Safety is a key priority when designing a good parking lot maintenance program for a business, residence or public establishment in Atlanta. Clearly visible and easily understood signage is important, but many properties fall short in meeting these basic criteria. Some property managers are facing liability that they could have avoided that may dictate parking space size, driveway clearance and many other considerations. Pavement markings, parking lot sealcoating, traffic control and accessibility are three main areas where parking lots can be deficient.
Parking Lot Maintenance and Liabilities in Atlanta
Benefits of Keeping a Clean Parking Lot
TAKING A BEATING
There is no question that a parking lot takes a beating day-in and day-out. And, in many climates, just the temperature swings alone are enough to cause accelerated deterioration. Constant freeze / thaw cycles, of course, cause constant expansion and contraction (cracks) - increasing the risk of water infiltration. Then the water freezes, expands the cracks further, and compounds the problem even more.
Also adding stress to the parking lot is the brutal effect of daily traffic; not to mention, it receives its share of small (and large) fuel and chemical spills and leaks from automobiles, equipment, etc. Even our warm and friendly sun adds to the negative effects by constantly spreading its ultraviolet rays helping to cause further deterioration by increasing the rate of oxidation, causing the asphalt to become dry and brittle. The result? Obviously, a greater risk of cracking and more water infiltration.
All of those factors combined make for an uphill battle to properly maintain parking lots. You definitely have to stay in front of the eight ball.
KEEP IT ON THE SURFACE
One way to do that is to keep those deteriorating effects on the actual parking lot surface. After all, the surface was designed to take the beating and, acting as a shield, not allow the deteriorating effects to negatively impact the base material. In order to ensure the surface, or "shield," continues to meet the demands for many years to come, sealcoating is a key component to any parking lot maintenance program. Sealcoating does just what the name implies of course, sealing the top coat of asphalt pavement further improving its "shielding ability."
Step 4: Applying the Material
As with other material handling, the sealcoat material will be applied by manufacturer's specifications. In most cases, sealcoat products can be applied either by hand, with squeegees and brushes, or by machine. Determine the most beneficial method depending on coverage area, obstacles, or any other considerations impacting maneuverability.
Because of the amount of traffic parking lots receive, always apply two coats for added protection and durability.
CONSIDER A LONG-TERM PARKING LOT MANAGEMENT PLAN (PLMP)
Now that you have a newly sealed and protected parking lot, it is time to consider a long-term Parking Lot Management Plan (PLMP). After all, just by completing the sealcoating process, the life of the parking lot has been substantially lengthened. And that life can be extended even longer.
As with any piece of equipment, structure, roof, etc. a well-thought and properly executed maintenance plan for a parking lot will continue to add life and at the same time minimize the chances of inconvenient and costly repairs.
Fresh Parking Lot Marking and Maintenance Improve Curb Appeal
Safety is a key priority when designing or retrofitting a parking lot for a business, residence or public establishment. Clearly visible and easily understood signage is important, but many properties fall short in meeting these basic criteria. Some property managers are facing liability that they could have avoided, particularly in Ontario where new Regulations came into force in 2007 to dictate parking space size, driveway clearance and many other considerations. Pavement markings, traffic control and accessibility are three main areas where parking lots can be deficient.
Line markings are paramount for the safety of both pedestrians and drivers. Walkways for pedestrians should be clearly marked with diagonal striping known as hatching so that drivers of approaching vehicles are aware and can yield within a safe distance. Further hatching can be used to mark off hazards and obstructions that may pose risks to drivers and the structure of a building. Keeping line paint fresh and clean from debris is important and highly recommended. The minimum acceptable 2 way aisle width is six meters. Parking space widths and clearance requirements can vary depending on the location of possible obstructions such as walls, poles etc. Inadequate laneway access for emergency vehicles can result in large fines. Fire truck access lanes must be clearly marked and wide enough to accommodate emergency vehicles. Signs should indicate that parking is prohibited in the lanes, and the lanes must allow enough clearance for traffic to move through. Signage and markings should be as similar as possible to the public roadway so that drivers understand what is required of them. The location of the sign can be critical to preventing accidents and mishaps. Easily visible and understandable signs will help prevent or minimize liability issues.
The Canadian government allows businesses and commercial building owners to deduct costs to make renovations or alterations that enable individuals with disabilities to gain access to business or residential properties. It is the responsibility of the property owner/manager to ensure that these requirements are being met, maintained and kept up to standard.