Your parking lot is the first and the last experience a customer will have of your commercial complex. The first experience can make or break their overall experience, which is why you need a functional, well-designed, and aesthetically pleasing structure. Give your parking lot the same consideration as the building.
Minimum pavement thickness designs for parking lots are created depending on the various subgrade soil and traffic loading conditions. However, since parking lot designs are often overlooked, they need excessive maintenance and have a shortened service life.
Why is asphalt thickness critical?
An asphalt parking lot that doesn’t have the proper thickness cannot bear the weight of the vehicles parked on it, resulting in apparent signs of damage to appear on the surface with constant use.
No one wants their expensive asset to breakdown within a few years, when generally an asphalt surface is expected to last 20 to 25 years. Skimping on thickness will shorten the life of the investment and require more frequent and extensive maintenance.
A proper parking area design does not only improve the first impression, but it also ensures the functionality and safety of all customers utilizing this facility. A parking lot with improper pavement thickness quickly develops depressions, cracks, and potholes, which can badly affect your business and even result in accidents and lawsuits.
The material and quantity of the asphalt used in the parking lot should meet the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) specifications to ensure the minimum thickness is met. The whole parking lot is designed, keeping in mind its future use.
A typical asphalt pavement consists of three layers – sub-base, base, and surface or top layer. Contractors should ensure the correct thickness of each layer after each compaction.
What is the correct thickness for a parking lot?
You parking lot designer or engineer will see to create a proper parking area design for your contractor to follow. An inch less here and there can cause a lot of problems for you in the future.
As mentioned earlier, the correct thickness for your asphalt depends on the traffic. A parking lot with 50 stalls will have a different thickness than one with more parking spots available.
Below is an image that perfectly explains why the correct thickness of your asphalt should depend on the number of stalls it has if the parking lot is supposed to last 20 years.
However, do not follow this chart blindly. You need to get in professionals for both planning and implementation if you want to create a smooth, long-lasting parking lot for your commercial property.