If you've recently moved your business into a building with an aging parking lot, having this lot repaired or repaved may be first on your list of priorities, especially if your customers tend to come from far and wide to visit you. However, the decision of how to best repave a parking lot in need of repair can be a hotly debated one, and you may find yourself nearly overwhelmed with the various options before you. Read on to learn more about some of the advantages and disadvantages of your various patching and paving solutions, as many of the benefits and pitfalls of each option, which can vary widely by factors as varied as the size of your parking lot or the average annual temperature in your region.
What should you consider when deciding how to repair a cracked or crumbling parking lot?
There are several factors you'll want to weigh before making a final decision on your next paving project.
- What are the original lot materials?
Paving over an asphalt parking lot with concrete (or vice versa) can certainly be a workable option -- but depending upon the condition of the underlying materials and the climate in your area, you may find that the structural integrity of your parking lot could dictate use of the same (or similar) materials. For example, paving over a asphalt parking lot in Phoenix with concrete could eventually lead to ripples and pitting as this remaining asphalt (less durable in hot temperatures) begins to shift and melt in hot weather.
It's important to ensure that any subsequent material you use is compatible with the base layer; if this is not the case, you'll need to factor in the excavation costs necessary to fully remove the underlying asphalt, concrete, or gravel layer and replace it with your final roadway surface.
- How much traffic does the parking lot get?
If closing your parking lot for even the day or two needed to repave it could put a major crimp in your customers' plans, you may want to consider a quick-set option like asphalt rather than concrete, which can take much longer to cure. Asphalt repairs can generally be performed on a tight schedule as well, making this a great option for busy business owners who don't have the time or budget flexibility to close for more than a few days for paving repairs.
Asphalt also tends to stand up better to heavy use than concrete, and because it can be patched with "cold mix" (eliminating the need for a heavy-duty asphalt mixer on-site), it can be a great option for business owners who prefer to make small patches as needed rather than schedule a major repaving or refinishing job every couple of years.
- What are the average summer and winter temperatures in your region?
In general, asphalt performs the best in colder climates, while concrete does well in warmer ones. Because asphalt can become taffy-like when outdoor temperatures hit the triple digits, it may not be the best option for a city where most residents prefer to spend summers indoors; but by that same token, concrete -- which can be susceptible to hairline cracks caused by freezing water -- may not be the best choice for a parking lot in an area known for its cold winter temperatures and high levels of precipitation.
What are the best repaving options?
Once you've taken the above factors into account, your decision should be much easier. In most cases, either asphalt or concrete is a clear favorite; and if you find yourself still torn between these two options, you may simply want to visually survey the other parking lots in your neighborhood and go with what appears to be the most popular choice.