There are two main options for parking lot paving: concrete or asphalt. Although both have benefits, sometimes concrete is the best material for the job. The following are just a few of the reasons why you may want concrete for your next commercial paving project.
1. Weight Load
For parking lots that see a lot of heavy commercial traffic, such as loading dock areas or other lots with commercial trucks, then concrete is a better choice than asphalt. Concrete can handle higher-weight loads without buckling or warping. Asphalt, on the other hand, will be more prone to rut formation and surface degradation from heavy vehicle use.
2. Reduced Heat Sink
In hot urban areas, dark asphalt parking lots act as a heat sink by absorbing the heat of the sun and emanating it into the environment. Concrete is lighter in color so it has a high albedo. This means it reflects the sun's rays away from the ground, reducing the heat sink in the immediate environment and leading to cooler temperatures around your parking lot. A side benefit is that this can also reduce operating costs by lowering the need for landscape irrigation and even building cooling costs.
3. Integrated Colors
Concrete can be dyed nearly any color, which gives you the option of integrating parking lot markings into the concrete itself so that you never need to worry about repainting the lot striping. Integrated colors can be used for the parking stall striping itself, or just for larger necessary markings such as loading zones, crosswalks, and disabled spot identifiers.
4. Surface Options
Surface options are a nice perk of concrete for both cosmetic and safety purposes. For example, adding an aggregate pebble surface can look quite nice and luxurious, while also providing a non-slip and non-slide texture. In wet or icy climates, etched or ribbed surfaces can provide better traction so cars are less likely to slide and have an accident in your lot.
5. Crack Prevention
Although asphalt is prized because of its easy repairability if cracking occurs, concrete should be prized because it can be more resistant to cracks compared to asphalt. When installed properly with a good base and expansion joints, a concrete parking lot can survive for decades without any cracking. This means there are no repairs to worry about.
Contact a commercial paving service to learn if concrete is the best option for your parking lot.