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Parking Lot Paving Methods Compared

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Parking lot paving can be done in different ways depending on your needs. If you're getting a new parking lot or extending your old lot, you'll need an all-new lot to be built from the ground up and paved with asphalt. If your current lot is old, it may need to be torn out and replaced with new asphalt. If your lot is old and in fairly good shape, the asphalt paving contractor may apply a new layer of asphalt on top of the old lot. Here's how these three parking lot paving methods compare. 

New Parking Lot

Putting in a new parking lot is the most costly, and there's not much you can do to control the cost. The base has to be built so it supports the lot properly, or the asphalt can fail before it's time. Building the base may require bringing in sand and gravel to mix together and be compacted. Before that, a drainage solution must be planned or water will sit on the lot and lead to deterioration of the asphalt.

Building the base properly is essential and just as important as putting on the asphalt. Once drainage is in place and the base is built, the asphalt can be applied. Asphalt paving is usually done in two layers. The base layer contains large aggregate materials and is compacted directly into the soil. The top layer is the surface layer that shows on the lot. This is compacted into the base layer.

Old Lot Repaving

Repaving an old lot requires that asphalt is broken up and removed. The contractor may grind the asphalt on the spot and then haul it away. Some contractors will recycle the asphalt to keep it out of the landfill. Tearing off the old asphalt exposes the base. This gives the contractor a chance to improve drainage if needed and repair sunken areas. They may also add more gravel or sand and compact the base again. When that's done, new asphalt is applied in two layers in the same way as the original lot was built.

Asphalt Overlay

An asphalt overlay is a way of repairing old asphalt. It involves covering the old parking lot with new asphalt so the lot looks new. First, the parking lot paving contractor has to inspect the lot to make sure this is a suitable repair. For one thing, there can be no drainage problems and the base has to still be in good shape. The old asphalt is left in place for the most part, but the very surface of the lot will be milled away.

If there are deep cracks or potholes, these need to be repaired first. Then a new layer of asphalt is poured on the parking lot. The asphalt contractor may put down a tack coat first to help the new asphalt bond to the old parking lot. When the job is finished, the new lot will be the same height as the old one, and it will look completely new. A major benefit of this option is that it is less expensive than repaving the old lot.

Reach out to a local parking lot paving company to learn more.