Winter Care Tips for Your Business Parking Lots and Sidewalks

Quickly approaching winter weather brings thoughts of rain, ice, and snow. The freezing weather makes commuting uncomfortable and wreaks havoc on your business’s parking lots. The naturally porous nature of asphalt means that your surfaces absorb the wet weather. Once the temperature drops below freezing, this water expands, causing cracks and other problems with your surfaces.

Unfortunately, you can damage your parking lots more when you use improper snow removal techniques. Read on for a few tips to protect your asphalt surfaces.

Consider Brine

A combination of sand and salt has been a commercial standby to clear ice and snow for many years. Some areas use a variety of rock salt and sand, while others use a mix of rock salt, magnesium chloride, and water. This mixture is called brine.

Transportation departments often apply brine to road surfaces and commercial properties as a part of their anti-icing and deicing strategies. Because brine has a lower freezing point than water alone, it can help keep surfaces from freezing over.

The two most significant advantages of using brine are that it is inexpensive and easy to put down. It will not damage your asphalt if your surfaces have been professionally installed and seal-coated.

Hot-mix asphalt mixtures used by professional paving companies are aggregates of stones, sand, and petroleum designed to withstand many years of freeze-thaw cycles. The engineering of these mixtures creates them to be unaffected by brine applications.

Avoid Raw Rock Salt on Your Steps and Sidewalks

Many people keep buckets or boxes of raw rock salt to spread on icy surfaces,  a practice you should avoid. While brine contains rock salt, it is mixed with water before crews apply it to the road. This mixture is much less corrosive than raw rock salt can be on your concrete steps and sidewalks.

While the rock salt will dissolve ice and snow, the salt can cause substantial deterioration to your concrete. Because your concrete steps and sidewalks are used more and may be more easily accessible than other areas of your property, people tend to apply rock salt more liberally.

The acidic nature of the salt can break down the bonds in your concrete, causing pitting and damage over time. Salt is also harmful to the environment. The runoff from the salt can affect your flower beds. Not only will it kill the winter flowers planted, but it can affect the pH of your soil and future plantings. The runoff can also affect your property’s fountains, ponds, and other bodies of water.

Raise Your Blade

If you or your hired service scrapes your lot, ensure the blade on the truck or tractor is high enough. When removing snow and ice, scraping as close to the surface as possible seems to make sense. Unfortunately, scraping can be detrimental to your surfaces. Metal blades can gouge your lot or sidewalks and cause damage.

If you do your own lot clearing, consider outfitting your equipment with rubber or polyurethane blades and wings. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of blades. For example, rubber blades are cheaper and quieter, although polyurethane blades are more effective against heavier snow and have longer life spans. Both blades protect your asphalt surfaces much better and cause less damage than metal blades.

Inspect Your Premises

Inspect the surfaces of your premises following severe winter weather. Look for signs of damage, such as cracks and potholes. Address any damage you find as quickly as possible to keep the problem from spreading.

Pinnacle Paving is willing to assist you in creating surfaces that will last for many winters and summers to come. We have many years of experience in dealing with Ohio winter weather. We will be glad to come out, perform a comprehensive inspection of your current conditions, make recommendations on improving them, and do the work. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

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