Concrete vs. Asphalt Parking Lots: Pros and Cons

October 18, 2018 11:22 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Most people are familiar with both asphalt and concrete, but when tasked with a project that requires someone to choose between the two, deciding which to install makes many people feel confused and unsure which is right for the project. The information below should help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each material, so you know if you need a concrete or asphalt contractor in Washington. Seeking insights from industry experts like Jimini Paving can also help you choose the paving material that is appropriate for your needs.

Concrete parking lot

Concrete is a highly customizable material, allowing clients the freedom to choose from a variety of colors and designs. Typically, concrete is light in color, which is a great asset for parking lots in hot climates. In a hot climate, concrete is a smart choice because the light color helps the parking lot remain cooler on those scalding hot summer days, unlike asphalt. While concrete needs joint sealing and the typical annual cleaning, it’s fairly low maintenance and well known for its durability.

Paving a parking lot is considered by many to be an investment, so the project cost will be a primary influencer. Depending on the design choice, concrete can be more costly than asphalt. However, lighting is a crucial component of parking lot safety, and concrete is three times more reflective than asphalt. This means that concrete parking lots will require fewer lighting installations, allowing you to save money while maintaining safety.

Asphalt parking lot

Asphalt is a very forgiving material. If your parking lot is in a cold climate, like Washington or Oregon, the earth repeatedly freezes and thaws, and asphalt is pliable enough to accommodate those cycles without compromising the integrity of the pavement, extending the lifespan of the investment. Asphalt finishes are also noteworthy because not only are they attractive, they also help melt snow and ice at a faster rate, creating better traction. This makes the lot safer for traffic and pedestrians during the bitter winter weather. Of course, if your parking lot is in a hot climate, asphalt can appear oily and become sticky, which is less desirable.

One less-known benefit of choosing asphalt is that it effectively reduces noise. It can reduce up to 50 percent more traffic noise than concrete, which is beneficial if your parking lot is next to an apartment complex, office or business. Asphalt contractors hear all the time that clients have a strict deadline to meet, and because asphalt can be ready in just days, it can be kinder to your wallet. It’s also a popular choice among those with sustainability commitments, because asphalt is a green material that can be recycled and reused.

Talk to an expert

Ultimately, the right paving material will become clear after you evaluate your climate, budget, deadline and environmental commitments. Then, all that’s left is to contact your chosen concrete or asphalt contractor in Washington and set a plan. Contact Jimini Paving for all your asphalt needs—we look forward to working with you soon!

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