A parking lot is unlike a highway; highways have moving vehicles that apply shear forces to the surface most of the time. On the other hand, a parking lot takes the brunt of stationary vehicles’ weight for extended periods. And there are a lot of flow control elements incorporated into a parking lot to assist with traffic & parking, so it comes as no surprise that parking lot maintenance is quite demanding.
The routine inspection involves checking wearing course, cracks, or raveling on the asphalt parking lot. In winter, like right now in Philadelphia, PA, it has not begun to snow yet, but once it does, that will further aggravate the existing damage on your pavement. Rather than telling you what type of damage you can expect, Powersurge Plus will direct you to the common damage sites in a parking lot.
1. The Handicap Ramp
There are concrete ramps as an ADA compliant requirement to allow ease of passage for citizens who use wheelchairs onto the premises. Concrete ramps can suffer freeze-thaw damage and spalling, causing them to crack. The damage should be attended to as soon as possible or as the weather allows for concrete workability. Otherwise, the cracks pose a trip hazard and an invitation to a lawsuit.
2. Curb-Cut Ramps & Concrete Sidewalks
Just like the handicap ramps, the sidewalks and curb ramps are made of concrete. They suffer that same freeze-thaw damage, weathering, and joint cracking with a lack of maintenance.
3. Parking Spots & Stripes
These areas are most prone to asphalt cracking & potholes. Their inspection should be the first thing on your checklist before contacting an asphalt paving contractor. The line striping themselves are mere paint, and they too can wear off with damage to the surface course. This is why line striping with quality thermoplastic & MMA paints is the rage now.
4. Safety Elements
Safety bollards & wheel stoppers are installed to keep wayward vehicles off the sidewalk and the pedestrians safe. If there has been a slight collision or a, rear-end between a bollard and a car, the concrete anchoring the bollard will, of course, suffer structural integrity damage. Don’t ignore these spots.
5. Curb Drains & Swales
The concrete swales are drainage depressions that are installed next to the curbs. They can also be running across the parking lot with a grate over them. If your parking lot seems to be retaining water too long, your lot might need milling and re-grading to direct the water to the drains. Otherwise, the water intrusion will cause cracks in the pavement.
The next time you are out for a maintenance check on your parking lot premises, be sure to check the parking spots and the pavement striping first for damage and then the drainage.