Potholes in asphalt pavement are formed when underlying soil structure is weak and vehicle traffic causes the poorly supported surface to crack and break. Although potholes can be formed at any time of the year, spring is primary pothole season because that's when soils tend to be at their wettest. No matter when they occur, however, it's in your best interests as a commercial property owner to keep your parking lot as free of potholes as possible.
Inspecting your parking lot on a regular basis is essential to preventing potholes from taking over, but if you're like many business owners, you don't have much time for routine tasks. Following are four reasons why you should hire a professional parking lot repair service to keep parking lot potholes to a minimum.
Insect pests can create miserable conditions in parking lots, and in extreme conditions, they can even cause customers to take their business elsewhere. Pest populations are most likely to become problematic in areas with easy access to food and water sources. Pests are often drawn to parking lots because dumpsters and other trash receptacles are often located nearby, and parking lot potholes often provide them with an adequate water supply in regions that receive seasonal precipitation.
Mosquitoes, for instance, can quickly reproduce in small amounts of surface water, and rats and other rodents are also attracted to areas that provide moisture sources. Even urban and suburban wildlife such as raccoons, chipmunks, squirrels, and coyotes may be attracted to sources of drinking water in your parking lot.
If someone trips and falls in your parking lot for any reason, they probably have good cause to file a personal liability suit against your business. Depending on state and local law and factors such as whether or not the property is fences or gated, you might even be held legally liable if the person in question was not a customer of your business.
The best way to protect yourself against this type of litigation is to make certain that your parking lot is level, smooth, and free of potholes and other conditions that may lead to injury among those who enter your property. In order to minimize liability, mark potholes as soon as you notice them so that motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians can easily bypass them while waiting for your parking lot repair service to arrive to fill them in.
Keep in mind that the parking lot is usually the first exposure that many clients have to your business. If it's full of potholes or otherwise in poor repair, that is likely to reflect badly on your establishment. Even a clean, new building accented by attractive, professional landscaping will take on a shabby, neglected air if the parking lot has not been properly taken care of.
Also, keep in mind that a smooth surface is much easier to keep clean and attractive than one that is bumpy and uneven. Having an asphalt parking lot professionally sealcoated is an excellent way to help keep potholes from forming.
Face it -- customers who have a difficult time navigating your parking lot due to an abundance of potholes may decide to take their business elsewhere as a result, particularly if the area in which your business is located offers no reasonable parking alternatives.
Because parking in highly desirable commercial districts can be difficult to find as well as expensive, it's in your best interests as a business owner to keep your parking lot as user-friendly as possible. Raking leaves and otherwise keeping your parking lot as free of debris as possible will allow you to spot potholes as soon as they begin to form and to take steps immediately to have them repaired.
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