In most cases, a customer’s first impression of your business is made by your parking lot, and if they see loads of dirt, trash, and stains, they may not have high expectations of their experience.
A clean parking lot, however, will make a good impression and have people feeling great about entering your business. Clean and well-maintained parking lots are also safer for cars and pedestrians, since potholes and cracks are more visible and easier to fix. Keeping the lot clean also means that deterioration will happen at a slower rate, prolonging the parking lot's usage life.
Parking lot cleaning and maintenance is an important part of owning and maintaining a business, and it is important to take the time to do it right.
Remove Trash, Dirt, and Other Debris
The first step to cleaning a parking lot is to pick up any trash, sweep away dirt, and remove any other forms of debris. Doing something as simple as this can make a significant impact on the appearance of your lot.
It also makes it easier to clean the asphalt's surface and spot any cracks or potholes that may be forming. Cleaning up trash and debris is something that should happen throughout the day. Not only will it keep the parking lot free from litter, but it will encourage others to help keep it clean as well.
Remove Any Surface Stains
Stains on asphalt are unavoidable. Leaves and other moisture-holding debris can leave mildew stains, standing water can lead to mold, and vehicles can leak oil and other fluids, leading to other types of damaging stains.
Even discarded drinks and food can stain the asphalt, making it unattractive. The longer stains are left on the asphalt, the harder they are to remove, which is why cleaning a parking lot regularly is critical. These stains typically require more than water, so it is also important to research safe and effective cleaning products that won’t contribute to damaging your parking lot.
Pressure Wash the Surface
After you remove the stains from the asphalt surface, the next step is to clean the entire parking lot. A pressure washer is an efficient method for cleaning a dirty parking lot without taking too much time.
Using hot water and the appropriate cleaning solutions for the asphalt will ensure that all of the dirt and any stain residue gets removed. For even better cleaning, use a stiff-bristled broom, which will ensure that no dirt or debris clings to the asphalt.
Fill Any Cracks or Potholes
Water exposure and varying temperatures can affect the asphalt, leading to cracks and even potholes over time. The longer these issues are left unresolved, the worse they can become.
Eventually, the only way to fix them is to redo the parking lot completely. Fixing cracks and potholes as they occur is ideal, since it eliminates the potential issue quickly and saves money on long-term maintenance.
Sealcoat Every Two Years
A sealcoat is applied to the top of a parking lot to protect it from the elements and chemicals such as oils and salts. The coating is what helps keep the asphalt surface looking like new, even after some time has passed.
To ensure your parking lot is protected, it is imperative to reapply the sealcoating every two years. This is yet another step you can take to help ensure that your parking lot lasts for years to come.
Install the Right Drainage Solution
Water, motor oil, and cleaning solutions not only create a dirty parking lot; they can also cause damage, slowly deteriorating the surface, leaving cracks and potholes. These types of liquids can significantly reduce your parking lot's lifespan, which is why it is essential that these fluids and other small debris have somewhere to go. Drainage is your best friend when it comes to naturally cleaning away these chemicals and debris.
Slot Drain is a shallow, pre-sloped drain system made of stainless steel, which makes it ideal for parking lots, since it is temperature-, odor-, and corrosion-resistant. Unlike traditional trench drain systems, Slot Drain doesn't require a grate, allowing it to have a slim channel opening that makes it much safer, more attractive, and easier to clean and maintain.
Even though the Slot Drain system is smaller in construction, it is incredibly durable, featuring a minimum Load Class C rating, which is strong enough for regular vehicle traffic. Slot Drain models like the 9000 series with a .5" opening are also ADA compliant, making them the ideal option for parking lots.
Never Overlook a Clean Parking Lot
A parking lot may not seem like much, but it can have a significant impact on a business' reputation. A dirty parking lot is not only bad for business, but it can lead to other issues, like injuries or vehicle damage, which have their own sets of consequences.
Regular parking lot cleaning and the installation of a reliable drainage system like Slot Drain can help preserve a parking lot's life. With proper care and maintenance, the parking lot will remain safe and in good condition for many years.
If you have any questions about proper parking lot hygiene and how a slot drain systems can benefit your property, contact one of our experts today.