When deciding on the paving material you want to use for your new parking lot, you basically need to choose between concrete and asphalt. Although each material offers certain advantages, concrete parking lots can come out ahead in many situations, especially in Central Texas.
Why Are Concrete Parking Lots Better in Some Situations?
Concrete has exceptional compressive strength, which means that it can support heavy loads without breaking, warping, or rutting. This makes it an ideal material for parking lots that will need to accommodate very heavy vehicles. You will often find concrete parking lots at truck stops, bus terminals, construction equipment yards, logistics centers, and similar locations. Concrete also offers the following advantages over asphalt.
- Concrete reflects more heat than asphalt, so your concrete parking lot can be up to 10 degrees cooler than if you paved it in asphalt. This makes the area more comfortable for those who use your parking lot, but it can also reduce the cost of cooling any adjacent buildings.
- Lighting for a concrete parking lot typically requires 30% fewer fixtures to provide the same level of illumination. This reduces your energy costs for lighting your parking lot without compromising the safety of the lot.
- Concrete parking lots require virtually no routine maintenance, but asphalt parking lots need to have sealcoating applied about every two years, and many asphalt pavements need to have cracks repaired at least once a year after the pavement is more than five or six years old. Therefore, the lifetime costs of a concrete parking lot can be significantly less.
How Long Must Concrete Parking Lots Cure Before Allowing Traffic?
The waiting time depends on several factors, including the slab thickness and the type of concrete used, but the time of year can also be an important factor. As a general rule, if the concrete is poured in the summer, you should allow at least three days before allowing passenger vehicles on your pavement. Typically, you will need to extend this time to seven days if the concrete is poured in the winter. Truck traffic will normally need to be kept off the pavement for a longer period, but the exact time will need to be determined on a case-by-case basis.
How Are Concrete Parking Lots Constructed?
Although there can be some variations between projects, at RDC Paving, we typically follow these steps when constructing a concrete parking lot.
- Inspect the site to evaluate the soil, the drainage, and the terrain.
- Discuss the additional features that the client needs, including light poles, landscaping islands, gutters, and drains.
- Determine whether the parking lot will support only passenger vehicles, only trucks, or a mix of both. Determine the expected traffic volume.
- Compact the subgrade. Proper compaction is essential, so it may be necessary to amend the soil if adequate compaction cannot be achieved. Typically, we will go ahead and perform a preliminary grading of the subgrade at this stage.
- In Central Texas, it is often advisable to install an aggregate base on top of the subgrade. If one is required for your parking lot, we will construct it.
- We place the forms that will contain the concrete slurry. If reinforcement is needed, we will add the mesh or rebar.
- We pour the concrete, then we apply the surface finish that you requested.
- We leave the forms in place until the concrete has had time to set, then we return to remove them.
Let RDC Paving Help With Your Concrete Parking Lots Needs in Austin, TX
When you need expert concrete work, you can count on RDC Paving for superior concrete paving and repair. We install concrete parking lots, ramps, driveways, sidewalks, wheel stops, and ADA-complaint features, and we also offer parking lot maintenance and parking lot striping. Our asphalt services include asphalt milling, asphalt paving, asphalt overlays, sealcoating, asphalt repairs and crack repairs, and asphalt driveway paving. We have an impeccable reputation for high-quality craftsmanship and exemplary service. To request a free quote on your next project, you can either call us for Concrete Parking Lots services in Hutto, Austin at 512-920-9155 or complete the online form.