Parking Lot Sweeping: Going Above & Beyond

Parking lot sweeping is a must for any business. First impressions are formed in the parking lot. A spotless parking lot projects a positive first impression to the customer. However, in today’s day and age, there is more to parking lot sweeping than just sweeping the lot.

Parking Lot Sweeping – Know Your Market

Parking Lot Sweeping
Parking Lot Sweeping at the Ocean County Mall

It is important to know your market, who the main “players” are. They will differ from business to business. Potential prospects for parking lot sweeping include, but are not limited to:

  • Shopping Centers
  • Restaurants
  • Schools
  • Apartment Complexes
  • Airport Lots
  • Hospitals
  • Stadiums / Golf Courses
  • Grocery Store Lots

Parking Lot Sweeping: The Proposal

The proposal should be clear and easy to understand. Make sure there are no “hidden fees”. The proposal should also outline how often the parking lot will be swept and for how long. It should also include any extra services being provided. Most importantly, the proposal should identify the problem and the proposed solution.

Parking Lot Sweeping: Developing Relationships

The single most important thing is establishing a relationship with your customers. Make yourself easily accessible and provide after hours support. Go above and beyond the call of duty. Every once in a while, let them know how good of a job you are doing. Most property managers take it for granted that their parking lot is spotless. Don’t be afraid to let them know how you made it spotless. 

Analyze the property regularly to make sure your employees are doing the job properly. See how you can upgrade your parking lot sweeping services. It is all about keeping the customer. Assess every action in each parking lot sweeping job. Finally, always be upfront with the customer. A solid relationship is one that is built on trust.

 

Sweeping: 4 Most Important Types

Parking lot sweeping at the Lakewood BlueClaws Stadium
Parking lot sweeping at the Lakewood BlueClaws Stadium

Protection is key. Sweeping on a regular basis helps to protect the pavement and roadways. It also provides the property with a pristine appearance. The four most important types of sweeping are:

  1. Parking Lot Sweeping
  2. Municipal Sweeping
  3. Construction Sweeping
  4. Community Sweeping

Remember, regardless of which sweeper company you choose, they should be able to provide proof of insurance and a list of references. Whatever contractor you choose, they should always be insured.

Sweeping the Parking Lots

A customer’s first impression is formed in the parking lot. A clean parking lot gives customers a favorable impression of your business. Imagine driving into a dirty shopping center with debris everywhere. That customer might think twice about going inside to shop just because of the appearance of the parking lot. Dirt, sand, and rocks are a given. Furthermore, a parking lot that has a lot of dirt and debris, increases the likelihood of a slip-and-fall. Vehicles also drag dirt in simply just by pulling into the lot. To keep the dirt and debris to a minimum, your parking lot needs to be swept on a regular basis. 

Sweeping Municipalities

Municipal sweeping is city sweeping. It helps to reduce stormwater runoff and has been defined as a best management practice by the EPA. Each and every city bid will be different due to a variety of factors such as location and length of the sweeping season. For example, someone in Colorado will not need a sweeper year-round where as someone in certain parts of Florida may require one for 12 months straight. Your contractor should work with you to determine the correct level of sweeping needed. 

Sweeping Construction Sites

Construction sweeping is one of the most demanding types. You need to be sure that your contractor can deliver the right sweeper with an experienced operator at the controls during each phase of the construction process. The construction site needs to be clean. Therefore, a sweeper is necessary to remove the dirt and debris. The amount of debris present varies from site to site, depending on the size of the site and the scope of work involved.

Sweeping Communities: An Often Overlooked Component

sweeping
Community Sweeping

Community sweeping is an important maintenance and safety component. Sweeping on a regular basis increases property value. Residents will take pride in a community property value. Residents will take pride in a community that is neat and clean. Furthermore, community sweeping decreases the amount of dirt and debris that accumulates. A community that is littered with dirt and debris is not appealing to residents or prospective buyers. It also increases the likelihood of someone tripping over the debris and hurting themselves. Keep in mind that sweeping increases the life of the asphalt.

Wrap Up

As one can see, sweeping is a major part of any maintenance program. It is important from both an aesthetics and a safety point of view. Quality service is key. Analyze each site and make sure employees are doing their jobs properly Another part of quality service is establishing a relationship with the customer. Always make yourself accessible, even after hours. It is all about keeping the customer. To recap, any reputable contractor should be able to provide insurance documents and a list of references. Obtain multiple estimates and go with the contractor who will best meet the needs of your company. Keep an eye out for our next blog post about Parking Lot Sweeping.

Pothole Patching: Semi-Permanent Repair

pothole patching
Pothole before it is cleaned out

The best-known pothole patching method is the semi-permanent repair method. It is more involved than the methods (throw & go and the throw & roll) discussed in the previous blog post. This method is typically used during the summer months when the weather is warmer.

Pothole Patching: Inside the Semi-Permanent Repair Method

Semi-permanent repair is the most time consuming of all the pothole patching methods. When using this method, these five steps should be followed: 

  1. Completely remove water and debris from the pothole
  2. Square the area so it forms one big square
  3. Again, remove all debris from the area
  4. Compact the repaired area
  5. Open the area to traffic

This is the most time consuming method because of the steps, equipment, and man-power involved. However, the semi-permanent repair is the most reliable. 

Pothole Patching: Compacting the Area

With the throw and roll method, a truck would be used to compact the repaired area. Here, a vibratory roller is recommended. It is better for compaction. Start in the middle of the surface with the roller and work your way to the edges. 

In conclusion, the semi-permanent repair is one of the most reliable and popular pothole patching methods. Although it is time consuming, it is built-to-last. 

Pothole Patching: 2 Similar Methods

pothole patching
An example of a pothole

Potholes can occur on any type of pavement including local roads, parking lots, and freeways. There are a few different pothole patching methods used to repair them. The two most similar methods are the “Throw & Go” and the “Throw & Roll”.

Pothole Patching: Throw & Go Method

With the “throw & go” method, the mix is just thrown into the pothole along with the water and debris that is already in there. The mix is not compacted once it is thrown into the pothole. This method is most commonly used during the winter months. It is a “quick fix” with the intention being to eliminate the safety issue. The thrown and go method should only be used when the road is due to be replaced or when weather conditions do not allow. It is the least expensive pothole patching method and also the quickest. For that reason, it is used by many maintenance companies.

Pothole Patching: Throw & Roll Method

pothole patching
Completed pothole

Like the “throw & go”, the mix is thrown into the pothole with the dirt and debris present. The mix is then compacted with a truck rolling over it several times. Being that the mix is compacted, it is less susceptible to moisture. It takes an extra minute or two to compact the mixture by rolling over it. Therefore, it does not significantly affect productivity. Following compaction, the area can be opened up to traffic, providing all equipment and materials are out of the way. The “throw & roll” method can be very effective, providing a high-quality material is being used.

Pothole Patching: Which Method to Use

The decision of which method to use depends on the following factors

  1. Weather: in sub-zero temperatures, the “throw and go” is the only method possible.
  2. Time Until Scheduled Repair: if the road is to be repaired soon, no need to spend the money on more permanent repair methods
  3. Availability of Materials and Man-Power: the “throw & go” as well as the “throw & roll” may be the only methods possible due to availability
  4. Tolerance of the Public: the public, generally, does not tolerate potholes and expects them to be repaired immediately.

Pothole patching can be completed by most pavement maintenance contractors. Remember, not repairing potholes regularly, leads to liability and safety issues down the road. 

 

Pothole Patching: How to Better Understand It

pothole patchingPutting off pothole patching just means bigger problems in the future. Preserving the road through regular repairs is cheaper than allowing the potholes to widen and the road to disintegrate. Ever wonder how potholes form in the first place? Water seeps into the cracks in the road. The water freezes overnight as the temperature drops. Water expands as it freezes and puts pressure on the affected area, causing a pothole to form.

Pothole Patching Methods

Pothole patching can be done year round and is divided into two categories: hot mix and cold mix. There are four methods to pothole repair:

  1. Throw & Go
  2. Throw & Roll
  3. Semi-Permanent Repair
  4. Infrared Pothole Repair

Pothole Patching: Hot Mix vs. Cold Mix

pothole patching: infrared pothole repair
Infrared Pothole Repair

Cold mix is commonly used during the winter months while hot mix is used during the spring and summer when the weather is warmer. Cold mix is good for emergency pothole repair and is most commonly used in emergency repairs. Hot mix requires the minimum outside temperature to be 40 degrees. Some cities prefer cold mix over hot mix regardless of the outside temperature. The article below provides a perfect example of that.

Pothole Patching: Cold Mix Preference

Pothole Patching Summary

In conclusion, pothole patching should not be taken lightly. Potholes need to be repaired before they turn into a bigger issue. Keep an eye out for our next blog post comparing the “throw & go” to the “throw & roll” method.