If you consider that over 94 percent of America’s roads are paved in asphalt, it makes sense that using this material for the commercial paving of parking lots would be both cost-effective and long-lasting. According to Todd Galbraith, Vice President, of Goode Paving and Sealcoating, the goal of any parking lot should be maximum life expectancy. “A parking lot will need to be repaved after about a decade, but in order to keep it that long, the lot itself needs to be maintained. Proper maintenance by the right commercial paving services company can stretch the lifespan of an asphalt parking lot to up to 10 years,” says Galbraith.
An asphalt parking lot with a smooth surface has several advantages: it provides a safe, easily navigated driving space; it has good gripping power for vehicle tires; it contributes to reduced fuel consumption, resulting in lower emissions; it extends the life of the pavement by 10 to 25 percent, resulting in lower maintenance costs.
Galbraith says the commercial paving services market is being rejuvenated by the repaving and repair of parking lots. Asphalt, consisting of stones, sand and gravel held together by asphalt cement, is one of the most renewable materials. It is used for initial paving as well as repairs. “If you need to repair a parking lot, be sure it is done by a reputable commercial paving company who will treat and seal cracks with a high-quality crack filler and will guarantee their work,” advises Galbraith.
A few tips for hiring a commercial paving services company for either a repair or initiation of an asphalt parking lot:
- Be aware that the asphalt business is clouded by a poor reputation. There have been numerous reports about contractors who “rip off” customers. Do your research for commercial pavers -- don’t just Google them, ask for references and take a look at some of their work. Galbraith says, “If you are quoted a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Remember, you get what you pay for.” In the commercial paving business, a contractor can only reduce the cost so much. The materials themselves are 1/3 of the price of any job, so a low bidder is either cutting the quality of materials or taking a hit on his own company’s hours just to get the business – which is unlikely.
- Any reputable commercial paver will come to your site to give you an estimate. They can’t do it over the phone, because they need to check things like existing cracks, proper draining, sealant and more. Plus, you’ll want to meet them in person.
- If your parking lot simply needs repaired, a good commercial paving company can inspect it for you and make recommendations. “A good asphalt parking lot is only as good as what’s under it,” Galbraith says. The sub-grade should be solid to resist shifting with weather changes. In addition, the parking lot must be graded properly to allow good drainage. Standing water is one of asphalt’s biggest enemies.
- Finally, consider a maintenance plan for your parking lot that includes periodic sealant and striping to lengthen its life and make it aesthetically appealing. Striping should be refreshed every two years, or when the remaining coating has been visibly reduced to 75 percent of its original appearance.
Goode Paving and Sealcoating’s commercial paving services include all phases of the job, including excavation, base installation, asphalt paving, striping, signage and follow-up sealcoating maintenance.