The parking lot of your business says a lot. Regardless of how amazing the products or services are inside, commercial properties are always first judged by what is seen on the outside. Well maintained parking areas and sidewalks are critical to attracting customers and cleanliness ranks as one of the top factors in determining where people shop. When your lot looks professional and clean, it projects an image of success and patrons are less likely to discard trash out of their cars.
Give your current and potential customers confidence that your business pays attention to detail and that their safety and satisfaction is your number one priority. Don’t let your competitors gain an advantage simply because their parking lot is more inviting.
There are two primary methods for cleaning commercial parking lots:
Blowing and Picking
This method typically involves blowing loose debris with either a handheld or backpack blower similar to leaf blowers used by homeowners. Equipment is either gas or electric powered and material is blown into the street, landscaped areas or into piles which can be swept up and discarded.
Power Sweeping or Power Brushing
Self-contained sweeper trucks are driven through a parking lot where loose materials are swept under the vehicle and sucked up via a commercial grade vacuum system. The material is then driven away for proper disposal.
Benefits of Sweeping
Professional sweeping has many benefits over blowing including:
rather than just blowing debris into the air and spreading it around, sweeper trucks lift loose materials directly off of the parking surface and into collection chambers
many power brushers have built in misting systems which dampen the surface, minimizing the amount of dust and particulate that float into the air and leave the lot with a much cleaner look
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates air pollution generated by commercial properties, blowing debris into the air or street can be in violation of these regulations and put you at risk of being fined
in addition to dust and other loose materials, power sweepers can help clean up common vehicle spills such as coolant and oil which will make their way into stormwater streams and stain your parking surfaces – learn more about runoff management here
blowers, particularly those which are gas powered, can be very noisy – most municipalities have noise ordinances in place which limit decibel levels by volume and time of day
because sweeping is more effective and can be performed at night when your lot is empty, routine cleaning can be done less often
sand, dirt and other trash are abrasive – when left on the parking surface, pavement quickly deteriorates; replacement and repair costs far exceed that of routine sweeping
if employees or contractors are blowing your lot, they will have to spend additional time collecting the debris and disposing of it – materials discarded in your waste bins can add extra cost and create an unnecessary mess
if material is blown into your landscaped areas, they may also need additional maintenance in order to remain clean and healthy
blowing during the day when the lot is full of customer vehicles may lead to complaints about the disruption and possible vehicle damage
Like any routine and preventative maintenance, sweeping can save you time and money while ensuring your property looks its best and provides your customers with a great shopping experience. When working with your maintenance professional, ensure they are in compliance with all environmental regulations, carry proper liability insurance and design a program which is most suitable for the needs of your business and customers.