Pavement Specialists for The Tri-State Area

Wintertime Parking Lot Maintenance Challenges – (and How To Overcome Them)

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Don't let winter damage ruin your spring budget.

As a property manager, you are fully aware that if you don’t take care of your parking lot, it could cause some serious problems down the line. But you also know that it’s not easy to keep up with everything on your own.

If you don’t take proper care of your parking lot during winter weather, you could end up with a lot of snow and ice buildup which causes potholes & cracks to grow, could lead to accidents, slip and falls, and much more costly repairs.

So when winter weather hits, it can be hard to know the best way to protect your parking area and walkways at your business. Especially when trying to do so in a timely manner!

What can you do as a property manager to avoid the maintenance challenges that arise during winter months?

First, be proactive. Then, maintain.

What do we mean?

By taking steps in advance, you can reduce the amount of winter damage that is done to your parking lot, which will save you money in the long run.

After advanced steps are taken, you will be fully prepared and set up for the ongoing snow and maintenance that will come, without it getting out of hand due to a lack of preparation.

After reading this article, you will be better able to predict future winter weather challenges for your parking area and walkways, fix them before they become major issues, and save thousands of dollars each spring by keeping your parking area and walkways ready for winter weather.

First, let’s identify common challenges that are often faced during the winter months by property managers.

Common wintertime parking area maintenance challenges

When reviewing these, try to think of the impact they have on your business and the businesses you serve.

What kind of revenue is lost from the inconvenience or lack of accessibility, even if only temporarily affected? What kind of hazards are introduced? How can the hazards be mitigated, or minimized to a reasonable degree? Etc.

Dealing with snow and ice

Ice is one of the more powerful components that winter can bring and is especially common here in the tri-state area. During the winter months, it’s common for ice to develop even after a rainstorm when water sits in a parking lot or the pavement is still wet and then the temperature drops below 38 degrees overnight. This causes hazards for pedestrians & individuals driving in your parking lot, but it also has the potential to develop large cracks, potholes, & sub-base issues.

Maintaining proper drainage

Puddles are an eyesore that can be caused by an accumulation of water in your parking lots as a result of improper or malfunctioning drainage during the rainy fall, winter, & spring seasons.

Parking your vehicle in a flooded and puddle-filled parking lot is not only uncomfortable, but more significantly, it may cause serious damage to asphalt surfaces if water is allowed to linger there for an extended period.

More than that, when drainage systems become clogged, even partially, it opens your commercial property up to so many other issues caused by water being and lingering where it shouldn’t, including ice during winter’s freeze thaw cycles.

Ice and snow can shut down operations

Keeping ice and snow from accumulating in parking areas and walkways can be crucial to the success of your business during the winter months. Unfortunately, these conditions can also have a negative effect on your company’s bottom line if you don’t have the right systems in place.

A winter maintenance program can help keep the negative effects of ice and snow at bay. With an effective plan, you won’t lose business because employees or customers can’t get into or out of your facility.

Winter weather conditions can worsen damaged parking lots further

Most of the surface damage that can be found in your parking area is almost certainly going to have been caused by either water, ice, or vehicles.

Cracked parking area surfaces and potholes are two of the most obvious and typical concerns that may be seen in parking lots. Because of this, the pavement may sustain severe damage to these during winter months when freezing water that penetrates them expands as it forms into ice.

Simply put, the winter season can easily cause any existing problems or issues with your parking area and walkways to become much worse, and then more expensive to repair once spring comes around.

What can property managers do to overcome the winter challenges to come?

Again, the 1st step is going to be being proactive. Here are 7 things you can do before the snowy weather hits that will save you money, business area shutdowns, and minimize safety hazards.

Proactive Fall Preparation | 7 Effective Ways for Parking Lot Winter Safety and Protection

1. Remove all debris

When it rains, water must go somewhere. If your parking lot and walkways are filled with leaves, branches, and other debris, it could clog or at the very least impede your property’s engineered drainage system.

Typically, they are designed to handle minor blockage, but once heavy rainfall or snow and ice come into play, it will only make things worse. That’s why it’s so important to remove all debris from parking areas, walkways, and drainage before winter weather hits.

Before the winter storms hit, be sure to clear your property of all the debris from your property and drainage systems.

2. Check for pavement cracks and potholes

The majority of the surface damage that can be found in your parking area can almost certainly be repaired or patched before winter to prevent further corrosion during winter storms.

Cracked parking area surfaces and potholes are two of the most obvious and typical concerns that may be seen in parking lots, especially heading into the winter season.

Be sure to identify the current state of your pavement with a proper inspection.

3. Repair cracks and potholes

Pavement that freezes tends to contract, which will cause any unsealed cracks that allow water in them to become wider, due to the expansion of ice as it freezes. The same physics is true with potholes.

The ideal time to crack seal and fix potholes is in the summer and fall months. When cracks are sealed before the winter seasons, excess moisture and water is prevented from seeping into the pavement, which could even cause the sub-base to become softer or weaker.

Just as you would use caulking and silicone to keep water out of your building, the longevity of your parking area pavement often comes down to this same protection in the form of crack sealing and repairing potholes before the winter months.

4. Fill in any low spots

Going along with fixing potholes, low spots are sure to collect water. Low spots often develop in areas with improper sub-base, around catch basins that need to be repaired, or where the asphalt meets a concrete ADA ramp. What happens when those areas freeze? You guessed it… a winter slip-and-slide for pedestrians and vehicles!

Filling in low spots in your pavement protects it from developing potholes as the water collects and erodes the pavement as it starts making a way out. It will also help prevent accidents and injuries as those areas freeze during winter storms.

This often-neglected area is a sure way to reduce risks, damages, and chaos this coming winter.

5. Install speed bumps or traffic calming devices

In order to help maintain winter parking areas and control traffic, speed bumps or traffic calming devices can be installed. These devices help to slow down traffic, which can improve safety in areas where ice and snow often create hazardous conditions.

Installing these devices can help reduce accidents, especially around snow removal operations.

6. Install signage to remind drivers of winter conditions

As we all know, winter can bring some tricky driving conditions. Be sure to help your drivers and pedestrians out by installing signage in your parking area and walkways.

Oftentimes, drivers use these signs to determine where parking, divider curbs, and other landmarks are when they are hidden by snow.

Whether signage is directional, safety informative, or identifies areas that are hidden by the snow, this will help keep everyone safe and your parking area maintained all winter long.

7. Add lighting to improve visibility in the parking lot

It’s that time of year again when the weather outside can be frightful and the parking lot becomes more and more treacherous. Don’t let the winter weather put a damper on your property!

Take some time to add or fix lighting in your parking lot and walkways. This will help improve visibility in the snow and ice and make your walkways and parking area safer for everyone.

Improved walkway and parking area lighting can help avoid pedestrian slips and falls and prevent vehicle accidents that often result in property damage, making your winter parking area much safer.

Winter Maintenance – Keep your parking lot safe and accessible this winter

At the very least, these are the basic things a property manager should be doing as part of snow and ice management:

  • Keep an eye on the weather and be proactive about de-icing
  • Remove or relocate snow and ice from your parking lot and walkways after storms
  • Understand the liability and limitations of your equipment and personnel to know when it’s best to hire a professional winter maintenance provider.

Ongoing snow and ice maintenance for your parking lot area is the key to keeping it safe and accessible in the winter for your business and the businesses that rely on your property to be able to stay operating.

By having a regular maintenance schedule, you can avoid any accidents or slip and falls that could happen if the area is not properly cared for.

It costs far less to maintain than to deal with damages and liability issues.

Leave the winter snow and ice parking area maintenance to us.     

We understand that property managers have many things to deal with during the winter months on top of the already high workload to care for. Properly training employees, dealing with broken or inadequate equipment, and knowing codes and regulations should not have to be added to your list.

We ensure that not only is your parking lot well-maintained but that it is also easily accessible whenever it is possible to do so. Maintaining a parking space requires careful attention to detail when the work is being done to meet the requirements of each individual customer.

We at provide Winter Parking Area Maintenance Services throughout the winter, including all that is required to keep your businesses operating normally because we have everything that is required.

Get on our list today to be one of our VIP Properties this winter.


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