winter parking

How to Winterize a Parking Lot

With winter almost here, most of us are making preparations for the season. Whether that includes making sure your vehicles have adequate anti-freeze, raking up the last of the autumn leaves, or cleaning debris out of your gutters – there’s no doubt that there are several tasks to be done to get ready for the upcoming winter months. And as you go about accomplishing these, don’t forget that your parking lot needs to be winterized as well! Pavement is durable, but it’s not indestructible. In fact, it’s typical for winter weather to leave pavement riddled with cracks and potholes. Here are a few steps you can take to winterize your parking lot and minimize the damage.

  • If you don’t already have a paving contractor, find one. Choose a local company with several years of experience and an impressive list of clients. Make sure they’re licensed and bonded. And ask for a list of local projects that they’ve completed so you can see the results of their work first-hand. You’ll need the help of a contractor to complete your winterizing process.
  • Have existing cracks filled. If you notice any cracks in your pavement – even if they’re very small – they’re bound to become worse over the winter. When water enters through existing cracks, it affects the sublayer of the pavement, weakening it and making it more susceptible to further damage. Have those cracks filled as soon as possible BEFORE winter weather sets in.
  • Have potholes repaired. Remember what we just said about cracks? The same holds true for potholes – if you have any now, they’ll only get bigger over the winter. If a crack allows enough water to seep into the surface to weaken the pavement, you can only imagine what kind of damage potholes can cause!
  • Point out any depressions in the pavement to your paving contractor. Depressions can result in water accumulating there over the winter, and standing water can cause significant damage to the pavement. Assuming that depressions in the surface aren’t the result of damage to the sublayer of the pavement, they can be evened out by your contractor prior to extreme winter weather.
  • Keep the parking lot clean. This one you can do on your own. It’s important to regularly remove any dirt, leaves, or other standing debris from the paved surface. If you don’t, and if that debris is left to collect water and even possibly freeze, your pavement will suffer the consequences.

Your parking lot is a major investment, so be sure to include it on your winterizing list before cold weather sets in.