With winter well on its way, it’s time to start thinking about your parking lot drains. Snow, ice, road salt and debris will make its way into your drains, resulting in clogs and corrosion that could flood your parking lot. The good news is that being proactive about your parking lot drains and getting them lined with epoxy can prevent floods and extend the useful life of your outdoor drains. 

Benefits of Parking Lot Drainage 

Parking lot drains help funnel water away from your building and keep your lot free of large puddles that could harm cars if they were to drive through them. The reason drains are needed is because asphalt and concrete are solid surfaces and do not readily allow water to pass through the material. Instead, without the proper grade and drainage systems, water would be forced to sit and stagnate until the sun evaporated it or melted and evaporated it in the case of snow and ice. Since waiting for the evaporation of puddles after large rainstorms and the melting of snow and ice from the sun isn’t feasible, parking lot drains must be installed. 

Signs of Poor Drainage in Your Parking Lot 

Sometimes the sign of poor drainage in your parking lot isn’t as noticeable as a large puddle surrounding the clogged drain. 

  • Separation of the asphalt binder from the aggregate 
  • Significant cracking of the asphalt surface 
  • Depressions or ruts from car tires 
  • Stains or discoloration on the parking lot surface 
  • Sand or small rocks present around existing cracks 

Common Problems with Parking Lot Drainage Systems 

When parking lot drains aren’t in good repair, it can lead to large puddles and flooding in your parking lot. This may render some spaces unusable and cause damage to your drains and the asphalt or concrete surface of your lot. 

Clogged Grates and Drains 

One of the biggest problems with parking lot drainage systems is frequent clogs, especially if you have large grates. This is because leaves, twigs and other debris can fall through the grates, creating a clog in the system. When this happens, water from storms will flow into the drain and stop at the clog. As more 

water fills the drain, it eventually overflows, leading to a large puddle that can compromise your parking lot’s structural integrity. 

Corrosion of the Drain and Drainage Pipes 

Car fluids, weed killers and road salt are highly corrosive. When these chemicals flow into your parking lot drains, they can quickly cause the metal of the plumbing pipes to rust and corrode. This can cause holes and cracks in your parking lot drainage system. Once the pipes are cracked, roots and soil can enter the system and debris can get stuck anywhere the surface isn’t smooth. This can quickly result in slow parking lot drainage and complete clogs that can cause flooding. 

Types of Drainage Systems 

When it comes to parking lot drainage systems, there are typically two types. The first type is a grate system where a large grate is present on the surface of the asphalt. The second type is a slot drainage system that only has a slot in the concrete for water to escape. 

Grate Drains 

Grate drains are the most common type of parking lot drainage system. They consist of a large metal grate, usually made out of heavy iron, with large slots to allow water and small and medium-sized debris to pass through. While these grates are very effective at letting water into the parking lot drainage system, the large gaps between the slats of the drain allow twigs, leaves and other debris into the system, which can lead to clogs. 

Slot Drains 

Slot drains are a newer type of drainage system that consists of either a narrow open slot of a system of smaller grates with narrow openings. These drains have a smaller network of pipes, and the narrow passageways on the surface of the pavement that allow for the passage of water do not allow for large debris to flow into the drains. This helps prevent clogs of the system but not necessarily corrosion. This is because chemicals from cars and grass/weed-killing treatments as well as road salt can still flow into the slot drains. 

Repairing Your Parking Lot Drain System in Chicago 

As a building owner or property manager, you probably think of traditional pipe replacement when you think of repairing your clogged and corroded parking lot drains. This system of repair and replacement involves digging up concrete, usually with a jackhammer and heavy equipment, in order to reach the pipes of your drainage system. Once the pipes have been revealed, they are removed and replaced, and you are left to find another contractor to repair your parking lot. 

Epoxy Pipe Ling Can Repair Parking Lot Drains Without Removing Asphalt and Concrete 

The good news is that traditional parking lot drain repair isn’t your only option. You can have your parking lot drains lined with epoxy in order to prevent future corrosion and seal cracks and holes in the pipes. 

How Epoxy Lining for Parking Lot Drains Works 

When your parking lot drains are clogged and corroded, epoxy pipe lining may be the answer, especially if you want to reduce and potentially completely eliminate the damage to your asphalt surfaces. This is because your existing pipes do not have to be removed. Instead, your parking lot drains are inspected via a camera to determine the types of damage and whether or not your pipes can be lined. 

If they can be lined, your parking lot drains are completely cleaned down to the pipe walls using a process known as hydrojetting. Hydrojetting involves using pressurized water to flush away clogs and clean your drains down to the pipe walls. Once your parking lot drainage system is completely cleaned, a felt or fiberglass liner is prepared and soaked in epoxy. Then, it is inserted into your parking lot drain and inflated. The air bladder is then left in place until the liner has completely cured and adhered to your existing drainage pipes. This usually takes about 24 hours. 

After the curing process is complete, the bladder is removed, and the drainage system is inspected to make sure the liner is in place. If any problems are found, they are corrected immediately. Once the process is complete, your lined drainage system will function as if you’d had a new system installed, and you’ll reap extra benefits from the liner, including no further corrosion of your metal plumbing pipes and fewer instances of clogs. You’ll also be able to have your lined drains periodically hydrojetted in order to keep them clean and flowing freely. 

Getting Started on Epoxy Drain Lining with NuFlow, Serving Chicago 

Are you ready to have your parking lot drains refurbished with epoxy pipelining? Epoxy lining of parking lot drains offers added benefits when compared to traditional parking lot drain replacement, including little to no damage of your parking lot’s surface, fewer instances of clogs, and the ability to maintain your larking lot drains as normal with periodic hydrojetting. Every parking lot drainage pipe lining comes with a 10-year warranty, and we guarantee all of our work. 

To learn more about the benefits of lining your parking lot drains and to schedule an estimate or inspection, give us a call at 815-790-9000. We serve all of Chicago and the surrounding areas.