Are you considering replacing or installing a commercial parking lot? Do you know which material is best for the job? Both asphalt and concrete have their own differences and benefits, so the question is — which material is right for your commercial parking lot? In this article, we will take a look at the pros and cons of both asphalt and concrete in terms of longevity, costs and other factors.
What is asphalt?
Asphalt is a black or dark-colored substance that is commonly used to pave parking lots, roads and other public areas. It is made from a distillation of petroleum, which creates a tar-like substance called pitch. To make asphalt, you mix the pitch with aggregates (e.g., sand, gravel or crushed rock), let it set and are then apply to a desired surface.
What is concrete?
Concrete is a building material that is formed from Portland cement and aggregate (e.g., sand and gravel). When adding water, it becomes a thick liquid called concrete mix. Once this mix has been poured and left to set, it can be sculpted into many different shapes or spread out and smoothed for a flat surface creating roads, walkways, commercial driveways and parking lots and much more.
Pros and Cons of Asphalt and Concrete for Parking Lots
Pros of an Asphalt Parking Lot
Asphalt is the most popular surface for parking lots. Some advantages to using asphalt for your parking lot include:
- Better traction and skid resistance
- Sustainable and stable foundation
Asphalt has an aesthetic advantage over concrete because it can be dyed any color you like, whereas other types of pavement are limited in the colors they can have. It is less expensive than concrete when comparing the cost per square footage. It can also be covered with anything from gravel and decorative pea gravel to brick or cobblestone, making it more pleasing to the eye among other parking lot surfaces.
Cons of an Asphalt Parking Lot
Asphalt has its draw backs in comparison to other surface components. Some disadvantages to using asphalt for your parking lot include:
- High maintenance
- More expensive in terms of durability
Asphalt parking lots are more affordable to install and can be recycled in the future. However, since asphalt is a softer material than concrete, the durability doesn’t withstand against high amounts of traffic. They are also more susceptible to wear and tear, cracking and potholes, which is why sealcoating is recommended to be done every 3 years.
Pros of a Concrete Parking Lot
Concrete is a fantastic material for a parking lot. Some of the advantages to concrete include:
- Low maintenance
While concrete may be more expensive than asphalt, it lasts much longer. It is a great investment in your business because you won’t have to worry about resurfacing your lot as often as you would with asphalt. With the right materials and installation, it can last for years with almost no maintenance or repair required.
Cons of a Concrete Parking Lot
Concrete is a type of building material that is widely used in the construction industry. However, it has some disadvantages as well, such as:
- Difficult to use
- Notwithstanding against extreme temperatures
- Not eco-friendly as it contains carbon dioxide
When determining which material you should choose for your parking lot, it’s best to weigh the benefits and drawbacks provided when making your decision. In short, concrete parking lots are more durable and last a lot longer than asphalt parking lots. However, they are more expensive to build, difficult to work with and are prone to cracking by natural elements including extreme hot and cold temperatures.
On the other hand, asphalt is inexpensive to build, but requires more maintenance due to its softer make as it will need a sealcoat every 3 years for long-lasting durability and to remain aesthetically pleasing for your business. Other factors may also come into play, such as whether or not you want to use a porous surface or if you want to add reflective paint.
At A1 Professional Asphalt & Sealing, LLC, we’re able to provide service to both components regardless of the commercial project. If you’re looking for superior work at competitive rates, whether in St. Louis, MO or the surrounding areas, contact us for a quote today to get the job done quickly and efficiently!