How to Care for an Asphalt Parking Lot During Winter Weather
Winter is a tough time for asphalt parking lots. As snow and ice accumulate, the lot becomes slick and hazardous to drivers and pedestrians. The constant freezing and thawing of water also cause potholes, divots, bumps, and cracks that can eventually lead to more severe problems with the surface. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Clear Your Pavement of Debris Before Snow Hits
One of the best ways to avoid significant damage to your asphalt parking lot is to clean it. This means clearing away loose debris such as leaves, sticks, and stones before the snow hits. Not only will this help to prevent ice accumulation, but it will also make the job of removing snow and ice much easier.
Fill Cracks in Your Asphalt and Sealcoat Your Lot
After you’ve swept away loose debris, it’s time to fill any cracks in your asphalt with a quick-drying crack filler. This will seal the pavement and prevent water from seeping under your lot. It may seem like an inexpensive tip, but failing to do this will cost you much more over time as water causes the asphalt base to break down.
Once the cracks are filled, it’s time to seal coat your parking lot. This will protect the surface from weathering and UV damage, and it will help keep the lot looking new for longer. Be sure to use a quality sealant specifically designed for asphalt surfaces.
Pay Attention to Pooling Water
Although it’s not as hazardous as ice, pooling water can be hazardous to pedestrians walking on the pavement. Pooling water indicates a crack in your asphalt that needs repair. Not only does this create a tripping hazard, but it can also lead to flooding and potholes that will cause further damage to the lot.
Shoveling your parking lot has multiple benefits, including keeping the lot clean and preventing damage from ice and snow. Shoveling will also help keep pedestrians safe by removing any build-up of snow or ice, especially around intersections and other high traffic areas. You don’t have to wait until a thick layer of snow accumulates before you shovel. Shoveling regularly will help to prevent any damage before it occurs.
Think Twice Before You De-ice
De-icing your parking lot can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can help keep the lot safe and clear of ice. But on the other hand, de-icing can damage the asphalt if done incorrectly. The best way to avoid this is to use calcium chloride or magnesium chloride-based de-icer rather than sodium chloride (rock salt). These de-icers are less corrosive and will not damage your asphalt.
Repair Pothole Damages
Potholes are a significant issue for asphalt parking lots, particularly during the winter. Repairing any pothole damage immediately will help to prevent further damage and reduce your overall costs. Not only should you fill the holes right away, but it’s also important to make sure that all loose debris is cleared out of them before filling with cold patch asphalt.
By following these six tips for winter maintenance, you can help keep your asphalt parking lot in good condition all winter long. Contact a professional asphalt contractor for more information about how to maintain your parking lot.