When many commercial lot owners think about their asphalt parking lot, they focus on the expanse of useful flat surfaces it will provide. But one key factor doesn't always get the attention it deserves. What factor is this? Drainage.
Why is drainage one of the most important parts of parking lot design? And how can bad drainage damage your customer base, your property, and even your reputation? Here's what you need to know about some common problems.
1. Increased Liability
Water pooling on asphalt or concrete creates a range of potential accidents. It may form ice that can cause vehicles to slide or pedestrians to slip and fall. Snow will build up and not only remain as a slipping hazard but will also hide other hazards. Pools of water may accumulate chemical and fuel runoff, making them slippery as well.
Not only does this put customers, staff, and vendors at risk of injury, but your business will be even more liable if it failed to include proper drainage and was negligent.
2. Unsightly Parking Lots
That water that fails to drain out properly also makes your business look bad. It's unappealing to customers who don't want to deal with excess water, ice, or snow. And as it evaporates, it leaves behind a mess of minerals, chemical residue, and debris or mud.
3. Reduced Asphalt Lifespan
Stagnant water isn't just a hazard for people. It's also bad for the parking lot itself. Asphalt may seem stronger than water, but that water eats into it. It will eventually wear down the top layers, exposing the aggregate underneath. And as rain or melting snow seeps into the layers, it expands in the heat, and contracts during the cold, creating cracks. All this means your lot will need repair and replacement more often than it should.
4. Trouble with Oversight Agencies
Failure to follow local ordinances and construction regulations for drainage during the design and construction of your parking area could spell trouble with the local government. The problem could be anything from fuel draining into storm drains to water draining into your neighbor's property.
Violating regulations can mean citations, fines, or even an order to make structural changes. Save money by doing it right the first time.
Where to Start
Want to know more about the benefits your business receives by ensuring the right kind of drainage in your lot? Start by meeting with an asphalt paving contractor familiar with your geography and climate today.