When many people think about the life expectancy of concrete, their thoughts turn to the aqueducts, amphitheaters, roads, and other structures built during the days of the Roman Empire. Many of these structures are still standing, but few of them are still in use. Concrete is certainly a durable paving material, but your parking lot will not have a lifespan that rivals some of the Roman pavements. In general, a modern Austin concrete parking lot will last anywhere from 20 to 50 years. This is quite a wide range because there are several factors that can affect the longevity of a parking lot constructed with concrete.
Why Does an Austin Concrete Parking Lot Usually Have Such a Long Life?
When a concrete company in Austin designs a new pavement, one decision that must be made is the mix design. Typically, a concrete mix is a combination of portland cement, water, and aggregates. A concrete parking lot company will normally use a mix is 10 to 15% portland cement, 15 to 20% water, and 60 to 75% aggregates. Depending on the design, the mix may also contain fibers or chemicals as reinforcements. This produces a slurry that is workable, but it will have the appropriate strength and durability when it cures. However, a concrete parking lot company will also ensure that the mix has an air content of between 5 and 8% to help prevent damage from freeze/thaw cycles. This results in an extremely strong pavement that will make it more resistant to damage.
What Factors Affect the Longevity of a Concrete Lot?
If you think about the many parking lots you drive by every day, it will quickly become apparent that they can be very different. Some are smaller, busier, or newer than others. Some are for employees only, while others are used by customers. Some were constructed by concrete companies in Austin with extensive experience, while some show signs that the concrete parking lot company lacked the basic skills to provide quality results.
1. When a concrete company in Austin builds a new parking lot, the contractor must design and install it correctly. An inferior installation will result in a shorter lifespan for the concrete parking lot.
2. The weight of the vehicles using the parking lot affects the life expectancy of the concrete. Thus, a parking lot for passenger vehicles will have a longer life expectancy than one that is only used for fully laden tractor-trailers.
3. The number of vehicles using the parking lot will also affect the pavement’s life expectancy. Thus, a concrete parking lot that sees 100,000 vehicles coming and going each day will wear out sooner than one that only sees 1,000 vehicles per day.
4. The weather is an important factor in the longevity of a concrete parking lot. Freezes, heavy rain, and bright sunlight can all be detrimental to the longevity of a concrete pavement.
5. The ground beneath the parking lot also matters. When concrete parking lot contractors install a new pavement, they should compact the soil, then install a compacted aggregate base. If they do not, the parking lot could experience problems sooner than anticipated. However, even if a concrete company in Austin does everything right on the installation, the underlying ground could still impact longevity. Austin concrete parking lot companies know that certain soil types react to periods of wet and dry weather differently, while others are more prone to settling than others. Over time, ground movement can impact the integrity of a concrete pavement.
6. The upkeep a concrete parking lot receives can have a significant impact on the pavement’s durability. Cracks should be mended promptly, and drainage issues should be addressed quickly. If a deicer is needed, plain rock salt is the only one that a concrete parking lot company will typically recommend. Avoid using deicers containing calcium chloride, ammonium nitrate, magnesium chloride, or ammonium sulfate as these will accelerate deterioration.
RDC Paving is a respected Austin concrete parking lot paving contractor with an immaculate reputation for service, craftsmanship, and professionalism. We also install concrete driveways, concrete sidewalks, concrete ramps, ADA-compliant concrete features, and concrete curbs. In addition, we offer concrete repairs, asphalt paving, asphalt repairs and crack repairs, asphalt driveway paving, parking lot maintenance, asphalt overlays, parking lot striping, asphalt sealcoating, and asphalt milling. To request a free quote, you can use the online form, call 512-920-9155, or email Ryan@RDCPaving.com.