When it comes to managing and prolonging the life of your parking lot, sealcoating is one of the most important elements. 

Sealcoating is a thin coat of either asphalt cement or coal tar pitch mixed with emulsifying agents, water, and inert fillers to seal and protect pavement surfaces from UV rays, water, salt, oil, and gasoline.

Of course, you might be wondering whether or not sealcoating is a necessary element for your particular paving job, and whether or not the costs are worth it.

Let’s dive in and explore the ins and outs of parking lot sealcoating so you can make a more informed decision.

What Is Sealcoating a Parking Lot? 

Though asphalt is a long-lasting surface, weather and other variables can wear it down over time, meaning more maintenance must be done to keep it intact. Asphalt will eventually oxidize, becoming faded or grey. When you sealcoat a parking lot, you use a unique mixture (like the one mentioned above) to protect it from weathering and harsh chemicals that can wear it down over time.

In essence, sealcoating can extend the life of your parking lot.

Note that sealcoating is a preventative measure and is not meant to fill asphalt cracks. Always fill cracks before applying sealcoating. 

Worker sealcoating the asphalt of a parking lot

Parking Lot Sealcoating: advantages

1. Reduce Oxidation

When you fill voids on the surface with sealcoating, you essentially reduce its exposure to UV rays and oxygen, which reduces how much gas and oil is able to penetrate through porous parts of the asphalt.

2. Aesthetically Pleasing

After a time, asphalt will become faded and grey. With sealcoating, you can give your parking lot that nice, clean and new look, putting up a positive and professional image of the business, complex, or facility that is attached to it.

3. Reduce Water Entry

Sealcoating also acts as a wonderful agent for waterproofing, which minimizes how much water is able to seep through microscopic cracks in the asphalt. Without proper sealant, water can enter and freeze during cold weather, causing it to thaw and expand, all while shifting the asphalt around it. 

4. Oil and Gas Resistance

Companies will often use coal tars in sealcoating agents, which are impervious to oil and gas spills. When gasoline drips on asphalt when the weather is hot, it can cause the asphalt to soften and break down, meaning more damage in the long run.

5. More Pliable

When you sealcoat asphalt, you darken it, giving it a rich, black color. As we all know, the darker the color, the more heat it attracts and holds onto. Dark black asphalt can retain heat from the sun better, which ultimately makes it more pliable than lighter asphalt. 

When the weather gets really hot, the road will loosen up and its pliability will increase, allowing heavy traffic to drive on top of it without it cracking.

After sealcoating, asphalt becomes more pliable

6. Easy Maintenance

When coating an asphalt surface, sealcoating can fill small voids. The end result is a surface that is much smoother and more evened out, which makes it much easier to maintain throughout the year. 

If you are building a parking lot in a place where it snows often, it’s important to note that it is much easier to shovel or plow snow off of a smooth and even surface compared to one that is bumpy and uneven.

7. Easier To Wash

If your parking lot is next to a restaurant, then you more than likely have a dumpster in the area too. With trash floating around, parking lots often need to be pressure washed to maintain a fresh and clean look. You can’t simply sweep grease and food waste away.

However, pressure washing, after many times of doing it, can be damaging to an unsealed parking lot. With proper sealcoating, you can protect your asphalt from pressure washing with high volumes of water and detergents. 

How To Sealcoat a Parking Lot? 

In the United States, you’ll find two major types of sealcoating, including:

  • Asphalt-based emulsion sealcoating
  • Coal-tar emulsion sealcoating

Once you choose the right parking lot sealer, you will use a hydraulic tanker truck to keep the mixture churning as you prepare to lay it down. 

During the mixing process, you will also add anywhere from two to four pounds of sand per gallon of sealcoating emulsion. It’s worth noting that with one gallon of sealcoating emulsion, you can cover around 50 to 60 square feet. 

You can then apply the thin layer of sealcoating with a spray, squeegee, or both. Once applied, you will have to let it dry for around 24 to 36 hours. 

How Often Should a Parking Lot Be Resealed?

How Often Should a Parking Lot Be Resealed?

If you want to provide your parking lot with the best protection, you will want to reseal it every two to four years on average. However, you want to make sure that you don’t reseal it too frequently, or else you can cause coat peeling, which will ruin your job.

How Much Does It Cost To Sealcoat a Parking Lot?

The cost of sealcoating a parking lot depends on the price of crude oil, which, as we know, is in constant fluctuation. However, on average, you’ll only pay a few pennies per square foot to sealcoat a parking lot, making it a very cost-effective method for increasing the longevity of your parking lot.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this little guide to sealcoating was helpful in maintaining your ultimate parking lot

As we said before, make sure to perform and major parking lot repair before you begin the sealcoating process, as sealcoating is not meant to fix large cracks. Here are a few helpful articles on Paving Finder that can help you through the repair process:

If you have any other questions regarding sealing your parking lot, make sure to get in touch with us here at Paving Finder. We look forward to helping you with all of your paving needs!

There are several reasons why pavement striping is crucial for any road or parking lot project.

Pavement striping ensures the safety of pedestrians and drivers within your premises, controls the way in which traffic flows to help prevent accidents, maximizes parking space, and improves curb appeal.

Of course, there are many considerations to make if you are planning on hiring someone to stripe your asphalt, pavement, or parking lot. Continue reading to learn more.

What Is Pavement Striping?

In its simplest terms, pavement striping is the process of painting lines on the pavement, such as a road, parking lot, or another surface. We pavement stripe to let people know where to go and set boundaries on otherwise wide-open spaces. 

Asphalt and Concrete Striping

There are many reasons why parking lot managers or road builders make a point of the importance of asphalt and concrete striping. 

Let’s look at a few reasons why a good striping job is so important.

A Good Pavement Striping Job Can Eliminate Confusion

A Good Striping Job Can Eliminate Confusion

Try, if you can, to imagine a large parking lot without any lines. 

It would be an incredibly difficult parking lot to navigate. 

If you’ve ever experienced a parking lot that was really difficult to navigate due to the fact that it wasn’t well-marked, then you already know how handy a well-thought-out striping solution can be. These kinds of marks can eliminate confusion and solve any navigation problems.

A Good Striping Job Can Increase Efficiency

Trying to navigate a very busy parking lot can be stressful, especially when there are tons of other vehicles. A good striping job can be an essential part of a well-planned lot.

It’s important that drifters and pedestrians can enter your parking lot, easily navigate it, and exit without getting into any accidents. 

It also saves people from meandering around a parking lot when it’s crowded, wondering if they are even going the correct way, to begin with. If you own a parking lot attached to your establishment, the last thing you want is a bunch of confused customers who are feeling stressed before they even walk through your doors! 

A Good Striping Job Follows Regulations

There are unique rules in each state, ensuring businesses are accessible to all people. Businesses have to follow strict parking lot guidelines so as to not discriminate against any customers. 

Business owners have to comply with these rules and regulations unless they want to face fines. With a striping job from a professional service, you can bet that your parking lot will be up to code. Ensuring the accessibility of your business is not only an issue of compliance, but it is also great business.

The importance of following regulations when painting lines

How Do You Paint Lines On The Pavement?

While you certainly could paint lines on the pavement by hand, many striping companies will use new technology like striping machines to do a professional job. These machines are far more accurate than painting by hand. 

Here are a few technologies that companies will often use for concrete striping.

Spray Shields

If you’re painting in an area with a lot of wind, spray shields can be helpful. Even high-end striping machines are vulnerable to wind. All it takes is a gust of wind for the paint exiting the machine to change its stream and leave uneven marks all over the surface.

Spray shields are there to protect the paint from the wind to make sure that the stream is uninterrupted with each spray.

Reflective Bead Dispensers

One of the best additions to parking lot stripes is reflective beads. They work to increase visibility for pedestrians and drivers at night. You can attach a reflective bead dispenser to a striping machine, eliminating the need to perform this method manually, which can improve your results and save you tons of time.

Laser Guides

To create a high-quality, professional-looking parking lot, you’ll need to replace faded or dull lines. Of course, without the right tools, this process can be quite difficult. To ensure the best result each time, we recommend utilizing laser guides.

Laser guides work by outlining the location of each new line with a laser beam to make sure things are even and straight.

The different kinds of paints used on pavement

What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On Pavement?

The longevity of your striping job has a lot to do with the kind of paint that you are using on the job.

There are a few different kinds of paint that you can use to paint on pavement. These include:

Oil or Solvent-Based Paint

Oil or solvent-based paint uses oil rather than water. This type of paint is one of the most popular for this application, as it offers supreme durability for how much it costs. Plus, unlike some other types of paints, such as water-based paint, it won’t even freeze in extremely cold weather conditions. 

Water-Based Paint

Water-based paint is mostly made of water. It is the least expensive paint that you can find and the most environmentally friendly. If you’re on a tight budget, water-based paint is one of the best choices. It’s also one of the fastest-drying types of paint out there. 

However, it’s worth noting that it is not very durable.

Thermoplastic Paint

Thermoplastic paint is one of the most durable paint options out there, thanks to the fact that it contains plastics. It is very expensive, however.

Canned Aerosol Line Striping Paint

You can use aerosol line striping paint with a line striping machine to paint your parking lot with ease. With these kinds of canisters, it’s easy to get professional results. If you’re someone who is looking to maintain their parking lot after the initial job is done, having these tools is a great choice.

The duration of pavement paint

How Long Does Pavement Paint Last?

In an ideal situation, striping paint can last for several decades. Of course, this depends on a number of factors, such as the quality of the paint, the volume of traffic, the weather, etc. If durability and longevity are what you’re after, we recommend starting with a higher-quality paint, such as thermoplastic paint. 

Pavement Striping Services

Finding vetted, high-quality striping services can be tough, especially if you’ve never performed a job like this before. Luckily, here at Paving Finder, we have a list of paving companies that you can search through, each of which has been carefully selected.

Make sure to check out these pavement striping companies on our companies page

Benefits Of Using Line Striping and Pavement Marking Services

Beyond eliminating confusion, increasing efficiency, and making navigation more manageable, one of the main benefits of using professional line striping and pavement marking services that we want to accentuate is safety.

The last thing you want is to be liable for an accident because you cut corners when designing your parking lot.

Parking lot accidents might seem few and far between, though they can still cost people tons of time and money, not to mention the stress of getting into an accident in the first place.

With clearly marked and professional parking lot striping, you can prevent some of these accidents from happening, keeping your customers and employees safe. Of course, the adjacent benefit is that you save yourself from potential litigation in the case of an accident. If you have a parking lot that is marked clearly, then you can ensure any accidents that take place are not your fault.

It’s also important to note that a professional line striping job can increase curb appeal.

Parking lots that have crisp and clear pavement striping look great!

It’s important to be aware of how much first impressions matter in a business. Even before customers walk in through the front door of your establishment, they’ll judge you based on your parking lot. If they see tons of chipping and faded lines, they’ll think about how unprofessional and unattractive your business is before they even get a chance to see it. 

THe importance of good pavement striping for your business

Final Thoughts – Keeping Your Parking Lot In Line

As you can see, pavement striping is crucial for making sure people have a positive experience in your business. Hiring a professional paving service can ensure that people continue coming back again and again. 

It’s worth noting that pavement striping is not an easy job by any means. A good pavement striper knows about the design and layout of parking lots, ADA requirements, different types of paint, and much more. 

Hiring a competent striper who can provide reliable equipment and professional layout plans is crucial to getting a job done correctly. It’s worth hiring a reputable service if you want to have a positive experience. 
If you have any further questions regarding striping or paving, make sure to get in touch with us here at Paving Finder. You can also check out our long list of blogs for expert paving advice!

Eco-Friendly Parking Lot

With the growing popularity of eco-friendly vehicles, packaging, clothing, homes, and more, it’s time for us to start considering eco-friendly parking lot construction.

There are many eco-friendly parking lot solutions, including eco-friendly pavers, pervious concrete, and direct paths for water runoff.

Today, we want to take you through a few of our favorite eco-friendly parking lot solutions so you can provide an ample place for parking while doing your part to protect the environment. 

How Do Parking Lots Affect The Environment?

Did you know that the environmental costs of a parking structure can exceed the environmental costs of cars?

Creating and maintaining a parking lot requires a large amount of energy and produces an even greater amount of emissions over the course of its lifetime. Beyond that, parking lots often accumulate pollutants, including grease, oils, sediment, and heavy metals. 

When it rains, the water washes these pollutants off into waterways, creating a significant environmental impact. 

Furthermore, the more parking lots we have, the less green space we have room to maintain.

Eco-Friendly Parking Lot

How Do You Make an Eco-Friendly Parking Lot?

Use Eco-Friendly Paint

Paint is one of the most common air pollutants. Many types of paint contain Volatile Organic Compounds, such as xylene, toluene hydrocarbons, ammonia, and glycol. These paints are far from eco-friendly and can wreak havoc on the health of humans, animals, and plants.

Consider bio-degradable paints for your parking lot, containing little to no VOCs.

Direct Water Runoff

Focus on where the rainwater will go when constructing your parking lot. Water will go its natural course if you don’t, eroding soil, damaging your asphalt, and bringing pollutants with it. Therefore, it’s a good idea to construct some type of drainage system that directs rainwater to an area that’s appropriate, such as a lake, swamp, or stream.

Use Eco-Friendly Pavers

The best solution for an eco-friendly parking lot is permeable locking pavers. These unique pavers allow for water infiltration, unlike your standard asphalt or concrete tarmacking. With these kinds of pavers, you don’t need to worry about flooding nearly as much, as rainwater slowly seeps into the ground to recharge local streams and groundwater supply. 

Use Pervious Concrete

While not as green as the pavers mentioned above, pervious concrete provides an element of infiltration when well-maintained. Similar to a plastic pavement system, pervious concrete provides natural rainwater filtration and reduces the number of pollutants found in runoff. 

Plant Grass

Not only do grass parking lots look great, but they are also wonderfully sustainable. Of course, you can’t just plant any only grass, as regular grass attract rut and mud. Instead, we recommend planting plastic pavers to stabilize the grass you plant, thereby improving drainage while keeping your infrastructure intact. 

DO NOTE: Grass is best for parking lots with light traffic. Heavy traffic can kill the grass, leaving you with a bare, ugly, and dead parking lot.

Eco-Friendly Parking Lot

Plant the Correct Plants

It’s a good idea to plant plants native to your parking lot’s region, as these plants should be well-adapted to the moisture of the soil and the local climate. For example, consider planting trees and shrubs for islands or planting long flower beds or strips atop raised curbing. Not only will this make your parking lot more eco-friendly, but it will also make it far more inviting. 

Use Recycled Concrete or Asphalt

You can produce an eco-friendly parking lot with recycled concrete and asphalt. The beauty of this process is that it is far less resource-intensive compared to using new materials. In addition, it’s often easy to recycle these materials from old roadways on-site as well, getting rid of the need for environmentally impactful outsourcing. 

Use a Bio-Based Asphalt Sealant

Regular asphalt can take a mighty toll on the environment, which is why it’s a good idea to find ways to make your asphalt as eco-friendly as possible. We recommend finding PAH-free, low-VOC bio-based asphalt sealants. Not only do these work wonders in repairing and resealing surfaces, but they are also much better for the environment than standard products. 

Maximize Shading

Not only do shade trees and landscaping make for a more aesthetically-pleasing parking lot, but they can also lessen ground heat, enhance air quality, and reduce rainwater runoff. With pervious ground materials and proper shading, you can mitigate the negative impacts of the “urban heat island.”

Use Sustainable Lighting

While you should absolutely have lighting in your parking lot to provide safety and security for pedestrians, it’s important that you choose the correct type of lighting to retain energy-efficiency. We often recommend energy-efficient exterior LED lights, as they last a long time (up to 50,000 hours) and have far less impact on energy sources. 

You can even implement an efficient lighting layout that maintains higher brightness levels in areas with more traffic while placing other lights in low-traffic areas on a motion system.

Eco-Friendly Parking Lot

Factors to Consider

Costs

Modern eco-friendly parking lot construction costs around $69 per square foot, while a simple asphalt paving job costs around $3.85 per square foot. Beyond that, you can expect a few other standard costs for building a sustainable parking lot:

  • Operation and Maintenance – $0.15 per square foot
  • Drainage System – $45 to $60 per linear foot
  • Striping – $346,000 for a 500-vehicle lot

Of course, the main benefit of building an eco-friendly parking lot is that you can reduce your maintenance and energy costs over time. 

Location

It’s important to select the right location to build your parking lot, as it can significantly impact cost, safety, durability, and effectiveness. Make sure to consider a few things:

  • Accessibility – How easy it is to reach the site
  • Topography – The higher ground your parking lot sits on, the better your natural drainage will be
  • Quality of Earth – Don’t build on hilly topography or muddy areas
  • Soil – Find soil that is dry and compact enough to build on

Final Thoughts

With the right amount of research and proper planning, constructing an eco-friendly parking lot can be cost-effective. Environmental protection and conservation start at ground level. YOU can make the change today.

Your home or business parking lot is a huge investment, and it’s one that takes a deal of time and resources to get it exactly the way you desired it. That’s why your safest choice for preserving that investment is a decent seal coat.

If it’s been a couple of years since you paved your parking lot and it’s beginning to look rough and worn out, it might be time to seal it. Parking lot seal coating is distinct from resurfacing. Resurfacing is mostly used to cover gaps or holes in your pavement, while seal coating is used to put back the rich look of your pavement and provide a layer of protection to prolong its service life.

But what is the best parking lot sealer?

Based on experts’ recommendations, there are four categories of sealers that work best for parking lots depending on the parking lot’s design, current state, and traffic level. They include Bio-based Parking lot Sealcoating, Refined Tar-based seal coating, Acrylic Concrete Sealers, Silane/siloxane, Asphalt-based pavement sealer Specialty resins. 

They are currently the best parking lot surface sealers due to their superior protection, adhesion, durability, and flexibility they offer your pavement, extending its service life.

There are varieties of brands of parking lot sealers out there to consider. Each one does a pretty decent job of protecting your parking lot from deteriorating with time, but there are some substantial variations between them.

A seal coat product you should consider is one that can shield your parking lot from damage triggered by UV rays, fluid from vehicles, and oxidation while also preventing water penetration into the substrate. Aesthetics and environmental considerations should also be weighed by property owners when deciding on a seal coat.

best asphalt parking lot sealers

Best sealer for asphalt parking lots

Below is the list of the top 4 categories of sealers recommended for asphalt parking lots based on experts analysis, including:

  • Bio-based Parking Lot Sealcoats
  • Asphalt-based pavement sealer
  • Specialty resins
  • Refined Tar-based seal coating

The best asphalt parking lot sealer is probably one that utilizes filled-sealer formulations. There are more solid ingredients in these types of sealers that cover tiny cracks and holes leftover during the paving process, shielding them well from the elements than less solid sealers.

Biobased Parking Lot Sealcoats

When you talk of the best parking lot sealer, Biobased Sealcoat is among the top products, using soybean oil as one of its primary raw materials. It is uniquely formulated to shield parking lots from UV, chemical exposure, oxidation, and other common asphalt enemies. The product has also been developed with sustainability in mind, making it possible for striping and reopening of parking lots on the very same day. Biobased sealers cure 4 to 5 times faster than traditional products.

You can restripe the parking lot covered with Biobased sealer within 2 hours of seal coating. This is facilitated by the formula’s chemical properties, which enables the application of the product at 1⁄4 the thickness of traditional parking lot seal coating while offering superior protection. This enables the product’s application even later into the season compared to coal tar sealers.

BioSealcoat sealer cures to a jet-black, matte finish explicitly formulated not to fade with time, guaranteeing a durable, uniform look. While biobased seal coats cost considerably more (on a cost per gallon basis), their improved efficiency enables total project costs to be equivalent to other sealers.

BioSealcoat was also developed with sustainability in mind; it is among a couple of seal coating products on the market with no identifiable PAHs (based on EPA testing) and releases no unpleasant odor. As the only USDA Approved seal coat on the market, integrating a biobased seal coat into a pavement maintenance practice can show a dedication to the environment.m

Asphalt Based Pavement Sealer

Asphalt-based pavement sealer is an environmentally sustainable, mineral enhanced asphalt emulsion pavement sealer formulated with unique surfactants for optimal adhesion, longevity, and flexibility. It is also another best parking lot sealer that regenerates the binder that is depleted by weathering and aging, offering more excellent protection against environmental disruption. 

This type of sealer is suitable for protecting all forms of asphalt pavement surfaces such as parking lots, low traffic roadways, driveways, and much more.

Specialty resins

This type of coating possesses highly performing properties similar to the ones in Refined based seal coating (RTS). It is exceptionally resistant to degradation as a result of ultraviolet rays, weathering, salts, and petrochemicals. The exciting thing about this coating is that the specialty resin formulation is tailored to each customer’s needs.

Refined Tar-based seal coating

This coating consists of TR-12 (a highly refined coal tar) commonly created when coal is being transformed to coke for metallurgy. Refined tar-based sealer consists of various steady chemicals that remain unaffected by damaging elements of sunlight, petrochemicals, and salts. RTS is extremely dependable since it is regarded as the workhorse of the industry. 

Its compositions and properties are thoroughly delineated to support your lifelong coating necessities.

concrete parking lot sealers

Best sealer for concrete parking lots

The following are the highly recommended sealing options for your concrete parking lot:

  • Silane/siloxane sealer(Siloxa-Tek 8510)
  • Acrylic Concrete Sealers
  • Mold-inhibiting concrete pavement sealer(Aqua-X)
  • Quikrete Concrete and Masonry High Gloss Sealer
  • Foundation Armor SX5000 Clear Concrete Sealer(Solvent-based)

Silane/siloxane sealer (Siloxa-Tek 8510)

The Siloxane-Tek 8510 can permeate through the surface openings of the concrete to saturate the concrete itself. The sealer will cover up the air pockets inside the material, resulting in deep and permanent protection from the climate, oil, road salt, heavy usage, and other vehicle stains. 

If you are considering getting the best parking lot sealer for your concrete lots, Siloxa-Tek 8510 is a good option.

With the Siloxa-Tek 8510, any water from snowmelt or rain, and any other liquid stains, will bead on the concrete surface. Its performance is plain to the naked eyes, and you can see it with your eyes working, helping to give you peace of mind regarding your concrete parking lot.

Acrylic Concrete Sealers

Acrylic sealer is the most commonly preferred sealer for a concrete parking lot. In addition to being cost-effective, their application is precise and swift. They can be applied almost immediately after the concrete is installed and are considered to have outstanding recoating capabilities. Besides, some acrylics are resistant to ultraviolet rays.

Furthermore, acrylic is an excellent type of sealer if you are looking for a concrete sealer that works well against deicing salt, moisture, and chemical or oil penetration.

Mold-inhibiting concrete pavement sealer(Aqua-X)

AQUA-X is reinforced with mildew and mold inhibitors and is a great option if you reside in a rainy or moist area. Two coats stave off mildew and mold, offer a clean, flawless appearance, and shield concrete from freezing and thawing cycles and water for up to 5 years. 

Solvent-free AQUA-X is an environmentally-friendly, low VOC sealer (so no concern about chemical fumes), and one gallon, poured or rolled on, fills up to 500 sq ft.

Quikrete Concrete and Masonry High Gloss Sealer

This concrete pavement sealer is fantastic for stamped concrete parking lots when a wet look is sought. It retains a glossy sheen as well as protection from chemical deicing products, oil and grease spills, and food stains. 

Foundation Armor SX5000 Clear Concrete Sealer(Solvent-based)

This type of sealer provides parking lot protection you can rely on even in cold environments. This penetrating sealer’s singular coat can create a protective bond with the parking lot surface, shielding it for seven to ten years from damage triggered by salts, deicing chemicals, stains, and freezing & thawing cycles. 

The SX5000 won’t alter the appearance of your parking lot or create a film, and one gallon fills up to 200 sq ft.

sealed asphalt parking lot

Why it’s important to seal your parking lot

It is vital to have your lot sealed with any best parking lot sealer over time (especially for asphalt surface) since an asphalt pavement surface oxidizes over time and becomes gray or faded in color. Seal coating offers a vivid black finish that preserves and enhances your parking lot’s life expectancy. In addition to the traffic on the lot, weather conditions will play a role in seal coating frequency. 

It is the right choice to get your parking lot inspected by a paving expert if it shows any signs of cracking, fading, and wear and tear.

How sealers can protect your lot

The following are ways sealers can protect your lot:

  • Slow oxidation rate: Sealcoating covers surface voids, decreasing oxygen and UV ray exposure and reducing the extent to which the pavement can be penetrated by oil or gas.
  • Slow the rate of water penetration: Sealcoating serves as a waterproofing agent, which minimizes the level at which water reaches the pavement. Water will penetrate more easily without it, leading to the pavement freezing and thawing expansion and pavement.
  • Resistant to gas and oil spills: Gasoline leakage during hot weather from a topped-off fuel tank can soften and break down unsealed asphalt pavements. Coal tars used in seal coats are resistant to the spills of gas and oil.
  • Improves pavement pliability: Sealcoat offers your pavement a dark black shine. The more black it is, the more heat is absorbed from the sun by the pavement. And, the hotter it becomes, the more it becomes malleable, allowing it to endure traffic without cracking. Hence, it is a smart idea to have your parking lot seal coated with any best parking lot sealer.
  • Protects asphalt from washing by pressure: Restaurant parking lots usually stretch to areas close to dumpsters where pressurized washing of food processing equipment occurs. If food waste that is close to the dumpsters can’t be swept up, it will need to be washed away—seal coating shield asphalt cement from the detergents and high volume water pressure being utilized in pressure washing.
proper asphalt maintenance

How often should you seal your parking lot?

How often seal coating should be done depends on many factors, which include, but not limited to the ones that follow:

  • The quality of the pavement sealing material
  • The number of material you applied
  • Adequate sealer mix design
  • Geographic area
  • The number of coats you applied
  • The level of daily traffic

Sealcoating is usually recommended every three to four years to offer sufficient pavement protection and appealing curb appeal for your commercial property or home. After the original asphalt application on your parking lot, the optimum time is typically one to two years to ensure adequate cure. 

Besides, the sort of components you choose will also enable your paving contractor to ascertain the number of coats needed for your parking lot.

The process of sealing your lot

An asphalt parking lot surface will typically need two seal coat applications at first to penetrate the surface, resulting in a deep, protective coating.

  • Assess the surface. Your paving contractor would have to first evaluate the current condition of the lot’s surface before proceeding further. You will not need seal coating for 12-24 months if it is a new surface. However, if it is an existing surface, your contractor will first check for potholes, oil stains, cracks, and other damage that might require fixing before applying any best parking lot sealer you may have in mind.
  • Make the surface clean: The parking lot surface would need to be extensively washed using brushes, brooms, or power washers, ensuring the seal coat can bind adequately. This is also vital because before repairs can commence, all potholes, cracks, and damaged sections will have to be cleaned as well.
  • Recognize cracks and fix, as required: If there are cracks, holes, or depressions, they should be covered with a correct aggregate mix to guarantee prolonged asphalt integrity and longevity.
  • Reparation of Pothole: Fix or patch all potholes to ensure that the surface looks and works at its best before seal coating.
  • Surface priming and cleaning of oil spots: Before seal coating, it is necessary to remove oil stains from the asphalt parking lot because the seal coat will not adhere to vehicle pollutants of any sort. If you could not have the stain removed, try using a primer agent (somewhat like a wall primer) that will cause the seal coat to adhere to the surface of the asphalt lot.
  • Apply a minimum of two coats of quality pavement sealer. After ensuring that the surface pavement is free of any dirt, stains, or any form of damage, you can then apply a top-quality sealant to the surface.
conditions for successful seal coating

What are the conditions for conducive long-lasting seal coats?

Weather conditions significantly impact seal coats, particularly during construction. The proper conditions under which seal coating should be carried out are warm temperatures and sunny days with low humidity since cool weather and humidity will slow the curing time, causing seal coat’s tendering for a prolonged period, making it more vulnerable to traffic damage. 

This is, however, the reason contractors recommend getting the best parking lot sealer when you consider carrying out seal coating for your lot.

Rain can trigger severe issues when seal coating. If you carry out the application prior to the asphalt binder’s curing, it can become diluted, rising above the aggregate cover top.

After the water has evaporated, asphalt can fill the whole surface, triggering tires to track the binder around the surface or pick up the aggregate. It would be best if you avoid seal coating your parking lot when showers are making threats. Also, ensure the asphalt surface you want to seal coat is relatively in a good state. 

This implies that load-related distress like rutting, alligator cracking, and potholes should be minimal. If all these conditions exist in your parking lot, avoid seal coating until they are addressed first.

Conclusion

When you are planning seal coating for your parking lot, it is best to choose the right sealing product that would work best for your pavement. There are varieties of sealers on the market, but not all can deliver the required good result.

Hence, it would be best if you employed a pavement maintenance specialist who has excellent ability to assess the pavement surface and offer the best possible solutions to your parking lot maintenance requirements for the best performance.

An asphalt parking lot that exhibits signs of disrepair and lack of maintenance provides guests a poor impression of your business to guests before they walk through the door. Without regular maintenance, a pavement’s foundation breaks down and results in potholes or alligator cracking. Failing to repair and maintain your parking lot shortens your parking lot’s lifespan and opens your business to lawsuits if a guest is injured due to debris in your parking lot.

In order to be able to properly care for your parking lot you must be aware of the most common failures that can occur and know what causes them and what asphalt parking lot repair may be needed to resolve them.

Cracks

Cracks on asphalt surface

Types of cracks that are common in an asphalt parking lot

There are different crack types, which can be easily identified by their pattern. 

  • Longitude cracks appear in a long, straight line. 
  • Block cracks appear like a rectangular or square shape and can intersect at right angles. 
  • Alligator cracks appear in a haphazard pattern.

Cracks should be isolated and measure not more than ¼-inch to 1-inch wide to be repaired by crack sealing.  If breaks are widespread and measure greater than one inch, asphalt removal and replacement may be necessary.

What causes these cracks

Cracks in asphalt parking lot pavement, regardless of geographic location, allow water to seep through the surface to the underlying base.  Parking lots exposed to typical winter weather will experience water inside the asphalt that freezes and then thaws several times, causing expansion and contraction of cracks. In turn, the cracks widen and ultimately break up the surrounding asphalt. And, before you know it, the potential for slip-and-fall or other injuries exists.

Water runoff can damage the subgrade, resulting in raveling, rutting, or widespread areas of cracking.

Repairing Cracks and Its Cost

1. Crack sealing

It is crucial to perform asphalt parking lot crack sealing as soon as possible. When cracks measure ¼-inch to 1-inch wide, sealing them will minimize water infiltration. If left untreated, water can permeate through openings in the asphalt and quickly erode the sub-base. Crack sealing is the best defense and the most cost-effective treatment.

Rubberized asphalt materials are the most commonly used for crack sealing, and they’re very budget-friendly. 

Most product manufacturers recommend an air and surface temperature of 40°F or above for crack sealing. You can do repairs at this time of year using premium cold mix asphalt. 

When performed regularly, crack sealing is the best defense against weather-related issues such as excess rain and freeze-thaw cycles. Crack sealing helps prevent water from seeping into the base and destroying the asphalt. 

2. Sealcoating

Seal coating helps protect and preserve the structural integrity of your asphalt parking lot pavement. Once the cracks have been repaired, you should follow up with a seal coat. Parking lot seal coating provides a protective barrier against UV rays, water, salt, oils, and gasoline. Seal coating is a type of insurance against erosion.

Sealcoating fills surface voids and helps prevent oxidation or fading due to excess sun exposure. When seal coating, the temperature and weather will dictate the best time of year, it should be performed. And, after the initial application, seal coating should be performed every 24 to 36 months. 

Potholes

Large pothole on asphalt

What causes potholes in asphalt parking lots

Potholes are bowl-shaped cvities that result from the localized break-up of the pavement.Moisture intrusion is the leading cause of pavement deterioration. Rainwater seeps into small cracks in the asphalt and puddles between the asphalt layer and the road. Low temperatures freeze the water, forcing the asphalt upwards.

Once the ice thaws, the water is absorbed into the weakened roadbed and leaves behind a cavity. Vehicle traffic breaks the surface apart and pushes it down into the weakened roadbed. Larger cracks and potholes form when the crumbling asphalt fills the cavity. 

Repairing Potholes and Its Cost

If you have existing potholes or widespread cracking, these areas can be filled or patched using premium hot or cold mix asphalt. 

Cut the pothole area in your asphalt parking lot to a square or rectangular edge with a cut saw or a jackhammer. Excavate down to the aggregate sub-base.  Prepare the hot or cold mix asphalt and fill the cavity to a compact depth of at least 3”. 

Adequate compaction is critical for preventing the new material’s deformation material and keeping water from entering the pavement. Seal the edges with asphalt emulsion to ensure it bonds with the surrounding asphalt. 

Other common asphalt issues that require asphalt parking lot repair

Asphalt parking lot repair

Deteriorated Joints 

Poorly constructed asphalt parking lot joints result in joint failure. Joint failure begins when air, water, and contaminants enter the joint through segregation, not enough compaction, or a lack of bonding between adjacent strips.

Many types of pavements suffer structural failure due to deterioration from heavy load traffic. Failure shows up initially as “alligator cracking,” a form of fatigue cracking. Cracking occurs under repeated traffic from heavy loads due to subgrade weakness, insufficient pavement thickness, excessive loading, or a combination of these factors.

When a base failure occurs, remove the failed pavement, shore up the material underneath and replace the asphalt. You need to know what caused the asphalt failure and address it. If the problem is a weakness in the subgrade, you must repair the weakness. If the problem was too little pavement thickness, thin pavement should be undercut, and a thicker layer of asphalt added.

Raveling

Raveling is the loss of aggregate particulates from the pavement surface of the asphalt parking lot. Raveling occurs when the asphalt binder hardens and loses its grip on the stone or when you use a poor-quality mix. 

If caught early, you can address raveling by seal coating. If the condition is severe, an asphalt overlay or surface treatment is needed.

Rutting

Rutting in an asphalt parking lot is a channeled depression from wheel-tracks. Rutting is caused by:

  • too thin pavement;
  • lack of compaction of the asphalt, soil, stone base; 
  • a weak mix of asphalt; or
  • moisture infiltration. 

If rutting is minor or has stabilized, the depressions can be filled and overlaid with either hot or cold asphalt mix. If  deformations are severe, the rutted area should be undercut, removed, and then replaced with suitable asphalt material.

Slippage

Slippage cracks are small crescent-shaped cracks or tears in the surface layers of the asphalt parking lot where the new material has slipped over the underlying existing pavement. A lack of bonding between layers causes this problem. 

The lack of bond could occur because the installer did not develop a bond between the asphalt layers with a tack coat. The lack of bond could also be because they did not bond the asphalt with a prime coat of the underlying stone. Contaminants like oil and dirt will prevent the asphalt layers from bonding or adhering together. 

Remove all of the pavement layers showing slippage. After removing the failed pavement layer, wait until the remaining pavement is clean and dry. Then, apply a tack coat to hold the old and new material together. Place and compact the new layers of asphalt.

How to avoid common parking lot issues

Asphalt sealcoating

Routine inspections

Routine asphalt parking lot inspections are the best way to be proactive and prioritize repairs, thus saving money over time. But, the time of year matters, too. Isolated cracks that are ¼” to ¾” wide are good candidates for crack sealing. As soon as the weather permits, it would help if you sealed the asphalt cracks. However, if you notice rutting, alligator cracking, or potholes, call your preferred paving contractor.

A typical maintenance plan for an asphalt parking lot will include routine crack sealing, a seal coat, and lot marking. A maintenance plan can save $0.10-$0.30/SF per year over ten years.

Proper Drainage

Water is the #1 enemy of asphalt parking lots. Supplement your drainage system by installing new catch basins in low-lying areas. Routinely inspect existing catch basins to keep drains clear of debris and to perform any adjustments or other maintenance. Having proper drainage installed is one of the best ways to avoid needing asphalt parking lot repair.

Proper maintenance

Routine maintenance slows the deterioration of your asphalt parking lot pavement by protecting it from its natural Enemies, sun, water, and air. Parking lots that are maintained last for a more extended period when compared to those without any maintenance plan.

Identifying pavement cracks and sealing them as soon as possible is the most cost-effective preventative maintenance procedure.

Parking lot drainage

Parking lot maintenance tips

Be sure to follow these maintenance best practices to ensure your parking lot is properly cared for. If you want to avoid the need for potentially costly asphalt parking lot repair, do not overlook the importance of proper maintenance.

  • Perform monthly inspections, so you don’t miss anything that requires attention. You should also schedule an annual check-up of your asphalt parking lot once every year.
  • Keep it Clean. Sweep away the dirt and debris or hire a parking lot cleaning company to keep it clean for you. Trash makes a parking lot look abandoned, and that’s the last thing you want your customers to think as they drive past.
  • Clean Oil Stains. Oil will break down the components in asphalt, making it wear out more quickly.
  • Keep current with repairs, such as crack filling and seal coating.  It is essential to extending your asphalt parking lot’s lifespan. 
  • Annually before each rainy season, fill the cracks in your parking lot to reduce damage from all water sources.
  • Make sure all storm drains are working correctly. Water should drain away from the pavement. Water left on the surface can seep through the asphalt openings and cause damage. 
  • Repair any tripping hazards in your asphalt parking lot to prevent accidental falls. Tree roots can lift asphalt and make it very uneven, resulting in a trip and fall hazard for your customers.
  • Annually refresh the parking lot striping and road markings. If the lines blur or fade to where they’re barely visible, your customers won’t be able to tell where one parking spot stops and the next one begins. Undistinguishable lines turn your parking lot into chaos where unnecessary car accidents can occur.  
  • Every two or three years, your parking lot should be seal coated. Sealing revitalizes old asphalt parking lot surfaces that have become dry and brittle with age. Small surface cracks and voids need to be sealed to prevent more extensive damage and expensive pavement replacement.

Preventive maintenance strategies that might be appropriate for one situation may not be for another situation.  How do you know what the right maintenance option is?  When is the best time of day for this work to be done? Local pavement maintenance contractors can help you choose a preventive maintenance plan.

Asphalt parking lots appropriate for preventive maintenance applications include new parking lots as well as twelve-year-old lots. Such parking lots could experience early to mid-stage deterioration, such as surface cracks and pavement raveling.

Protecting asphalt parking lots from environmental factors, such as water penetration of the base through cracks and potholes, along with oxidation of the pavement’s upper surface, can add years to its life. Preventive maintenance isn’t viable for pavement that exhibits structural deficiencies or failures.

Asphalt repair

Conclusion

Protecting your asphalt parking lot investment should include planning a regularly scheduled pavement maintenance and repair program with a qualified paving professional in your area.

Most professional paving contractors offer inspection and maintenance plans that will fit your budget and keep your asphalt parking lot clean and in good repair.  Local paving contractors will be familiar with the weather patterns in your area and schedule parking lot maintenance when you need it most. They will help you prevent damage to our parking lot by providing regular preventative maintenance. 

Taking care of your asphalt parking lot is your responsibility as a business owner. Customers need to feel safe parking in your business’s parking lot. Regularly scheduled parking lot maintenance and repair reduce the number of lawsuits on a business’s property. Additionally, regular preventative maintenance and repair are the most cost-effective means of extending the life expectancy of your asphalt parking lot.

Asphalt parking lot repair and maintenance is an ongoing commercial service. Trust us to help you locate a paving contractor near you to handle your asphalt parking lot maintenance and repair needs.

As a homeowner or business owner planning to build or renovate the parking lot of your home or commercial property, the design needs to provide an ideal parking experience for your visitors, customers, and staff.

Several variables go into a safe and adequate parking lot, including well-marked parking stops and safety signage. The idea of concrete parking stops installation has been adopted by many property managers. However, the importance of parking stops is yet to be wholly appreciated by lots of people. 

Parking stops, both for drivers and pedestrians, are major preventative measures for the parking lot of your home and business.

Your parking lot can create a first impression on customers visiting your business premises. So, installing safety features will ensure vehicles are not only parked in order but are also prevented from entering any danger zone that will cause damage to vehicles and buildings.

What are concrete parking stops used for?

Concrete parking stops serve as obstacles, preventing a vehicle from going over or cruising past the allotted parking space onto open ramps, adjacent stalls, or sidewalks in case the driver forgets to put on the floor or hand brake on time. The primary objective of these stops is to guarantee the protection of drivers, people’s movement, and the property itself.

In general, concrete parking stops installation helps direct drivers and coordinate parking in any parking environment. These stops are installed at the end of parking areas and can help guarantee that cars do not park too close to a sidewalk or curb where car bumpers are positioned over the edge, causing obstruction to pedestrians. 

Parking stops are also designed to offer a restriction between two rows of parking spots, preventing unintended collisions.

concrete parking stops

What are the steps involved in concrete parking stops installation?

You can install concrete parking lots’ stops (once they have been built) with Lag Bolts & Anchors following the below steps:

  1. Place the parking stop in the spot where you want to mount it.
  2. Use a high-speed hammer drill to drill (a 4″ to 4 1/2″) deep hole in the concrete with a 3/4″ masonry bit at each specified place.
  3. Use a hammer to attach a lag anchor (with the wide round hole drilled into the anchor pointing up) into every hole.
  4. Shift the parking stop such that the holes you drilled pair up upwards with the molded-in holes.
  5. Place the wedge bolts into the parking block via the holes and screw up the bolts with a 3/4′′ socket. Complete the tightening of each bolt until cozy.

If you are considering installing a concrete parking stop for your home or commercial parking lots and want to handle the installation yourself, you might be curious to know how to go about it. It’s not always as simple as it sounds, as they are also bulky and difficult to maneuver.

Concrete wheel blocks are usually precast and ready to install by the time they are delivered to the site. There are heaps of specific tools and procedures required for installing concrete stops, and these can change depending on the surface you are installing them on. Whether it’s concrete or gravel and asphalt, you’ll need to clean the surface properly and have the capabilities to move and position them.

For the installation, the concrete slab stopper is positioned in its designated setting, and marks are laid to match the parking stop’s fixings. Holes will then be bored into the pavement, and the concrete stop is laid back to its targeted setting. 

Either concrete epoxy, galvanized pins, metal bolts, or metal rebar can be utilized as the fixings, based on the specification of the manufacturer. Concrete stops do not shift easily once mounted, which is a significant benefit.

If you intend to handle the installation yourself, you may find it challenging and time-intensive due to the heavyweight of concrete. It’s not just that; they typically need a specialized tool like lifting slings to put them in place. 

First, you will need to estimate the critical distance from the pavement or wall to the stop and consider whether the park is labeled as rear-in or front-in. Concrete parking stops installation requires the right tools and equipment. You will be needing tools such as fixing pins or screw bolts to fix the stops in place and a drill with the correct masonry bit. 

You will also require some epoxy to add into the holes of the drill if you want to install it on an asphalt or gravel surface.

These concrete slabs are weighty since they weigh at least 100 lbs. Each parking stop would require 2 to 3 individuals to have it installed. This can tend to be time-intensive in a parking lot with at least 50 spaces. Heavy equipment could be needed to ship and install all parking stops required in a bigger facility with hundreds of parking spaces. 

It’s a daunting process, and you’re going to be needing appropriate tools and equipment to have them installed and the help of skilled installers, or at least many people who can assist you.

concrete parking lot safety

Are concrete parking stops suitable for your parking lots?

Concrete parking stops are recommended for every parking area due to their significant advantages. They can be laid both outdoors and indoors. One big pro of concrete stops is that they are heavier compared to other materials. As a result of this, they are very robust and can do a very fantastic job of restricting vehicles from moving beyond their allocated parking spaces once set in place.

What are parking stops?

Parking stops are also referred to as parking blocks, wheel stops, or truck stops. They are commonly found in parking lots, rental garages, medical facilities, shopping areas, and some other facilities providing temporary and lengthy parking to keep vehicles from going above their assigned parking space, preventing damages or injuries.

Parking stops are an important safety feature for community parking lots, hospitals, college campuses, churches, office parks, shopping malls, etc. Parking stops are dependent on, in tightly populated, head-on parking centers, to restrict drivers from moving into sidewalks or other parked vehicles. 

It is often used to protect fixed items, such as garbage containers, shopping carts, utility poles, and signs. Parking stops are placed as obstacles for pedestrian walkways, sidewalks, and motorcycle lanes, offering extra protection from moving vehicles.

Concrete parking stops installation is well recommended for every parking lot-at home or business for safety purposes. Although there are other types of parking stops available, concrete stops are commonly used due to their durability and flexibility.

the importance of parking stops

Why does your lot need parking stops?

Below are the reasons why your lot needs parking stops:

  • They help to prevent fender benders in your lot
  • They help to boost traffic flow
  • They help to improve your commercial parking lot’s overall appearance

Parking stops are necessary for all parking lots to mark the parking area’s boundary and protect landscaping from vehicle intrusion. They are needed in a highly dense parking lot. 

They help to prevent fender benders in your lot.

Parking stops are installed in lots to restrict cars from parking on sidewalks or other restricted areas. They prevent drivers from pulling through parking spots or trying other dangerous movements by physically restricting a vehicle’s wheels. 

This helps to prevent houses, roads, fragile landscapes, and other vehicles from being damaged. In addition, concrete parking stops installation is necessary as they can protect other motorized vehicles (like forklift trucks) when working in warehouses and factories.

They help to boost traffic flow.

As a property owner, there is a high probability that your parking lot will always be busy, especially during rush hours of the day. This involves both staff and customers driving in-and-out of the facility. Parking stops are required to organize your parking lot in the most effective way to help direct the flow of traffic while observing both state and federal safety codes.

It helps to improve your commercial parking lot’s overall appearance.

Customers highly value the aesthetic importance of a well-operated and well-maintained parking lot. A perfect way to improve the overall appearance of your parking lot is to add parking stops. Parking stops are typically used for enclosing parking lots and help preserve the look of your parking lot landscape.

types of parking stops

Other common types of parking stops

Below are other common types of parking stops to consider:

  • Rubber Parking Bumper
  • Plastic Parking Stop
  • Metal Bollard

It is vital to consider customers’ safety, whether you have a single row of parking spots or a separate lot for your commercial property. Also, you have to consider your building’s safety. Parking stops are perfect if you consider making your lot or storefront more convenient. Below are other common types of parking stops to consider:

Rubber Parking Bumper

Most businesses today prefer rubber parking bumpers since they are easy to fit with asphalt, which most companies use as a pavement option to improve the look and also save money. Rubber parking bumpers are more efficient than some alternatives because recycled tire rubber is usually made from them. 

A rubber parking bumper is also malleable and is less likely to be broken or cracked. They have less weight than concrete stops. This makes their installation very easy. Although concrete parking stops installation is still a preferred choice for most people, they are more sturdy and last longer. 

Rubber parking bumpers are robust enough to prevent slow-moving cars from moving too far forward. However, if they lack translucent paint or the paint disappears, they can not be as easy to see.

Plastic Parking Stop

The main drawback of this option is that plastic is not eco-friendly. Many businesses, however, are making reliable parking stops from recycled plastic. One advantage of choosing plastic is that it is cost-effective. Also, the installation of plastic stops is effortless enough that one person would generally do it alone. They are parking lot fixtures with low maintenance, and they are extremely resistant to chemicals and severe weather conditions.

Metal Bollard

Metal security bollards resemble that of small/thick poles that project from the ground. One benefit of bollards is that they are easily visible, and you can use reflective paint to coat them for enhanced night vision. It is more costly to use high-quality steel bollards in individual parking spaces. They are, however, perfect for putting on corners or row ends in a lot.

How Are Concrete Parking Stops Made?

Most concrete parking stops are precast, which means that they are manufactured in one piece with molding and left to set and dry prior to turning out. They often have inner steel rods integrated for greater strength, but this also contributes to their already large amounts of weight. 

There are various concrete mixes, based on the manufacturer, to obtain the longest – lasting blend. When you are considering parking stops, you may likely think of concrete parking stops installation, but sadly, concrete mostly struggles to hold up with time and can quickly crack and chip.

cars parked on concrete parking lot

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Adding Parking Stops to Your Lot

Properly used parking stops can offer your parking lot or garage a good deal of utility. Sadly, many lots feature parking stops used at awkward times or poorly mounted, which contributes to a lot of discomfort for drivers on the lot who see more harm coming from the stops than good. 

The below are some essential things to consider, ensuring that you get the best possible outcome if you are considering installing parking stops to your property:

Advantages

A parking stop that is being appropriately utilized should be in place to prevent more significant harm from happening than the parking stop would trigger on a vehicle that strikes it. There are three basic conditions in which the installation of a parking stop is incredibly beneficial:

  • Installing a parking stop when a parking space is up against a wall minimizes the likelihood of a vehicle hitting the wall. This offers protection to the vehicle, the building, and any person inside the building.
  • Permanent structures, such as metal poles, are often protected by parking stops. If the pole is robust, it can create immense damage to the vehicle or elements connected to the pole. Hence, installing stops is often beneficial.
  • Concrete parking stops installation is an important safety feature to decrease the risks of a vehicle unintentionally striking a person when a parking space nears a pedestrian walkway.

Disadvantages

The primary worry when it comes to the installation of parking stops is a potential error during the installation process. 

  • Parking stops that are poorly aligned can pose more risk than they can prevent. Laying stops with narrow gaps between them produces a pedestrian lane that is too small, which is a hazard.
  • Another thing that poses a safety risk is choosing the wrong size for your stops. While it is almost certain that too big stops will decrease pedestrian access, a parking stop that is not wide enough for the anticipated vehicles may not stop the vehicle appropriately.

Conclusion

Parking stops are mostly used in commercial and industrial parking lots (both small and large). They are vital because they prevent vehicles from colliding with other cars and with buildings, gardens or disrupting pedestrian lanes.

Some concrete parking stops can not endure the elements outside; hence, they are best suitable for indoor use only. The first step in the parking stop installation is to select the correct stop for the job. There are also various types of methods of installation to consider.

You can hire a professional installer to efficiently get the job done for you if you are not sure what type of parking stops to choose for your business parking lots.

In this article, you will learn all about the estimated parking lot life. A durable structure can offer a service life of thirty to forty years. Many factors affect this tenure, including timely repairs, proper maintenance, and taking corrective measures against the harsh elements.

For all the homeowners, structures are a form of major capital investment. Considering the life expectancy, you have to fight against the exceptionally harsh environmental factors to achieve that life period. 

Let’s discuss all the factors in detail below:

Factors that Affect the Longevity of a Parking Lot

If you are in the process of paving a parking lot or having a newly paved one, you must surely be concerned about its longevity. For all homeowners, longevity is the utmost desire. Considering what a huge investment building a structure is.

However, a lot of factors have a direct and huge impact on the lifespan of your lot—these range from pavement material, traffic level, drainage to others. In comparison, concrete tends to be far more durable than asphalt if you maintain the right conditions. 

Having said that, let’s take a look at the factors that impact how long your parking lot lasts.

Surface Type

No structure, no matter how solid, can last forever. This rings even truer for those who live in areas where winters are on the extreme side. You surely are aware of what damage a rough winter can cause to your parking lot, be it of asphalt or concrete. In fact, the weather is just one factor, as several others can take a toll on particular surface types. 

Every pavement surface must have specific elements that will help it withstand traffic load, weather elements, and others over its lifetime. If you allow inadequacy in the asphalt’s depth or type, or if certain negligence leaves anything lacking in the base support, you can expect premature surface failure.

Then there are also certain other factors relevant to surface types that you need to consider. Bituminous concrete is another composite material that commonly goes into the surface for parking lots. Some common conditions could also cause the surface to deteriorate and the life expectancy to reduce.

The conditions include:

  • Shoving actions causes the surface to deform. This happens when traffic pushes the surface, producing an abrupt and short wave-like movement on it. 
  • Rutting is another harmful factor for the surface. This action includes a lateral or consolidated movement of the surface’s material. This occurs due to a heavy traffic load. 
  • Raveling may also reduce the estimated parking lot life. This happens when the surface wears away because of tar binder, asphalt or concrete loss, and dislodged aggregate. But only certain conditions create the threat of raveling for your surface. This includes a particular type of traffic, such as aggressively treaded or tracked vehicles. Other conditions that categorize as raveling include oil spillage causing softening and dislodging of the surface. 

Weather

Weather can be brutal to your parking lot, and the after-effects can also significantly reduce the service life of the lot. Let’s look at the weather elements that are detrimental in this regard:

  • Ice- one cannot underestimate the severe damages and hazards ice can create on your parking lot. In addition to making the surface extremely slippery, ice causes driving to become hazardous on your lot and also creates deep structural problems. After every ice season, your parking lot may require repaving. 
  • Rock salt- you may be in the habit of throwing rock salt all over the snow pile in your parking lot. This is perhaps the most damaging thing because rock salt may be melting the ice fast, but it also causes refreezing later. When the melting and refreezing process happens repeatedly, it sneaks into the porous asphalt and starts breaking away at it. Consequentially, you will notice more wear and tear and potholes. 
  • Weather also causes cracks in your parking lot. The cold and hot weather causes repeated contraction and expansion of the asphalt, and it ultimately develops weak spots and cracks. The ground underneath your asphalt also shifts over time, causing more cracks. This happens because water from the melted ice gets through the cracks and then freezes and expands more. This causes cracks to become bigger year by year. 
  • Rain, too, causes a lot of wear and tear from puddles and stagnant water. Over time, rain begins to wear down your parking, creating small holes that widen significantly over time. Not only are potholes damaging to vehicles but also dangerous for pedestrians walking over the parking lot. 
  • Hail may not be too common in your area, but if it is, then your parking lot is in for more trouble. Hail worsens the effect of erosion. 

Traffic Type

If you subject your parking lot to heavy traffic, it will have adverse effects on the life of your lot’s structure. This is especially true if your parking lot does not feature a design that caters to current loading patterns. The opposite is also a problem here: very little traffic or parking lot usage means the asphalt will become brittle sooner, and shrinkage cracks will form throughout the structure. 

Drainage

Two main water problems are detrimental to the estimated parking lot life. These are:

  1. Sub-surface water saturation
  2. Insufficient surface drainage

Sub-surface water saturation is the larger of the two menaces because the high water tables or leaking irrigation saturate the support structure under your asphalt. The load-bearing exerts additional stress and eventually cause the asphalt to fail and the base structure to weaken or collapse. 

Maintenance

Consistent maintenance can contribute largely to maximizing the life of your parking lot. However, negligence in this regard will cause the cracks to widen, the seepage to worse and other damages to turn worse with abandon. 

When you regularly seal and fill the cracks, you slow down the oxidation rate and also protect your structure from water seepage. Proactive repairs go a long way in preventing and minimizing damages to the surface and load-bearing structure of your parking lot. 

asphalt vs concrete roads

Durability Comparison between Asphalt and Concrete Parking Lots

Till a few years ago, rarely would you have come across a parking lot featuring concrete: it was asphalt all the way. With time, you must have seen the widespread popularity of concrete, and they’re all the valid reasons for it. 

Concrete sure has several advantages over asphalt apart from durability alone. This includes strength and sustainability, among others, but sadly, concrete still is not the first option for many because of their unawareness. 

When it comes to big construction projects like a parking lot, concrete is definitely worth the investment. Let’s take a look at some essential components of asphalt and concrete below to compare the two materials. 

Concrete

Many are of the belief that asphalt parking lots last for approximately twenty to twenty-five years. In truth, asphalt lots require major repairs in as less as five or seven years after you install them. But when we talk about concrete, you can trust this material to last you far longer. 

You find it interesting to note that experts expected the original concrete roads to last for twenty years. The same roads not only completed their twenty-years life expectancy but are going strong even thirty, forty, and fifty years later. 

Concrete even has the potential to spread heavy loads over its larger areas. Hence it is more durable in the long term. It minimizes pressure on its sub-base too. Due to this characteristic and considering the soil type and application, concrete lots can even use lesser aggregate in your base than asphalt. 

This proves the optimal longevity and durability of concrete. In comparison, you will hardly find any asphalt parking lot or even roads that outlast their initial or speculated lifespan. But with concrete, you can expect this as a standard because concrete is meant to last. 

When you put the travel, vehicle load, and weather into consideration, you’d find it sensible to choose concrete that can withstand massive daily stress. 

Asphalt

Asphalt does not last as long as its own life expectancy, let alone outlast it like concrete. Those who own asphalt parking lots will tell you how they had to conduct repairs in less than five years after the installation and have had to do so repeatedly. 

Asphalt also lacks the ability to spread loads and, as a result, creates high points that exert higher pressure on the subbase. As a result, the likely degradation escalates, and the subbase begins to deteriorate.

You find yourself conducting maintenance and repairs on the asphalt parking lot sooner than you had expected. 

Proper Asphalt and Parking Lot Maintenance 

Proper maintenance is key to having your parking lot remain in top shape for as long as possible. If you have an asphalt parking lot, you can follow certain best measures for its maintenance. Let’s take a look at those below:

  • Repair pothole as soon as they appear
  • Ensure proper signage 
  • Seal and fill the cracks as soon as they appear and before they have a chance to widen
  • After every two years, you must treat your parking lot to seal coating
  • Conduct inlet repairs the moment you notice signs of failure
  • Never take standing water in your parking lot lightly. Find out its root cause immediately and remediate it. Many parking lots have suffered failures from standing water and the eventual free-thaw cycles. If you leave small cracks untreated, they will soon turn into potholes, and the pavement will likely fail. 

We can define the proper asphalt maintenance practices into three categories, based on the order of priority. 

What you must do

You must immediately attend to parking lot troubles that revolve around personal and property liabilities. This includes hazards like potholes, broken curbs, large cracks, raised sidewalks, failing inlets, and alligatored areas. 

What You Should Do

You should pay due attention to parking lot areas that concern with preventive maintenance measures. These will also help you stay ahead in cost savings by preventing a lot of complicated problems that could occur due to neglect in maintenance. 

What You Could Do

You could reconstruct the parking lot when your budget permits and when you feel your parking lot has served you sufficiently without asking for attention. This way, you can avoid a lot of costly base repair if you perform paving and milling early. 

Proper Concrete Parking Lot Maintenance

For concrete parking lots, you can conduct maintenance every three to five years. To this end, you will have to address small issues really and not heavy structural issues. A proper concrete maintenance checklist must include the following:

  • Surface sealing- you must use a sealant to block the porous surface against salt and water’s corrosive effect. Sealing the surface is a fine idea because it prevents more damage from occurring and will also reduce the need for further concrete repairs in the future. 
  • Filling chips and cracks- for repairing cracks, you have to fill with concrete, pourable crack filler of a leveling caulk. You can use hydraulic cement if you have to patch up chips. 
  • Deep surface cleaning- for this, you can power wash your concrete lot annually. It will clear all the dirt piles and uncover the beautiful and fresh concrete underneath. 
  • Stabilizing sinking or low areas- for this, you will have to pump cement slurry below your problem area. You may even use a cold mix pothole filler for patching the pothole. 
  • Uneven section grinding- concrete sections tend to shift, causing uneven surfaces. You can fix this problem by grinding down the high sides and attaining a smooth surface. 
  • Protective coating application- for this, you can add a protective layer of the acrylic coating to your concrete lot. It will serve as a barrier until the parking lot needs a replacement, which is typically after years or more. 

Conclusion

The estimated parking lot life is typically around twenty to twenty-five years, unless it is concrete that can last even beyond. The key to maximizing the life of your parking lot is making time and set aside a budget for its preservation. Proper maintenance, regular checks on your parking lot, and proper measures will suffice in achieving the service life period you expect from your parking lot. 

Your business’s parking lot forms the first impression a visitor gets when they visit your commercial property. Making the parking lot attractive and keeping the surface free of hazards that could cause injuries to pedestrians or damage vehicles is a primary concern for business owners. That’s why many businesses choose concrete for their pavement surfaces. Proper maintenance, inclusive of concrete parking lot repairs, helps protect your long-term investment. 

Why choose a concrete Parking Lot?

Concrete parking lots provide a clean, durable parking surface inviting to prospective tenants and their customers. A concrete parking lot offers many desirable qualities for large areas.

  • High traffic counts and heavy truck volumes make concrete a desirable choice because it holds up better under heavy loads. Concrete is regarded as less susceptible to rutting, frost heaves in colder climates, and stresses related to the constant pounding it takes from heavy loads. 
  • Concrete requires less maintenance than most other pavement types. Concrete parking lot repair can be accomplished affordably.
  • Concrete does not rust, rot or burn, saving energy and resources needed to replace or repair damaged buildings and infrastructure.
  • According to a Department of Transportation Study, concrete has a low lifetime impact on the environment due to its lower energy cost . 
  • The Construction Materials Recycling Association estimates that about 140 million tons of concrete are recycled each year in the U.S., reducing the construction projects’ environmental impact.
  • Concrete’s brighter reflectivity can lower infrastructure and ongoing lighting costs while boosting safety for vehicles and pedestrians.

The most common concrete parking lot issues

Unlike asphalt, concrete is not pliable, making it much less forgiving when it comes to heaving from freeze and thaw cycles. The elements cause deterioration. Oxidization from the sun, rain, and snow, freeze and thaw cycles and the amount of traffic the parking lot receives cause issues that make concrete parking lot repair necessary.

Cracking. Concrete is prone to cracking under extreme pressure and major repairs can be costly. Cold weather can cause concrete to expand and contract, leading to cracking. If cracking begins to occur, you want to patch it immediately

Salt Damage.  Concrete can be damaged by road salt. Salt damages concrete over time by causing corrosion to occur under the surface, causing crumbling or cracking.

Flaking. Concrete can flake in areas of the country that are subject to freezing and thawing. Flaking can also occur if there was too much water used in the concrete mix.

Potholes. Potholes occur when contraction and expansion of the soil under the pavement take place. Potholes happen when there has been significant rain or snow. Water will seep down through cracks and can settle underneath pavement surfaces. In winter, water freezes and expands. As temperatures warm, the ice may melt to create a void. Potholes will form as the paving material and soil over the opening breaks down. 

How to repair a concrete parking lot

The surface preparation is critical to the success of concrete parking lot repair. More repairs fail because of poor surface preparation than from any other cause. All unsound concrete must be removed, leaving sound, clean, and suitably roughened surfaces.


1. Concrete Parking Lot Repair by Patching

Clean off the area of the parking lot that needs to be patched. Mix concrete by adding 50% Portland Cement and 50% Gravel. Add some water and mix with a shovel until you have a medium consistency concrete mixture.

Apply cement patch bonding glue to the area of the parking lot that needs repairing. The bonding glue acts as a binder that allows the new concrete to adhere to the old concrete on the parking lot’s surface. Next, apply the new cement mixture liberally and flatten it down firmly with a wooden board. Allow the concrete to settle at least 3 to 4 days.

2. Concrete Parking Lot Repair for Flaking

Spray the concrete area to be repaired  with a water hose. Sweep away the water and let the area dry.  Mix a batch of Polymer-Modified Cement following the instructions on the package.

Using a shovel, scoop out the mixture and apply it to the flaking concrete area. Smooth the repaired area with a wooden slab and allow at least a week for the cement patch to dry before cars are allowed in the area. Once dry, use a high-quality concrete parking lot sealer to prevent the concrete from flaking too quickly.

3. Concrete Parking Lot Repair for Cracks

  1. Using a circular saw, scrape the part that has cracks. You have to scrape deep enough for a pocket to form that can be filled with new concrete. If the crack is wide, you’ll need to use a chisel and hammer and chisel out the crack to create a deep cut in the concrete.
  2. Clean all loose material from the crack using a wire brush or a portable drill with a wire wheel attachment.
  3. Apply bonding adhesive in a thin layer to the entire concrete area to be repaired. The bonding adhesive will help keep the repair material from loosening or popping out of the crack.
  4. Mix vinyl reinforced patching compound and use a trowel to push it into the crack. Smooth the repair with a trowel so it is even with the surrounding surface. Then, let it dry.
  5. To strengthen the repair job, spray the pocket with a concrete parking lot sealer generously. 

A small concrete crack repair can be a simple DIY project. Larger cracks may require a professional concrete contractor to correct the damage. 

4. Concrete parking lot Repair for sections that have shifted

Concrete sections can sometimes shift over time, causing an uneven surface. To fix the surface, a concrete contractor will grind down the high side and resurface the area.

5. After all Concrete Parking Lot Repair is complete, seal the surface 

The sealant helps block the porous surface from the corrosive effects of salt and water. Seal your parking lot to avoid more damage and costly parking lot concrete repair. Many chemical formulations are available as sealers and coatings to protect concrete from a variety of environments.

Tips on how to maintain a concrete parking lot

The goal of any concrete parking lot should be to maximize the life expectancy as much as possible before removing and replacing it completely. Ongoing concrete parking lot maintenance, including concrete parking lot repair, is an essential part of owning a concrete parking lot. Research studies have shown that regular maintenance of a concrete parking lot can extend its life dramatically.

Here are things you should plan on regularly doing: 

Remove oil stains

Oil, grease, and other petroleum substances can damage the surface of the concrete. While grime will not cause severe structural damage, these stains can worsen over time and become permanent. Cleaning your parking lot will ensure your concrete’s appearance. Clean concrete lasts longer and creates a better impression on your potential customers.

Clean oil spots with a commercial de-greaser, a rigid bristle broom or brush, and some hot water. You’ll need to brush and rinse a few times to get all of the oil off, but in the end, it’s well worth the effort. Just be sure to rinse off all of the de-greaser when you’re finished.

Remove long-standing stains

Long-standing Stains can be removed from concrete with dry or mechanical methods or wet methods using chemical or water. 

Standard dry methods include sandblasting, flame cleaning and shot blasting, grinding, scabbing, planing, and scouring. Use Steel-wire brushes with care because they can leave metal particles on the surface that later will rust and stain concrete surfaces. 

Wet stain removal methods require  the application of specific chemicals tailored to the nature of the stain. The chemical treatment will either dissolve the staining substance to be blotted up from the concrete’s surface or bleach the staining substance so it will not show. 

Seal the cracks in the concrete

When cracks do develop, you should seal them with a concrete crack sealer. Sealing the cracks will help to prevent further damage and failures like potholes by avoiding or minimizing the amount of water entering them. The best maintenance plan should include concrete parking lot repair by crack sealing services each year. 

Sweep and power wash regularly

Concrete parking surfaces are extremely durable and can last up to 30 years with regular sweeping and yearly power washing. 

Re-surface the concrete parking lot

The concrete should be re-surfaced every 2 to 3 years to slow down the deterioration process and avoid costly concrete parking lot repairs or replacement.  Use a quality commercial grade concrete sealer and a reputable pavement contractor.

The cost of concrete parking or repairs and maintenance

Concrete parking lot repair and maintenance costs vary depending on many factors. The prices of services are not the same nationwide. You can expect to pay more in a city location than you will in a rural or suburban area. 

Concrete parking lot repair costs

There is no one best way to estimate the cost of many concrete parking lot repairs. A pavement maintenance contractor will conduct an on-site inspection to assess the damage and determine the best course of action. A contractor will take several factors into consideration that may impact the cost of your project, including:

– Current condition of the parking area
– Type and Severity of the damage
– Local labor and material rates
– Square footage of the lot
– Repair method used
– Materials that will be required

For commercial seal coating, the average cost nationwide is about $0.19 per square foot. 

Most concrete paving contractors will base their quotes on the square footage of the parking area. A larger parking lot will require more labor and materials to prepare the surface and seal coat the parking lot.


Resurfacing your concrete lot costs between $3 to $10 per square foot on average. It is cheaper than new installation and can extend the concrete’s life beyond its initial 30 to 40 years.

Concrete parking lot maintenance costs

A commercial sweeping company‘s rates ranges between $70 per application for a 25 car lot ,and $150 per application for a 300 car lot. The nature of your business and your parking lot’s size will affect the frequency and length of time of each visit.

Similar to concrete parking lot repair contractors, sweeping and maintenance contractors typically base their quotes on:

  • Type of Business.  Sweeping companies provide parking lot sweeping services to schools, restaurants, hospitals, apartment buildings, grocery stores, service business, trade business, and shopping. Parking lots are not one size and design. The quantity and quality of trash and debris varies greatly. Parking lots with more trash  or heavier trash take longer to clean.
  • Parking lot size. How many spaces does the lot have? Are there 25 or over 1,000? It should be no surprise that larger parking lots are going to be more expensive to clean. 
  • Frequency. How often will you need them to clean the parking lot? How long will it take to clean the lot? Most local companies will work with you to determine the best schedule for your needs. While some businesses may require nightly service, others may be able to go weeks between cleaning visits. More frequent visits will add to the cost, however, it typically takes less time to clean a lot more frequently. 
  • The parking lot’s condition. It is usually cheaper to clean a parking lot that has been well maintained in the past. If the parking lot’s surface is full of crack and potholes, this may increase the time required to clean the area, which means more money out of your pocket.

Prevention is the key to saving you time and money. By addressing concrete parking lot repairs as soon as issues occur, you’ll be able to extend the life of your parking lot for years to come. Following a regular parking lot maintenance schedule, you will improve your concrete parking lot’s appearance and keep it safe for pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Concrete parking lot repair and maintenance is an ongoing process that should be handled by a professional contractor.

If your business requires concrete parking lot repair, locate a paving contractor near you. 

Ideally, when you use concrete as the paving material for your parking lot, you expect it to be robust and durable. Your home’s concrete parking lot would last for a lifetime. However, it may start to look bad for all that wear after periods of exposure to vehicle traffic and the elements, shortening its longevity and leading to hideous cracking, settlement, de-coloration, or scaling.

The first and most critical step is to find out what caused the damage before beginning the project of resurfacing a concrete parking lot and then decide the best repair method to fix the problem.

What are the typical causes of concrete parking lot distress or damages?

Causes of distress or degradation in a parking lot include but are not limited to, the following:

  • A wrongly compacted subgrade
  • Using an inadequate concrete mix
  • Exposure to extreme weather conditions
  • Bad placement processes

The key reason many homeowners and business owners use concrete for their parking lot is that it is recognized for its resilience, flexibility, and durability, in addition to being economical. You can customize concrete to obtain the appearance you want and still count on that look to last for years.

Instead of just excavating the concrete and beginning over, you can always save some money by resurfacing your parking lot; so far, the concrete is sound structural.

concrete parking lot

What is a concrete parking lot resurfacing, and is it good for your next repair project?

Resurfacing, also referred to as overlaying, is the substitution of the top layer of concrete with a new one on top of the existing one, normally 1.5-2 inches in diameter. It’s suitable for every house, as it helps prolong the life of your parking lot for yet another 8 to 15 years if done correctly.

You likely wind up with a jet-black, sparkling parking lot, and your wallet is still left untouched. If your parking lot has wider holes or cracks in a tiny area, you might be able to repair it yourself. 

Suppose you are not sure of your parking lot’s structural strength. In that case, you can get an expert concrete contractor near you to determine your concrete condition and make recommendations on whether resurfacing your concrete parking lot or installing a new one would be perfect at that point in time.

Pros and cons of resurfacing a concrete parking lot vs. replacing it

If your parking lot has stayed for a long time, you could find signs of aging on it, including cracks and potholes. When your parking lot is in poor shape, you might be asking if you should do some moderate resurfacing or have the whole lot replaced. The fact is, everything depends on how serious the damage is, the material (concrete or asphalt), the time of year, and the budget. 

If your home or business’s parking lot displays aging signs, do not immediately presume that your only choice is concrete removal. For a justifiable reason, resurfacing is rapidly creeping into the mainstream. 

There is no point in paying for a completely new parking lot when you can resurface it for a lower price. In some instances, concrete resurfacing could be the optimal solution over concrete replacement. 

There are many reasons why resurfacing your concrete parking lot is a perfect alternative to fully replacing it. If you are considering concrete resurfacing vs. replacement for your parking lot, below are some of the advantages and drawbacks that will help you make an informed decision:

parking lot maintenance

PROS:

The advantage of parking lot resurfacing include:

  • It requires lower cost, minimal time, and effort
  • It extends the parking lot’s life
  • It restores your concrete surface
  • It can be performed without inconveniences

It requires lower cost, minimal time, and effort.

Tiny cracks and depressions will not grow into more decay that will require more money to fix if resurfacing is performed at the correct time. One of the key factors motivating resurfacing concrete rather than repairing it is the financial benefit. This means that resurfacing a concrete parking lot would help to save both money and time. Resurfacing your home’s concrete surface is far more economical than replacing the whole thing.

Furthermore, fewer materials, workforce, and machinery are required for concrete resurfacing, leading to lower upfront costs. Although this is undoubtedly appealing to homeowners wanting to save money, it is essential for property owners, including apartment complexes, because concrete surfaces in apartments can grow wear and tear quite easily as they are exposed to the movement of many individuals.

It extends the parking lot’s life.

Resurfacing is integral to the practice of maintaining every parking lot. Ideally, concrete parking lots are projected to last around 30 years; however, adequate resurfacing would lead to its prolonged working life. If you ignore resurfacing your parking lot as it cracks, it will lead to more deterioration.

It restores your concrete surface.

A commonly held belief is that concrete resurfacing would not make the parking area look good as fresh concrete would be, and residents will not notice the difference. In truth, if you resurface your concrete parking lot, it would look as good and fresh as a replaced concrete surface. In a real sense, resurfacing your concrete parking lot is a perfect time to add a decorative touch that will make it sparkle like a brand new one.

Don’t let anyone fool you by claiming that resurfacing your concrete parking lot will not make it look great except if it is replaced; the truth is that by resurfacing your concrete, you are indeed bringing new life into it. The improvement will be visible for years to come.

It can be performed without inconveniences.

If you are an apartment complex owner, you will find it a big deal to replace your concrete surfaces because it will require inconveniencing your tenants. When replacing concrete, you would need to dismantle it first, which can take up to two days, meaning you may have to ask your tenant to park somewhere for the night or restrict their movement to a specific space for a significant period.

The process of resurfacing concrete is much accelerated, as you do not have to take out the entire concrete nor pour a huge volume of fresh material that would then require curing. And by resurfacing, you are more conscientious to your tenants.

CONS:

Irrespective of the many benefits of concrete resurfacing, there are, however, a few drawbacks as well, including:

  • It can not address cracked crumbling concrete
  • It can only be performed on Plain Concrete Surfaces

It can not address cracked crumbling concrete.

If your parking lot is concrete, you will need to patch and fill the cracks before resurfacing. Resurfacing is not recommended if the concrete surface starts to crumble. The surface may not support the new concrete’s weight, which may trigger even further crumbling. 

It can only be performed on Plain Concrete Surfaces.

The other drawback of resurfacing concrete parking lots is that it can normally be performed only on bare concrete surfaces. If the concrete surface has been epoxy-sealed, colored, engraved, stained with acid, or stamped, concrete resurfacing will not stick correctly to the existing surface.

concrete surface replacement

When is it time to resurface your concrete parking lot?

Concrete parking lots are standard in different neighborhoods because they provide unsurpassed durability. While it’s built to last, some factors, such as elements and heavy foot traffic, could still trigger it to wear-and-tear. Once you observe crumbling edges, cracks, sunken places, or dull colors on your parking lot, it asks for resurfacing.

If your parking lot begins to experience more than just a few cracks or holes, or the cracks and gaps are broader, then the time for resurfacing has fully come for it. Furthermore, if you consider patching but fear that soon, more tiny holes or cracks will develop, you will gain more by resurfacing it.

Resurfacing is better suited for patching up small holes and shallow cracks. It can be a more cost-effective alternative if you want to introduce a new layer of texture to your parking lot’s surfaces, making it an excellent option for restoring a parking lot’s shine and look.

How are concrete parking lots resurfaced? 

If you are considering resurfacing a concrete parking lot for your next project and you are contemplating between using concrete or asphalt, keep reading to learn how straightforward it can be to offer your parking lot a new life:

Resurfacing with concrete

Six steps are involved in concrete resurfacing:

  • STEP 1: Clean your concrete parking lot and patch as needed.

Prime the existing concrete surface for the renewing layer to stick to it properly. Start by removing soil, flaking concrete, and oil. After cleaning the parking lot, check it for deeply worn away areas or large cracks, making sure to fix any with patching material. 

Finally, water the parking lot down to the point of saturation, then remove standing water using a broom.

Use a 1/2 -drill, 5-gallon bucket, and paddle mixer to mix the resurfacing compound. Note that you can not use concrete barrel-type mixers and hand mixing for this application.

  • STEP 3: Measure and pour 3-1/2 quarts of cool/clean water into a 5-gallon bucket. Pour the concrete resurfacer into the mixing water and mix extensively for about five minutes until a pourable lump-free consistency is accomplished. If the mixture is too thick, add water infrequently to achieve syrup consistency; if the mixture is too thin, you can add more powder to it.
  • STEP 4: Pour the resurfacing material onto the concrete parking lot in one-foot broad strips, and use a long-handled squeegee to scrape the substance into the concrete surface.
  • STEP 5: Spread the resurfacing compound back and forth uniformly on the slab and use a concrete broom to add a non-slip polish after around five minutes.
  • STEP 6: Moist cure at temperatures above 90° with a fine water mist for 24 to 48 hours. After about 6 hours of curing, it can withstand foot traffic while supporting vehicle traffic after about 24 hours.
resurfacing with asphalt

Resurfacing concrete parking lot with asphalt

Below are the six steps involved in asphalt resurfacing:

  • STEP 1: Prepare the surface

Before starting the concrete resurfacing project, you need to clean the parking lot, ensuring it is blank. Ensure you demolish or replace any concrete speed bumps and address every other structure that may stand as an obstacle.

  • STEP 2: Asphalt milling

Remove the asphalt’s top layer surface to generate space for fresh material. In some cases, this step is also done before the actual parking lot resurfacing. This step can take up to a day; hence, you need to inform everyone using the parking lots and prohibit parking until the project is completed.

  • STEP 3: Fix any pavement issue

Once you remove the asphalt’s top layer, you may have to fix the underneath pavement or perform additional milling to level out any rough areas, making the surface uniform. You may apply crack filler to address any tiny repairs. Furthermore, use a trowel to fill and smooth out small cracks.

  • STEP 4: Asphalt resurfacing

This step requires using a squeegee, leaf blower, and heavy machinery and is done in multiple layers. The first added layer is adhesive, and it is termed the tack coat. The tack coat is aiding the asphalt binding to the underneath layer. Next, use a roller truck and paver to lay a layer of asphalt. 

  • STEP 5: Curing

The concrete parking lot resurfacing  project needs to cure properly for some time before you go on to the next step. This will offer a shiny and new look to the top layer of your new asphalt surface.

To protect the surface from the elements, you may need to apply a seal coat at this point to preserve your investment. After applying the seal coat, allow it to dry. You can now repaint your parking lots with lines for traffic patterns, parking spaces, etc.

The cost of resurfacing a concrete parking lot

Several factors can affect the cost of resurfacing your parking lot. Among all, location is always the main factor. For instance, materials used by contracting companies and labor costs vary per location. Also, the type of soil in an area can impact the price. 

With that said, the estimated cost of resurfacing with concrete is $400 for a 100 square feet surface; less costly and more expensive projects can run as low as $300 and $500, respectively. The price may vary between $3 and $5 per square foot.

While the cost of resurfacing with asphalt can range between $1,800 and $4,200, or $3,000 on average. This rate is split into $3 to $7 per square foot for the standard 600 square feet area.

asphalt vs concrete surfaces

Difference between concrete resurfacing and concrete replacement

If you are considering resurfacing a concrete parking lot or replacing it for your next repair project, it is good to know the difference to make the right decision.

Concrete Resurfacing:

  • It includes applying a thin mortar overlay over the old concrete slab
  • It helps restore the surface; however, large cracks, significant breakage, or pitting are not fixed
  • It can be finished in a few hours,
  • Usually, half the cost of replacing concrete 
  • Offer additional layer, reducing wear and tear

Concrete Replacement:

  • Removing and replacing damaged slabs with new ones
  • offer a more permanent solution for high-traffic surfaces
  • The project can run for two days
  • Cost more than resurfacing
  • Eliminates the possibility of regular concrete repair

Conclusion

If your parking lot is due for repair, it would be best for you to evaluate the pros and cons of resurfacing and replacement before deciding which one to opt for. For the best recommendation, you can call in a concrete paving contractor to find the cause of the deterioration in order to decide whether concrete replacement or resurfacing would be a better choice for your property.

If you own a commercial parking lot, even if you’re not there every day, that lot is your responsibility. Should a car blow out a tire or the wheel cracks because a customer drove over a pothole in your parking lot, the liability falls on you. You must maintain and repair your parking lot when necessary to promote its longevity. What should you do?

The following parking lot maintenance tasks will reduce your rate of repairs:

  • Cleaning the lot
  • Repainting faded stripes and other markings
  • Overlaying the asphalt
  • Sealing the lot
  • Repairing when damage occurs

In this extensive guide, we’ll provide further information on maintaining your parking lot so it remains in its best condition for a long time to come. We’ll also delve into areas of parking lot repair, including how much money you might expect to pay for various repair jobs.

parking lot repair

How to Properly Maintain Your Parking Lot

Most parking lots are made of asphalt or concrete. Asphalt, as we covered in this article, is prone to plenty of damage. Here’s a list for you:

  • Bleeding, when the asphalt develops a film that can make it slippery if it gets wet, posing significant risks to motorists who use your parking lot
  • Raveling, which is when the asphalt fragments, leaving gravel behind
  • Upheaval, or the movement of the asphalt upward due to moisture or freezing
  • Rutting, which is asphalt depressions from ignoring the parking lot’s max recommended weight
  • Potholes, which start as holes in the asphalt that grow bigger and deeper over time
  • Cracks, including slippage cracks, joint reflection cracks, edge cracks, block cracks, and alligator cracks

No parking lot is impervious to damage, but through maintenance, mitigation becomes possible. Per the information in the intro, here are the areas of parking lot maintenance to focus on. 

Keep the Parking Lot Clean

We’ve discussed this on the blog before, but it’s worth repeating now. Cleaning your parking lot may sound like a basic and thus skippable part of parking lot maintenance, but it’s one of the most important jobs. 

Why is that? For several reasons, really. From an aesthetics standpoint, a clean, tidy parking lot will always attract more business than one that’s dirty and looks run-down. Much more importantly, cleaning your parking lot removes small objects that can lead to motorist injuries, which again become a liability for you. 

A clean parking lot is one in which the asphalt remains in better condition, as nothing is grinding against it when motorists drive across the lot. You may even be able to enjoy a few more years out of your parking lot. 

repair parking lot

Repaint Faded Stripes and Lines

Painting the parking lines and other indicators throughout your parking lot wasn’t a cheap nor inexpensive process, but it’s something you’ll have to do much sooner than later. You might get only a year out of the paint before it needs touching up depending on the frequency of parking lot use. In other cases, it’s two years, but no more than that.

You absolutely cannot forego repainting these stripes, lines, and markings. If the lines are faded to the point where they’re barely visible, your customers won’t be able to tell where one parking spot ends and the other begins. This creates an environment where unnecessary car accidents can occur.  

Overlay the Asphalt

Although it does nothing for the bottommost layer of asphalt, overlaying the top layer can improve the overall appearance of your parking lot. Further, you might stretch out the longevity of your lot, so overlaying is certainly a job worth doing.

When you overlay asphalt, you pour a fresh layer over the preexisting top layer. That layer still remains intact, as removal would be more labor-intensive and expensive. You end up with asphalt that’s even more multi-layered than before.

Seal the Lot

The last maintenance job to commit to as parking lot owner is sealing the asphalt. Depending on the age of your lot, you may have to reseal it annually or you can possibly go three years before applying some fresh seal. The latter is true of new parking lots and the former of older ones with worn asphalt.  

sealed asphalt

The Most Common Parking Lot Repairs

If you skipped out on some of the above maintenance jobs due to a tight budget, lack of time, or simply inexperience owning and managing a parking lot, then your lot is probably in disarray. Here are some of the more common parking lot repairs you might encounter. 

Repairing Cracks

We listed a variety of cracks earlier that tend to affect asphalt. Here’s a quick explanation of the ones that are especially prevalent in parking lots:

  • Slippage cracks: Developing in distinct half-crescents, slippage cracks tend to appear shortly after your new parking lot is paved. If the asphalt layers have incorrectly adhered, these cracks will result. 
  • Joint reflection cracks: We’ll discuss repairing joints shortly, but for now, know that joint cracks occur when the joints are strained through the asphalt subbase. The subbase may move as moisture and temperature changes occur. 
  • Edge cracks: Common in driveways, roads, and parking lots, edge cracks affect the edge of a street or lot that has insufficient drainage. The moisture accumulation leads to the cracks, as can improperly installed subbase or heavy vehicular traffic. 
  • Block cracks: When the temperatures get very cold or extremely hot and the asphalt’s binder can’t contract and expand to accommodate, block cracks happen. Why are they called block cracks? Well, due to how these cracks are often rectangular.
  • Alligator cracks: Fatigue or alligator cracks look like alligator skin, which is the last thing you want for your parking lot. Many issues can cause alligator cracks, among them too much clay in the surrounding soil, ground movement and erosion, thin pavement, poor subgrade quality, and exceeding your parking lot’s weight limits.

Whether it’s an alligator crack, a slippage crack, or anything in between, repairing a crack should be at the top of your priority list as a parking lot owner. Even small cracks can become bigger as your lot gets a lot of use. Large cracks develop into potholes. 

Repairing Potholes

Speaking of potholes, they’re another frequent problem across asphalt roads and parking lots. According to Harper’s Magazine data, as of 2012, the United States has 55,961,000 potholes. Given the age of that data, we’re sure you can add several thousand–if not more–potholes to that tally by now.

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada calls itself “the pothole capital” because its problem with potholes is that serious. In 2014, the city spent $4.8 million to repair potholes, says Canadian news source The Walrus. The city alone adds about 450,000 potholes to its preexisting total every year.

We talked in the intro about how risky leaving potholes intact can be, so repair must be imminent. 

Improving Joints 

In a perfect world, you’d have gotten your parking lot constructed with high-quality joints. That can prevent a lot of headaches now and in the years to come. After all, the worse the quality of the joints, the fewer years you can expect out of them. 

Sealing may be able to restore the strength of the joints provided they haven’t been under much strain for long. Pretending the issue doesn’t exist though can quickly degrade the quality of your parking lot. Alligator cracks might develop, allowing for structural issues that can become full-on lot failure if left unaddressed. Potholes will also appear. 

Adding Drainage 

Given that so many asphalt problems that impact your parking lot’s structural integrity are related to moisture and other sources of water, having any drainage at all is better than none. Drainage vents or pipes give the water somewhere to travel so it doesn’t linger on the asphalt.

repairing parking lot

How Much Does It Cost to Repair Your Parking Lot?

Now that you know the duties that lay ahead of you, it’s time to start budgeting for parking lot repairs. To help you do that, you need to know the costs of each job. 

According to ProMatcher, a resource for connecting with professionals, sealing asphalt costs an average of $0.22 a square foot for commercial parking lots. On the lower end, you might pay $0.14 per square foot and, on the high end, up to $0.29 per square foot depending on the sealant you choose.

Paving asphalt is $2.81 a square foot on average. The job may be less expensive at $2.24, or it could be costlier, up to $3.37 per square foot.

Paving an asphalt parking lot if you’re adding a two-inch overlay is an average of $1.60 a square foot. Costs may be between $1.40 and $1.70 per square foot depending on the breadth of work, notes ProMatcher.

Here are some maintenance costs to get you started. To sweep and clean your parking lot, expect the job to cost:

  • $73.75 if you have a 200-space parking lot
  • $83.32 if you have a 500-space parking lot
  • $149.17 if you have a 1,000-space parking lot

The costs for repainting your parking lot stripes depends on the size of the stripes and the type of markings you’re adding. For a white stripe that’s four inches, per linear foot, you’d pay $0.34. For 18 feet of striping, that’s $4.27. Handicap parking spots cost about $28.08 each and arrows $18.09 apiece.

parking lot maintenance

How Long Should an Asphalt Parking Lot Last?

By putting all this time, effort, and expense into your parking lot, how many years should you expect to get out of it? At least five to seven years, but well-maintained parking lots may last around 10 or 15 years. If you go above and beyond to ensure your parking lot is always in tip-top shape, the lot could be usable for 20, even 30 years. 

Other Ways to Extend the Life of Your Parking Lot Outside of Maintenance

As we’ve established, there’s no better way to enjoy more years out of your parking lot than through maintenance, but that’s not the only way. To wrap up, here are some things you can do in addition to your maintenance routine for a better parking lot.

Don’t Let Small Problems Fester

It’s a lot cheaper–not to mention less laborious–to pave a small hole or crack in the parking lot. You might even be able to patch that area rather than overlay or reseal the whole lot. 

If you don’t already, you should visit your parking lot at least weekly when it’s completely empty. Inspect the whole lot, including the edges and corners. These areas are often overlooked but can be the most troublesome. 

Should you spot any concerning issues, make a plan for how they’ll get repaired and when. If you’re not the one personally doing repairs, then come back a few days later, following through to ensure the work was done, and adequately at that. 

asphalt patches

Add More Drainage If You Have Too Much Standing Water

The drainage you have now might not be all that you use for the entire life of your parking lot. If your drainage solution leaves too much standing water, then you may need more drainage or another means of removing the water altogether.

Clean Spills 

Besides loose gravel, sticks, rocks, and other debris that inevitably accumulates in and around your parking lot, you also want to remove spills as soon as you notice them. Depending on the fluid that was spilled, it can degrade the quality of your sealant. Now that area may start cracking, which can soon spread to other sections of your parking lot. 

Conclusion

To avoid lawsuits and hold onto your customers, maintaining your commercial parking lot is not optional. With the tips and advice we presented to you in this article, you know which issues to be on the lookout for so you can work preventatively to keep your parking lot safe for anyone to use.