Most parking lots are made using either asphalt or concrete. Nowadays, most people are moving from asphalt to concrete. This is because a lot of building owners realize that concrete makes good economic sense. Concrete has lower long-term costs as far as commercial parking lot repair goes, and is cheaper to install in the first place. However, despite the popularity of concrete, almost 90% of all parking lots are made using asphalt.
The Making of a Parking Lot
A parking lot may look like nothing more than just a solid surface. However, its drainage, the ability to handle heavy truckloads, and severe environmental exposure make it a little complicated. These surfaces have to be quite durable, even if they are maintained well.
Depending on what material is used to make them, the process of making a parking lot can be pretty easy or a little complicated. Different types of parking lot material also have other requirements when it comes to commercial parking lot repair. In order to understand the two types of parking lots more, let’s look at the materials used to construct them.
Asphalt for Parking Lots
According to the National Asphalt Pavement Association, the material used to make asphalt pavements contains about 95% stone and sand. These two components are bound together by what is known as asphalt cement. The asphalt itself is a tar-like substance that is made from crude oil.
Depending on the pavement being constructed, the asphalt may have different types of aggregates in different ratios. For instance, asphalt used to pave a home parking space will probably have a higher composition of sand than gravel. This makes the home parking lot a lot smoother, and the surface lighter. On the other hand, a public parking lot that supports trucks and other heavy vehicles has a higher mixture of gravel. Also, the rocks used to make the aggregate will probably be a lot bigger.
Concrete for Parking Lots
Concrete is nothing more than a basic mixture of water, cement, and aggregates. These materials are left to dry, and the resulting hardened substance is concrete. Just like with asphalt, there are different concrete mixtures for different types of parking lots. A combination with a higher water content will create a more porous surface. This type of concrete is weaker and may not be suitable for commercial parking lots. A mixture with less water creates harder, more durable concrete that can bear much weight.
Most parking lots are made using these two materials. You may choose one or the other depending on your budget and preferences. You can also consult a commercial parking lot repair company for advice before you decide.