Parking lot maintenance is taking top billing in retail, as a growing number of facilities managers realize that extending the life cycle of an existing parking lot paves the way toward reduced expense in the long run.
Chain Store Age talked with Rose Paving’s C.B. Kuzlik about retail’s renewed focus on maintenance in today’s cost-conscious climate.
What role does weather play in parking lot management?
Weather conditions have a direct impact on parking lot maintenance. The winter of 2010-2011 saw heavy snowfall across the nation. Excess salting, freeze-thaw cycles and even snowplow blades expedited the weakening of asphalt, increasing the need to perform structural repairs.
On the other hand, last winter was unseasonably mild, and this past summer witnessed record-high temperatures and drought conditions in large sections of the nation. Under these conditions, oxidation of pavement occurs and pavement binder (a.k.a. liquid AC) can even lose its “superglue”-like properties from prolonged exposure to extreme heat. Oftentimes with hot and dry conditions, however, the damage is confined to the surface and can be corrected, if addressed in a timely manner, using less expensive, preventive maintenance or surface treatments.
Regardless of weather conditions, however, the key to spending wisely, even on a tight budget, is timing. If retailers budget for less expensive preventive maintenance on a regular schedule, they will avoid costly structural repairs until the very end of the pavement’s life cycle. Plus, a well-maintained parking lot boasts an aesthetically pleasing appearance as opposed to a neglected pavement, which reflects poorly on store image. Furthermore, if maintenance is completely cut out until a large pothole forms in a drive lane, for example, the cost to make a reactive repair can be twice the cost of a proactive approach on the same area.
What about environmental concerns?
Green building is a trend that we believe is here to stay, and we think that the asph