Why Concrete Parking Lots Make More Sense Than Asphalt

Why Concrete Parking Lots Make More Sense Than Asphalt

Despite the stereotype that concrete is rigid, expensive, and too labor-intensive, it is still a significantly remunerative alternative in the face of the aggregate costs of asphalt overlays & maintenance in the long run. Concrete parking lots are prefab or poured-jointed slabs depending on the lot structure, but it totally beats asphalt at resistance to water and weathering. Moreover, concrete won’t overheat and start flushing like asphalt does (the tracking can be quite a mess). In addition to the adjustable aesthetics, concrete is near indestructible at load bearing.

We have a few concise reasons why concrete is your go-to material for constructing a parking lot.

Fewer Costs, Long Life:

Asphalt pavement is flexible, and parking lots deal with static vehicle loads over long periods, leading to deformation and deterioration with a service life spanning a decade at most before resurfacing. Asphalt parking lots are a sensible investment, but the utility & repair budget can eat into 80% of initial costs. With concrete, the sub-grade compaction can be almost skipped to pour the concrete slabs and join them without further possibility of any severe maintenance issues. Being a light-colored pavement also saves on lighting costs in the lot’s exceptional load-bearing capacity. Installing concrete parking lots runs cheaper and more profitable than conventional asphalt.

It is Weather Resistant & Water Friendly:

The biggest issue with asphalt is its vulnerability to water. Seal coats, emulsions, and crack fillers are practical up to a point. In contrast, concrete only keeps reinforcing with water exposure and is resistant to heat as long it has been entrained in the design mix and gets its annual joint cleaning and filling. Entrained concrete is also excellent in extreme winter regions as it resists freeze-thaw erosion, unlike asphalt, which can be prone to upheaval, cracks, and potholes.

It’s A Multifaceted Material for Lot Design:

We have asphalt mixes and asphalt concrete, but it is still not as versatile as concrete. Innovation in concrete has led to water pervious parking lots that allow stormwater to drain through instead of run-off, ultrathin whitetopping as alternative rehabilitation for asphalt pavement, and roller-compacted concrete for heavy-duty industrial parking lots. Concrete surfaces reflect heat rather than absorb it, unlike dark asphalt. The material can keep ambient temperatures down by 10°F compared to the sweltering heat you will feel on an asphalt lot.

Concrete is Greener:

Because concrete uses natural mineral resources, the surface run-off is low in toxicity and radiates low heat to the surroundings. Asphalt is extracted as a residue from crude oil refining, and since refining techniques have improved and led to the lesser residue, the price of asphalt is bound to rise in a few years. Concrete does not face similar supply-demand issues owing to its resilient and renewable nature. In some concrete mixes, recycled materials like slag, ash, or even recycled concrete aggregate can be added, which cedes to Leadership in Energy & Environment Design credits. With fewer emissions and a near-zero carbon footprint, concrete wins the green race.

Armed to the teeth with this knowledge, one can make a better-informed decision to favor concrete parking lots and convert those opportunity costs to profits. If you require assistance from The Pavement Group on resurfacing your parking lot to a reinforcing ultrathin whitetopping or a new lot construction project in Nashville, TN, please contact us for more free estimation details.

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