Parking garages are among the most important and most utilized features in a bustling city, allowing large swaths of employees, patrons, and tourists to safely store their vehicles before going about their business. Unlike open-air parking lots, however, parking garages are winding, partially enclosed, and multi-tiered. These unique characteristics create a significant distinction between parking lot paving and parking garage paving projects. Though asphalt is involved in both commercial parking affairs, getting the job done successfully and safely is more challenging for garage paving projects. Let’s go over some best practices for paving a commercial parking garage.
Best Practices for Paving a Commercial Parking Garage
Make Sure Everything is Stable Before Starting
To maximize space and facilitate traffic flow, most parking garages feature several floors that gradually ramp up and wind into one another. This design is only made possible with strong support beams. When it’s time to pave or repave a commercial parking garage, contractors must know full well that the structure is sound before getting started. After all, asphalt paving involves heavy equipment, digging, and plenty of movement – if the garage isn’t stable, these actions can create hazards and potentially trigger a collapse.
Shut it Down for the Time Being
This advice applies to virtually all paving projects. Repaving a surface in its entirety is only possible if all vehicles have been removed from the premises. Because parking garages are so lucrative and commonly used, finding the right time to shut it down for paving purposes can be a major challenge for facility managers. Still, for safety and efficiency reasons, the garage must be empty before contractors can get to work.
Protect Eyes, Ears, and Lungs
One of the advantages of working on an outdoor commercial parking lot is that debris, fumes, and soundwaves can flow freely during the project (not that you want debris to fly too far afield). Parking garages don’t offer this luxury. Being partially or entirely enclosed in a large building allows soundwaves and materials to bounce off the walls. If contractors aren’t equipped with the right personal protective equipment (PPE), their bodies are in harm’s way throughout the entire project. It’s crucial for these workers to gear up with ear protection, eyewear, and facial coverings to stay safe on the job.
Light it Up
Most parking lot paving jobs are performed during the day so contractors can take advantage of the natural light. When it comes to paving a parking garage, however, sunlight has a hard time getting through, so it’s fairly dark no matter what time it is. Knowing this, paving contractors must bring powerful lights and sources of electricity to the site; maintaining high visibility is essential not only for worker safety but also job efficiency. Adding convex mirrors to the mix can amplify light sources and aid in visibility when maneuvering corners, too.
Stick with Shorter, Smaller Equipment
Because parking garages require significant support to withstand the weight of multiple floors and several vehicles, paving contractors must work around large support beams as they go. On top of that, they must deal with low ceilings during the entirety of the project (until they reach the top floor, anyway). With these restrictions in mind, contractors can’t always use the same equipment as they would when tackling open-air asphalt parking lot paving, where most of the surface is a vast plain with infinite sky above. Instead, they must use equipment that’s small enough to easily maneuver around support beams and short enough to stay underneath ceilings. These limitations also alter workflow, as asphalt mix can’t be relayed right from the dump truck to the hopper. In most cases, workers must use loader buckets to bring the mix to pavers.
Commercial Parking Garage Paving Challenges
Commercial parking garages are quite handy, but they can be a paver’s worst nightmare. That’s why it’s so important to hire a paving contractor with the experience, equipment, and resources to successfully pave your parking garage when the time comes. Cassidy Paving is no stranger to parking garage paving projects, and we’ve served countless clients throughout New England.
Call us today at 866-978-9788 for a free estimate on your next paving project.