way to quickly and cost effectively patch a problem area.
- Check the overall condition of your pavement
Your pavement is a huge investment and you should be sure that you are maintaining it properly. Understanding the overall condition of your pavment can be a little challenging and you should consult a professional. However, you can ask basic questions like – do I see cracking everywhere? What is the color of my pavement? Am I starting to see a super rough surface? An answer of yes, to these can indicate that your pavement needs some sort of maintenance intervention or rehabilitation. If you see anything like this do your research or call a professional. But, even if you pavement looks good – now could be the perfect time to do some routine maintenance that will keep it in great condition for the next several years.
- Set your maintenance budget
Now that you have an idea of what you need, call in the contractors! Good contractors should provide you with more than just an estimate. They should be able to evaluate the condition of your pavement and describe to you what they recommend. Once you get several recommendations and estimates start playing with your budget. Ask them questions like: what would you recommend this year, how about over the next several years? What issues do you see in the future? What is the overall condition of my pavement?, the right contractor should be able to discuss these questions with you and give you an idea of the costs that will come up in the future. Remember that asking them for routine maintenance will save you money.
These are the major things to consider immediately in the spring and really are the absolute minimum that you should be doing. Other maintenance routines like sealcoating (applying a super thin layer of asphalt) are also a good idea. But there are many other maintenance tasks that can be performed.
If you live in Montana, especially near Ennis, Bozeman, Belgrade, Helena, or Livingston consider calling us, Yellowstone Pavement Solutions. For commercial customers, we offer a free comprehensive pavement evaluation. We take into account all of your maintenance needs and provide to you with a comprehensive pavement evaluation.
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