Spring is the time of year when Canadians come out from hibernation. Spring is also a refreshing time to get things done, a time to tackle the things around the house that we have fixed temporarily or dismissed entirely because we have been cooped up during the cold and snowy winter months. This is commonly known as the “Spring Cleaning” fever. 

Why clean your garage when it is just going to get dirty with salt and sand tracked in by our cars? Why organize our sheds, lockers and garages when we will have to do it all again in the spring when we pack away all of our winter gear? But we all know what happens when we leave a mess unattended, right?

A dirty parking garage ramp after winter.

Imagine then what high-rise buildings can accumulate in their underground garages throughout the winter. Parking garages are high traffic areas which make them susceptible to carbon dust, dirt, sand, motor oil, other car fluids, garbage, coffee, water, and extremely harmful salt.

Walking through the garage with cars driving up and down the laneways kicking up dust and spewing fumes is unpleasant at best, making your general impression of the garage to be a dank, dark, smelly and uninviting environment. After a thorough cleaning of a parking garage, a parking lot or a parkade, there is an almost instant feeling of freshness, which may encourage owners to help keep it that way.

 When arranging the cleaning of your parking garage (usually consisting of a power floor sweep, oil spot treatments and power washing/floor scrubbing) there are numerous hazards and issues that can arise. It is very important to use a reputable company with experience, appropriate training and equipment (i.e., carbon monoxide and gas monitors). Remember, your garage is enclosed and carbon monoxide levels can spike quickly, especially if the ventilation fans are not operating.

High power washing of parking garage.

Power scrubber in operation.

Having said that, the next step is to find out where all that water from the parking garage cleaning is going. Hopefully, it is going down the drain. Besides salt, water can be the most damaging substance in your garage (i.e., floods). When it rains outside, the salt, sand, oil, and other fluids are also going down into your drains so it should be free of debris and properly maintained. The salt can take years away from your drain pipes as it is corrosive. The sand, leaves and dirt can plug your drainage system. Remember that the drainage system in all buildings and properties typically work the same way: water goes down the drains – then into the catch basins – collects into the storm sump pits – then finally goes out into the sewer system.

One of the questions we get asked is, “Do we need to get our storm water drains, catch basins and sump pits cleaned every year?”

It all comes down to preventive maintenance, so the answer is YES, at least once a year. Emergency flood clean-ups can be very costly, plus drain lids and covers tend to seize up and be very difficult to open which may lead to replacement. It should be an essential part of property care to keep your drainage system problem free. It is especially relevant in the spring time as the rains and winter accumulation are at its peak.

In addition, as the snow disappears and the sun starts to shine, we all notice the condition of the pavement and surrounding areas. All that salt, sand and snow plowing takes a big toll on parking lot surfaces.

This brings us to our last point: line painting and how it is taken for granted. We would definitely recommend getting this done early in the season rather than later so your property looks clean, sharp and organized. It also maintains the safety and control throughout your parking premises.

These are reasons why the services mentioned are important and why they need to be done in the spring! Scheduling the right services at the right time is such an important part of property care. An early spring cleaning can set the tone for your property and help all residents to take pride in and enjoy their surroundings.

Re-striping of a parking lot.