If you are in the planning stages of constructing a new business, then you may be deciding between a concrete and asphalt parking lot. Each pavement type has its advantages. However, a large percentage of all surface parking lots in the United States today are asphalt.
Learn about four advantages of an asphalt parking lot when compared to concrete lots.
- Quicker Installation
The average asphalt parking lot can be paved in about half the time you need to install a concrete parking lot. Then, after paving is complete, concrete needs about seven additional days to cure before it supports vehicular traffic, while you can often drive or park on an asphalt parking lot in a couple days.
Asphalt parking lot paving requires just a few simple steps. After the ground is prepared, a layer of stone aggregate called a subbase goes on to provide a stable parking lot foundation. Then, a binder layer of a mixture of stone aggregate and oil goes on top of the subbase. Finally, a layer of surface asphalt is installed, and all three pavement layers adhere together with a special process called rolling.
On the other hand, paving a new concrete parking lot requires about seven steps. After the ground is prepared, wooden concrete forms go around the perimeter of the lot to keep wet concrete from spreading beyond the desired lot dimensions. Then, a subbase is installed, and a metal support system called a rebar is then added on top of this stone aggregate base. Next, wet concrete is poured and leveled, and finally, expansion joints are formed.
- Affordable Repaving
The average asphalt parking lot can last many years before repaving is necessary, while concrete parking lots tend to last longer before they need repaving or replacing. However, the asphalt repaving, or resurfacing, process is typically much more affordable because this process differs greatly from the installation of a new asphalt lot.
Typically, the asphalt subbase and binder layer are permanent and never need replacing. Instead, asphalt is resurfaced by only removing and replacing the surface asphalt layer. The national average cost of asphalt parking lot resurfacing is about $1 to $2 per square foot. Concrete resurfacing tends to cost more than this.
- More Winter Weather–Friendly
Asphalt pavement is much more resistant to damage that harsh winter weather can inflict than concrete.
Since concrete is more porous than asphalt, water can seep into concrete pores when weather is warmer and then freeze when temperatures drop below the freezing point. When this water freezes, it expands and exerts pressure on the concrete that can cause it to crack.
Concrete also gets damage from rock salt that melts ice that accumulates on pavement during the winter, and this damage often reveals itself as scaling or pitting of the concrete surface.
Conventional asphalt is much less porous than concrete, so it typically suffers less damage from winter freeze-thaw cycles than concrete. This pavement type is also more resistant to damage from winter deicing chemicals. In addition, since asphalt tends to stay warmer than concrete during the winter due to its dark color, snow and ice accumulation often melt much more quickly on asphalt than on concrete.
- More Environmentally Friendly
Asphalt pavement is believed to be a more environmentally friendly option than concrete. Asphalt pavements require about 20 percent less energy to produce and install than other pavement types. In addition, most asphalt is recycled after it has reached the end of its lifespan, and new asphalt is often created with other recycled products, such as used rubber tires and asphalt roof shingles.
If you need to make the tough decision between a new asphalt parking lot and a concrete lot, then consider these four advantages of asphalt when compared to concrete during the decision process. Contact the paving experts at Pinnacle Paving & Sealing for all of your asphalt paving needs today.