Car park maintenance

A well maintained and managed car park is essential to ensure that all users, both vehicles and pedestrians stay safe. A car park is often the first impression a customer will have of your business, so also needs to look good.

Regular maintenance is necessary to keep a car park looking good and safe for all users, and the summer months are an ideal time to carry out any routine work. How much depends on the volume of traffic using the car park. Chris Budd, Head of Technical Solutions at Watco, the UK’s leading manufacturer of industrial strength flooring products, gives tips and advice on essential jobs to consider.

Firstly, when you try to assign an order to all the tasks that need to be done, it may help you to think in terms of safety, protocol, and cosmetics.

Anything that could pose a safety hazard should immediately jump to the top of the to-do list. When those items are checked off, you can move on to things that involve regulations you need to comply with to avoid fines. Finally, cosmetic touches can come into play to spruce up your car park and make it look more appealing.

1.Before improving the aesthetics of your car park, it is essential to ensure the overall surface is in a good state of repair. Over the winter months your car park may have been subjected to bad weather and developed potholes and cracks. Besides looking bad, potholes can pose health and safety problems for car parks and paths so it’s important to get them filled, fast. Fix all potholes right away. Repair with an asphalt patch, which traffic can drive over as soon as it has been applied.

2.Heavy traffic or cold weather can accelerate the formation of cracks in a car park’s asphalt surface. Worse still, even the smallest one can lead to water ingress at an alarming rate, causing erosion and surface deterioration. Use a rubberised bitumen-based asphalt filler to seal cracks in your car park, which will also avoid the growth of weeds

3.Choose the right surface paint, preferably anti slip paint, to clearly label parking spaces, lanes, disabled spaces, loading and unloading areas, emergency parking, etc. and which will result in a safer and easier to navigate car park. Paint can be bought in many different colours to clearly define areas. Use reusable industrial stencils which come in numbers and letters, and make painting jobs easier and neater, and are applied either with a spray using an aerosol paint or by brush using a Concrete Floor Paint or Asphalt Paint depending on substrate.

In areas where a more clearly visible marking is desirable, Watco has Roadmarker Reflective, where the surface is coated with fine glass beads. Light reflects from the back of each bead to give a brighter appearance, and adds greater slip resistance to the surface.

Emergency lanes should be clearly marked so that no one mistakenly blocks them in case of emergency, and an anti-slip traffic paint can be applied to indicate and protect against any dangerous slopes on curbs to prevent slips and trips. Watco Asphalt Paint has UV resistance, is durable, versatile and fast drying, so the surface is ready for light traffic after 24 hours. Again, stencils can be used to make the job quick and neat. Seek expert advice for the area you are covering as there is an array of features to choose. The right advice will make sure your paint lasts as long as possible and is right for the conditions of your traffic

Look to use a fast curing paint, which means less downtime, and get your car park back in use quickly. Watco has several fast curing paints that use the latest polyaspartic resin technology for a high quality, rapid curing anti slip finish that will dry in 24 hours.

4. For a concrete surface, as found in underground car parks, consider using an epoxy floor coating, which will add a thick layer of strength to the surface, many times more protective than paint alone. It will also keep the appearance looking good, as it acts as a sealant to prevent substances like oil soaking in and has anti slip properties.

5. Clean up rubbish regularly. Have a schedule for regular maintenance and cleaning or you can consider contracting with a car park sweeping company that will also help with rubbish removal and pest control.

6. After you’re certain you have a safe car park, consider any regulations that apply. Specifically, you’ll need to provide disability spaces. These spaces must be as close as possible to an accessible entrance to the building and must have at least a 60-inch-wide aisle next to them for a wheelchair-bound person to have space to enter and exit the vehicle. There are additional regulations pertaining to signage and the required amounts of accessible spaces compared to size of the car park.