Time matters: How the seasons impact paving and parking lot maintenance.
When it comes to parking lot maintenance, many people aren’t concerned with their parking lot until an issue arises. Parking lot maintenance helps preserve the life of the existing asphalt, it can prevent liabilities from occurring and save money over time.
But how does the season impact paving and parking lot maintenance? Paving and parking lot maintenance for the most part is seasonal and based on weather conditions. During the winter season, many asphalt plants shut down limiting access to hot mix asphalt, leaving about 9 months out of the year for maintenance services.
Crack sealing, seal coating and line striping are a few parking lot maintenance services that are affected by weather conditions. Most manufacturers have set recommendations for these services to be effective.Crack sealing is best utilized early spring or fall, as manufacturers suggest the sealant product is best used 40 degrees Fahrenheit and rising surface temperature.
Seal coating is best performed in the spring and summer months as the recommended surface temperature is 50 degrees Fahrenheit and a max temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit. For proper curing, the air temperature should be at 70 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity below 60%. Sealcoating projects should not have any precipitation 24 hours before or after a sealcoat application. Keep in mind, the temperatures must remain consistent for sealer to be applied effectively. For example, if the temperatures are still dipping below 50 degrees overnight, the sealer will not dry properly.
Line Striping is a little more complex as there are different paint products that can be used. Typically, Latex paint is commonly used for parking lot spaces and crosswalks as it does not become slippery when wet. When line striping projects use Latex paint, the pavement surface should be 50 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and the humidity should be less than 80%. Whereas, Solvent-based (oil) paint, can be used in cooler weather, with a surface temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. All Line striping projects, like sealcoat, should not have any precipitation for at least 24 hours.
While we consider the proper applications for parking lot maintenance, another big factor is scheduling. The forecast can be unpredictable during the spring and summer months, and rain and significant temperature swings can cause scheduling delays; especially during fall and winter. Sometimes, these delays can be carried into the following year.
When you hear the old saying, “It’s that time of year again,” remember this applies to your paving and parking lot maintenance services. To avoid delays in scheduling, make sure that you know your budget and have a proper paving and parking lot maintenance plan in place.