Get Perfect Parking Lot Rehabilitation

Optimize Functionality and Appearance of Your Parking Facilities

As an experienced civil engineer and parking lot construction specialist, I am often asked how to properly rehabilitate aging or damaged parking lots to restore functionality and improve aesthetics. Based on my 25+ years in the industry, I have found that the best parking lot rehabs focus on four key areas: drainage, pavement quality, lighting and pedestrian access.

In this article, I will provide actionable tips and best practices to help you get perfect parking lot rehabilitation results. By following proven methods focused on these critical facets, you can extend the life of your lot, resolve persistent problems, improve appearance, and create a better experience for motorists and pedestrians alike.

Simple 7 Step Process for Ideal Parking Lot Rehabilitation

Rehabilitating your parking lot is a major endeavor, but breaking it down into manageable steps makes the process more achievable. Here is an efficient 7 step process I recommend to clients to ensure optimal rehabilitation:

1. Inspect and Identify Problem Areas

Carefully assess current drainage, pavement, lighting and pedestrian access conditions. Note cracks, crumbling, flooding issues or lack of light posts and crosswalks. This allows you to document rehabilitation requirements and priorities.

2. Improve Drainage

Faulty drainage causes flooding, ice patches in winter and pavement deterioration. Install catch basins, trenches, upgraded piping and proper grading to keep water flowing away from traffic areas.

3. Repave Lot Surface

Repair cracks, dig out and replace damaged sections, sealcoat and apply fresh striping for a smooth, safe surface. Consider permeable pavement materials to improve drainage.

4. Add or Upgrade Lighting

Proper lighting improves safety and makes navigation easier. Evaluate placement and output of existing lighting, adding new posts or higher output bulbs as needed.

5. Reconfigure Entrances/Exits

Optimize traffic flow for easier access/egress. This also presents a chance to upgrade to speed bumps, signage or gates to better control vehicles.

6. Improve Pedestrian Access

Clearly designated crosswalks, proper curb cuts and connectivity to sidewalks/buildings enhance safety and convenience for pedestrians.

7. Incorporate Landscaping

Trees, shrubs, garden beds and greenspaces boost aesthetic appeal while providing environmental benefits.

Following this rehab process helps transform parking areas into functional assets with improved safety, appearance and value. Now let’s explore some best practices and helpful guidelines for key rehabilitation elements.

Best Practices for Drainage Rehab

The root of many parking lot problems is inadequate drainage, resulting in cracked, uneven pavement plus flooding issues. By upgrading drainage capabilities, you can resolve these problems and extend usable lifespan. Recommended best practices include:

Conduct Thorough Inspection
Identify all areas where water accumulates and moves across the lot. Check functionality of existing infrastructure like catch basins, trenches and piping.

Install Catch Basins
Strategically place new catch basins around the perimeter and between parking aisles. Catch basins collect and divert water into drainage pipes below ground level.

Add Drainage Trenches
Trenches channel excess water away from high traffic zones. Connect trenches to catch basins or existing drainage pipes.

Repair/Replace Underground Pipes
Clogged, cracked or undersized pipes cause water backup and flooding. Repair damaged sections or replace pipes completely as needed.

Regrade Surfaces
Reslope surfaces so water flows directly to catch basins. A 2% grade or 2 inch drop over 100 feet is typical.

Proper grading is critical for effective drainage. Use laser guided equipment to achieve necessary slopes and direct the flow of water appropriately.

By fully upgrading drainage capabilities, you can resolve persistent flooding issues while extending the life of your pavement investment.

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Action Typical Cost Range
Catch Basin Installation $2,500 – $3,500 per basin
Drainage Trench Creation $15 – $30 per linear foot
Underground Pipe Repair $100+ per linear foot
Lot Regrading (per 5,000 sq ft) $1,500 – $4,000
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Optimize Asphalt Pavement Rehabilitation

Once drainage is addressed, focus shifts to repairing and improving the parking lot surface itself. Use these asphalt pavement best practices for ideal rehabilitation:

Repair Cracks
Seal minor cracks with asphalt filler compound. For major cracks, router out damaged sections and apply fresh asphalt.

Remove & Replace Damaged Areas
Dig out badly cracked or settled areas, backfill and compact substrate, then pave over repairs for even surface.

Apply Sealcoating Treatment Protect pavement and fill minor cracks/holes with asphalt-based sealcoating product. Reapply every 2-4 years.

Restripe Parking Lines
Fresh striping makes spaces clearer and improves traffic flow. Include direction arrows, pedestrian crossings, and handicap spaces.

Consider Permeable Pavement
Allowing water to soak through the pavement into an aggregate base protects substrate and improves drainage.

Perform Regular Maintenance Ongoing crack filling, sealcoating and line repainting preserves quality and prevents costly repairs later.

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Pavement Rehab Activity Typical Price Range
Crack Sealing $0.25 – $1.25 per linear foot
Pothole/Damaged Section Removal & Replacement $6 – $12 per square foot
Asphalt Sealcoating (per 5,000 sq ft) $950 – $2,100
Parking Space Striping $1 – $3 per linear foot
Permeable Pavement Install $4 – $8 per square foot
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By combining targeted repairs with protective sealants and routine upkeep, you can achieve the smoothest, safest parking area within your budget.

Lighting Rehab Enhances Safety & Aesthetics

Proper lighting is essential for safe, easy navigation in parking facilities. When rehabilitating your lot, evaluate lighting needs with these guidelines:

Conduct Night Safety Audit Observe lighting conditions after dark. Note poorly illuminated areas and shadows where pedestrian visibility is compromised.

Add New Light Posts
Supplement perimeter lights with additional posts between aisles or along pedestrian routes. Space at ≤ 1.5 x mounting height.

Install Higher Output Bulbs If existing fixtures provide insufficient coverage, replace bulbs with higher lumen LEDs for brighter cast light.

Improve Consistency Use same lamp color temp (3000K ideal) and output level across all light posts for even coverage without dark patches.

Include Pedestrian Lighting
Illuminate designated pedestrian zones, crossings and sidewalk connections separately from vehicle aisles.

Control With Photocells/Timers Automated controls ensure lighting activates from dusk to dawn as needed. This saves energy and prolongs lifespan when not required.

Proper parking lot lighting deters crime, prevents accidents and creates a more inviting environment at comparatively low rehabilitation cost.

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Lighting Rehab Task Typical Price Range
New Light Post Installation $300 – $1,500 per post
Bulb Replacement $10 – $40 per bulb
Photocell Sensor $10 – $80 per sensor
Timer Switch $50 – $150 per switch
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Enhancing Pedestrian Access & Safety

Parking lots cater primarily to vehicles, but integrating pedestrian amenities through rehabilitation improves convenience and safety. Ideal features include:

Designate Crosswalk Zones
Paint highly visible striped crossing areas connecting parking sections to buildings. Signage further identifies right-of-way.

Add Speed Bumps Before Crossings
Moderate vehicle speeds for safer pedestrian crossing. Flexible rubber models provide sufficient slowing without damage risk.

Install Curbed Medians If Needed
Curbed medians or barricades offer added pedestrian protection mid-crossing if multiple lanes must be traversed.

Upgrade Curb Cuts
Angled curb cuts with textured concrete allow smooth wheelchair access between parking and sidewalks/buildings.

Connect Sidewalks
Continuous interior sidewalks should lead to perimeter walkways and public sidewalks around the lot’s borders.

Creating clear navigation paths and protective measures tailored for pedestrians makes your rehabilitated parking facility more welcoming and accessible.

Incorporate Landscaping to Boost Curb Appeal & Eco-Benefits

Finally, interspersing landscaped green spaces throughout parking areas adds aesthetic appeal while providing meaningful environmental benefits like cleaner air, reduced storm runoff, and cooler summertime temperatures.

When rehabilitating a tired, unsightly parking lot, take the opportunity to add WiFi-managed landscape lighting and consider locations for:

  • Trees & Shrubs: Provide cooling shade and clean the air. Cluster native, low-maintenance varieties near pedestrian zones.
  • Rain Gardens: Attractive, low-lying beds with water-tolerant plants filter and absorb runoff. Position near catch basins or drainage routes.
  • Bioswales: Shallow, vegetated trenches slow and filter water flow to drainage systems while adding visual interest.
  • Green Medians: Long center islands filled with low grass, flowers or bushes break up vast paved areas.

Tasteful landscaping gives new life to worn parking facilities. The environmental benefits also support property value by meeting sustainability goals. Even modest green additions make a substantive visual impact.


I hope this overview gives you a clearer process for rehabilitating your own aging parking assets to resolve persistent issues, improve functionality and deliver an upgraded experience for all users. Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions!

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I'm Steve Axton, a dedicated Asphalt Construction Manager with over 25 years of experience paving the future of infrastructure. My journey with asphalt began by studying civil engineering and learning about core pavement materials like aggregate, binder and additives that compose this durable and versatile substance. I gained hands-on experience with production processes including refining, mixing and transporting during my internships, which opened my eyes to real-world uses on roads, driveways and parking lots. Over the past decades, I have deepened my expertise in asphalt properties like viscosity, permeability and testing procedures like Marshall stability and abrasion. My time with respected construction companies has honed my skills in paving techniques like milling, compaction and curing as well as maintenance activities like crack filling, resurfacing and recycling methods. I'm grateful for the knowledge I've gained about standards from Superpave to sustainability best practices that balance longevity, cost and environmental friendliness. It's been an incredibly rewarding career working with this complex material to build the infrastructure future.

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