Wintertime in the Pacific Northwest is filled with ice, snow, and wet weather. As beautiful as ice and snow look on a mountaintop, it becomes an annoyance and hazard when it impacts our cities and streets.
Snow and ice accumulation in parking lots is an annual event that most parking lot owners shrug off with a phone call to the local snow plow company. What they may not realize is the lasting damage that ice, snow, and the chemicals used to dissipate the freezing wet stuff can do to an asphalt parking lot.
At Strip Rite, we offer parking lot maintenance services such as asphalt patching, de-icing, and snow removal. We’ve come up with a list of tips based on our decades of experience that can help parking lot owners and those tasked with the maintenance.
Snow plows are the unsung heroes of any parking lot in the wintertime. They clear away tons of snow and ice and enable commerce to continue even on the coldest winter days.
Loose rubble such as rocks, litter, and dirt can be run over by the snow plow and dragged along as it drives forward. This can cause huge cracks and potholes in the asphalt to form. If water gets inside and turns to ice, it can cause a minor crack to turn into a major pothole in a matter of a week or two.
Look at what kind of de-icer your maintenance personnel are using. Rock salt is highly damaging to porous asphalt, and a brand-new parking lot can be completely ruined in a single winter season. Other brands of de-icer contain chemicals that are very harsh on the asphalt surface.
A de-icing product that contains potassium chloride is less harsh on asphalt and will perform just as well as rock salt. Best of all, your customers and clients will thank you as their cars won’t be picking up salt on the underside which can lead to rust issues.
Have your maintenance personnel patch and repair potholes as soon as they’re noticed. Every maintenance department should have a pothole patching “kit,” and the workers should be trained to use it properly. Exposed potholes are not only a hazard to vehicles, but they can also cause a person to trip and fall.
Keep an eye out for standing water and remove it as soon as possible. Water can seep into the smallest of asphalt cracks. Once it freezes, small cracks can turn into significant cracks overnight. An experienced pavement marking company can help you mitigate water in low-lying areas and make recommendations and fixes that will help prevent ice damage.
Remove as much parking lot debris and dirt before the snows hit. The debris will be covered by the snow, and when a plow comes along, it will drag whatever is underneath, potentially causing cracks and potholes to form.
Before the snowplow comes along, try to shovel as much snow as possible. If your parking lot drainage system is sub-par, low-lying areas will fill up with water, snow, and ice. The excess weight can also cause premature wear and tear on your asphalt.
If you own a parking lot or have been tasked with the maintenance thereof, give Stripe Rite a call at any of our five locations. We have the experience and know-how to help keep your parking lot clean and safe during the cold winter season. Contact us today to learn more about all of the parking lot maintenance services that we offer.