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Smooth Advice: Church Asphalt Parking Lot Maintenance

Posted on December 19, 2014 by Bill Skubik in Maintenance

What leads a congregation to your sanctuary? Your smooth parking lot and sidewalks. The maintenance of parking lots is one of the first impressions that your church gives. Be sure that sidewalk cracks and potholes don’t distract your congregation from their purpose for visiting.

Identifying defects and sticking to a maintenance plan will maximize appearance while saving time and money. Although heaviest on Sunday, a church parking lot typically also gets much community use throughout the week. This wear and tear can take a toll on a parking surface.

Asphalt pavement is known to be durable, cost-effective, strong, and easy to install. It is a popular choice due to it’s ability to withstand heavier loads. In order to keep it looking new and welcoming, it is important to develop a maintenance management plan including routine inspections and ongoing preventative maintenance.

Preventative lot maintenance is the most important step to avoiding further deterioration. Take action if you notice raveling, transverse cracks, longitudinal cracks, or minor block cracking. Corrective measures include crack sealing, sealcoating, and asphalt patching or repair. Effective preventative maintenance is an ongoing process that needs regular attention to ensure success.

Repairs
As a necessary upgrade, a dark black sealant looks and wears like new. Parking lot sealcoating helps to project a positive image of the company, facility, or residential complex.
On top of routine inspections and ongoing maintenance, sealcoating asphalt pavement with a coal tar or asphalt-based emulsion slows pavement deterioration by protecting against the elements. For maximum benefit, a sealcoat should be applied approximately 12 months after initial application and then once every 24 to 48 months. Applied in thin coats, Pavement sealing applied in thin coats protects surfaces against gasoline, oil, salt, water, and ultraviolet rays.

Potholes are commonly repaired by patching. These annoyances occur when water seeps into pavement through unsealed cracks. Upon freezing, the water expands and enlarges the crack. The ice under the pavement eventually melts, leaving a void for the surrounding pavement to sink into. The pothole can be filled with hot or cold asphalt mix, depending on the season and location. If additional hairline cracks spread and deepen within the asphalt, it is best to remove and replace the deteriorated area.

In more severe cases of asphalt failure, a long term and cost effective solution is to resurface the lot. If you see standing water on the pavement and/or large sections of broken areas, it is a good idea to resurface your pavement. This process including preparing and cleaning the area, leveling asphalt low areas, grinding all transitions, and adjusting all drainage structures.

Striping
The contrast of a freshly striped parking lot is appealing and portrays to the public that the facility is well maintained. A clearly marked lot safely directs users around the parking area. When considering a layout, you must consider crosswalks, stop bars, loading-zone markings, and marked pick-up and drop-off areas. Signage must clearly inform pedestrians where it is safe to walk. The right layout and parking lot striping will maximize parking while offering a comfortable, safe and easy entry or exit. Reserved handicapped parking must be clearly marked and easy to navigate, check the latest ADA requirements to ensure you have the correct number of accessible spots.

As far as space layout, the straight-in stall design allows for the most vehicles. Angled stalls are usually preferred due to ease for drivers and require a narrower lane. In addition, angled stalls provide a controlled one-way traffic flow, creating a herringbone design that is visually appealing.

A well planned and well maintained parking lot can create a safer environment in which to better serve communities and inspire congregations. Keeping your lot smooth and safe will maximize peace of mind and minimize traffic incidents.


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