Parking Lot Paving Trends

Teri Kasprzak / February 03, 2010   |   Education

There are several new trends affecting facility managers in 2010.  A small sampling includes the following:  working smarter by cross-training and maintaining existing staff, maintaining a cleaner and healthier facility (in response to the recent H1N1 virus outbreak), and utilizing green-friendly alternatives in everyday maintenance practices.   Notice any similarities?  They all focus on the concept of “maintenance.”   And, that is not surprising.  With the recent recession, facilities are deferring new construction projects in favor of maintaining existing structures.

As a result, chances are your 2010 budget does not include excess funds for major capital improvements.  This might seem like very bad news for your parking lot—one of the largest and most expensive areas for which you are responsible.  But, in actuality, pavement only requires a small investment each year to keep it in good condition.  So, unless your parking lot is completely deteriorated, it can be maintained—over time with proactive maintenance—for an average of 50% less than the cost to install a new one.  You can breathe a sigh of relief (and maintain your sanity)…so long as you are diligent about planning early for routine maintenance.

Generally speaking, preventative maintenance procedures should include sealcoating every 2 to 3 years, cracksealing every 2 to 3 years, and patching areas of deterioration as needed.  But, only a qualified contractor can determine what is right for your parking lot.  The best way to get started is by making time to get out and inspect your lot, take note of defects, and consult your preferred parking lot maintenance contractor.

Catching defects early and making timely repairs can mean the difference between a well maintained lot–one that drives customers to your front door–and one that is riddled with potholes, cracking, and other unsightly surface defects.  Not only can the second scenario tarnish your image, it can also result in vehicular or personal injury and even in lost sales!  Consider this – a newly installed parking lot that costs $100,000 requires an investment of just 5 to 10% per year in ongoing maintenance in order to keep it in top condition. That is less than one single slip-and-fall settlement.

Rest assured!  If you are proactive, your asphalt or concrete won’t suffer this year.  And, did you know?  When it comes to your parking lot, you can even knock out two trends at once: saving green and going green.  Stay tuned for future posts about eco-friendly paving alternatives.

In the meantime, for more information about parking lot maintenance and an actual plan of approach for a portfolio of retail stores, click on Retail Pavement Management, an article written by Chris Tanner, vice president.