There are a lot of fantastic paving projects businesses can consider. Whether it’s a parking lot, new curbing, a drive-thru foundation, or something a bit more unique, commercial paving services can help businesses unlock their full potential. That being said, many business owners do not understand the various types of commercial paving options that are available to them. To help them out here is a handy guide to the three core types of commercial paving options (and products):
Asphalt has been the material of choice for business parking lots for most of the paving industry’s history, largely due to its affordability, and flexibility. The fact that asphalt is an affordable way to get a project done quickly, without sacrificing too much durability, has boosted its popularity for literal decades. Asphalt can handle most obstacles thrown at it and a lot of pressure per square inch. Whether you’re looking to get a parking lot, drive-thru foundation, curbs, or some other type of paving project done, asphalt is absolutely worth considering.
While asphalt is packed with benefits, it does have some drawbacks to consider, especially before choosing it as the material in your next massive commercial paving project. A commercial paving company will have the know-how to walk you through this tough choice. If you’re building in a location where the weather is constantly hot and humid, asphalt can quickly become sticky and leave marks on tires and shoes. Regular maintenance is also necessary for asphalt because it degrades over time. Asphalt is particularly susceptible to cracking and rutting. Lastly, those who want unique colors will need to go with another type of paving material, as there are hyper-limited options when using asphalt (typically, you’ll be stuck with black and yellow).
Concrete is the second most widely used material in commercial paving projects, and is slightly more expensive than asphalt. That being said, concrete holds up better in warmer temperatures than asphalt does, and the amount of maintenance needed to maintain a concrete project is much less frustrating and time-consuming than it is with an asphalt project. Compared to regular asphalt repaving, concrete just needs washing and joint sealing once a year to maintain a high level of quality and durability. The fact that concrete pavement comes in a wider range of hues and textures has made it more attractive for huge commercial properties, especially chain restaurants that rely on color to keep their branding strategies intact.
Since concrete is naturally impervious, local city laws will likely demand a certain level of drainage capacity, detention capacity, or both. There are several other problems with concrete that businesses have to consider before going with the material as well. For one, concrete is notoriously horrible in colder climates, since it frequently cracks and breaks during freeze-thaw cycles. Concrete installation takes almost twice as long as asphalt installation does, making it less ideal for businesses in a time crunch. And, just like asphalt, it needs drainage systems to stop floods during periods of heavy rain. However, concrete is still often more widely used than asphalt.
Compared to both concrete and asphalt paving material, brand-new permeable paving products have been hitting the market in mass over the last decade. These products are more sophisticated and are actually cheaper than most concrete and asphalt materials as well. Permeable paving material’s detention capacity is built into the rock base that’s laid below it and is hyper-easy to install. Especially for environments that want to avoid a lot of runoff, or for companies who have trouble affording an installation of expensive draining systems, permeable paving has become a go-to option.
The vast majority of permeable paving products are made using 100% recycled materials (including recycled asphalt in some cases), making it the most eco-friendly paving option as well. While the product is not as classic-looking or aesthetically attractive as asphalt and concrete-built projects, the mixture of affordability and sustainability has made it an option worth considering. If you have more questions about the complex and flexible nature of permeable paving products, you should ask your preferred commercial paving company about the products they have at their disposal. Who knows, they may just be perfect for your next commercial paving project.
Consulting with a professional commercial paving company is key to determining the unique needs of any project your business is considering. If you go against their advice, you’ll almost certainly pay for it in the long run (both in repair costs, and customer satisfaction). Thankfully, each of these three options is affordable enough that most businesses can manage to swing whatever option is right for them.