Owning your own business is equal parts exciting and terrifying. If you're a first-time business owner (or a first-time commercial property owner), then you're likely facing a vast range of new responsibilities and decisions. While you're probably focused mainly on running your new business, you shouldn't neglect its property, including the parking lot.

Although they might seem similar, maintaining a commercial lot isn't quite the same as maintaining a residential driveway. If you aren't familiar with the care and feeding of this essential part of your business, this guide is for you. Keep reading to discover a few critical aspects you'll need to keep in mind for yourself and your customers.

Why Is Parking Lot Maintenance Essential?

Your parking lot is a critical part of your business, and it's often the first thing your customers see. Visitors may be less inclined to visit an establishment with a poorly maintained parking lot, and severe issues may drive away business altogether. Keeping your parking lot looking good helps provide the kind of good first impression new businesses need.

You'll also need to consider your legal responsibilities. As the parking lot owner, you may be responsible for accidents that occur on your property due to negligence. Maintaining a safe lot keeps drivers and pedestrians safe while also ensuring minimizing your exposure to potential legal trouble.

What Should You Do First?

If you haven't already, perform a thorough walkthrough of your parking lot. Look for signs of apparent damage, such as cracks or significant potholes. Pay special attention to any evidence of frost heaves since these may indicate drainage issues beneath the parking lot surface. While you're performing your walkaround, look for problems that may present future safety issues.

You should perform these walkthroughs as often as you can, but at least once per month. You may also want to work with a paving contractor for a professional to schedule an annual in-depth inspection. If you notice any issues, it'll pay to repair them as soon as you can. Surface damage can create more severe moisture problems, so deferring these fixes might lead to costlier future issues.

How Can You Maintain Your Lot?

Once you've addressed any existing issues, you'll need to consider long-term maintenance. In addition to regular inspections and crack sealing, you should sealcoat the surface at least every 2-3 years. If your budget doesn't allow this, it's best to work with a paving contractor to develop a sealcoating and maintenance schedule that's affordable for your needs.

Remember that problems with your parking lot will not resolve on their own, and prompt repairs and routine maintenance are the best ways to avoid expensive issues. Following these best practices for maintenance will ensure that your lot can provide your new business with many years of safe parking. Contact a commercial asphalt paving service for more information.