In order to prepare your parking lot for winter, you need to take a few different steps to ensure that it will weather the winter months well.
#1 Seal All Cracks
One of the most important things that you need to do is seal all the cracks in your parking lot. The reasoning is that when water gets into the cracks in your pavement during the wintertime, and the temperatures drop below freezing, that water expands. When the water expands, it expands the cracks in your parking lot. Over the course of an entire winter, what started as a small, tiny crack can expand into a troubling large crack that affects vehicles driving in your parking lot.
You can prevent this from occurring by taking two different steps. The first thing you need to do is have a paving contractor patch and fill all the large cracks in you parking lot so they don't get worse in the winter months.
The second thing you need to do is sealcoat your parking lot. Sealcoating your parking lot will fill in and cover up all the tiny cracks in your parking lot that are not as easy to spot. This will prevent tiny cracks from becoming large ones over the course of the winter. It will also make your parking lot look new.
#2 Clear & Inspect Your Drainage Systems
It is extremely important during the winter months that your drainage system is working properly. You don't want all the rain and snow melt to not have somewhere to go; when water pools in your parking lot it can damage the foundation of your asphalt.
You can prevent this by making sure that you clear out any debris that is in the way of your drains and manholes. You can manually clear away any debris that you see in these areas. If you have not had your drains professionally cleaned in a while, you may want to have that done as well. When you have your drains professionally cleaned, they can go beyond the surface and deep clean your drain lines and remove all the debris that has accumulated.
#3 Get Ready For Snow Plows
In order to get ready for snow plow season, find and hire an experienced snow plow driver to clear your parking lots. Inexperienced drivers can scrape and damage the surface of your asphalt. Try to hire a snowplow driver who you have used in the past who has produced good results for you, or get recommendations from other local business owners.
One of the consequences of snow plowing your parking lot is that often times, curbs and islands end up getting nicked and damaged. You can prevent this by placing markers on your island and curbs. This will make those structures more visible for your snow plow drivers, and they will not have to guess where they are located. In the long run, this will also save you from having to repair your curbs and islands when spring rolls around.
By taking the three steps above, your parking lot will be ready to make it through winter in the best shape possible.
Talk with paving contractors in your area for more information and to learn more about sealcoating and drainage systems.