Most retail businesses in the United States could not exist without sufficient parking. Nearly 90% of people who are eligible to drive in the US hold a license, making cars an inseparable part of the country's culture. Because of this, the areas where customers park are often considered a direct extension of the business that they serve. Parking lots in poor condition or with insufficient space reflect poorly on their businesses, and customers can be and often are driven away by lots that are filled with potholes, cracks, and other hazards.
Because they are so important, it is equally important for businesses to fully maintain their lots. This isn't always cheap, but there are steps that you can take as a business owner to make sure that you get the best deal possible for the job.
Identify Your Needs
Asphalt can be repaired, which means that a full repaving is not always necessary. If you are concerned about the condition of your parking area, then one of your first steps should be to evaluate the entire lot so that you have a clear understanding of your needs. Areas with poor drainage or heavy traffic can wear out much faster than other sections of the lot, so attempt to determine if the worst damage is localized. If so, it may be possible to simply repair whatever specific issues exist or simply resurface a section.
Determine the Age of the Lot
Paved lots can last upwards of 30 years, so it's entirely possible that the lot was last replaced long before you were responsible for it. You may not have perfect maintenance records from the previous owners, but if possible you should attempt to determine the age of the lot. If the surface is relatively "young," then resurfacing or repair is usually a good option. If the pavement is particularly old, however, then completely replacing and repaving may be the most cost-effective approach. Simply resurfacing old, worn out asphalt can lead to major issues in the future as the underlying structure continues to break down.
Discuss Your Budget and Expectations
Finally, be sure to have a clear understanding of your maximum budget and your expectations before speaking with any contractors. Many contractors will want to offer you the best, most cost-effective solution for the long-term, but business reality can sometimes get in the way. If your budget does not allow for complete resurfacing or replacement, then it is important to explain this. Often, the best option in these cases may be to attempt repairs the most serious trouble spots first. A skilled contractor can help you to identify these areas so that you can get the best results for your money and keep your lot functional until more major work can be completed.
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