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How To Keep A Freshly Paved Parking Lot In Good Shape During The Winter

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If you are considering having a new parking lot installed near your business, then it is your best option to have high-quality asphalt installed. You will likely need to pay around $1.25 to $1.50 per square foot if you want a solid two inches of asphalt. This may mean a smaller 500 square foot parking lot will probably cost at least $625 to pave and maybe a bit more to have the parking spot lines added to the cured asphalt. When you spend this kind of money to have the parking lot area paved, you will want to protect it from substantial damage during the winter months. The tips below can help you with this. 

Consider Plowing Carefully

Parking lots need to be plowed regularly to provide your customers with a safe and easy place to park. In fact, you have a duty of care to clear away snow and ice so that accidents do not happen. This means that removal needs to be scheduled according to the accumulation of snow and ice. However, a plow can damage the top of a newly paved asphalt driveway. This is especially true since a protective sealer cannot be placed over the asphalt for the first 6 to 12 months after the asphalt is put down.

Gentle Snow Removal Practices

You can help to keep scrapes and loose asphalt from breaking away from your parking lot by hiring a plow service that uses plows with rubber or polyurethane cutting edges on the very tip of the plow surface. The flexible part of the plow will help to force snow away from the asphalt without damaging it. If this type of cutting edge is not available from your plow service, then ask that the plow edge is left to sit about one-half inch above the asphalt surface. You may then need to use your snow blower to remove the rest of the snow. If you do this, the snow blower blade should be kept about one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch from the surface of the parking lot.

Use the Right Ice Removal Materials

Skip the Salt

If a great deal of ice forms on the surface of your parking lot, it is best to remove it. Many people will use inexpensive rock salt to get rid of ice on the surface of asphalt. This is often a good choice as long as the temperatures do not drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. However, salt can cause added damage to an asphalt parking lot if cracks or potholes have already formed and temperatures start to drop.

This happens, because ice will form at a lower temperature and quickly become extremely hard. Without the spread of the salt, ice is likely to form slower and more gradually, placing less stress on the asphalt. Your new asphalt probably does not contain many cracks, but the cracks that are present will be more susceptible to the effects of hard ice formation due to the lack of a sealer.

Good Deicer Products

Instead of using salt to get rid of ice, consider using a deicer material that is less likely to cause any damage across the surface of the asphalt. Urea, potassium chloride, and calcium magnesium acetate also may not be the best choices since they only reduce ice at moderate temperatures like salt.

However, calcium chloride can and will remove both snow and ice at temperatures as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit. The calcium chloride will also dissolve completely and create heat that will cause the snow and ice to form a slushy mixture. The slush can then be easily shoveled away. Keep in mind that a great deal of the deicer will need to be used to clear a parking lot since the material dissolves quickly. The material is also more expensive than rock salt, so think about using calcium chloride in areas where your patrons are most likely to walk or in places where you know that thick ice forms. 

For more information about maintaining your asphalt parking lot, contact a company like Hals Construction.