Preparing Your Parking Lot for Winter Weather

Parking lot on a snowy day

As the fall season comes to an end, many of us are preparing for winter’s cold, wet weather. Some winter preparations are second nature, like servicing your heater, sealing windows, or winterizing a car. Yet, many business owners neglect to take the proper precautions to protect their parking lots from harsh winter weather.

Luckily, there are several things you can do to prepare your parking lot and protect it from winter’s icy cold grip. A comprehensive maintenance plan can save your parking lot and add years to its life expectancy. Here are some steps you can take to prepare your parking lot for winter:

Keep it Clean

One of the easiest things you can do to help extend your parking lot’s life is to keep it clean. During the spring, summer, and fall, leaves and debris often accumulate along curbs and drain areas. It is essential to continually clean these areas to prevent the build-up of water. Any standing water will be subjected to the freeze-thaw cycle, adding stress to the structure of your parking lot. Finally, make sure to keep leaves and debris from blocking drains and clumping along curbs.

Avoid Pooling Water

Pooling water in parking lots, especially during winter, is a critical issue that business owners should not overlook. When water accumulates on your parking lot in winter, it can lead to several problems that may result in costly repairs and potential safety hazards. The freeze-thaw cycles in the colder months can damage the asphalt surface, causing it to degrade and separate from its aggregates. Moreover, standing water can also produce hazardous ice patches, presenting a significant risk for accidents. So, as a commercial business owner, paying attention to pooling water in your parking lot during winter helps with more than maintaining the aesthetics. It creates a safe environment and saves you money in the short and long run.

Remove Weeds and Vegetation

As any business owner knows, weeds in your parking lot can be both unsightly and costly. To avoid any mishaps, remember to regularly remove weeds and vegetation that may be growing along curbs or small cracks in the lot. If left undisturbed, weeds will contribute to the deterioration of your parking lot. This will become more evident in the winter, as dormant vegetation retains moisture and is subject to the freeze-thaw cycle. The expansion and contraction will turn small cracks into large ones very quickly.

Repair Cracks

Depending on how many months you have until winter arrives, you can use filler to repair any cracks in your parking lot. A properly applied crack filler will become an expansion joint, allowing your lot to better withstand the freeze-thaw cycle. For best results, consult with a professional service like Superior Seal Coating, one of the premier commercial crack repair companies in Chester County, PA.

Choose a Snow Removal Business

It is best to decide on a plow service before you need them. Nothing can be worse than trying to find someone to plow your parking lot in the middle of a snowstorm. 

Make sure the snow removal business you choose to maintain your parking lot is reputable and centered around your needs. They should be able to accommodate your snow removal schedule and inform you of the actions they will need to take to plow the parking lot properly. Their equipment should be in good condition, and their plows should be equipped with rubber snow deflectors to prevent asphalt damage.

Inspect Your Parking Lot Drainage Systems

One critical aspect that you just can’t forget to pay careful attention to is your drainage system. Ensuring your parking lot drainage systems are in top condition during the winter is paramount for several reasons. Firstly, any failure in your drainage system can lead to backed-up water, which, when frozen, can create hazardous conditions for pedestrians and drivers. As discussed above, standing water is something you always want to avoid. Regularly inspecting storm drains can help identify problems such as clogs or damage, allowing for timely repairs to prepare your parking lot for winter. 

To prepare your parking lot for the winter, make sure your to-do list includes a focus on proper drainage, removing all debris from parking areas, and inspecting the drainage system. These steps will not only enhance the longevity of your parking lot but also ensure safety and save you from potential lawsuits and repair costs.

Make Sure You Stock Up on Salt and Snow-melting Chemicals

Stocking up on salt and snow-melting chemicals is crucial in preparing your parking lot for winter. These materials help maintain the safety and functionality of your parking area during the cold months. Salt and snow-melting chemicals work by lowering the freezing point of water, helping to prevent ice formation and aiding in the rapid melting of snow. This makes your parking lot safer for use and protects the integrity of the asphalt. Make sure you have an ample supply of these materials on hand if you want to do a solid job preparing your parking lot for winter.

Don’t Forget Your Sidewalks

Sometimes, business owners put so much focus on parking lots that they forget to keep their sidewalks clean as well! Customers have to walk from their cars to your facility and need a clear path to do so. Snow plows and snow cleaning efforts may end up pushing snow and ice ON sidewalks and blocking major walkways, a significant inconvenience for customers. Who wants to navigate dangerous snowy roads and cold weather all day, only to have to walk in a confusing and potentially risky pattern just to get into your store or business? Make sure you have enough salt and snow-melt for your sidewalk, and prioritize keeping your sidewalks smooth and repaired to avoid any hazardous situations.

Summer Sealcoating and Repair

Sealcoating should be done in the summer months, along with restriping of the entire parking lot. Always remember to paint all lines and designations after repair to make sure your lot is compliant with local laws and regulations. Superior Seal Coating is a parking lot line striping contractor servicing Delaware County, PA, and the surrounding areas and can assist you with these services.

Your parking lot is a central component of the success of your business. If left neglected, it can become both a legal and economic burden. By preparing for the winter and maintaining a year-long maintenance plan, you can extend the life of your parking lot.

Superior Seal Coating has been servicing the region for over 15 years. With our experience and resources, we offer a superior service to our clients. For more information, contact us today!