As we begin to go into winter maintenance and mitigation mode, it’s important to evaluate catch basins and other drainage systems for your lot.

A catch basin is a subterranean container topped with a grate that allows debris and sediment to settle out of the water runoff before it travels elsewhere. It helps prevent pipes from getting clogged or overwhelmed, because standing water is parking lot public enemy number one. Whatever pavement maintenance you choose to conduct, it is critical to eliminate as much excess water as possible. A proper drainage flow is crucial, because otherwise water will pool, freeze, and compromise the asphalt surface and the sub base below. Water spreads and seeps, freezes and thaws, freezes and thaws again, and continues to wreak further havoc.

Think of a catch basin like a nonactive sump pump for your parking lot, a passive first line of defense that aids subsurface drainage. But they need to be properly maintained and cleaned: leaves and other detritus builds up over time and can clog the drain. Just like sealcoating, catch basins and drainage are critical to prolong the life of your lot. Too much neglect of what’s beneath can cost a fortune in structural repair.

Modern catch basins are typically built with a concrete block, but they can also be made of brick or concrete rings. The amount of catch basins in a lot may vary based on the size, slope and square foot of the property.

If you’ve been reading our blogs, you’ll know we stress seal coating. Commercial parking lots require asphalt sealcoating to lay down a water-resistant protective surfactant and replenish oils bleached by UV rays. (Fresh line striping will be needed with the seal, for a clean finish and ADA compliance).

But maintenance also includes your catch basins. If this line of defense fails, it can lead to more paving projects and asphalt repair than you anticipate. Our goal as paving contractors is to save you as much asphalt parking lot paving as possible. So, we’ll begin with an inspection: if you’re backed up with water, that is bad news. Catch basins will require routine cleaning and even upkeep, as the frame may still shift with the elements or the concrete rings can deteriorate.

Parking lot paving companies do more than asphalt: if you’ve never worked with Maul and your existing lot doesn’t have an existing drainage system, we can install one. We’ll evaluate the lowest points in your pavement surface and build the cost-effective catch basin(s) there. We’ll dig, put in a pre-cast catch basin with a frame and lid, secure it with a concrete collar, and use our asphalt paving skills to compact hot mix asphalt to level the parking areas and smoothen the surface.

There are many other supplemental solutions to facilitate drainage in your parking lot. These elements should work in harmony to keep standing water at bay. We’ll build your parking lot with enough slope to guide water to intended areas. The slope of your curbs can be constructed to direct water where it needs to go along the curb line. Additional drains and inlets only help control water flow. We can dig a french drain: a trench loaded with gravel or built with a perforated pipe that diverts water away from the target area.

When you’re budgeting for parking lot maintenance, be sure to include drainage. Parking lot sealcoating is a critical maintenance move, but if you don’t also have effective drainage, it can truly drain your finances. We’ll help guide you to the right solutions for you: and guide the water where it’s supposed to go.


When you join a tradition that’s changed the industry’s landscape for more than 30 years, your position demands hard-earned respect.



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