Property managers have a duty to ensure that the properties they manage are safe for public use. The parking lot is one area that tends to get overlooked until it's too late to repair.
From cracks and potholes to puddling water, there are many safety hazards that property managers should be aware of. These issues not only cause a public safety issue, but significantly reduce the lifespan of the asphalt.
Let's examine five parking lot safety issues and explain how property managers can prevent them with some simple parking lot maintenance.
Potholes are the arch-nemesis of any paved parking lot. They tend to pop up without warning and can cause a lot of property and personal damage. Potholes can form when there are cracks in the pavement.
Some start off as small as a human hair, yet will still allow enough water to seep underneath and cause damage. Over time, the water will cause the pavement to crack and a brand-new pothole may form.
The trouble with potholes is that they are black, and depending on the lighting conditions, can be somewhat hard to spot on foot or in a car. This can lead to popped tires, damaged suspensions, or people tripping and falling.
Cracks in the pavement pose a much bigger problem than just an aesthetic issue. Cracks are the leading cause of potholes and can instantly grow in size during the course of a single weather event, such as rain or snowstorms.
Pedestrians have the greatest risk of tripping over a crack in the pavement, since they can blend into the surrounding background. Grass and other plants can also take hold, thereby causing even more damage to the asphalt. If enough time goes by, the damage could be irreversible and require the entire lot to be repaved. A great way to avoid this is to have the cracks sealed and your lot seal-coated.
Faded striping is another major issue when it comes to parking lot safety. If the lines of a lot are faded, drivers will have a hard time figuring out the traffic flow.
If a physical stop sign is missing and all that's left is a faded “STOP!” printed on the asphalt, there's a chance that drivers will assume that they don't need to stop.
Restriping your parking lot on an annual basis is a good safety measure and can help lower the amount of car or pedestrian accidents, as well as potentially prevent expensive lawsuits. A well-marked lot increases the value of your property and helps attract customers and clients.
While many drivers may not like speed bumps, they are a critical safety component of a parking lot. They cause cars to slow down and be more mindful of their surrounding area. Speed bumps are especially useful for areas where pedestrians tend to cross the road to get to the parking lot.
If the parking lots you manage have seen better days, and it's time they undergo some much-needed maintenance, give us call at (800) 427-0484. At Stripe Rite, we have 35+ years of experience helping Washington property managers keep their clients and customers safe.