All business owners understand the importance of a good first impression. And what’s the first thing that potential customers see about your business? That’s right: your parking lot. Maintaining a safe and inviting parking lot is an essential part of attracting business. Here, we’ll provide you with a few preventative maintenance tips to maximize the lifespan of your asphalt paving in Pittsburgh, PA.
Drainage — Whether it’s heavy rain or lingering snow, any moisture on your asphalt surfaces can lead to cracking, crumbling, and potholes. Make sure to have the professionals install drainage systems at the same time as your asphalt paving. After the initial installation, make a habit of cleaning and removing debris from your drains regularly. This will prevent pooling, water run-off, and erosion.
Landscaping — The right landscaping choices can make all the difference. Be sure that you routinely remove any roots, weeds, or grass that is encroaching on your parking lot. Planting trees is also a great way to provide your lot with some valuable shade from the harsh sun.
Sealcoating — This is the key to preventing unsightly and dangerous cracks. Regular sealcoating stops dirt, moisture, and chemicals from penetrating the surface of your asphalt paving.
Cleaning — Finally, don’t be afraid to get out there with a broom and power washer, especially to remove any oil or chemicals that may have leaked from a vehicle. These chemicals can quickly deteriorate the asphalt, so don’t let them sit for too long.
Parking lots are vital for businesses, but it’s important to do your research before leaping into installation. Here is some advice from an experienced asphalt sealer in Pittsburgh, PA, on what you should know before getting started.
Do Your Research on Installers
While installing a parking lot may appear to be a simple process, there is a lot of room for error. Research the companies in your area thoroughly before hiring anyone. You need an experienced asphalt paving company to do the work to ensure your surface will last. Find a team that has successfully completed many projects like yours and is happy to showcase their past work to you.
Learn About the Importance of the Sub-Base
Any asphalt sealer will tell you that a parking lot needs a good foundation – or what we call a sub-base. If the sub-base isn’t adequate, the entire surface will suffer sooner or later. As you research possible installer, be sure to inquire about the precautions they take while preparing and installing the sub-base.
Discover How “Green” Asphalt Can Be
Believe it or not, asphalt is one of the most recycled products in the United States. That means you can feel good about your environmental impact when you have your parking lot installed. You can even make the project more eco-friendly by choosing a porous or permeable style of asphalt that filters toxins out of water and allows it to flow back into the ground safely as nature intended. Talk to an asphalt sealer and installer to learn more.
Pavement undergoes a lot of wear and tear from traffic and weather elements. It’s likely no surprise to you that it can become damaged in a wide range of ways. While some issues are easy to correct, new asphalt paving in Pittsburgh, PA, may be the more cost-effective option for serious damage. Here are some of the problems to watch for:
Cracking: Asphalt cracks in many different ways. Some cracks can be fixed with simple solutions, while others demand more extensive repairs. Talk to an expert for advice on how to handle your cracks.
Corrugations: If you see a lump in your pavement, it may be a corrugation caused by faulty installation. These typically appear a few years after the asphalt paving is done.
Grade Depressions: Have some sections of your pavement settled lower than the surrounding areas? Those are called grade depressions. They are most noticeable after rainfall because puddles form in the depressions.
Potholes: These are one of the most familiar and most aggravating pavement problems. They typically occur when other minor issues have gone unaddressed, so keep up with your maintenance to avoid them.
Swelling: Asphalt paving is typically performed on top of soil. This soil can expand and contract due to moisture and temperature changes, causing the pavement on top to buckle and swell.
Concrete is an exceptionally durable material, and many contractors and clients view it as a maintenance-free product. They often consider concrete pavers in Pittsburgh, PA, to be final and complete once it has cured. Truthfully, no exterior material lasts forever without occasional maintenance.
Over time, even concrete surfaces will begin to show signs of wear and tear. However, this can provide the opportunity to secure maintenance services to extend the concrete’s life. Here are some simple tips on maintenance for existing concrete pavers.
Keep the Concrete Clean
It is a misconception that concrete is maintenance-free, needing only the occasional pressure washing. The reality is that a number of factors can break down concrete over time, including freeze/thaw cycles, weather, acid rain, salt, and harsh chemicals. It’s extremely important to keep concrete pavers clean and clear of all of these elements, which can damage it.
Repair Chips and Cracks with a Resurfacer
A resurfacing product is the best product a contractor can use to repair concrete. With proper preparation, resurfacers can be applied on top of an existing concrete surface in very thin layers. The result is a fresh, even surface that will extend the aesthetic life of the concrete pavers.
Sealers and Resealing
Sealers are the best way to protect concrete from the weather. However, homeowners often forget to keep up to date on their maintenance schedules, as most sealers require re-application every six to 12 months.
Following the sealer’s recommended re-application schedule is an important step that can be essential to protecting concrete pavers for the long term.
Businesses in busy areas are used to constant movement, particularly motor vehicles. Having said that, commercial properties require parking lots in which vehicles can stop and stay. They may seem like a mundane architectural detail, but they are a critically important asset for businesses. Getting a parking lot installed by professionals in asphalt paving in Pittsburgh, PA, will be an essential business decision, and here’s why.
Creating A Good First Impression
Curb appeal is not just an important concept for homeowners. It is a critical advantage for business owners as well. Having a well-maintained parking lot is an integral part of your business. After all, the first place customers see is the area where they leave their vehicles behind before they step through the business’s front doors.
Quality parking lots installed by specialists in asphalt paving will make a great first impression and won’t easily fade, crack or warp. Having potholes and cracks in your parking lot will make a negative impression on customers, and businesses can’t afford to damage their reputations. When you show that you care about your customers’ complete experience, it helps your brand grow.
Ensuring Property Longevity
Investing in a solid, smart-looking, functional parking lot is not just about the cost. It is also an investment that helps to ensure the property’s longevity. High-quality asphalt paving done professionally means it will last for years with little to no repairs and easy maintenance.
If you’re a business owner, you have likely wondered about the cost difference between commercial parking lot repair versus maintenance. There is a huge cost variation between those two things. Maintenance, like applying asphalt sealer in Pittsburgh, PA, is regularly scheduled work that prevents the asphalt from deterioration and therefore extends the life of the parking lot.
Here are a few steps, including asphalt sealer, that you can take to protect and extend the lifespan of your commercial parking lot.
Manage the Load on the Asphalt
Heavy commercial vehicles can do damage to asphalt lots. Loading docks and large trash containers should be placed in areas that do not require these heavy vehicles to cross or park on a lot designed for residential vehicles.
Sealcoat the Asphalt
Sealcoating your commercial parking lot protects the asphalt from the elements and helps it retain a like-new appearance much longer than non-coated lots. A well-applied, good quality asphalt sealer will last for several years.
Fix Drainage Problems
Standing water can damage asphalt parking lots and cause unnecessary costs if not addressed quickly. Standing water will seep into the asphalt and affect its base, creating cracks and potholes. Good drainage is a critical element of maintaining your lot.
Promptly Fill Cracks
In addition to asphalt sealer, prompt crack sealing is important to extend the life of your parking lot; small cracks only get bigger, allowing more water to compromise the base of the lot, leading to more damage and more expensive repairs.
Regular cleaning will improve the appearance of your parking lot and help prevent damage caused ED makes it much easier to take note of any drain or crack issues. Add sweeping and pressure washing to your regular scheduled maintenance.
Summertime is fast approaching, and it’s the perfect time of year to start thinking about property maintenance. If you have asphalt on your property, we’ve pooled together some great tips from paving contractors in Pittsburgh, PA, on how to protect your asphalt over the summer.
Get Rid of Debris
Asphalt parking lots and walkways tend to accumulate bits of debris over time, no matter where there are located. Leaves, dirt, sand, branches, pebbles, and other items get blown onto these flat surfaces throughout the year. Get your team to brush over your asphalt surfaces regularly in the summer to prevent excessive stress on the pavement.
Repair Cracks and Holes
Summer is a fantastic time to repair cracks, holes, and other damage that may have troubled your asphalt parking lots and walkways. Paving contractors in Pittsburgh, PA, will tell you that it’s also the season in which people use a lot of water on their lawns and sprinkle their flowers to keep them hydrated and fed. If repairs are not made to your damaged asphalt, water can destroy the layers beneath the asphalt, and sun exposure can make the damage worse.
Seal Your Asphalt Surfaces
By getting paving contractors to seal coat your asphalt surfaces, you can protect and preserve them. Keeping walkways and parking lots sealed protects the asphalt against heat oxidation and water damage. It also protects against the weather elements that can damage the surface. The best time to apply seal coating to your asphalt is during the spring once every couple of years.
The most common queries that paving companies receive often have to do with the importance of asphalt repair. If a parking lot makes up part of your commercial property, it’s essential to understand the requirement for ongoing asphalt maintenance. Keeping up with maintenance and paving repairs can provide many benefits for both your company and your customers.
Asphalt sealer in Pittsburgh, PA, can be effectively used to maintain the visual appearance of your parking lot. Compared to a parking lot that has been left to degrade, applying asphalt sealer can make a drastic difference in the professional impression made by your property. When your parking lot is smooth, dark, and free from holes, cracks, and loose gravel, it helps make your whole property appear more polished and impressive for your clients and customers. Also, it’s much easier to keep an even lot free of unattractive dirt, gravel, and debris.
Looks are important, but keeping your parking lot safe should be the largest motivation for investing in maintenance and asphalt sealer. If your parking lot is riddled with cracks and holes, there’s a higher risk that an accident may occur, and potentially leave someone injured. To reduce your risk of being held responsible for these unfortunate incidents, it’s important to maintain asphalt repairs such as crack filling, patching, and pothole filling.
Microsurfacing is rather similar to slurry seal. The process consists of applying a mixture of asphalt, water, emulsion, aggregate, and chemical additives to an existing asphalt concrete pavement surface. A polymer is typically added to the asphalt emulsion to provide better mixture properties.
Paving contractors in Pittsburgh, PA, will tell you that the biggest difference between a slurry seal and microsurfacing is in how they harden or “break.” Slurry relies on water evaporating from the asphalt emulsion. Microsurfacing doesn’t need evaporation. The asphalt emulsion used in microsurfacing contains chemicals that allow it to break without relying on the sun or heat to cause evaporation. Microsurfacing, therefore, hardens quicker than slurry seals and can be used when weather conditions do not allow the slurry seal to be successfully placed. Shady streets or those that have lots of traffic are great candidates for microsurfacing.
When undertaken by paving contractors, these methods consume less binder and aggregate than the traditional mill-and-fill process. Therefore, waste, emissions, and greenhouse gases are reduced, as there is no need to demolish, haul, and dispose of the old pavement. And because it is not necessary to establish a nearby aggregate source or hot-mix asphalt plant, it means that dust from crushing and screening, emissions, and energy needs are greatly reduced. Roads are also drivable within a short period after these two treatments have been applied, reducing traffic delays.
Parking lots are an essential component of many commercial and industrial centers. How big should your parking lot be? There are many factors that come into play when planning your new lot. Here are a few tips about the subject from paving contractors in Pittsburgh, PA.
First, you need to determine how many parking spaces you will need for your facility. Are you planning a shopping center for many businesses, or are you building a single location? This step will require you to anticipate how many visitors your location will have over a day. Some municipalities might have codes set in place to define the minimum amount of spaces a commercial site requires. Check with your local officials to see if such requirements exist.
After determining the number of spaces for your proposed lot, define the land area that is required per parking space. Pavement professionals recommend reserving 300 to 350 sq. ft. per stall, which takes into account space for driving lanes. Multiply the land area per stall by the number of parking spaces you need. The product of this equation will estimate the total land area you need for the lot.
How much total space you will need for a new parking lot will also be influenced by other factors, such as the physical characteristics of your construction site, proposed landscaping elements, and municipal codes or regulations. When planning your next construction project, be sure to get professional insight from a paving contractor.