One minute, it was fall and the leaves had just started to trickle to the ground. The next minute,
it was winter and several inches of snow buried leaves and debris for the season, hampering
the work of fall parking lot clean-up crews. Why will parking lot sweeping and maintenance be
especially important this spring—and how can professional parking lot cleaning services benefit
your business every year?
We spoke with GRM’s Kelowna lot sweeping expert Ken Johnston to walk through what’s
involved in comprehensive parking lot sweeping and what the best practices are.
Why is parking lot maintenance important?
Parking lot cleaning helps your business improve:
- Customer satisfaction and safety
- Proper drainage to ensure rain and melting snow can drain without compromising your
asphalt or creating potholes
#1 Customers’ first impressions
Sometimes we think a customer’s first impression happens on the welcome mat at the front
door of a business, but, in fact, it starts in the parking lot.
As a customer pulls in, their eyes take in the surroundings: Is it layers of dust and gravel,
puddles and old leaves camped out around trees and gutters? Or, is it freshly swept asphalt and
rain water traveling toward cleared gutters?
Parking lot sweeping in the spring can really contribute to overall customer satisfaction, and
whether or not a customer will set out to return to your store—and your parking lot.
#2 Parking lot function, safety and liability
Some of the most important reasons to have parking lot maintenance and lot sweeping
performed in the spring are:
- Customer safety by helping to prevent slips and trips
- Drainage of water to reduce flooding and potholes
“When leaves and sand are left behind, it creates barriers for draining, and that can lead to
flooding, water getting in cracks and potholes,” says Johnston. “After this winter, it’s going to
be very important to make sure the lot is clean to avoid that, so businesses will want to have
this done a little sooner as things are thawing and melting.”
With fall parking lot clean-ups missed in many lots because of the early snowfall, Johnston says
most sites will have double the amount of debris to clear—and quickly.
“This year the lot sweeping is going to be hugely important because there’s still so much debris,
organic matter and sand that was left beneath the snow. You really don’t want the sand to stay
on your parking lot lines or the line paint will disintegrate.”
You can learn more about removing sand and debris, and giving your lot lines a paint refresh in
our article ‘All About Line Painting: Making Parking Lots Look New‘
How do professionals clean a dirty parking lot?
With a range of industrial blow and sweeping equipment designed for effective parking lot
cleaning, professionals can remove more grime and gravel so your parking lot shines.
Think of professional parking lot cleaning services as a makeover for your parking lot. The
‘before’ lot is dusty, grimy and caked with leaves and debris and gum. The ‘after’ lot almost
sparkles: All the dust and gravel and leaves that have piled up over winter are gone, leaving a
clean parking lot where customers can see the stall lines and a bright entrance that shows you
What tools make it obvious your business has used professional lot sweeping services?
Step 1: Broom sweeps and debris shoveling for tight areas and sidewalks
Step 2: Blow machines to “blow everything out” from curbs, corners, sidewalks and entrances
Step 3: Sweeper machine to act as a vacuum and suck up the piles of swept/blowed materials
and debris around catch basins
Step 4: Water sprayer to dampen dust
How often should parking lots be cleaned?
Parking lot sweeping brightens the appearance and safety of your entrance, and it’s also
preventative maintenance that can help extend the life of your asphalt and even the floor
inside your business. If you have a busy store and a lot of foot traffic, all the sand and gravel on
the ground in the lot will make its way into the store, acting like grimy sandpaper against your
flooring, whether it’s tile, laminate, carpet or hardwood.
“The sooner you can have your lot cleaned up, the less maintenance you’ll have inside,” says
So, timing and frequency is important.
At GRM, most of our customers—whether that’s in Penticton, Merritt, Calgary or
Winnipeg—have lot sweeps done at least once a year every spring. Some businesses, especially
those close to busy roads and highways, have parking lot sweeping performed in both the
spring and fall.
As for timing, for most of our customers, lot sweeping is one of several steps in their annual
parking lot maintenance plan—again, to extend to the life of their asphalt and line painting.
For best results, following these steps creates efficiencies and parking lot longevity:
1. Perform a spring inspection
An in-person view of how winter has taken a toll on your lot makes all the difference in
ensuring required jobs are taken care of and in the right order. With photos of high
priority needs and an all-in quote for budget planning, you can make informed decisions
without even being on site.
2. Professional lot sweeping
If you’re investing in preventative parking lot maintenance, having a machine sweeper
suck up the grime and debris is critical in creating a clean, smooth canvas for the next
With any remaining dust, rinsed away, your asphalt is ready for seal cracking and line
4. Seal cracks
Asphalt crack sealing early in the spring ensures rain water won’t get trapped in cracks,
break the asphalt and create potholes.
5. Repair asphalt
Potholes may have already turned up in your parking lot. If so, you’ll want to have those
filled in to ensure a safe, smooth surface for drivers and pedestrians.
6. Line painting
The last step is one of the most exciting ones because fresh line painting instantly makes
your parking lot look like new.
At GRM, we’re experts in parking lot maintenance and offer services at every step. We invest in
the latest lot sweeping equipment to ensure your parking lot looks and functions at its best.
Wondering what your parking lot needs will be this spring? Reach out to our experts and get an
estimate. We offer a complete range of all-season property maintenance services to businesses
of all sizes across Western Canada, including Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, Merritt, Prince
George, the Lower Mainland, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Winnipeg.