Puddles in a parking lot aren't just a nuisance; they shorten the life of the lot because they can lead to cracks and potholes. Fortunately, most puddle issues can be prevented with planning and maintenance.
1. Check the Grade
A parking lot should be graded so that it slopes towards the drain. This grade is usually minor, less than 15%, but it is sufficient for water to run off the lot instead of puddling. Unfortunately, the grade isn't something you can fix once the parking lot is installed. This is why it's important to work with a qualified asphalt service that will prepare the base and grade properly.
2. Move Equipment Regularly
If you park heavy equipment in your lot, you could be inadvertently causing low areas to form. Asphalt can be slightly malleable, especially in hot weather, so leaving heavy equipment in one place for days or weeks at a time can cause ruts to form. Puddles then form in the ruts. Instead, rotate the equipment to a different parking spot daily. Better yet, have a concrete parking pad installed that is dedicated to equipment storage, and only use asphalt for the main lot.
3. Install Drainage
Puddles form in low areas, which can't always be fixed by grading due to the constraints of the natural topography on the property. In this case, installing drains is necessary. Drains are typically put in at the bottom of slopes or along the edges of entranceways since these areas are often lower than the surrounding pavement. They should be covered with sturdy metal grates. Water will flow into the drain where it is then routed to the main storm drain system.
4. Repair Small Damages
Even a small crack can increase the chances of damage. Water will collect in this small crack. Then, in cold weather, the water will freeze and expand, soon turning the crack into a large pothole that holds a puddle of water. Bring in an asphalt contractor annually, preferably in fall, to repair any small cracks that have begun to form in your paving. This way, you won't have puddles and bigger damages come winter.
5. Keep It Clean
Leaves, garbage, and other debris clog the storm drains that border your parking lot. When this happens, water has nowhere to go and puddles form. You can cut down on blockages with one simple method -- keep your parking lot clean. Obvious garbage should be swept up every day as part of your normal building cleaning routine. Professional cleaning should be done monthly or at least seasonally.
Contact an asphalt paving service if you notice puddles on your parking lot.