If you have a commercial building that needs a new parking lot, you may need to choose between asphalt and concrete. Concrete is often a traditional and popular choice, but asphalt is quickly becoming just as popular and for many different reasons. Before you call a contractor, or if your contractor has given you these options, you might note why asphalt is such a popular choice and why it might work for you.
The flexibility of asphalt is one reason to consider it for your commercial parking lot. The cycles of temperature, from freezing to thawing and then back again, can make concrete very brittle and prone to cracking. Asphalt is very flexible and easily expands and contracts between these temperature cycles, so it's not as likely to crack every season. This durability is also needed for heavy traffic; if you have delivery vehicles in and out of your lot, concrete may become brittle and crack under that weight. Softer asphalt will flex and bend so that it doesn't crack as often and may last much longer without repairs needed.
Painting lines against dark asphalt can make it stand out better than it would against grey and dull concrete. This can make your parking lot safer for traffic. Today there are also colored asphalts available that can mark lanes for emergency vehicles, delivery vehicles, and the like. While concrete can be painted, the process may be more expensive than putting down colored asphalt. The paint of concrete may also be more likely to chip and fade over time than the color pigments added to asphalt, so colored asphalt can last longer than painted concrete.
Flexibility to hide imperfections
Along with being durable, the flexibility of asphalt allows it to hide imperfections of the surface on which it's set. If the ground under the asphalt is not flat and level, it will bend and flex over that ground. Concrete does not do this; the ground under concrete must be tamped, steamrolled, graded, and otherwise made to be perfectly level before the material can be poured, otherwise the concrete will buckle and crack. This work can make the process more expensive than putting down asphalt and more time-consuming. While the ground under asphalt does need to be prepared, it doesn't need to be as perfectly flat and level as is necessary for concrete, so if you know the surface of your parking lot is not very flat or the ground tends to shift because of moisture, asphalt can be the better choice. For more information, contact a business such as Melbourne Asphalt Contractors.