For many years, concrete has been an extremely popular paving material for parking lots of all types and sizes. Concrete pavements offer several important benefits over other paving choices, particularly in Austin and other areas with similar climates. However, people are often unsure of how thick an Austin concrete parking lot should be. Making the concrete too thick is a waste of natural resources and money, but making it too thin can lead to problems with the concrete’s durability. To determine the correct concrete thickness, contractors must consider numerous factors, but the two most critical factors are how you will use your parking lot and the stability of the soil at your site.
How Does the Use of an Austin Concrete Parking Lot Impact the Right Concrete Thickness?
Potentially, virtually every Austin concrete parking lot could be used differently. For example, one lot might only be used by 20 or 30 passenger vehicles per day, while the one down the street might be used by 1,000 fully loaded 18-wheelers in a 24-hour period. A third parking lot may average 10,000 passenger vehicles and 200 heavyweight trucks on a typical day. Although concrete has excellent load-bearing capabilities, subjecting it to higher volumes and heavier weights than expected can result in damage or a shorter life.
Why Does the Soil Matter When Determining the Correct Thickness of an Austin Concrete Parking Lot?
During a concrete installation, the slurry is poured into forms, which are left in place until the slurry has set. This slurry has the ability to flow relatively freely within the forms, so it will conform to the terrain. However, to produce high-quality results, the contractor must be able to grade the site and compact the soil to a sufficient degree. When contractors plan to install concrete parking lots in Austin TX, they often encounter soil that cannot be adequately compacted. Typically, the solution to unsuitable soil is to construct an aggregate base to provide a stable, strong foundation for the pavement. A base is often unnecessary for concrete sidewalks and similar light-use pavements, but it may be necessary for some parking lots. If contractors determine that an aggregate base is necessary, they must take that into account when calculating the proper concrete thickness.
What Are Some Typical Thicknesses for Austin Concrete Parking Lots?
In recent years, the concrete industry revised its standard recommendations for pavement thickness, lowering the concrete thickness on most projects. However, there are some variations, which depend primarily on the presence or absence of an aggregate base. For illustrative purposes, assume that the concrete has an aggregate base of around six inches.
1. A parking lot that supports only a handful of passenger vehicles may have a concrete thickness of four to five inches. This is about the same thickness as most residential concrete driveways.
2. A parking lot used primarily by heavyweight 18-wheelers may have a concrete thickness of 10 to 12 inches. This is also the typical thickness for the concrete around truck scales, fuel pumps, and loading docks.
3. If a parking lot is used exclusively by passenger vehicles, the normal concrete thickness is about six inches.
4. Mixed-use parking lots that are used by both heavy trucks and passenger vehicles normally have a concrete thickness of seven to eight inches. However, if there are specific travel paths that the trucks must follow, the concrete may be thicker in those paths and slightly thinner in the rest of the parking lot.
If you have additional questions about concrete paving in Austin TX, contact RDC Paving. We are experts in concrete installation and repair, and we construct concrete parking lots, concrete sidewalks, concrete driveways, concrete ramps, concrete curbs, and ADA concrete features. We also offer parking lot maintenance, parking lot striping, asphalt paving and repair, asphalt driveway paving, asphalt milling and overlaying, and asphalt sealcoating and crack repair. We have an unsurpassed reputation for extraordinary craftsmanship and exemplary service. To request a free job quote, call 512-920-9155, complete the online form, or email Ryan@RDCPaving.com.