Winter's freeze and thaw cycles and snow plows can damage your asphalt parking lot's surface and pavement markings. When temperatures begin to warm up, you can assess the damage to your asphalt parking lot to make repairs and apply new parking lot markings. Here are tips to help you get your parking lot ready for spring.
Repair Cracks and Clean the Asphalt
If your asphalt parking lot contains cracks or potholes from winter, first, clean out any debris and weeds from the crack or hole. For small cracks, apply a liquid asphalt filler in the crack until it is level with the surrounding asphalt, then allow the filler to cure. If you are filling a hole deeper than two inches, fill the bottom of the hole with compacted gravel until it is two inches deep. Then, fill the remaining space with a package of cold mix asphalt. Then, tamp the cold mix down with a hand tamp until it is level with the surrounding pavement.
Next, it is important to clean up any oils or vehicle fluids from the pavement. There are two reasons for cleaning your asphalt. Any oils and other vehicle fluids left to remain on your parking lot asphalt's surface can break down the asphalt binding materials and cause it to crumble apart. Then, if you are going to be sealcoating your asphalt as an additional maintenance step, you will need to clean oils from the surface to help the sealcoat adhere properly to the asphalt. You can use an asphalt cleaner found at most home improvement stores to remove any fluids from the surface, or use liquid dish detergent, warm water, and a scrub brush to clean the surface. Then, rinse the surface clean with water.
When determining when to apply a new sealcoat to your asphalt, remember it is best to apply this protective coating approximately every three years. This helps to keep the asphalt from drying out in the sun and other weather conditions, which allow the pavement to grow potholes and cracks. You can hire a local pavement company to apply the sealcoat or apply it yourself with the right tools and protective clothing.
Paint New Pavement Markings
After your parking lot has been sealed with a protective coating, you will need to repaint the lines to mark the parking stalls. Yellow or white latex is the best type of paint to repaint over a new surface. You can rent a paint striper machine to help you paint your lines straight and smoothly, creating a paint thickness of 15 mils thick with one to two coats of paint. These new painted parking lot marker lines will last approximately one year, depending on the amount of traffic and if snow plows scrape your asphalt during winter snow removal. Or, you can hire a company like Curtis Clean Sweep to take care of your parking lot pavement markings.
If you are painting straight parking stalls with 90 degree angles, an average-sized stall is nine feet wide by eighteen feet long. Then you will need 22 to 24 feet of space for the aisle between the stalls. Angled parking stalls have 45 to 60 degree angles with 16 feet of aisle space between the stalls. Make sure to paint the markings for your handicap parking stalls at least eight feet wide with a minimum five feet of access space.
Some city zoning may require different parking stall sizing, so check with your area to confirm this before painting new parking lot markers. Make sure you use a tape measure and double-check the accuracy of your measuring. For large parking areas use marking strings or lasers to continue your exactness in measuring.
Use these steps to help get your asphalt parking lot ready this spring.