The Dangers of Parking Lot Puddles – And What to Do About Them
With the rainy season in full swing, we’re definitely experiencing flooded roads, wet weather traffic jams, and many, many more puddles. While it’s fun to put on your rain boots and splash around a bit, puddles get really old really fast. Puddles on the roadway can lead to dangerous hydroplaning, and puddles on walkways and grassy areas render them useless until the rain stops. We get a lot of clients complaining to us about puddles in their parking lots since long-standing puddles can disrupt parking and cause other long-term damages (not to mention the fact that we can’t sweep flooded parking lot!).
What exactly are the dangers of parking lot puddles? The longer a puddle sits in your parking lot, the more damage it can do. Namely, puddle-ridden parking lots can lead to:
- Even bigger puddles
- Angry drivers
- Risk for car damages and accidents
- Wear and tear on the asphalt
A few puddles every now and then is not a problem, especially if they dry up within a day or two – it’s the big puddles that take up a handful of parking spaces and don’t evaporate fast enough, lingering for a week or more during rainy, wet weather. These large puddles (or lakes, if you prefer to call them that) can cause you to have to repave your parking lot sooner rather than later, which is an expense that no business owner wants to have.
So, what can you do about parking lot puddles? The first step is to determine what it is that’s causing them in the first place.
Common Causes of Parking Lot Puddles
For a parking lot puddle to form, there has to be a low point in the cement. So, really, the cause of these low spots is the root cause of your parking lot puddles. What is it, then, that leads to low spots in your parking lot? Here are a few of the most common culprits:
- Indentations left by large vehicles or equipment
- Corrosion and softening caused by transmission fluid, oil, and gas
- Clogged gutters or storm drains
- Inadequate drainage
- Erosion and shifting pavement
- Improperly compacted asphalt
What Can You Do to Alleviate Parking Lot Puddles?
- Resurface your parking lot
This is really a last resort of none of the below methods work first. It’s also the only surefire way to alleviate your parking lot puddle issue altogether. If you go this route, make sure to have a professional asphalt and paving company do the work. They’ll make sure the pavement is at the right grade and that rain water can drain adequately.
- Patch up potholes and low spots
If you have large sunken areas or pot holes in your parking lot, get them patched up. This will extend the life of your parking lot and eliminate puddles that are taking up space in your parking lot and causing disgruntled employees.
- Try porous cement
Porous cement is pretty cool (check out his video of porous asphalt absorbing 1,000 gallons of water in one minute). One big drawback is that you can’t just patch your parking lot with the stuff – you have to completely repave and redesign the area. If you’re installing a brand new parking lot in an area that is prone to heavy rainfall, then go with porous asphalt from the start.
- Install or repair your drainage system
If your drainage system (aka gutters, storm drains, and the like) are clogged or improperly functioning, get them inspected and cleared out. The first step to avoiding parking lot puddles is to allow rainwater to drain away from the pavement quickly.
- Keep your parking lot clean
Relating to the point above, you should keep your parking lot clean throughout the year. Parking lot sweepers will remove debris, garbage, oils, and foliage that would otherwise clog up your storm drains or settle on the surface of your parking lot causing corrosion, pot holes, and parking lot puddles.