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Parking Lot Cleaning Tips

by | Jul 25, 2017

We’ve previously discussed the importance of maintaining your parking lot, which includes sealcoating, keeping an eye out for standing water, and repairing damaged pavement. Another essential component of optimal lot maintenance is to keep it clean. Today, let’s take a closer look at cleanliness, including some of the best parking lot cleaning tips you should know.

Seasonal cleaning is a good idea if you want to have a presentable property for your customers, parishioners, or employees. You likely take care of any lawn or landscaping matters, so it only makes sense to do the same for your parking lot. Of course, aesthetic appearances is only a starting point for why you want your lot to be clean and presentable.

In addition to making a good first impression on visitors, a clean parking lot minimizes pollution to our local waterways, discourages littering, keeps rodents and pests away, and prevents erosion. With regards to maintenance concerns—and you should be concerned with asphalt maintenance!—regular sweeping and other maintenance extends the life of your lot (especially if it’s constructed from porous asphalt).

So how should you clean your parking lot to achieve those kinds of objectives? A good starting point is with regular, scheduled sweeping.This obviously plays a role in making your asphalt look better for customers and other visitors, but it also allows you to more easily notice any cracks or damage in the pavement that needs to be repaired. Early maintenance will save you a lot of money in the long run!

Cleaning Tips

Cracks and structural damages are certainly a concern, but you may also want to eliminate parking lot stains as well. Depending on the types of stain and pavement, options for cleaning a stain can include:

  • Asphalt Cleaning. Trisodium phosphate (TSP), bleach, and baking soda are effective cleaning agents to tackle grease on asphalt. To do this correctly, apply the compound directly to the stain and then scrub it away using a broom that has firm bristles.
  • Concrete Cleaning. Cola and dishwashing liquid are effective for combatting grease spots on concrete pavement. Pour some pop on the stain until it saturates the area. Let the pop soak overnight, and then scrub it the next day with liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. Use a nylon brush to create a soapy lather and the stain will lift away.
  • Mulch or Leaf Stain. Removing mulch and leaf stains can often be accomplished with soap and vinegar. Apply the mixture to the stain and then brush with a circular motion. Rinse the solution with a low pressure rinse (like a garden hose). If the stain is still there, take a capful of bleach and mix it into a gallon of warm water. As with the other solution, scrub with circular motion, and then allow it to sit for half an hour before rinsing with warm water at low pressure.
  • Oil Cleaning. Naturally, grease and oil spots are rather common in parking lots. To clean up these stains, start by blotting as much up as possible. Cat litter is a good absorbing agent, so pour it on and then let it sit on the stain overnight. When the excess grease or oil is absorbed, sweep up the litter and dispose properly. If the stain needs additional care, a commercial degreaser should work. Follow the instructions on the bottle to finish the job.
  • Pressure Washing. In many cases of general cleaning, pressure washing is a great option. It’s important to note, however, that pressure washing set-in stains or oil patches can drive the stains deeper into the surface and make the situation worse.

Remember, a clean parking lot is more appealing to customers and visitors, and can help you save lots of money (that would otherwise be spent on repairs) in the long run.

For more information on properly maintaining your parking lot, or to request a FREE ESTIMATE from the pavement pros at Stripe A Lot, give us a call at 1-800-BLACKTOP (or 616-772-2559). We provide comprehensive paving services—without needing to hire any subcontractors—so contact us today!

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