Shopping Center Inlet Repair – The Pros and Cons of Postponing Repairs

Shopping Center Inlet repair –  When Is The Right Time? 

Timing is everything. There really is a best time to do most anything.  

When you see a crack in your windshield, it’s best that you have an auto glass specialist look at it immediately and repair it before it turns into a broken window. Timing is everything.

Or if you hear about bad weather, getting the rain gear or snow shovels out so you are prepared for whatever is needed for access to your stores. Timing is everything.

When it comes to Shopping Center inlet repairs, if you notice cracks or depressions that weren’t there before,  it might be a good time to have somebody look at it. Timing is everything.

Shopping Center Inlet Repair – What is a Shopping Center Inlet

Shopping Center Inlet Repair - sweeping.com
Typical shopping center inlet repair

A standard shopping center inlet has a perforated or slotted metal grate embedded into the pavement.

The grate covers a below-ground concrete structure. This inlet allows rain and storm water  to drain into the structure to keep a parking lot from flooding.

Shopping center inlets have a variety of names and are also known as storm drain, storm sewer, surface water drain/sewer, or stormwater drain.

What Can Go Wrong With A Shopping Center Inlet?

The most obvious issue for shopping center inlets is if they get clogged, it causes a flood.  The simple resolution is to remove the debris clogging the drain (usually leaves or paper) and the water drains.

Regular maintenance usually prevents this from happening, however if the shopping center is close to a heavily wooded area or if a recent event has generated a lot of paper (flyers, tickets or banners for a political rally) the inlets in the parking lot can create and unexpected blockage.

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An inlet that has dropped approximately six inches from previous position with very poor repair efforts. Unsafe and unsightly.

The more costly and potentially unsafe issues can occur when a shopping center inlet begins to deteriorate.

If water seeps in between the pavement and the inlet apron, this can cause erosion of the sub-strata and the collapse of the pavement surrounding the inlet.

Several potential issues can result.  The first is the pavement becomes unsightly.   Visible cracks and deterioration are evident around the inlet and it appears neglected.

The second issue is the pavement becomes unstable and unsafe.  An individual driving (or even walking) on the pavement surrounding the inlet can cause it to collapse and damage the vehicle or cause injury to a pedestrian.

The final issue is complete inlet collapse.  The pavement around the inlet collapses and the infrastructure of the inlet disintegrates.  This creates a major inlet rehabilitation project at a substantial cost.

What kind of shopping center inlet repairs can be done?

In many cases the asphalt perimeter of a storm basin can be repaired so the inlet is returned to its intended purpose, to drain stormwater.

If the catch basin if the inlet has been damaged, it will need to be replaced.

Both projects require specialized expertise for asphalt and concrete repair as well as the administrative expertise needed to coordinate engineers and local officials for construction permits.

What Are The Pros of Waiting?

There are actually no pros to waiting.  Although it may appear that costs savings are achieved by waiting, the actual costs may be much higher if preventative maintenance is deferred.

It is much less expensive to continuously inspect and prevent shopping center inlets so problems can be “nipped in the bud” compare to replacing asphalt.

And replacing asphalt is much less expensive than replacing a shopping center inlet (requiring engineering, permit and possibly traffic fees).

What Are the Cons of Waiting?

As we mentioned above, timing is everything.  The longer you wait for shopping center inlet repair, the higher the cost will be.  The costs range from simple asphalt repair costs to major construction costs (and the most dreaded possible lawsuits).

Timing is everything, don’t postpone your decision to conduct shopping center inlet repairs.

Do you have a shopping center inlet that needs repair?

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been providing inlet repair services to shopping centers, commercial property owners and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our services include inlet repairconcrete repair, asphalt repair, and pavement maintenance.

We can give your property the attention needs and keep your residents happy.

If you’re in North Jersey, Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re in Central New Jersey call us at 732-886-1940 to arrange for shopping center inlet repair.

 

HOA Parking Lot Sweeping – How to Get Your HOA On a Schedule

HOA Parking Lot Sweeping – Some Kids Never Learn

HOA parking lot sweeping - sweeping.comIf you’ve ever had kids, you’ll know that it’s hard to get them to stick to a schedule.  Most kids learn, some never do.

Getting people to cooperate is a lot like getting kids to cooperate,  you’ve got to employ the right consequences.

HOA Parking Lot Sweeping – The Right Consequences

There is a powerful consequence you need to use when you start an HOA parking lot sweeping program.

It’s called negative reinforcement.   This is the most common consequence that most people are familiar with.   You can sum it up in this simple sentence,  “do this or else”.

It sound somewhat heavy handed, but it doesn’t have to be.  However, it’s the primary consequence you need to employ when setting up a HOA Parking Lot Sweeping program.

HOA Parking Lot Sweeping – Examples of negative reinforcement

There are many examples of negative reinforcement.    

Most people don’t want to get a speeding ticket, so they drive under the speed limit.   Most people don’t want to get fired from their job, so they show up for work on time and do their work effectively.

Negative reinforcement does not have to be heavy-handed,  it just has to be communicated properly.

HOA Parking Lot Sweeping – It starts with communication

When it comes to an HOA parking lot sweeping program communication is key.

Ensuring that the residents know well in advance about a regular parking lot sweeping program goes a long way towards minimizing conflicts.

Approximately two months before the start of the program a  separate letter should be sent to each homeowner informing them that an HOA parking lot sweeping program is going to be scheduled.  Include the specifics regarding the dates, the times, the requirements, and most importantly, the consequences if requirements are not met.

The key to communication is both repetition and variety.  Communicate consistently and in a variety of ways.  And document these communications for the resident who will claim that nobody told them.

HOA Parking Lot Sweeping – Continuous Followup

The letter should be followed up a week later with a printed flyer that is hand delivered to each residence because not every residence receives notices from the management company.   Some residences are rented so they may not get notified by their Landlord.

Several weeks before the parking lot sweeping program begins, small signs (about 11 x 17  tablet size) should be staked around the community where every resident can visibly see them.

A few days before the program begins, conduct a mass phone notification campaign (these phone services are now readily available to all homeowners associations).

HOA Parking Lot Sweeping – Resident Requirements

Generally, the main requirement is to ask the resident to move their car out of the parking lot that’s being swept on the sweeping date.

Invariably there will be residents who will forget, or ignore the requirements.   If the sweeper has to sweep around a particular vehicle, the sweeper should take that picture of the  license plate and send the picture to the HOA.

If the HOA can identify the car as owned by resident, they can send a letter asking the resident to adhere to the requirements and move their car on the next sweeping date. They can also respectfully remind them of consequences for future non-compliance.

Moving forward, consequences must be initiated on non-compliant residents.   No exceptions.

HOA Parking Lot Sweeping – The Consequence of No Consequences

Although it’s  tempting to let one or two violations slide, it’s important to remember that without consequences people will not change their behavior. 

Also, if you are going to apply consequences to one person, it’s only fair (and legal) to apply the same consequences to all.

Although it does seem like a lot of work to communicate, followup, and enforce requirements, the outcome will be that most people will cooperate. Those that don’t won’t have a leg to stand on when they suffer the consequences.

Need Help with your HOA parking lot sweeping project?

Are you involved with a Homeowners Association Board? Would you like to discuss ways to improve your community’s overall appearance?

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been providing property maintenance services to real estate developers, commercial property owners and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our services include community sweepingpavement maintenanceseal coating, and line striping.

We can give your property the attention needs and keep your residents happy.

If you’re in North Jersey, Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re in Central New Jersey call us at 732-886-1940 to arrange for HOA parking lot sweeping.

Builders Construction Sweeping – Scheduling A Sweep Before Snow is the Best Thing You Can Do

construction sweeping backhoe - sweeping.com

Builders Construction Sweeping – Why Are You Procrastinating?

builders construction sweeping timing - sweeping.comHow often have you been angry with yourself for waiting to the last minute?

Wait for the last minute for tickets – they’re sold out!

Wait to the last minute to buy clothes for an important affair – your size not available!

Wait for the last minute to take care of something at Motor Vehicles – stand on a long line for a long time!

You’ve learn over many years and through painful experience that waiting until the last minute has unwanted consequences.

So if you’re a builder, this is why waiting for the last minute to schedule street sweeping also has unwanted consequences.

Builders Construction Sweeping – Reasons why you should schedule construction sweeping now

Probably the first and most compelling reason for scheduling a sweeping project before the snow is for safety.   

Even if you have a one or two inch dusting of snow this can hide debris that can cause safety issues.

Some of the things that can be hidden because of snow are chunks of concrete, pieces of asphalt,  wood cuttings, gravel, and unfortunately, beer cans.

When people drive over this debris with their trucks it ends up in the tires.   If someone is walking on the snow (a contractor or a client) and they step on any of this debris, they trip and fall.  

We live in very litigious society, so it’s a bad practice to allow potential lawsuits that can be prevented with construction sweeping.

Builders Construction Sweeping – Improve the appearance of your property

The next reason is that construction sweeping will improve the appearance of the property, whether its a newly started site or if it has been under construction.

Although most people prefer to view properties during warm weather, there are still many buyers out there who need to (and will)  inspect property during the cold weather.

Scheduling a construction sweeping before snow arrives helps improve the appearance of the property even after snow has dropped.  A construction site looks more tidy with clean snow as it melts rather than dirty snow that turns into a mushy, debris-laden mess.

Builders Construction Sweeping – Timing is ideal

And finally the availability of construction sweeping services is best right before ice cold weather and snow set in.   

Scheduling a construction sweeping is easier, faster, and more convenient before the bad weather hits.  After a snow, many sweeping services are busy with snow removal and other winter property maintenance projects.

Get that sweeping “to do” off of your list and pick up the phone today!  Get your sweeping project done before the winter.  

Builders Construction Sweeping – Call the Experts

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been sweeping and servicing real estate developers, builders, and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our services include parking lot sweepingmunicipal sweepingconstruction sweeping, and garage scrubbing.

We can help you keep your site clean, dust free and in compliance with reliable, cost-effective construction sweeping services.

If you’re in North Jersey, Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re in Central New Jersey call us at 732-886-1940 to arrange for construction sweeping.

 

Shopping Center Sweeping – Should You Sweep The Parking Lot Before or After the Winter?

Shopping Center Sweeping – The Big Question

shopping center sweepingPerhaps the question I get asked the most about shopping center sweeping is, “when is the best time to do a thorough parking lot sweep and clean? 

Should I do it before the winter so there is not much to do when the winter is over?

Or should I wait until winter is over and then do a thorough cleanup in the spring?”

My answer is, “it depends…”

Now I know that’s not a definitive answer, which is frustrating but there are several questions that need to be answered in order to give a definitive answer.

Shopping Center Sweeping – First question is how big is your parking lot?

The size of your parking lot really determines whether you should have parking lot sweeping at all.

Small shopping center parking lot – If your parking lot holds between 20 and 50 cars this is a rather small parking lot. You should rely mainly on manual portering you keep your parking lot clean. The shopping center sweeping is usually done with a simple broom and hopper pan.

Medium shopping center parking lot – If your parking lot holds between 50 and 500 cars then a good sweeping can spruce up the parking lot.  Not only will the appearance improve, But you can prepare the parking lot for other types of improvement projects such as asphalt repair, pothole patching, seal coating or lien striping.

Large shopping center parking lot – If your parking lot holds more than 500 cars then you probably have a substantial piece of real estate that needs maintenance. This is a parking lot that should have regular sweeping and maintenance.

Shopping Center Sweeping – It depends

So going back to the question should you sweep the parking lot before or after the winter you see now it depends.

 It appears that the weather really shouldn’t be part of the decision making process, it’s really the size of the parking lot that dictates the need for shopping center sweeping.

What  should I do Before the winter  to prepare my parking lot?

Inspect the Parking lot – Grab a pad and a pen, then go out and walk the parking lot.  Walk in a back and forth pattern to inspect the condition of the asphalt, concrete and cleanliness of the lot.   

Do you see any areas that need repair, replacement, painting, or cleaning?   Note these on your pad.

When you get back to the office rate these on a scale of 1 to 3.

1 is a critical must do,

2 is a should do,

3 is a nice to do.

Consider the items you rated as a one to be the most critical that need to be completed prior to the winter.

Shopping Center Sweeping – More than just sweeping

Some of the pre-winter tasks to consider are:

Concrete repairs, curbs,  sidewalks, parking stops, ballard bases, decorative concrete.   Rate anything that could cause a trip or fall hazard as a particularly critical item.

Asphalt repairs, potholes, large cracks

Inlet repairs –  any Inlet that is showing cracking or sinking ( it’s not going to get better over the winter)

Crack filling, sealcoating, and striping or not quite as critical,  however if the striping for handicap parking for traffic flow has started to fade,  it’s best to touch it up before bad weather arrives.

Shopping Center Sweeping – Winter Prep

A few other things that really don’t have anything to do with parking lot sweeping,  what are work thinking about are:

Emergency contractors such a snow removal or  roofers (looks like hurricanes are only going to get worse with continuing global warming)

Do you have your snow removal and ice melt supplies in good condition and ready for the first snow emergency?

although items  listed above appear to be  a lot of additional work, these tasks can be completed in a few hours.

So getting back to our original question about Shopping Center sweeping, we’ve given you a lot to think about and perhaps have answered the question for you.

Shopping Center Sweeping – Need Help with Your Shopping Center Parking Lot?

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been providing property maintenance services to Homeowners Associations, commercial property owners and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our services include community sweepingpavement maintenanceseal coating, and line striping.

We can give your property the attention needs and keep your residents happy.

If you’re in North Jersey, Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re in Central New Jersey call us at 732-886-1940 to arrange for shopping center sweeping..