Floods are usually costly, but recent changes in New Jersey stormwater legislation could raise the price on future incidents. Here’s how to avoid turning your parking lot into a pond at any time of year.
New Jersey lots already have nature against them. They don’t need people adding to the problem. The image illustrating the 2018 state of emergency perfectly captures the battle New Jersey (and its parking lots) can face against floods.
Our communities are prone to chronic flooding; so much so that a controversial tax bill was recently passed to assist in the $15.6 billion it would cost to upgrade our state’s stormwater system.
Effective parking lot drainage is a must even if a flood isn’t underway. Lots can create water troubles all on their own if owners don’t take the proper steps.
How pooling becomes a problem
Isolated puddles here and there are also called “ponding”. They can seem harmless especially in larger parking lots. Owners may be content to wait out the rain and just let the puddles evaporate. But, even when evaporation does eventually occur, every moment that pooled water spends on the ground is naturally eating away at your lot by oxidizing and eroding the surface.
There can also be other things in those puddles besides H20. Standing water after rain can become pockets of toxic run-offs with gasoline, anti-freeze, and oil and brake fluid which may drip from cars into puddles and stay there. This only speeds up the erosion process of the lot’s surface.
Storm waters which roll into a lot behave in the same way by gathering up chemical byproducts and natural waste as they go; more unwanted stuff deposited on your property when those waters settle there.
Now, let’s add in New Jersey’s often-cold weather. Lot puddles go through the freeze/thaw cycle (sometimes many times over for the same puddles) which weakens the surface underneath. Thermal expansion can cause cracks to appear which only get bigger over time creating more risks and making a parking lot much less attractive.
Raveling and potholes are only two of the potential distress signs which might occur and seriously damage asphalt.
Water can wipe you out in a lawsuit
Pooled parking lots are also far more likely to cause an accident. Single drivers will have less control of their vehicles and could skid, but there’s much more risk that multiple vehicles will end up colliding. People walking across your lot are in greater danger too if water causes them to slip or fall, especially when that water has become ice.
These incidents can easily turn into lawsuits since the water has become a danger that your property will be liable for. Litigation of this kind could easily end up costing property owners thousands of dollars.
What you can do to weather any storm
Having proper drainage in your parking lot can save a world of trouble. In an ideal world, a drainage specialist would be present as the parking lot is first being constructed to ensure the right system is put in place early. There’s still no reason to worry if your lot has been there for a long time.
Every parking lot’s needs will be unique. Sometimes, some rearranging of the surface may be necessary in order to direct water toward areas where it could naturally and safely be absorbed, such as grassy spots.
Other times, a resurfacing may be required to replace the old asphalt with a more porous alternative. These “permeable paving” options are EPA-approved and help parking lots to mimic the natural filtration and drainage of soil. These options can also lower long-term maintenance costs.
Quality drainage must be installed beneath your parking lot’s subgrade, so it’s essential to hire a careful and qualified construction firm for the job.
At Mikula, we have over 70 years of experience under our belt and multiple ways to help your commercial property handle drainage. We provide complete drainage design regardless if your issue comes from stormwater, street water, or trench systems. We protect our customers by providing:
- Ground and Land Drainage
- Surface Drainage Systems
- Rain Water Drainage
- Seepage Pit Installation
- Standing Water Drainage
When you have the right drainage in place, we also recommend paying close attention to your lot and regularly cleaning away any toxic spills or debris which can threaten your property.
Why let your parking lot become a pool of risk and eyesores that will lower your property value? New Jersey was battered by more rain last year than the state has ever seen. There’s no better time than now to think about your parking lot’s drainage and protect yourself from Mother Nature.
Get in touch with Mikula today to be water-ready and minimize being washed-out by the “rain tax”.
Mikula Contracting, Inc. provides commercial and residential customers with a wide range of excavation, demolition, environmental, snow removal, trucking, and soil materials services. For more information, call 973-772-1684 or email or email [email protected]