Parking Lot Surface Preparation

Maintaining your parking lot is one of the most important investments your company can make. The first step? Parking lot surface preparation so that your hard work doesn't wash away with the next rain.

Judson Burdon
Posted by Judson Burdon on June 11

Whether you are a professional who works on parking lots for a living and you have years of experience in the business, or you are just getting started, you want to make sure that you have the surface of the parking lot completely prepared before you do any work on it including crack filling, seal coating, and parking lot line painting.

Let’s look at some of the things that you need to do and the ways that you can take care of the parking lot before you add any asphalt. You will find that they even though they might be somewhat time-consuming, they are essential if you want to do a good job and if you want the asphalt to look great and last a long time.


Inspect the Parking Lot

The first thing that you will want to do when you are on one of these jobs is to give the parking lot a thorough inspection. You want to make sure that you understand exactly what the lot is going to need in terms of preparation. Look for any areas that have cracks and other types of damage. Ideally, you will be catching and dealing with the cracks as soon as possible and when they are still small.  If not, water can get in and erode your parking lot's foundation, causing expensive irreparable damage.

Look for locations that are full of weeds that have pushed up through the asphalt, and debris that might be in the cracks. Make note of all of the areas that need attention and create a checklist, so you do not miss them during the next steps.


Removing the Weeds and the Debris

You will then want to go around the parking lot and start to remove the weeds and the debris that has gathered in the cracks and around the edges of the parking lot. You can do this by hand sweeping with a broom, and even using a screwdriver. The screwdriver tends to be handy for getting out some stubborn weed roots, as well as debris that might have fallen down into the cracks.

Even though it is certainly possible to take care of the weeding and debris removal all by hand, you might find that this becomes too tedious and takes up too much time if you have a large parking lot. After all, time is money for you and your clients, and you do not want to take too long with your parking lot surface preparation. Therefore, you might want to upgrade to a professional solution. Some of the best and simplest options include crack cleaning machines and blowers.

There are many varieties and styles of these machines available today.  We recommend:

Just think about all of the time and effort that it is going to save you to have these professional solutions on hand rather than trying to do it all by hand. Even though there might be an initial cost associated with these machines, you will find that they are going to end up paying for themselves before long.

Professional crack cleaning machines chew up vegetation and debris, leaving clean lines that are ready to be filled with hot or cold sealant.  It's critical that you apply sealant to the edges of the pavement so it sticks - if you have too much dirt in the cracks it can pull up.

Next up a blower will remove any residual dirt from your parking area.  This is a much better machine to use than a power washer since power washers will mean you and your crew will have to sit around waiting for your parking area to be 100% dry before sealing and crack filling.

Once you've finished blowing the area, either apply sealcoat or if you are skipping that step this year (most parking areas need sealcoating every two to three years) then go right to line striping.

Graco LineLazer V 3900 Airless LinestriperThere are a wide variety of parking line painting machines available.  You'll need to decide if you should buy a parking lot striper machine for straight lines only, or a machine that can do curves and stencils.  Brands like Titan and Graco are the choice of professional pavement maintenance crews.

When you are choosing any professional machines for your business, take the time to look at the options and features they offer, and some reviews. You always want to buy the best that you can afford, and you can always upgrade later as your company grows.


Time Consuming but Essential

It’s true that preparing the parking lot surface preparation is the most time-consuming part of the asphalt business. However, it also happens to be extremely important, and is something that you simply can’t ignore. If you do not do a good job with your parking lot surface preparation the end results are going to be lackluster.

Take the advice from this article, and make sure that you are preparing the surface properly. You will find that the rest of the job is going to go more smoothly when you do, and your end result is going to be far better. This will result with a better parking lot and happier clients.

Topics: Cleaning and Preparation

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