What is parking lot maintenance?
Parking lot maintenance consists of various repairs and treatments designed to prolong the life of the pavement. Asphalt, which is used in 90% of all parking lots in the U.S., is susceptible to weathering and damage over time. That damage can render it both unsafe and visually unappealing. As such, regular parking lot maintenance helps preserve property value and ensures personnel, customers, vendors, and visitors are safe while on the premises.
Methods used to maintain parking lots include the following:
- Sweeping and cleaning: Regular cleaning removes debris and reveals areas where repairs are needed
- Sealing: Treating asphalt with sealant every couple years preserves the resilience of pavement and prevents weathering
- Striping: Marks painted on the lot need to be repainted every so often to make sure they remain clear and visible
- Crack filling: Potholes and cracks allow water or debris to penetrate the surface layer, causing further damage if they are not filled in
- Asphalt overlay: Stripping the top layer off the pavement and replacing it with a new layer of asphalt helps extend the life of the pavement while giving a “like new” appearance
- Repaving: Once a parking lot begins to crumble, repaving and reconstructing it is typically the only course. Ideally, this is only necessary once every few decades.
Types of parking lot maintenance workers
The duties of general maintenance technicians may include parking lot maintenance, cleaning, and snow removal. They may perform the work themselves, or they might work with outside contractors to complete needed maintenance and repairs.
Companies that perform parking lot maintenance for commercial clients may employ a wide range of employees, including:
- Grading/paving crew: Grading and paving crew members operate heavy machinery and perform routine repair work
- Mechanics: Mechanics keep paving equipment in good repair
- Parking lot stripers: Striping crews measure and paint lines and signs on finished asphalt parking lots, keeping them clear and legible
Example of parking lot maintenance
A plaza containing a few restaurants and a grocery store uses a large parking lot containing 500 spaces. The total square footage of the lot is about 81,000 square feet.
Over the winter, the sealing on the asphalt is scraped off during snow removal. If the property owner fails to reseal the lot, major repairs will likely be needed later on. The pavement will crack faster than usual, eventually resulting in a need for resurfacing. On average, this costs about $1.60 per square foot for a two-inch overlay. Given the square footage of the lot, the total cost to resurface it would be nearly $130,000.
If they simply reseal the surface, the cost would be far less: $0.19 per square foot, or a little over $15,000 for the entire lot. By performing this preventive maintenance, the plaza delays the need for much more expensive repair work.
Facilities that use parking lot maintenance
A number of facilities rely on regular parking lot maintenance to keep their premises safe while improving curb appeal.
- Grocery and department stores: Retail facilities tend to have very large parking lots, and keeping those lots maintained is a major factor in minimizing liability from slips, falls, and vehicle accidents
- Commercial plazas: Commercial real estate that accommodates multiple offices, stores, and companies needs to maintain their parking areas in order to preserve safety and property value
- Public buildings: Government buildings, libraries, DMVs, and courthouses all cater to the public. As such, parking areas should be well maintained.
- Factories: Industrial facilities often require plenty of space for large vehicles. These vehicles take their toll on the parking lot, so it requires regular maintenance.
- Warehouses and shipping facilities: Warehouses take shipments delivered by large trucks and trailers, and as such, they need large parking areas. These areas can be very expensive to repair if they’re not properly kept up.
Parking lot maintenance certifications and training
There are two certification programs of note in parking lot maintenance:
- Certified Administrator of Public Parking: The CAPP certification is offered by the International Parking and Mobility Institute (IPMI), an organization dedicated to the advancement of all professions involved in parking. The certification is meant to show employers, consumers, and the public that an individual is competent in their parking-related profession.
- Certified Parking Professional: The National Parking Association (NPA) offers the CPP program, which helps candidates prove their knowledge of several relevant areas, including maintenance, operations, design, safety, loss prevention, human resources, and equipment.
In addition, various training courses are offered online. Many courses are provided by IPMI on their website, including courses covering parking lot maintenance.
Parking lot maintenance news and resources
- Pavement Magazine: Put out by ForConstructionPros.com, Pavement Magazine is the only publication relevant to paving that is audited by the BPA
- Parking Magazine: The NPA’s online publication explores numerous topics related to parking, including parking lot maintenance
- IPMI Resource Center: IPMI’s online resource center includes case studies, education, training, and numerous articles relevant to parking facilities