If you own a commercial property, you will be very aware of the importance of a good parking lot, particularly if you have customers that regularly visit your premises. But how long do parking lots take to build, and what is involved in the process? Parking Lot Pros, experts when it comes to pavement services say that construction times vary, depending on the size of the parking lot and the individual requirements of the customer. Another consideration is planning, as you cannot go ahead with construction until you have the required permission from the appropriate planning commission. Note that you may also need to obtain a building permit for alterations to an existing parking lot. It is best to check with your town or city’s planning commission before beginning any project.
What is Involved in Building a Parking Lot?
When constructing a parking lot from scratch, there is much to consider. A professional paving contractor will need to take many factors into consideration including the entrance and exit points; the size and type of vehicles that are expected to use the parking lot as well as where they will be turning; lighting; drainage; and ventilation if appropriate. It will also be necessary to work to specific zoning issues and local codes.
Contractors will also need to think about the climate when designing the most efficient parking lot. Asphalt and concrete are the two most common materials used for paving parking lots, and both have their pros and cons. For the most part, a concrete parking lot is expected to last longer than an asphalt one (almost double in fact), but asphalt is cheaper to install and the process is much quicker. In addition, with careful regular maintenance, an asphalt parking lot can last for decades.
In terms of aesthetics, asphalt is superior and is the ideal choice for those business owners hoping to create a good first impression on their clients. When this material is cared for, it adds an elegant touch to the front on any commercial property. It is worth noting however that in order for asphalt to maintain its aesthetic appeal, it will need to be seal coated.Moreover, this should then be reapplied every two to three years.
The wonderful thing about seal coating on an asphalt parking lot is the fact that it provides a defense against harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow, and ice. It is also protective against UV light, making it suitable for hot climates.
In addition to the material for your parking lot, issues such as drainage must be addressed. Water will be absorbed by unsealed asphalt,so leaving it unsealed will shorten its lifespan. When constructing the parking lot then, consideration must be given to how water will be directed and drained away to prevent pooling. Your contractor will recommend the addition of drains and grates or the use of curbing. The best way to tackle drainage, however, is to ensure a slope of between 2% and 5%.
Taking Care of an Asphalt Parking Lot
If you decide on asphalt for your parking lot, there are things you need to do regularly to keep it looking at its best. As mentioned, seal coating is one of the best protective measures you can take. The first seal coat should ideally be applied within three to nine months after the parking lot has been constructed and paved. This should then be reapplied regularly.
Staying on top of small cracks will also prolong the life of the parking lot. Hairline cracks will grow and become a big problem if they are not dealt with immediately.