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The Importance of Keeping Business Parking Areas Clean


Keeping all outside areas clean and properly maintained is becoming increasingly recognized as an important element of successful business property management. Studies have shown that cleanliness ranks as a top factor in determining where people shop, and external cleanliness is seen by many as equally important as that of the interior of the building.

Gauging customer loss due to having unkempt grounds is harder to pin down, however, than doing a similar assessment for a business’ interior. The number of people who choose not to patronize a particular business establishment or mall because they ‘don’t like the looks’ is almost a complete unknown, since it is a choice made by many before they ever park and come inside.

In today’s highly competitive market, business property managers can’t afford the tarnished image caused by cutting back on exterior grounds maintenance, and regular sweeping is arguably the most important component contributing to overall looks. Following are some of the many reasons why it is so important to retain a sweeping contractor on an ongoing basis:

  • Outside parking areas are where business owners hope their
    potential customers will derive an initially favorable ‘first
    impression.’ The appearance of the outside area also projects an
    image of how the rest of the facility will be operated. If the
    exterior maintenance is slipshod, then potential customers might
    well expect the internal cleanliness and other affairs of the
    mall or business to be poorly run as well.

  • People like to patronize the successful. Clearly, all businesses
    would choose to have a clean parking area, all other
    considerations aside. The unwillingness or inability to keep a
    particular area cleaned projects an image of not being

  • Shopping centers are finding maintenance of market share to be
    an increasingly competitive proposition. It’s virtually
    impossible to develop or retain the desired competitive edge if
    the grounds on the exterior of the business are unkept.

  • Even the most beautiful landscaping is negated by a parking lot
    cluttered with debris. If the parking area contains debris which
    might puncture a tire, people hesitate to venture in, due to the
    potential for tire damage.

  • Correct management of storm water runoff is a big factor for
    owners of parking areas today. Sweeping is a Best Management
    Practice (BMP) for storm water runoff, and a structured sweeping
    program can help to ensure the business is doing all it can to
    minimize pollutants in its storm water runoff stream.

  • When a parking area is clean to begin with, shoppers are less
    likely to throw trash out of their cars when they come to shop.

  • Sand, dirt and other trash are abrasive, and will shorten the
    useful life of pavement, as well as the length of service time
    of any seal coating, striping, etc.

  • The professionalism of the local business community at large is
    a composite of the individual images projected by each of the
    businesses within it. When people have several places in a
    particular neighborhood or township where they feel comfortable
    shopping, traffic is increased throughout the entire general

  • When a parking area remains unswept for a long enough period, it
    will attract rodents and other potentially disease-carrying or
    dangerous animals.

  • Keeping litter picked up reduces the chances of slip-and-fall
    injuries, as well as the business property’s potential liability
    in any resultant lawsuits.

  • When dirt is allowed to stay on pavement, it quickly starts
    deteriorating the paving material. This is especially true when
    enough dirt collects to start plants growing, since their roots
    cause cracking in cement and asphalt. Replacement costs for
    pavement far exceed the routine expense of sweeping.